In 2011, what exactly does it mean to be tech savvy? Over at USA Today, the front page boasts an info-graphic of a recent survey conducted by Research Now for AVG. They surveyed 2,200 mothers in 10 nations, asking about the tech skills of children ages 2-5.
When it comes to education improvement, do little things happen in small packages? Thanks to the past two years, we are used to looking for megadeals. Race to the Top offered up four billion dollars; i3 another $650 million. The Gates Foundation often drops tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars on the latest and greatest. Even the recent News Corp. deal for Wireless Generation caught many by surprised, based solely on the size of the deal.
Hollywood does a pretty good job of depicting the ideal teacher. Such an educator instantly connects with even the most struggling of students, seeing past his or her faults and quickly converting the student into valedictorian/doctor/Broadway star or general success of one’s choice. Long hours and incredible patience are always involved.
We all know Teach for America. We know them to be some of the best-selected new teachers. Some of the most committed. Some of the best intended. But at a time when we still struggle to identify what is effective teacher preparation, can we really say that TFA teachers are “well-trained?”
Yesterday, President Obama released his FY2012 Budget. And it was hardly a “the new phone books are here” sort of moment. In an era of supposed budgetary belt-tightening, we all knew that the U.S. Department of Education was facing a budget increase. The major question was how much of that increase would go to Pell and how much to P-12.
During his State of the Union address last month, President Barack Obama showed the love for the science fair, saying winners of the science fair deserve the same kudos as winners of the Super Bowl. But this week, The New York Times has an article detailing how the American science fair is on the decline, placing the blame at the feet of the U.S. Department of Education and its policies on student achievement and accountability and the fact that science fairs take up a lot of work, both for the teacher and the student.