Turns out, Harvard students aren’t that smart after all | Tayo Bero

A whopping 43% of white students weren’t admitted on merit. One might call it affirmative action for the rich and privilegedEver wondered what it takes to get into Harvard? Stellar grades, impressive extracurriculars and based on a recently published study, having deep pockets and a parent who either works or went there. Those last two…

Turns out, Harvard students aren’t that smart after all | Tayo Bero — Education | The Guardian

Student: How Edgenuity Ruined My Education

deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

One of my seniors, Melanie Ulschak, mentioned her experience taking online classes. She added that during the 2020-21 school year, she had been enrolled in our Louisiana district’s virtual school, which used the Edgenuity platform, and which was a bust, to put it nicely.

I asked Melanie if she would write a guest post for my blog regarding her experience, and she agreed. I offered to post anonymously, and she said she preferred that I use her name. Below is her response.

Melanie Ulschak

When the pandemic hit, I was devastated. I lost my social outlet: school. I could no longer make random kids in class laugh, could no longer run in the hallways screaming, “It’s a great day to be a tiger, baby!” I lost my main source of human interaction all within one day.

After that loss, to my surprise, the next four months were fun…

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America’s math curricular decline

The Economist: America has a maths problem. Its pupils have ranked poorly in international maths exams for decades. In 2018, American 15-year-olds ranked 25th in the oecd, a club of mostly rich countries. American adults ranked fourth-from-last in numeracy when compared with other rich countries. As many as 30% of American adults are comfortable only…

America’s math curricular decline — SIS

The Rich Get Richer: Prior Knowledge and the Learning of New, Domain Specific, Information

Prior knowledge is a powerful tool in the classroom for the learning of new information…I don’t think many would dispute that. I see it in my classroom all the time. Students who have taken a human body systems course prior to my AP Psychology course always perform well on my unit covering biological bases of…

The Rich Get Richer: Prior Knowledge and the Learning of New, Domain Specific, Information — The Effortful Educator

Pretesting: The Benefits of Errorful Generation — The Effortful Educator

I cannot imagine my classroom without assessment. In my opinion, a classroom without assessment isn’t an effective classroom. How will a learner (and teacher) understand just what they know and don’t know without an assessment of their learning? This almost always occurs after interaction in some form with the material to be learned; retrieval practice…

Pretesting: The Benefits of Errorful Generation — The Effortful Educator

Murdered Teacher’s Son Publicly Forgives Student Killers

deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

On Tuesday, November 02, 2021, Iowa Spanish teacher, Nohema Graber, went for a walk in a local park, as was her habit.

Two 16-year-old students apparently knew of her habit, and they apparently planned ahead of time to take her life.

On Wednesday, November 03, 2021, Graber was reported missing.

Later that same day, Graber’s body was discovered in that park, concealed “under a tarp, wheelbarrow, and railroad ties,” as CBS News reports.

Here is a public statement from the City of Fairfield, Iowa, Facebook page:

UPDATE 1:40 pm 11/4/21

On November 3, 2021, human remains were discovered in Chautauqua Park in Fairfield, Iowa. The remains have been confirmed to be those of Nohema Graber, who had been reported missing earlier that day.

Special agents from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations (DCI) conducted a preliminary investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Ms. Graber, which appears…

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Some favorite moments in this week’s Sunday Times

Catherine & Katharine

First, from Anthony Gottlieb’s review of Steven Pinker’s new book (Rationality: What It is, Why It Seems Scarce and Why It Matters):

Like John Locke before him, Pinker wants more lessons in schools about reasoning and critical thinking. There is some evidence that such lessons work. But what part of the curriculum should be scaled back to make room for them? According to one analysis of Department of Education data, fewer than half of American adults are proficient at reading. And according to one Department of Health study, a third of adults have difficulty interpreting simple health information, such as the instructions on a drug label. Maybe it is wise to learn to walk before you learn to run.


Yup, if you aren’t a proficient reader, instruction in logical fallacies and statistical reasoning will only go so far.

Perhaps Pinker should have started with the rationality of the prevailing…

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Reading an economics op ed in writing class

Catherine & Katharine

One frustration I have, teaching freshman composition, has to do with the essays that appear in readers.

Almost universally, they are about one subject and one subject alone: identity. That’s it. Hispanic identity, Asian identity, black identity, female identity, gay identity, disability identity, on and on.

And everything is personal. First person, no research, no footnotes.

Which would be fine if my students were going to be writing 1st-person, no-research papers in the future. But they’re not.

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