New York school bans all balls on playground

school playgroundArticle Summary:

CNN reports about a middle school putting restrictions on the playground equipment for its students. The school in Long Island, New York banned almost every type of ball from recess. This included footballs, baseballs, soccer balls, lacrosse balls and any other hardballs that could injure a child. The main question is if this action is necessary or if it is going too far in trying to protect children?

Obama and Holder sue Louisiana over schools

Seal_of_Louisiana_2010Article Summary:

Louisiana currently provides vouchers to low income households allowing them to place their children in almost any public or private school. This is causing a dilemma in the government between the State of Louisiana and the Federal Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ is filing a lawsuit against the State of Louisiana.

Louisiana State View:  The vouchers allow poverty stricken homes to get their children the best education possible.

Federal Department of Justice View: The vouchers are illegal because it is causing minorities to pull their children out of schools where they are the minority and put them in schools where they are not the minority, which breaks the desegregation law.

Bob Siegel translated this to mean: “Seeing too few black students at a majority white school is a greater concern than providing the best education possible.”

Guesses and Hype Give Way to Data in Study of Education

800px-One_Laptop_per_Child_at_Kagugu_Primary_School_Kigali_Rwanda-19Sept2009Article summary:

The Institute of Education Sciences (started in 2002) is a government group that most people do not know about. It collects data and measures the success of educational techniques used in the public schools. The institute is finding that having the information is one thing and getting people to use the information is another. The reality is that most educators, teachers, and researchers would rather go off of personal bias, decision making, marketing, or anecdotes, rather than base their teaching off of proven methods that have supporting evidence of success. The institute found that almost 90% of techniques tested either had no effect on achievement or made it worse.

Four Million Dollar Teacher

Classroom

Article Summary:

Kim Ki-hoon, South Korea’s “rock-star” school teacher, accumulates $4 million a year. Unlike other teachers across the globe, Mr. Kim gets paid for his efforts rather than hours. With 20 years of experience, this innovative teacher utilizes his expertise by producing video lectures and textbooks to tutor students after school. Because his lectures are recorded for online usage, he only lectures in-class about three hours a week

Mr. Kim gets compensated so generously because South Korea school system called hagwons, or private, after-school tutoring academies. This system lets students choose which teacher they want, allowing  teachers to receive an increase in respect, money, and satisfaction for their work ethic.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a revolutionary organization that is pioneering a new way of learning.Khan identified a few different problems in a basic classroom. The problems that he observed  were that all students were expected to learn at the same speed, teachers were not spending much one-on-one time with students and students weren't mastering the material.

Sugata Mitra: Build a School in the Cloud

Everybody has a dream! Sugata Mitra’s dream is to build a school in the clouds. His idea is a shift in the present educational system. Instead of students being forced to learn and to take tests, he proposes to let them search out the answers for themselves.  He dreams of kids not having to go to school but learning at home, in groups, and other organizations being spurred by teachers that help.