Sunday, May 30

The JFS case

Much you eat
has been spilled and much Jewish educators attention has been focused on the famous (infamous) case in which the Supreme Court of the UK -- citing racial discrimination -- required London's Jewish Free School to accept a student whose mother had converted non-halakhicly. This piece in the Jewish Review of Books does a more cogent job of unpacking the legal issue than any other discussion I have yet to see.

Thursday, May 27

High School Is Not Hollywood

Stand and Deliver, that inspiring movie, a true story about the master teacher who turns around a group of underachieving poor kids. A real feel-good movie! Turns out they played fast and loose with the facts. It's a much harder to educate than just personal charisma.

Tuesday, May 25

Great scores, bad students

Why you can get great scores on standardized tests and still be a lousy student and unaccomplished adult.

Sunday, May 23

Pay close attention

If I had to boil down the conclusions of the Hessie (High School Survey of Student Engagement) it would be this: to promote student engagement, take students seriously, listen to them carefully, and to respond honestly.

Thursday, May 20

Why bother listening in class...

... When you can twitter and Facebook and check e-mails and check if your team is winning and update your blog. Why more and more professors are banning laptops in the classroom.

Tuesday, May 18

Children's books

The New York Times special issue on children's books.

Sunday, May 16

More on play

We've touched on the importance of play before here, and this new book (at least according to a review) seems to back it up: play is a key to learning and development.

Thursday, May 13

Tefillat HaShelah

Today, Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan, is appointed as a particularly appropriate and effective date to pray for one's children (maybe also talmidim?) - that they should be good and upright, that they have everything they need for a fruitful, joyous life.
To download the special prayer composed by the Shelah HaKadosh, click here...

Hate grading papers?

You can always pay someone in India to do it!

Tuesday, May 11

How to Write a High-School Term Paper

I've always thought that there is something absurd about the high school term paper, but I never quite realized how absurd...

Sunday, May 9

Grade inflation

Grade inflation on a national level is a known phenomenon. Less well known: rates are higher in private colleges, likely because private schools need to keep students happier in order to attract applicants in the future. Sound familiar?

Thursday, May 6

Not as prestigious but a lot cheaper

The rise in enrollment in community colleges continues, and it's not hard to figure out why: they are cheap.

Tuesday, May 4


The ASCD (the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) offers this online glossary of educational lingo.

Sunday, May 2

Parents can't win

I was encouraged to see this New York Times summary of research that shows that parents are spending more time with their kids (not to mention getting divorced at lower rates than in past decades). But then I read some of the comments, with people explaining that this is not good news because it reflects overparenting and not giving children adequate independent time. Perhaps there is just a certain fixed measure of parental anxiety free-floating in the air. What ever we do, we will berate ourselves for not doing the opposite.