Education shorts


by David Safier

6a00d8341bf80c53ef017d4109c0e0970c-200wiOur warming weather is a perfect time for some ed shorts — items cluttering up my computer desktop which I'll never have time to write about in detail.

  • Some states are dropping the GED. Why? The cost of the tests has gone through the roof "since for-profit Pearson Vue Testing acquired a joint ownership interest in the nonprofit Washington-based GED Testing Service." Pearson is taking over the standardized testing field. Ominous signs of things to come.
  • There's a site called Homeschoolers Anonymous, with serious, cautionary tales from people who were Christian home schooled. Lots of them are not only disillusioned, but they feel like they've been psychologically damaged by the experience. A very good piece by someone who was home schooled: How To Escape From Bad Home Schooling. A good article here.
  • Studies of districts closing schools, like TUSD, indicate the savings are minimal (often mainly the result of staff cuts) and the educational effects on the transfered students are anywhere from neutral to negative.
  • A study of black males attending mainly white universities shows their success is equal parts academic preparation and "grit" — the ability to persevere in the face of obstacles. This is a common sense notion, but people are looking at ways "grit," whatever it is, can be taught to students to prepare them for the challenges they face in a strange new academic environment.
  • The BASIS charter school that started up in DC this year is facing a large number of students withdrawing in the middle of the year. The question is, why? According to the reporter, "A representative of Basis did not return requests for comment."
  • A school in an Ozark town in Missouri is training its teachers to carry guns. Most parents like the idea.
  • When police officers are stationed in schools, the number of adolescent arrests go up, sometimes for minor scuffles and other problems which could be solved in house. The result is, more teens are introduced to the criminal justice system, often for the first time, which can have a serious negative impact on their lives.