September 16 - September 23, 2018

A provocative week: short but with a range of perspectives.

The two featured articles are informal, but both excellent and rich with clear thinking.

Further in, this week includes a challenge to Howard Zinn's "People's History Of The United States," excerpts about technology from an interview with the (increasingly controversial) Peter Thiel, and the conclusion to Larry Cuban's 3-part post on progressivism in schools, which ultimately questions some approaches in progressive movements.

Add to these some pushes and perspectives on grade inflation, school start time, the effectiveness of online discussions, and how we manage concussions, and there's a lot to think about.

And so, for some intellectual escapism instead, explore the two articles on language, which come at linguistic evolution from two very different and equally wonderful angles.




Is The Standardized Test A Flop?  Forbes
"After almost two decades of its use, we've raised an entire generation of students around the notion of test-based accountability, and yet the fruits of that seem... well, elusive. Where are the waves of students now arriving on college campuses super-prepared?"

A Conversation With John McPhee About Writing  EdSurge
"An English teacher has the writing component to teach -- and also literature. And the ratio is kind of up to the teacher. This teacher, to a phenomenal extent, put emphasis on writing. Of course we read things, but I was in her class for three years, and we were assigned most weeks three pieces of writing. Each piece of writing had to be accompanied by a structural outline of some sort. It could be Roman numeral i, ii, iii, it could be doodles, but it had to show that you were thinking about how you were going to put your piece together before you wrote it."


PISA Test In 2021 Might Include Assessment Of Creativity  EdWeek


The CDC Releases New Guidelines On Diagnosing/Managing Concussions  New York Times
"The guideline, which is the first from the C.D.C. that is specific to mild brain injury in children, advises against the long recovery period, isolated in a dark, quiet room, that has sometimes been used in treatment."


Should We Challenge Zinn's People's History Of The US?  Slate

More On Digital Humanities: In High School And In University  EdSurge
"We want [students] to learn question formulation, problem decomposition and argumentation... One of the things that we're [also] going for... is helping them understand that they can mix disciplines -- that they can think computationally about texts, that they can apply computer science skills and thinking to other areas of life."


On Jargon, Synonyms, And The Vastness Of The English Language  JStor

Black Twitter Is The Biggest Source Of Linguistic Innovation In English  Quartz


A Six-Part Scale For Assessing Risk  Harvard Business Review


Is Email More Effective For Online Discussion Than Online Forums?  Dan Meyer

On The Value Of 1-On-1 Conferences With Students  EdSurge


On Reading, Perspective Taking, And Empathy  Literary Hub


China Deploys 60,000 Soldiers... To Plant Forests On 23% Of Its Land  World Economic Forum


A.I. Big Brother vs. Crypto Utopia: Peter Thiel On The Future Of The Web

"The crypto versus AI dichotomy goes to the... question about what's the future of the computer age going to look like. And is it going to be more centralized or more decentralized."

How Students At 1:1 Schools Engage Each Other & Teachers Differently  Hechinger Report
"Most high schoolers have a way to send an email from home, whether it's from a smartphone or a family computer. But students with assigned devices from their schools are more likely to actually draft those emails and hit send."


School Start Time And Sleep: Another Call For 8:30am Starts, Or Later  New York Times


"The Arc Of Progressivism In Schools (Part 3)"  Larry Cuban
"In essence, these independent findings showed that the progressive ideas inherent in the new curriculum were little used, with improvements in teaching being predominantly within a formalistic rather than a progressive approach. The implication was that 'policymakers should work with rather than against educational realities'..."

Grade Inflation: Does It Advantage The Privileged?  Quartz

High School SCOTUS: Why A HS Junior Started Covering The Supreme Court  NPR