Five links that made us think this week:
Can you imagine a world in which college and grad school applications didn’t require SATs, GREs, GMAT, LSATs, and all those other three-letter scary words? A group of civil rights activists in New York recently filed a complaint with the U.S Department of Education to reduce reliance on standardized exams in admissions decisions. The complaint claims that “schools rely on a test that advantages one racial group over another.” This complaint goes along with the trend of several universities across the nation that have already started to eliminate the use of standardized exams.
Remember when back in 2010 Mark Zuckerberg donated $100 million to public schools in Newark? Two years have passed, yet less than $17 million has been committed. Part of the money has been used to open innovative public and charter schools, including Bard High School Early College and Newark Bridges High School, where new school curricula have given failing students a second chance at education. More to come on the other $83 million. . .
Dr. Michael Anderson, a pediatrician in a low-income community in Atlanta, concluded that it’s easier to put low performing students on ADHD medication than to improve low performing schools. Dr. Anderson says, “We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid.” I would assume Dr. Anderson is aware of the many dangerous side effects and dependency some ADHD medications can have over someone who hasn’t been diagnosed with an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. When it comes to our kids improving their school performance (while still taking care of their mental health,) are pharmaceutical interventions really the answer?
America’s Report Card gave the United States a C- when it comes to ensuring educational opportunities for our children. The country’s only “A” — an A-minus — came from 90.6 percent of children having health coverage in 2011.
That doesn’t come as much of a surprise to those who noted the loud silence around education issues in last week’s presidential debate and again in last night’s vice presidential debate. Maybe the candidates’ education advisors will have more to say in next week’s exclusive live webcast hosted by Education Week.
That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend, everyone! Pura Vida.
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