March 24 - March 31, 2019

A compelling week:

After last week's article tallying small colleges that have or are closing, this week's analysis in Inside Higher Ed offers some concrete reflections on what accounts for stability and vulnerability.

See other interesting posts this week on the efficacy of trigger warnings, the effect of active shooter drills, and the experience or procrastination (and pre-crastination).

Plus: useful posts on content versus skills in the curriculum, what happens when a whole school is built around fostering intrinsic motivation, and more.

Enjoy these and others this week!



“Why Do Colleges Die?” - An Analysis  Inside Higher Ed
"Practically speaking, high dependence on tuition -- as high as 80 to 90 percent -- is a good sign that an institution will not likely survive for long… Colleges and universities that are under threat of closure “have a full range of bad choices to make,” she noted: they can lower standards, defer maintenance, create new programs to generate new students or cut unpopular programs that aren't attracting enough students. All of these, she suggested, are terrible ways to save money or bring in new revenue."

PD: More Teacher Choice Or More Shared Expectations?  Education Dive
"Isolated examples of professional learning based on individual educator needs are a poor substitute for engaging teachers in ongoing collaborative learning that draws on their expertise to examine student data and design learning agendas that benefit everyone in the school… when teachers or schools have too much control over PD decisions, there tends to not be a shared vision of quality teaching and learning across the district."



Active Vs. Passive Mindsets: Internal And External Locus Of Control  Farnam Street


What Is Procrastination, And How Can We Overcome It? Forgiveness.  New York Times
"People engage in this irrational cycle of chronic procrastination because of an inability to manage negative moods around a task…  To rewire any habit… In the case of procrastination, we have to find a better reward than avoidance — one that can relieve our challenging feelings in the present moment without causing harm to our future selves."

And Then There's PRE-Crastination: Doing Things Too Soon  New York Times


Content Matters; It Isn’t Just About Skills  Hechinger Report
"Students need background knowledge about a topic to be able to understand a text about it, and the more background knowledge they have, research has shown, the more likely it is that they will be able to demonstrate the skills that U.S. schools assess. If students have never heard of the game polo, for example, a passage about polo on a test will likely confuse them so much that they flounder when asked to summarize the passage, even if they know how to summarize."


A Satirical College Rejection Letter…  McSweeney's


“Teaching the “Odyssey” With The New York Times”  New York Times
"Below, five lesson ideas that draw on Times resources to help students navigate the wine-dark seas and discover how the “Odyssey” might speak to their own lives and the world around them."

What Shakespeare Left Out  The Mary Sue
"Though his oeuvre explores the depths and heights of human existence, here are a few of the major elements curiously absent from the canon of one of the world’s greatest writers… Successful rebellion… Independent women (who stay that way)… Moms… Healthy relationships…"

[FIXED LINK] Museums Reconsider Dioramas And Other Exhibits About Colonial Times  New York Times

On Charlotte Perkins Gilman And ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’  Literary Hub

New Biography Of Frederick Douglass  Times Literary Supplement


Winners Of The NYT Student 15 Second Vocabulary Video Contest  New York Times

Is Direct Instruction Of Vocabulary Better Than Reading In Context?  Stephen Krashen


The Story Of Turning Around A Somali School In Minnesota  The 74 Million

On Being A “Warm Demander”: How To Have High Expectations For Peers And Students  ASCD

Excellent Interview With Gail Mellow, President Of A CUNY College  NPR


A Case Study Of A School Focused On Intrinsic Motivation  Hechinger Report
"Students don’t do particularly well on standardized tests at The Met… School leaders, though, don’t pay much attention to test scores. Nancy Diaz Bain, a co-director, said she and her colleagues prefer to keep track of state survey data about student engagement, parent feedback about their children’s progress, student behavior, graduation rates and student performance in college courses. When students from The Met take and pass college courses in high school – which all of them do – they not only prove they can handle advanced coursework, they save money on an eventual degree, Diaz Bain said. And the other metrics about student engagement and success persuade school leaders that the model works."


Print Books Better Than Digital And Multimedia For Reading To Toddlers  New York Times


Against Active Shooter Drills In Schools  Medium
"The number one safety precaution is a classroom door that can be locked from the inside, and there is little evidence that students going through realistic drills... have any additional benefits."


An Interesting Toolkit For Understanding The “Circular Economy”  Medium


Visualization Of When Leaves First Appear In Each State  New York Times

George Siemens On Networks Versus Systems  LinkedIn

Are Trigger Warnings Helpful?  New Study Suggests: No.  Pacific Standard