links 11-21-11

The revolution will be homeschooled - Las Vegas Weekly:
“They’re very … homeschooled children are weird,” she says, going right for the jugular. The moms stiffen, but when their kids file into the room they look, well, regular. Many of them have seen the other side of the fence, and they thoughtfully explain to Grandma why they prefer homeschool. “So what’s your problem with the brick-and-mortar schools?” she finally asks Elissa Wahl, homeschool veteran and facilitator of this info session. Wahl smiles. She has been here many times, and she believes absolutely in what she’s about to say: 
“I tell people all the time I’m not anti-public school. I’m pro-my child.”
A Different Role for Teachers Unions : Education Next:
"In northern Europe at that time, the mass-production system was not so widely embraced, the era of the craftsman did not abate, and work was less routinized and rule-bound than in the United States. 
After World War II, management and owners in many Western European countries wanted to deny communism any opportunity to gain ground among workers, and so they gave labor a seat at the table. Thus three “social partners”—government, labor, and management—would frame social policy together, as equals. In many countries, the law also provided for work councils made up of workers elected by their peers at the firm level to adjust the national agreement to local conditions."
Hot Teachers - By Sharif Abdel Kouddous | Foreign Policy:
"By all accounts, Egypt's state school system is a broken one. Overcrowded classrooms, with up to 60 students per class, are tended to by teachers who are among the most poorly paid civil servants in the country's vastly bureaucratic public sector. In many cases to make ends meet, teachers essentially force undereducated students to pay for private lessons to pass their grade, creating a shadow education system that places a financial burden on parents.
"The reform of the education system is for the benefit of the parents and the students more than the teachers," Sharafawi says. "Parents completely are understanding this and are supporting the strike."" 
and this:
The unprecedented wave of education strikes hit another milestone this month when it spread beyond the country's state institutions to reach the unlikeliest of places: the American University in Cairo (AUC), Egypt's most elite educational establishment. 
Located on the western desert fringes of Cairo in a newly developed area called the Fifth Settlement, AUC's gleaming, multimillion-dollar campus is a world away from its historical home in the heart of Tahrir Square, and it boasts a level of corporate sponsorship that would tickle the imagination of most neoliberal economists, complete with a Pepsi gate, CIB fountain, and Mobinil tower. AUC students pay $17,000 a year in tuition -- more than eight times the annual income of the average Egyptian.The unprecedented wave of education strikes hit another milestone this month when it spread beyond the country's state institutions to reach the unlikeliest of places: the American University in Cairo (AUC), Egypt's most elite educational establishment. 
for the love of learning: Are badges an alternative for grading?
"When I share with others that I abolished grading from my classroom years ago, I often get two reactions. The first looks something like stunned bewilderment; for these people, they can't even begin to conceive how school could function without grading. They might even go so far as to feel that I am not doing my job. The second reaction is one of interest, followed quickly by uncertainty for what would act as an alternative to grading." 
Psych! « Cooperative Catalyst: ( Good discussion in the comments, too. )
"I just received an update from the Harvard Kennedy School in their “Innovators Insights” newsletter that Miami-Dade school district in Florida just made mid-term and final tests optional in grades 6-12. At first read, I thought to myself “Wow, that’s really great and surprising!” Then I read the article.

All that’s happened is a bait and switch. There’s no substantive change in my opinion, although they have certainly reduced the burden they impose on students. Essentially, the state has moved to common end of course tests so that all Florida students can be measured together per subject area. Mid-terms and finals are a redundancy in this system from a bureaucratic point of view, so the district did away with them."
US college grads salaries in decline (boingboing)
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