The Disturbing Transformation of Kindergarten

May 13, 2016

If we want students to be ready for college, we need to give them the right start beginning with kindergarten. Pushing the common core curriculum is not the answer.

Americas Education Watch

nclbOne of the most distressing characteristics of education reformers is that they are hyper-focused on how students perform, but they ignore how students learn. Nowhere is this misplaced emphasis more apparent, and more damaging, than in kindergarten.

A new University of Virginia study found that kindergarten changed in disturbing ways from 1999-2006. There was a marked decline in exposure to social studies, science, music, art and physical education and an increased emphasis on reading instruction. Teachers reported spending as much time on reading as all other subjects combined.

The time spent in child-selected activity dropped by more than one-third. Direct instruction and testing increased. Moreover, more teachers reported holding all children to the same standard.

How can teachers hold all children to the same standards when they are not all the same? They learn differently, mature at different stages – they just are not all the same especially at the…

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Are you considering double depositing?

April 29, 2016

It’s easyto think that double depositing to colleges might be the solution to your college decision problems, but it isn’t and shouldn’t even be a path you consider.

JLV College Counseling

Are you considering Double Depositing? | JLV College Counseling Blog

Double depositing is the act of sending a tuition deposit to two (or more) colleges. It is the act of telling more than one school that you will be attending the institution in the fall. While the majority of college counselors will tell you it is wrong to double deposit, there are some that say it is okay. Before sending in more than one deposit, take these things into consideration:

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The Cost of Our College Obsession

April 28, 2016

Who are we obsessed wth everyone going to college? A very thoughtful essay that is worth a read.

AFFECTIVE LIVING

American education has a faith problem.  No, I’m not talking about the debates about religion and to what extent it influences schools.  I’m talking about the blind, unquestioning faith we have to the god of educational purpose: College.

American education is obsessed with college as the answer to all our woes.  College will fix our financial failures.  College will make us happy.  College will give us a sense of purpose.  True: College graduates do gain a host of benefits.  But, we are so fixated on just getting kids to college, we don’t often ask why and for what purpose.  We are lemmings leading learners to a shaky promise that as long as they just get to college, life will be okay.

I’ve seen firsthand how our blind allegiance to college has impacted thousands of students and hundreds of teachers.  We have shoved all our thoughts, our energy, and our concern…

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Quest University

April 23, 2016

Highlighting a college each week that could be a great option for high school students. Some of these might be schools that are not on your radar but provide an excellent college experience. Today we highlight
Quest University in Canada.

College Travels and Tales

We had the good fortune to have a visit from the new President and Vice Chancellor of Quest University, Peter Englert, Ph.D.  Dr. Englert was making a whirl wind tour of the US to talk to college counselors and independent college consultants about the exciting new developments happening at Quest.

Quest is a small, private, liberal arts college in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada, approximately 45 minutes from Vancouver.  It was founded 9 years ago to offer a premier liberal arts education based on intellectual inquiry and experiential learning.  It is Canada’s only secular, non-profit college or university.

quest_university1-1024x540

Quest is unique in many ways, including its curriculum.  Like Colorado College, Quest offers a block plan.  Unlike conventional universities where students take several classes simultaneously in a semester, at Quest students focus on single “block” courses that run three hours a day, every day, for 3.5 weeks. There are no distractions, no…

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Testing Season and Why Everyone Should Opt Out

April 8, 2016

Do our young students need to take the state mandated tests or should the opt out?

Testing season at my elementary school begins after February break and ends with the conclusion of the state math tests in mid-April. Like many schools, our students are subject to test prep &#8220…

Source: Testing Season and Why Everyone Should Opt Out

Taking Back High School

March 15, 2016

How can we lessen the stress of college admissions for high school students?

College Counseling Culture

For the last six months I and some like-minded colleagues have been discussing the ways we think the college admission process has overgrown the lives of our students in high school. We believe it has made privileged students more and more anxious and subject to extreme pressures that distort their lives and normal development. Underserved students, in contrast, are overwhelmed by what they don’t know. Either way, it has made too many inroads into their lives.

I recently spoke at the Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling on this topic. I critiqued the Coalition and the “Tide” document as examples of both that intrusion and the way colleges put all the pressure to “relax” and “ease up” on students instead of looking at their own policies and expectations, which cause the anxiety and pressure in the first place. In an earlier post I called this condition “Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder” which ends up…

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Standardizing Education – Common Core’s Hidden Agenda

February 26, 2016

Does the Common Core have a Hidden Agenda?

Creative by Nature

Computer_Lab

Anthony Cody’s article from last year Classrooms of the Future: Student Centered or Device Centered offers a very important analysis, looking at the hidden agenda of Common Core and the technology industry. Anthony believes that the goal of “aligning” tests and curriculum with Common Core is to “standardize” education the way computers and other forms of technology are standardized. This helps to explain why Bill Gates has poured so much money into Common Core and testing.

Think about your PC, all top-selling computers (with the exception of Apple) have the same standard design. That’s what allows Gates’s Microsoft company to maintain a global monopoly with their operating system. Whether your computer is made by Dell, Sony, HP, Samsung or Toshiba they are all configured to the same global industry standards, aligned with Microsoft Windows’ software.

Gates and others from the business, technology and financial industries see education as a new multi-billion dollar international market, especially if the Common Core standards go global. There…

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Whence comes this new-found concern?

February 2, 2016

Can kindness win out as the new factor is college admissions decisions?

Jon Boeckenstedt's Admissions Weblog

This has been an interesting couple of weeks for college admissions, following an interesting year.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education has issued a report entitled Turning the Tide, that advocates for a major overhaul in the way college admissions is done.  I spoke to the author of the document last year as he was pulling support together, and my first response was, frankly, not enthusiastic.  It seemed the things we talked about–highly stressed students focusing on developing the perfect resume solely for the purpose of getting into an elite institution–were not on my radar.  My university is one of the several hundred in the great middle of the distribution in higher education in the US: Moderately selective, reasonably well known, with a reputation and a student body unlike the Ivy League institutions; although my (gr)atitude has been labeled “sour grapes,” I can honestly say I wouldn’t want to work at those super-selective…

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9 Financial Aid Tips for First-Timers

January 12, 2016

Paying for college is one of the hottest topics having to do with college admissions. Almost every family should apply for financial aid, the sooner, the better. Don’t be intimidated by the FAFSA, your first step in the financial aid process. Here are some great tips for first-timers and the FAFSA.

Source: 9 Financial Aid Tips for First-Timers

My Daughter is Not a Widget

January 6, 2016

None of our children should be widgets in our educational system. What are we missing and why?

gadflyonthewallblog

Father Holding Daughter's Hand

“I’m not sure public schools understand that we’re their customer—that we, the business community, are your customer. What they don’t understand is they are producing a product at the end of that high school graduation. Now is that product in a form that we, the customer, can use it? Or is it defective, and we’re not interested? American schools have got to step up the performance level—or they’re basically turning out defective products that have no future. Unfortunately, the defective products are human beings. So it’s really serious. It’s tragic. But that’s where we find ourselves today.”
Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil CEO

My daughter just turned seven during this holiday season.

She loves to draw. She’ll take over the dinning room table and call it her office. Over the course of a single hour, she can render a complete story with full color images supporting a handwritten plot.

These narratives…

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