Tag Archives: student motivation

School Reform: Tough to Measure and Hostage to Heightened Poverty

Summary: What is the report card on school reform? Test scores, mediocre at best, are too narrow a measure, though useful. Project based deep learning and interventions that motivate students are important, but difficult to measure. Increasing poverty and income … Continue reading

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Notes from a Hopi Reservation, an American Story

Summary: A brief story of the perseverance of one man, in his life and with his demons on a reservation in Arizona, casts a useful light on the efforts of our school communities to come to grips with at risk … Continue reading

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School Reform: College Counseling is “Elementary”

Summary: College counseling for low income students plays to a largely absent audience if interventions have not been going on since elementary school. I looked across the room of fifty or sixty seniors with a pride that had little to … Continue reading

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School Reform: The Dance of Competencies and Traditional Grading

Summary: Though the focus on narrow reading, writing, and mathematics competencies serves employers and highlights the need to improve skills, it may also reflect the mirage that traditional grading has become. Sometimes one has to step outside of a familiar … Continue reading

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At Risk Students: Parent Volunteers to the Rescue

Summary: Parent volunteers in schools can provide the critical attention needed to alter the academic trajectory of at risk kids. The daunting organizational tasks required, however, are often beyond the funding capabilities of schools themselves. One neighborhood association in Chicago … Continue reading

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At Risk Students: Warnings from Japan While Congress Fiddles

Summary: The lessons of “slacker” youth in Japan, and chronic economic stagnation there, warns us of the perils of too many underemployed, undereducated youth to longer term economic health, and the role of government in human capital investment. Jack is … Continue reading

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At Risk Students: The Case for Early Intervention

Summary: Though the case for early intervention, before kids reach school age, is persuasively cost effective, preciously little suggests the political culture is wise or mature enough to be so rational. Wouldn’t it be nice if wishing were to make … Continue reading

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At Risk Students: Can Willpower Be Taught? Part B

Summary: A book by the New York Times journalist Charles Duhigg tells the story of one individual and numerous researchers that suggest that willpower can be taught. See also Part A, last week’s post. As life has it, a book … Continue reading

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At Risk Students: Can Willpower Be Taught? Part A

Summary: Numerous studies suggest that “performance character traits”, such as perseverance and a willingness to work hard count for more in academic success than sheer intellectual capacity. Can such willpower be taught? The first of two posts on this topic. … Continue reading

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Charter Schools: The Emerging Lessons

Summary: A review of lessons from charter schools so far unfortunately boils down to more money for staffing to reach at risk kids, and creative changes in the context through which kids approach school, also likely to require more funding. … Continue reading

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