"At her contentious confirmation hearing as Donald Trump’s nominee to be education secretary on Tuesday, Betsy DeVos was asked a question by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) about an important education debate involving how student progress should be measured. The query essentially rendered her speechless as she appeared not to know how to answer. When Franken told her he was upset she didn’t understand it, she did not protest."
"DeVos refused to agree with a Democrat that schools are no place for guns, citing one school that needs one to protect against grizzly bears. (She really said this.)"
"DeVos seemed to have no understanding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, known as IDEA, which requires public schools to provide free and appropriate education to all students with disabilities."
"DeVos refused to agree with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) that all schools that receive public federal funds — traditional public, public charter or private schools that receive voucher money — should be held to the same standards of accountability."
"There’s no way to sugarcoat it: 2016 has been an emotionally exhausting and, at times, devastating year. With violence and conflict constantly making headlines, the passing of several artistic legends and a bitter, divisive election in the U.S., the countdown to 2017 seemed to kick off midsummer.
But 2016 was also full of hopeful, small acts of kindness between families, neighbors and even strangers, that reaffirmed love and empathy can persevere through the most difficult times. We saw this on display every day in 2016 through the Kiva community.
Hundreds of thousands of borrowers (351,465 to be exact) around the world shared their dreams for a better future for their families, and lenders responded by funding $133 million in loans to help those families take their next steps.
Kiva also celebrated a momentous milestone– 10 years of impact, made possible by the generosity of 1.6 million lenders from 192 countries. That’s truly an international movement of people who believe in lifting each other up as a global community."
Our schools and communities are contending with many factors that affect the conditions for learning, such as bullying, harassment, violence, and substance abuse.
The National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE) is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students to help address such issues.
Specifically, the Center
Provides training and support to state administrators, including 11 grantees funded under the Safe and Supportive Schools grant program, 22 grantees funded under the Project Prevent grant program, school and district administrators, institutions of higher education, teachers, support staff at schools, communities and families, and students
Seeks to improve schools' conditions for learning through measurement and program implementation, so that all students have the opportunity to realize academic success in safe and supportive environments This website serves as a central location for the Center. In particular, it includes information about the Center’s training and technical assistance, products and tools, and latest research findings. We welcome you to explore and discover, ask questions, and share your perspective.
For information about the Agency and Center staff, go here. To contact the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments, call 1-800-258-8413 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pakistan's Press Information Bureau on Wednesday released a readout of a phone call on Monday between Pakistan's prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, and the U.S. president-elect, Donald Trump. The readout is unusual in that it focuses almost entirely on Trump's contributions to the conversation, and reproduces them in a voice that is unmistakably his.
The readout is reproduced in full below:
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif called President-elect USA Donald Trump and felicitated him on his victory. President Trump said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif you have a very good reputation. You are a terrific guy. You are doing amazing work which is visible in every way. I am looking forward to see you soon. As I am talking to you Prime Minister, I feel I am talking to a person I have known for long. Your country is amazing with tremendous opportunities. Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people. I am ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems. It will be an honor and I will personally do it. Feel free to call me any time even before 20th January that is before I assume my office.
On being invited to visit Pakistan by the prime minister, Mr. Trump said that he would love to come to a fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people. Please convey to the Pakistani people that they are amazing and all Pakistanis I have known are exceptional people, said Mr. Donald Trump.
"Infrastructure investment is on the forefront of political agendas around the world. From the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) spearheaded by China to the pro-infrastructure themes that united an otherwise divisive presidential campaign in the United States, the policy focus is on transportation, telecommunications, utilities and so on around us. The expected surge in such infrastructure projects is estimated to fill a gap of $8 trillion across Asia alone, and around $1 trillion in the U.S.
But this policy spotlight must also now be lifted above us to outer space, where newspace industries are building, extending and connecting a space-based infrastructure to the planet as never before. The global space economy already permeates virtually all aspects of modern life (e.g. telecommunications, broadcasting, earth observation), and is estimated to be more than $320 billion today. Newspace is taking it another step forward, transforming the prospects for the economics, societal and national security domains."
But if Michigan is a center of school choice, it is also among the worst places to argue that choice has made schools better. As the state embraced and then expanded charters over the past two decades, its rank has fallen on national reading and math tests. Most charter schools perform below the state average.
And a federal review in 2015 found “an unreasonably high” percentage of charter schools on the list of the state’s lowest-performing schools. The number of charter schools on that list had doubled since 2010, after the passage of a law a group financed by Ms. DeVos pushed to expand the schools. The group blocked a provision in that law that would have prevented failing schools from expanding or replicating.
Ms. DeVos, 58, got into education advocacy primarily as a backer of vouchers, and has served on the board of several organizations that have campaigned for them across the country.
A ballot initiative she led to establish vouchers in Michigan failed in 2000. The next year, she established the Great Lakes Education Project, which became an ardent proponent of charter school expansion, and has donated generously to candidates who have supported it.
The Michigan law pushed by Ms. DeVos to establish charter schools 20 years ago allows an unusually large number of organizations to start such schools, yet established little mechanism for oversight. Even Republican supporters of charter schools say the law has allowed failing charter schools to expand or replicate.
"Keeping Massachusetts competitive requires a workforce that excels in science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM. More than 40 percent of the Commonwealth’s economy centers on jobs in STEM fields, including advanced manufacturing, information technology, and biotech. • Massachusetts has more open positions in these fields than employees to fill them, a void that threatens our economic drivers. Industry analysts and CEOs repeatedly identify this gap as the single greatest challenge facing the Commonwealth’s STEM economy. • Massachusetts isn’t alone. Across the country, states with strong technology, biotech, medical, and engineering economies struggle to provide employers with educated, work-ready employees. And STEM readiness has global implications: There is an international race to create a highly skilled workforce capable of driving an increasingly innovation-centered world. - See more at: http://edition.pagesuite.com/popovers/article_popover.aspx?guid=78187445-b4cb-44f4-a87d-3f1839061325#sthash.P0Qb09g6.dpuf"
Eric Tucker, a 35-year-old co-founder of a marketing company in Austin, Tex., had just about 40 Twitter followers. But his recent tweet about paid protesters being bused to demonstrations against President-elect Donald J. Trump fueled a nationwide conspiracy theory — one that Mr. Trump joined in promoting.
Mr. Tucker's post was shared at least 16,000 times on Twitter and more than 350,000 times on Facebook. The problem is that Mr. Tucker got it wrong. There were no such buses packed with paid protesters.
But that didn't matter.
While some fake news is produced purposefully by teenagers in the Balkans or entrepreneurs in the United States seeking to make money from advertising, false information can also arise from misinformed social media posts by regular people that are seized on and spread through a hyperpartisan blogosphere
If anything ever published on The Learning Network could be said to have “gone viral,” it is last February’s “200 Prompts for Argumentative Writing,” which we created to help teachers and students participate in our inaugural Student Editorial Contest.
We’ve now updated last year’s list with new questions and what we hope is more useful categorization.
So scroll through the 301 prompts below that touch on every aspect of contemporary life — from politics to sports, culture, education and technology — and see which ones most inspire you to take a stand. Each question comes from our daily Student Opinion feature, and each provides links to free Times resources for finding more information.
What issues do you care about most? Find something to write about here, or post a comment if you think we’ve missed a topic you would like to see us cover.
And if these 301 questions aren’t enough, the Room for Debate blog provides many, many more.
We were exploring how to make metacognitive thinking more visible for our students, keeping it aligned with our mandate to keep thinking and learning visible, transparent, tangible, critiqueable and accountable within learning spaces.
"There were quite a few moments at her confirmation hearing Tuesday when Betsy DeVos floored lawmakers with her answers, but the nominee for education secretary left senators puzzled by denying her documented involvement in a foundation that has funneled millions of dollars to anti-LGBT causes.
DeVos, from 2001 to 2013, was listed in tax filings as vice president of the Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation, a nonprofit group founded by her mother that has been a generous donor to controversial groups like Focus on the Family and Family Research Council. Yet when pressed by Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) to explain her role at the foundation, DeVos insisted her name should not have been included in any tax forms and that she had nothing to do with the organization.
'That was a clerical error — I can assure you,' DeVos said. 'I have never made decisions on my mother’s behalf.'"
"In February, an international team of astronomers announced in Nature that they'd traced one of the flashes back to a galaxy 6 billion light years from Earth based on an “afterglow” they saw emanating from the host galaxy. But that identification quickly fell apart when other researchers observed that the glow persisted long after the bursts came and went; two months later they reported that the purported burst was actually a flickering black hole. During those same two months, the researchers looking at Arecibo data announced that FRB 121102 was repeating — a discovery that shifted the field of FRB research under astronomers' feet.
That's how science works — it's surprising, sometimes silly and almost always messy, especially when it involves phenomena researchers don't fully understand.
Heino Falcke, an astronomer at Radboud University-Nijmegen in the Netherlands, invoked past missteps in his analysis of the new study for Nature: “As good detectives, we should avoid adopting newly emerging dogmas too soon, even when we think we have caught the suspect red-handed,” he wrote. “FRBs are nimble fugitives and are not necessarily all alike.”
Lorimer suggested that clarity might come from adopting Chatterjee's “sit and stare method” — taking a telescope, pointing it at a known FRB source, and waiting to detect another pulse. This is no simple task; there are a limited number of radio telescopes in the world and an inexhaustible list of possible uses for them. On top of that, two of the U.S.'s top radio telescopes, Arecibo and the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia, are facing funding woes and could be shut down. But new instruments are about to come online, including China's Tianyan (“eye of heaven”) telescope, whose 500-meter dish makes it the largest in the world.
But if astronomers can figure out where FRBs come from and why, they may start to use the signals to probe other mysteries."
"DAVIES: Do you have a view yourself about what they [Facebook] should be doing?
SILVERMAN: You know, the first thing in terms of what should be done is that - is the answer is kind of a lot of things. And that's an unsatisfying answer to give, but it speaks to the complexity of this problem. When people started circulating lists of fake news websites, it was a huge problem because a lot of the sites on those lists, sure, they may publish some stuff that's misleading or false but they weren't publishing stuff a hundred percent in those areas. And there were a lot of simply ideologically-driven sites that were on these lists. And so if, for example, Facebook wanted to just implement a big bad blacklist, get rid of lots of sites, that would be a terrible, terrible outcome. So it's not as simple as I think some people have suggested it can be.
I would like to see them make flagging more of - more easy for people and to make sure that it can't be abused. I think they absolutely need to innovate in the area of algorithmic detection of misinformation. I also think, frankly, they do need to increase the amount of people who are reviewing content, whether it's for being offensive or other things because the scale of their platform is so big that I don't think they've put the human element in there in the right places. So them figuring out where that can be applied and how to guard against ideologically-driven decisions is a big thing. And to be honest, I think that they should figure out ways to identify the sites that are a hundred percent fake news and to see how they're sharing. Are they just being shared among small groups of people who all sort of think the same way and realize that that probably isn't a story that should spread further. So I'm not a huge proponent of blacklists but I think that analyzing the content and knowing what it is and knowing how it's being shared is really important.
The other unsexy thing finally, I think, is that we need to put this in our education system. There are a lot of people being fooled by fake news. There are a lot of people who don't know how to kind of check out the story they're reading online and that's understandable. It's not a matter of intelligence. We're consuming media in very different ways. We're having a whole menu of links and things from all different kinds of sources fed to us every day by Facebook. And that's very different from opening up a newspaper and knowing where everything was coming from. So I think we do in our schools need to start thinking about how we integrate more media literacy and critical thinking education so that people can make better judgments for themselves."
"Jobs Aren’t Just About Politics: For the people who carry them out every day, they’re much more personal. Over several months, we interviewed 100 American workers about their jobs and collected their insights and experiences in an interactive dashboard.What American workers have to say about their work."
"Oklahoma public schools are on the ropes after years of budget cuts. Four-day school weeks and more. We’ll take it as a big case study and and look at Donald Trump’s new education secretary.
The presidency, of course, wasn’t the only thing put to a vote on Nov. 8. In Oklahoma, they voted on whether to squeak a little more money into Oklahoma’s cash-starved schools. They voted no. For schools that have taken the deepest cuts in the country. Now comes the fallout. On Point is headed out on a national listening tour next year. But we’re listening already. This hour Granular. This hour On Point, the Oklahoma schools story, and educating our country’s kids."
"With school budgets running tight, Tom Shull turns to the Internet to raise money for all sorts of supplies for his students at Quincy Upper School in Boston: books, pencils, highlighters, post-it notes, toner cartridges. • In all, the speech therapist has posted four dozen funding requests over the last five years on DonorsChoose.org, raising more than $25,000 for his high school students. The requests sometimes go beyond the typical. When he and his colleagues started a running club for students with disabilities, he sought help to buy sneakers for those who couldn’t afford them. • More and more, teachers across Massachusetts are embracing crowdfunding to cover everything from basic supplies to pricey technology. The boom builds upon what teachers have been doing for years: digging deep into their own pockets to stock their classrooms with items that were once covered by school budgets." - Sedition.ppopoversguid=4cddb2e8-1919acba0c"
"But as the night wore on and most reporters had gone home, the language changed. Mr. Spencer’s ['Richard B. Spencer, the leading ideologue of the alt-right movement'] after-dinner speech began with a polemic against the 'mainstream media,' before he briefly paused. 'Perhaps we should refer to them in the original German?' he said. The audience immediately screamed back, 'Lügenpresse,' reviving a Nazi-era word that means 'lying press.' Mr. Spencer suggested that the news media had been critical of Mr. Trump throughout the campaign in order to protect Jewish interests. He mused about the political commentators who gave Mr. Trump little chance of winning. 'One wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem,' he said, referring to a Jewish fable about the golem, a clay giant that a rabbi brings to life to protect the Jews.
Mr. Trump’s election, Mr. Spencer said, was 'the victory of will,' a phrase that echoed the title of the most famous Nazi-era propaganda film."
“'America was, until this last generation, a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity,' Mr. Spencer thundered. 'It is our creation, it is our inheritance, and it belongs to us.'”
“'To be white is to be a creator, an explorer, a conqueror,' he said.
More members of the audience were on their feet as Mr. Spencer described the choice facing white people as to 'conquer or die.'”
"'But now his ['Mr. Spencer's] tone changed as he began to tell the audience of more than 200 people, mostly young men, what they had been waiting to hear. He railed against Jews and, with a smile, quoted Nazi propaganda in the original German. America, he said, belonged to white people, whom he called the 'children of the sun,' a race of conquerors and creators who had been marginalized but now, in the era of President-elect Donald J. Trump, were 'awakening to their own identity.'
As he finished, several audience members had their arms outstretched in a Nazi salute. When Mr. Spencer, or perhaps another person standing near him at the front of the room — it was not clear who — shouted, 'Heil the people! Heil victory,' the room shouted it back."
Forests contain much, much more than meets the eye, writes Peter Wohlleben in his groundbreaking book The Hidden Life of Trees. Within the roots of trees are active brain-like processes, and trees are capable of communication and learning. A forester himself, Peter Wohlleben tells host Steve Curwood about the unseen and unsung connections between trees, and how humans can better care for them.
Every school day since 2009 we’ve asked students a question based on an article in The New York Times. Now, five years later, we’ve collected 500 of them that invite narrative and personal writing and pulled them all together in one place. Consider it a companion to the list of 200 argumentative writing prompts we posted earlier this year.
The categorized list below touches on everything from sports to travel, education, gender roles, video games, fashion, family, pop culture, social media and more, and, like all our Student Opinion questions, each links to a related Times article and includes a series of follow-up questions. What’s more, all these questions are still open for comment by any student 13 or older.
So dive into this admittedly overwhelming list and pick the questions that most inspire you to tell an interesting story, describe a memorable event, observe the details in your world, imagine a possibility, or reflect on who you are and what you believe.
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