Have We Stolen A Generation’s Independent Thought?

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Education I look at K-12 policies and practices from the classroom perspective.

“We are teaching students, literally, not to think, but instead to clear their own thoughts and concentrate on following the path followed by the people who wrote the test questions. We are teaching them that every question has just one right answer, that somebody out there already knows it, and that you go to school to learn to say what those people want you to say. This is not a new issue in education, but we have ramped it up, systematically injected it into every level of K-12 education, and incentivized it like never before. If it has stifled a generation’s desire for independent thought, that is no surprise.”



For-profit online students drawn by convenience but left ‘disappointed’

Dive Brief:

  • Students are attracted to for-profit online college programs for their ease of enrollment and help obtaining financial aid, but “are subsequently disappointed with the poor quality of education provided,” according to student focus group research published by the Brookings Institution.
  • For-profits enroll an outsized share of students in online-only programs — 22% of online undergrads (compared to 5.4% of all undergrads) and 27% of online graduate students (compared to 8.9% of all graduate students), the authors note. In marketing and recruitment, the colleges target African Americans, women and adult students, and most of the students are out of state.
  • Recent studies have raised questions about the quality of online college programs. The authors found from talking with students of online for-profit programs that “[t]heir hopes of improved financial stability through the pursuit of higher education meet head on with disappointing labor market outcomes and unsustainable levels of student debt.”

Dive Insight: https://www.educationdive.com/news/for-profit-online-students-drawn-by-convenience-but-left-disappointed/551721/

Personalized plans highlighted a comprehensive way to view student success

A Harvard University paper released Wednesday says such plans pull together students’ goals, strengths and needs, but are “largely underemployed in the field of education.”

When one school in Salem, Massachusetts, received a “Level 4” designation in the state’s accountability system — thereby causing the entire Salem Public Schools to receive the same low rating — city leaders began looking for ways to bring schools and community partners together to improve outcomes for students.“We have definitely struggled to meet the needs of all kids,” Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll said in an interview. “We also know and recognize that what happens outside of school has such a big impact.”

Driscoll and the city’s children’s cabinet began working with the Education Redesign Lab at Harvard University as part of its By All Means initiative. And they partnered with City Connects, a Boston College program, to bring coordinators into schools who link together the various in-school and out-of-school programs serving students. The coordinators and teachers develop a personalized plan for each student when he or she enters pre-K that might include healthcare needs, afterschool and enrichment programs, and specific interventions if needed.