links 12-21-12

Dave Brubeck, featured on TIME magazine cover,...
Dave Brubeck, featured on TIME magazine cover, TIME, November 8, 1954. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
How Dave Brubeck Used His Talents to Fight for Integration - Arts & Lifestyle - The Atlantic Cities: "In 1960, after colleges demanded again that Brubeck substitute a white bassist for Wright, Brubeck cancelled 23 of 25 dates on a tour of Southern universities, a decision that cost the group an estimated $40,000. (The average annual U.S. income at that time was around $5,000.)

Texas occupational licensing: State Rep Bill Callegari aims to deregulate Texas work rules.: For a state that prides itself on low regulation and job creation, Texas has more occupational licensing than most other states, Callegari said. Texans must be licensed to work in a variety of jobs, including as a shorthand court reporter, boxing timekeeper and shellfish processor. Texas regulates almost one-third of its workforce, which is higher than the national trend, according to a 2009 report by his committee.

The surveillance state high school - "There are lots of problems with attendance-based funding — for one thing, it disproportionately rewards suburban schools in more affluent communities over urban schools where attendance is depressed by chronic poverty. But that doesn’t mean we should reflexively blame schools for doing what they must to survive under the current rules. Some of the coverage of the Hernandez case has treated Northside School District’s explicit Smart ID rationale — attracting increased funding — as somehow unseemly: a greedy grab for a state handout. But that’s an unfair reading of what’s going on. In Texas (and California, another state that moved to attendance-based funding more than a decade ago) the basic problem is that chronic underfunding of public education gives school districts no choice but to constantly be looking for innovative ways to raise funds."

Juvenile Judge: My Court Was Inundated With Non-Dangerous Kids Arrested Because They ‘Make Adults Mad’ | ThinkProgress: "Judge Steven Teske of Clayton County Juvenile Court in Georgia took a proactive approach to address this problem, initiating discussions with the school superintendent and chief of police to change the practices that led kids to his courtroom. Because he had cooperative partners, the number of students referred to juvenile court for school offenses was reduced by 83 percent. But not all counties are this accommodating. In Meridian, Miss., where the county incarcerates kids for dress code violations, county officials were so unwilling to work with the Department of Justice that the agency was forced to file suit that alleges students are punished “so arbitrarily and severely as to shock the conscience.”"

The Ultimate Education Reform: "And because school is unfailingly relevant (even for those who are utterly bored or who hate it), the emotions without which learning never happens are dependably close. Look kids in the eyes, give them a genuinely difficult task—ask them to help make their school do what it's supposed to do and what society desperately needs for it to do, and mean what you say—and they and their teachers will create dynamic learning communities that, finally, justify the school's cost."

Grading Schools Isn’t the Answer. It’s the Problem. -
For the past three decades, one administration after another has sought to fix America’s troubled schools by making them compete with one another. Mr. Obama has put up billions of dollars for hisRace to the Top program, a federal sweepstakes where state educational systems are judged head-to-head largely on the basis of test scores. Even here in Texas, nobody’s model for educational excellence, the state has long used complex algorithms to assign grades of Exemplary, Recognized, Acceptable or Unacceptable to its schools.

Radical Planet: "Research shows that home education produces community minded, politically involved, socially able and active citizens.

Home education is a rich resource, as school is otherwise assessed in isolation. Home educated children provides a valuable control group. Researcher Paula Rothermel says “Many studies aim to evaluate children’s learning and attitudes to school, and yet almost unbelievably, none of these studies has ever used children whose families are electively home educating as a control.”"

Harvard's Endowment Managers Make Almost As Much As All 450 Professors Combined - Business Insider: "Ron Unz of the American Conservative posits that 375-year old Harvard University has grown so rich that it is now essentially a giant hedge fund with a little school attached."

Achievement Gap Goes Global - Getting Smart by Gary Kaplan - edleaders, edreform: "Achievement gap? Which one? It’s not just inner-city schools that need to raise their game. Even our best suburban schools fall short in the international student achievement sweepstakes, says Arthur Levine, former president of Columbia Teachers College (The Suburban Education Gap, WSJ 11/15/12).  ...  "30 years after ‘A Nation at Risk’ not one major urban district has been turned around and many of our suburban districts are losing ground,” writes Levine. “We have settled on a path of global mediocrity for our most affluent schools and national marginality for failing inner-city schools.”"

Jailbreaking the College Degree | UnCollege: "This is why I am so excited about Degreed, a startup that plans to “jailbreak” the degree and create the world’s first Lifelong Diploma. This diploma will allow students to present “everything they’ve learned, from any source, throughout their lives.” The education industry should allow learners to earn degrees by taking classes that they want to take.""

Children, Parents and Mass Incarceration | Next New Deal: "The interesting thesis of Invisible Men is that the government, through the means it uses to record, analyze and ultimately see the population it governs, systematically misses incarcerated people. This biases various policy debates, as researchers build their arguments off these records. This is particularly important for some serious ongoing debates, like gaps between blacks and whites in earnings or labor-force participation, or the high-school dropout rate. This missing population also means that a variety of research agendas, from political participation to family structure, are also lacking an analytical mechanism for understanding how the large increase in incarcerated populations are impacting the topics."

Wana Duhart: Parent-Centered School Reform a Long Time Coming | Education News: "Most parents probably would prefer that their neighborhood schools remain open and build a reputation for being vibrant learning centers. However, they also want these same local schools to get serious about transforming teaching and learning in ways that will yield high academic achievement for their students. Such a proposition has become more likely for many more students because parent groups are being endowed with new forms of power, influence, and strength. Parent-centered policies can help to make sure that families are given the choices and access the students need to have the best chance for academic success."

The Rise of Democratic Schools and 'Solutionaries': Why Adults Need to Get Out of the Way | Education on GOOD: Let's put the microscope on democratic schools. In 2005 at the Berlin International Democratic Education Conference, participants agreed on this statement to define these institutions: "We believe that, in any educational setting, young people have the right: to decide individually how, when, what, where, and with whom they learn to have an equal share in the decision-making as to how their organizations—in particular their schools—are run, and which rules and sanctions, if any, are necessary."

Putting learners at the centre: the Learning Commons journey at Victoria University - Victoria University Institutional Repository (VUIR): "Victoria University (VU) implemented an Information Commons in each of its 11 campus libraries in 2005. Since then, VU has begun planning and development to redefine these spaces according to a 'Learning Commons' model. The initiative has been based on the collaboration of three areas of the university: Library, Teaching and Learning Support and Information Technology Services. Transforming the existing Information Commons to a Learning Commons, this facility will be linked to a student pedestrian and retail precinct and will be the most comprehensive expression of this concept. The evolution from an Information Commons to a Learning Commons model at VU has occurred within the context of larger scale strategic shift in the university's focus from a largely teacher-centred to a learner-centred university. This chapter explores the planning processes to develop a 'shared' understanding of how a Learning Commons with a learner-centred focus could support and engage students given that VU has multiple campuses and a highly diverse student population. While this is still a work in progress, some important lessons have been learnt."

Choosing Democracy: Crenshaw School Community (Los Angeles) fights for real school improvement: "I
n contrast, the research shows that reconstitutions are not good for students. Reconstitutions cut students off from faculty and staff they know, from programs they are involved in, and from the communities surrounding their schools. Districts reconstitute schools in working class communities of color, creating more instability and uprootedness for students who are often our most vulnerable. Reconstitutions are educational racism. For more details, see a brand new study from UC Berkeley and the Annenberg Institute at Brown University at

International Students Recruited More Heavily At U.S. Colleges: 2012 Open Doors Study: "New figures out Monday show international enrollment at U.S. colleges and universities grew nearly 6 percent last year, driven by a 23-percent increase from China, even as total enrollment was leveling out. But perhaps more revealing is where much of the growth is concentrated: big, public land-grant colleges, notably in the Midwest.

The numbers offer a snapshot of the transformation of America's famous heartland public universities in an era of diminished state support. Of the 25 campuses with the most international students, a dozen have increased international enrollment more than 40 percent in just five years, according to data collected by the Institute of International Education. All but one are public, and a striking number come from the Big Ten: Indiana, Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State and the Universities of Minnesota and Illinois. Indiana's international enrollment now surpasses 6,000, or about 15 percent of the student body, and in Illinois, the flagship Urbana-Champaign campus has nearly 9,000 – second nationally only to the University of Southern California."
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