links 10-4-11

Is College Over? - Boston Magazine:
".... Robert Schwartz, a professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, released a report arguing that the well-trod path from high school to college has veered largely off course, with only 30 percent of students who start four-year degrees actually finishing. Then came the news that student loan debt had for the first time eclipsed credit card debt in this country, which did a nice do-si-do with the findings that student loan defaults were on the rise (9 percent for four-year colleges, up from 7 percent in 2008). ..."
Nick Bilton Turns Down $1.5 Million+ From CBS/CNET, Stays At NY Times « UNCRUNCHED:
"Not bad for a guy who never got a journalism degree, or any other degree. Bilton’s background is in design. And he’s one of the best writers the NY Times has. They’re lucky to have kept him."

Public Schools: An Untapped Recreational Resource - Miller-McCune:
"A new study, published in the July issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, suggests that you don’t have to rebuild a community to give people more room to get active: Minor policy changes can encourage use of a largely untapped resource — public schools. 
Most public schools provide space for people to get active, like playgrounds, athletic fields, outdoor tracks, outdoor basketball courts, swimming pools and indoor gymnasiums. Although many of these are funded primarily through tax dollars, liability concerns prevent schools from encouraging their use after school hours. The logic behind this is understandable: Schools don’t want to deal with lawsuits from disgruntled joggers who twist their ankles on the track at night. Still, as a result of this approach, other parks and facilities must be built and maintained for general use, which can ultimately waste valuable resources."
We could view schools as community learning resources instead of factories that close after production is done for the day.

Science museums are failing grown-ups – Boing Boing:
"Reach Advisors is a firm that focuses on museum audience research. In a 2008 survey of adult American museum visitors, they found that more than 80% of the respondents to a multiple choice survey said science museums best served children and families. And 59% said the museums best served school groups. Just 22% said adults were best served, and only 17% said teens."
Confusing education with schooling means museums see themselves as school adjuncts rather than learning service providers to the community of learners of all ages. The lack of teen and adult programs is a part of this approach.

Free Learning For All: Revisiting Henry David Thoreau | PCWorld Business Center:
"I also owe an obligation to my community to help others maintain the maximum number of choices in their lives. People at the lower end of the income bracket especially need to have the maximum number of choices in their lives. If they don't, they will experience the suffocating experience of living a choiceless life. That unsettles me. In Thoreau's day, the way to communicate ideas was via essays and books. Today, people communicate using blog posts and YouTube videos. So to accompany this blog post I created this short YouTube video. My goal in this video is to help others stop and think. Wise decisions can only be made when we think."
All families should have real and substantial input and control over the classes they take at every single school. Schools could be viewed as community learning centers and poor and working-class people could be viewed as competent and caring people who would help their children succeed ... if they had choices.

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