Upsetment
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Barely Two R’s Are Taught at School That Led Tribe to Sue U.S.

Barely Two R’s Are Taught at School That Led Tribe to Sue U.S. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Students at Havasupai Elementary in Arizona say they learn mostly reading and math, but poorly. Their tribe says the United States has reneged on its legal duty to educate them.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I have been to Supai, which is deep in the canyons of Arizona. A beautiful place with friendly people, but so incredibly remote. My own take is that this is surely a failure by the federal government to meet its obligations but also a failure of the tribe's leadership to encourage teachers and to encourage development. One cannot simultaneously have the advantages of education while avoiding change. Meanwhile, does anyone think the current administration is going to care about a small Native American community? Heck, did the previous administration? 
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What Doesn't Work: Literacy Practices We Should Abandon

What Doesn't Work: Literacy Practices We Should Abandon | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Literacy strategies that waste instructional time include looking up words on lists, prizes for reading, weekly spelling tests, unsupported independent reading, and denial of recess.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What's the best way to get kids to read? Sharing the joy of reading and discussion of what has been read. Encouraging those kids who have trouble reading to use alternative ways of enjoying the material, such as audible books and even watching movies and classic comics so that they don't feel left out and can contribute their ideas. Making sure that the material to be read feels relevant to the kids, that it is something with which they can identify. Having grownups who are actually interested in books taking part with kids in discussions of ideas, especially as the kids mature. Asking kids how the ideas in a book relate to their lives and their ideas. And of course, having older kids read books found at  https://www.amazon.com/Kenneth-Weene/e/B002M3EMWU ;
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Eye-tracking technology shows that preschool teachers have implicit bias against black boys

Eye-tracking technology shows that preschool teachers have implicit bias against black boys | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Using eye-tracking methods, researchers found that preschool teachers spend more time watching black boys than white students or girls. They seem to anticipate that the black boys will cause trouble.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If you still don't get the idea that racism is alive and destructive at a systemic level in our society, perhaps you will find this article instructive. Imagine that you are a little Black boy and these are the attitudes you face in preschool, just exactly how do you cope with it? Sure there are other issues like family structure, economics, gangs, and drugs that play a part, but to face this prejudice in your preschool classroom is just sick and destructive. 
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Meet the parents who won’t let their children study literature

Meet the parents who won’t let their children study literature | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Forcing college kids to ignore the liberal arts won't help them in a competitive economy.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Parents more and more want to control their children's lives. While there is much to be said in support of parental influence in education, the simple reality is that many of their views are not helpful. We need the liberal arts both as backgrounds for almost all people from which to work and grow and because there are skills that come from studying subjects like literature, capacities to understand the world in different ways. Consider, for example the role of good speculative fiction in expanding the mind-set of science and engineering. Then, too, there is the great pleasure of reading books that make you think and feel. At any rate, I hope you'll discover the pleasure and the provocative thinking of Memoirs From The Asylum. 
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This policy would help poor kids more than universal pre-K does

This policy would help poor kids more than universal pre-K does | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Unfortunately, children who attend Head Start do no better in school than equivalent children who do not.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Wealth transfer is definitely a way to improve early childhood health for those kids whose parents would use the money properly, for decent shelter, food clothing, and opportunities for their kids. Of course, much of the cost of such a policy change would be borne by bureaucrats who are now overseeing the pre-k programs that are not producing real school gains. If, instead of simple grants of money, the money was tied to clear parenting and child development markers, such as proper nutrition and sufficient exercise so that parents were being reimbursed for the quality of care they were giving their kids, the use of such payouts would be even more efficient. And, a caveat: In the end every program only can be partially effective. More of one thing doesn't necessarily make it better. Similarly, many programs may give small improvements that then wash away with time or expansion. At least part of the problem is found in families adapting to take advantage of programs so they don't have to put the effort in. For example, the mother who previously was finding a way to feed her kid breakfast is freed from that task when the school gives her child that meal. If that means a few extra dollars for family activities or the like, that will lead to not only nutritional gain but broader improvement, but if that money goes to buying unhealthy comestibles, such as soda, or cigarettes, or drugs, or if the mother now sleeps in instead of interacting with the kid, then the positive effects are lost. The same if we give money; the question is always how it will be used. In the end, life seldom affords simple solutions.
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Black preschool kids still get suspended much more frequently than white preschool kids

Black preschool kids still get suspended much more frequently than white preschool kids | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Significantly fewer students are getting suspended, according to new federal data. But disparities in suspension rates between different student groups remain, and they start in pre-school.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If there was one idea that permeated my youth in New England, it was that education was the bedrock of democracy. From Harvard and Boston Latin to my own alma mater, Governor's Academy, the oldest boarding school in America, we New Englanders led the way in giving our young the ability to be productive citizens. As an adult and working as a psychologist in New York, one thing I became very aware of was the difference in educational opportunity that existed for the wealthy versus the poor and for the White versus the Black and Brown among us. 
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White high school football players in Idaho charged with raping black, disabled teammate with a coat hanger

White high school football players in Idaho charged with raping black, disabled teammate with a coat hanger | Upsetment | Scoop.it

The parents of the victim have filed a $10 million lawsuit against the high school where the incident allegedly occurred, claiming coaches and administrators did nothing to stop months of racial abuse. 

Kenneth Weene's insight:
This is so despicable, so inexcusable, so vile as to set my gorge afire with outrage. This is not the small town America that I love and celebrate in "Broody New Englander." Indeed, this is not any kind of America. While I'm sure there are decent people living in Dietrich, Idaho, I imagine that they truly wish they were living someplace else. As for the young men involved in this travesty, I can only hope that they find themselves in cages, because the rest of us surely don't want them near other humans. And by the way, in case you don't get it, yes this is both bigotry against the weaker and against Blacks. 
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Ignorant parent shuts down entire school district after complaining about “Muslim indoctrination” in calligraphy assignment

Ignorant parent shuts down entire school district after complaining about “Muslim indoctrination” in calligraphy assignment | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Islamophobia is thick on the ground in Augusta County, Virginia
Kenneth Weene's insight:

What strikes me is not just the bigotry of the parent and the silliness of the uproar but the stupidity of the teacher who failed to come up with an alternative piece of Arabic calligraphy. That suggests that the teaching is being done not from understanding but rote which means the kids won't learn about the topic but only how to parrot. That's like the literature teacher having them copy one of my great short stories rather than writing their own. While it would expose them to beautiful prose, it wouldn't help them learn how to be a creative writer. That comes from beating ones head agains the wall for years. 

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‘They thought it was a bomb': 9th grader arrested after bringing a home-built clock to school

‘They thought it was a bomb': 9th grader arrested after bringing a home-built clock to school | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Ahmed Mohamed thought the project would get him noticed by his teachers. Instead, they had him taken out of school in handcuffs.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Exactly what school rule did the boy break to get a three day suspension? Well he thought while being a young man of color. He asked his teachers to recognize his effort while having an Islamic name? Yep. As for the cops and their approach instead of asking him in a reasonable manner and denying him contact with his parents while questioning despite his age, well, hey, the kid might have come from Kenya ("Oops, sorry Mr. Obama, heh, heh, heh.") I would however fault the engineering teacher who recognized what this youngster couldn't (He is only 14 and new to the school) that other teachers might feel threatened, but he didn't explain to his prize student that the clock should be brought to and left at the office since some staff might be scared of any technology they didn't understand. Seriously, to make believe that this is not about race and religion is to miss the point. That's why once again Texas gets my asshole award of the day.

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John Kasich and education reformers’ dirty secret: How his “joke” betrayed their contempt for teachers

John Kasich and education reformers’ dirty secret: How his “joke” betrayed their contempt for teachers | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Presidential candidate's off-the-cuff dig at teachers exposes GOP's anti-union pathology
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Sure the argument is a bit tortured and I do think Kasich is saner and more competent than most of the clown car, but for every uncaring, whining teacher I've met, I have met ten who are dedicated and hard working. The small respite a teachers' lounge offers allows teachers to deal with the stress of the classroom so they can maintain their professionalism class after class. And, yes, I think that the GOP candidates do not understand that groups of people need to have a say in their own destinies. Of course we need teacher unions even if they may at times want too much for their members as do police unions, auto workers unions, and going way back to my grandfather's day cigar makers unions. I keep wondering when engineers and marketing professionals will realize that they, too, need to unionize.

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Award-Winning Teacher Fired for Reading an Allen Ginsberg Poem

Award-Winning Teacher Fired for Reading an Allen Ginsberg Poem | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Defenders of Connecticut teacher David Olio say one mistake shouldn’t have cost him his job. But why is the work of a towering figure of 20th-century American poetry out of bounds?
Kenneth Weene's insight:

What is happening to America? Are we afraid of sex? Are we afraid of individual's sexuality? I think not; I think we are afraid of thinking, of encouraging people to actually consider and discuss ideas. How sad that is for us as a nation. So long to literature, poetry, art, music, and all that enriches. The young people who are not encouraged to explore such ideas and such writing might have become the artists of the future, but they are being turned away by such political idiocy. I hope that at least one private school will hire Mr. Olio. Lord knows we need teachers like him.

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Some parents refuse to let their children take standardized tests

Some parents refuse to let their children take standardized tests | Upsetment | Scoop.it
They view civil disobedience as a way to end what they see as a destructive overemphasis on tests.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Are we over-testing kids? Or does national testing guarantee the improvement of low-performing schools? Are teachers so busy preparing for tests that they aren't teaching the whole kid? The debate about testing swirls through the country. My opinion, it's the wrong issue. If you stop education from being based on age but make it about achievement and reward completion of units of mastery, then the testing becomes internal to the process and kids will grow faster. It is time to pay kids for school achievement and to measure how fast each individual kids achieves. 

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Mindfulness May Increase Kids' Math Scores

Mindfulness May Increase Kids' Math Scores | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Fourth and fifth graders who did mindfulness exercises had 15% better math scores than their peers
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The rush to teach cognitive material may have blinded educators to many of the most important skills which humans need to enhance, for example smelling, tasting, proprioception, relaxation, and of course understanding alternative points of view. When we heighten our innate human capacities, we are better prepared for the challenges of life.

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Sheltering in place: For students in Donald Trump-loving coal country, “school choice” isn’t a solution

Sheltering in place: For students in Donald Trump-loving coal country, “school choice” isn’t a solution | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The only high school in Martin County, KY, is condemned. 45% of its minors live in poverty. How will Trump help?
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I've written often of my understanding of why Trump won. This essay by a teacher in Kentucky captures from her experience the same sense of frustration and of feeling ignored that I have tried to present, the same sense that the security of life—no matter how thin it may have been—has been lost. Like rioters angry at the system end destroying their own neighborhoods, the people of coal country have voted to further befoul their lives in the vain hope that somehow things will change. As I read this essay, it brought tears to my eyes. As for this teacher and those like her trying desperately to help and for the students she writes of, gathered in the tight knit sense of group and desperation, to them I can only send my prayers and hopes. 
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Pashtana’s Lesson

Pashtana’s Lesson | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A teenage girl resists her arranged marriage so she can stay in school.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This young Afghan woman's story brought tears to my eyes. Every child deserves an education and every person the opportunity to make the decisions that will determine their fates. I cannot believe that a loving god would have created a religion that would treat girls with such little respect. 
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Patriotic ferment: California teen's grades docked over Pledge of Allegiance

Patriotic ferment: California teen's grades docked over Pledge of Allegiance | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Leilani Thomas, a native American student, saw her grade lowered for sitting through the Pledge of Allegiance at school. The incident is the latest in a widening debate over how to express patriotism in America.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Hopefully, somebody will teach this teacher something of American values and the history of Native Americans. Meanwhile, my hat is off to this young lady who has sat down for what she believes is right. 
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Democrats’ loose talk on student loans

Democrats’ loose talk on student loans | Upsetment | Scoop.it

"Hillary Clinton, who is touting a plan for tuition-free college, should read a new White House report." I am struck that the Post chose to use this photograph. Are we to believe that only Black students need help with loans? I think not. Every young White barista and waiter I run into seems to be trying to pay their tuition. 

Kenneth Weene's insight:
While it is true that the Clinton proposals would help those college students who run up the least debt, they are also often the students from the sections of the community with the least wealth and therefor most easily overcome by that debt. Also, this report by the Washington Post ignores all the students who put off or forgo college because of the fear of such debt. Mrs. Clinton's plan is a good beginning. That we need to pay more attention to graduate students facing massive debt, which discourages some of our best minds from pursuing the goals of which they are capable, is a separate topic deserving of careful consideration and action. As for teachers running up debt for their educations, I believe that such debt should be forgiven over time as the teacher makes that noble contribution to society. The same should be done for physicians and nurses who work in public facilities, the VA and other socially needed areas. In the end, our society needs citizens to be educated, skilled and contributing. Investment in human capital is the best kind of investment of all. 
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Clinton wrong on student debt: Her new plan shows she learned nothing from the primary

Clinton wrong on student debt: Her new plan shows she learned nothing from the primary | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Clinton's student loan policy misses the point on a winning issue that mobilized Sanders supporters
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The politics as usual crowd on both sides of the aisle will only really get it when there is a new player in town, a real and viable new party. Until then, we may see uprisings like the Sanders and Trump campaigns, but we won't see real change in the agenda. Effective new parties are the result of constitutional issues. Right now we have two constitutional issues worthy of bringing a new party forward, Citizens United and Gun Control. Of course, the goal of the establishment is to incrementalize those issues, to make minor changes so that there will be no major force developed, no sea-swell demanding change. What Clinton has realized is that as a candidate of the status quo it is her responsibility to offer those incremental changes that will keep fundamental change from gaining momentum. We as a nation have to recognize that the real momentum comes from us. 
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Meet Sultana, the Taliban’s Worst Fear

Meet Sultana, the Taliban’s Worst Fear | Upsetment | Scoop.it
An Afghan girl’s hunger for knowledge is stronger than the threat of an acid attack.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What happened to the theocratic views of the New England Puritans? They founded schools and their children began to think. Theocracy fell before the onslaught of rationality and humanism. That is the only way theocratic thinking is ever defeated, by educating the young. Are there risks to letting young people from Islamic countries into ours? Yes; there may well be some terrorists and some may be alienated by the enormity of the change from home to America. BUT, if we do not offer young people the future that can be theirs, we will leave power in the hands of traditions and would be holy men. 

Even more upsetting is the propensity of the American government to welcome with open arms the militaristic scions of dictators. Happily we train them to use weapons. How much better to equip minds with the tools to make the world a better one. 
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Does Engineering Education Breed Terrorists?

Does Engineering Education Breed Terrorists? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Nascent terrorists seem to be drawn to engineering. Their education may further radicalize them.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It is inevitable that there will be sociological and psychological explorations of what turns people to terrorism. Certainly felt downward mobility and relative deprivation (the sense that one's outcome is lower than one deserves) are two of the factors that can produce rage. However, there is something else that I consider even more important, the rage that results when the world's external values and one's striving towards those values is clearly in conflict with and deprecating of the person's interior values. That discrepancy produces guilt, and guilt displaced is rage incarnate. The ultimate question is how can a person be both worldly and spiritual, can obey the laws of the marketplace and the inner expectations of goodness. Given such guilt driven rage and the need to express it, the individual looks for acceptable ways to scream his pain into the world, for what I call idioms of distress. The media and current events have made the use of terrorism and mass violence the common idiom for those in such pain. And its use is rationalized not only by its commonality but because the authorities who would combat it are equally violent, indeed given the size of their weapons even more so. Perhaps others can accept that we are by nature a violent species, but for my part I think there is hope if we can work towards a more just world in which humanistic and spiritual values are given just reward and in which religious leaders—especially Islamic—help the young to find a comfortable connection between faith and materialism. Of course, that was one of the great contributions of Calvin to Christianity. 
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Which College Majors Lead Back To Living With Your Parents

Which College Majors Lead Back To Living With Your Parents | Upsetment | Scoop.it
See which degrees of study are most likely to get you out of the house after graduation.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If you're going to college or have a child who is or will be going to college, this is worth reading. What isn't clear is how the numbers are skewed by using a parents' address while attending grad school. Also, of course, what is truly missing is what those post-college jobs were and how related they were to what one studied.

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Analysis Finds Higher Expulsion Rates for Black Students

Analysis Finds Higher Expulsion Rates for Black Students | Upsetment | Scoop.it
While black students represented just under a quarter of public school students in the 13 Southern states studied, they made up nearly half of all suspensions and expulsions.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

In case you were wondering about whether this might not be racism but realism, consider this:  in a study of students in Texas ,  in situations where laws require schools to suspend or expel a student — such as when the student brings a gun or drugs to campus — whites are more likely to be suspended or expelled than blacks. It would be interesting to see similar studies of the treatment of Hispanic students in the southwest and Texas, and of course of Native American kids in  the Dakotas, Montana, and of course the southwest. As a society we must stop condoning institutional racism.

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This is America’s worst college: Screwed-over Corinthian College students get screwed again by so-called debt relief

This is America’s worst college: Screwed-over Corinthian College students get screwed again by so-called debt relief | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Internships at Sonic? Career counseling via Craigslist? These students were taken for a ride -- and need more help
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Here is the worst part of this story in a nutshell: "The Education Department, which has a vested interest in preventing defense to repayment claims because granting them loses the government money, will adjudicate the claims. The Department vowed to hire a “special master” to oversee the process, but ultimately they would make the final decision on who gets relief and who doesn’t." The Department of Education should have a vested interest not in preventing government expense but in assuring proper educations. By failing to oversee the process by which students are led into debt by institutions offering substandard education, the government has in effect cast its lot with the unscrupulous rather than with the citizenry. In the complex world, we look to government to provide adequate information with which to make consumer decisions. If the government fails to provide that information in adequate ways, it is not the individual citizen who is at fault but the government. Consider, for example, if we were talking about the FAA's failure to warn against flying on certain airlines or the government failing to make sure that a food recall was not made public.

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Charter School in Miami Fails, but Proves Useful on Jeb Bush’s Résumé

Charter School in Miami Fails, but Proves Useful on Jeb Bush’s Résumé | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Liberty City Charter School, the first of its kind in Florida and a pioneer in what became a national movement, is now defunct.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Another Bush-league performance from another Bush politico. This time Jeb basing his decisions on his political beliefs but not having an honest commitment to recognizing the consequences when they don't support his fantasy world. The lesson: Beware of politicians masquerading as educational reformers.

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Kansas could put teachers in prison for assigning books prosecutors don’t like

Kansas could put teachers in prison for assigning books prosecutors don’t like | Upsetment | Scoop.it
State Senate passes measure allowing prosecution of teachers who distribute "harmful" literature
Kenneth Weene's insight:

God forbid that children should learn about the Gog-given gift of their sexuality except from  parents, who often don't discuss sex and whose attitudes of control are often at total odds with the adolescent child's impulses. I have two questions: Do American adults have any idea of how destructive the conservative position on sex education actually is? If they do, why do they keep voting these self-righteous idiots into office? Now if you want to know how to talk with kids about sex, you might listen to the podcast of this past Thursday's It Matters Radio when my guest was the outstanding sex educator, Al Vernacchio.

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