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Whatever Happened to the Drive for Campus Sustainability?

Chronicle of Higher Education - November 8, 2015 - 5:31pm

Not long ago, it was the big activist movement at many colleges. Now, not so much. Believers hope to bring the buzz back.

Categories: Higher Education News

Universities Set Up Legal Clinics to Help Student Innovators

Chronicle of Higher Education - November 8, 2015 - 5:31pm

Ideas that push the status quo can sometimes run afoul of the law. More institutions are stepping up to help their entrepreneurs defend their work.

Categories: Higher Education News

Professor Is Honored for Bringing Philosophy to His Community-College Students

Chronicle of Higher Education - November 8, 2015 - 5:30pm

Scott Samuelson, winner of the Hiett Prize in the Humanities, draws connections between the hardships of his students and Plato.

Categories: Higher Education News

What I'm Reading: ‘China’s Examination Hell’

Chronicle of Higher Education - November 8, 2015 - 5:30pm

A book about the use of tests in China persuades a physics professor that inequality cannot be remedied that way.

Categories: Higher Education News

The Week

Chronicle of Higher Education - November 8, 2015 - 5:30pm

What you need to know about the past seven days.


Categories: Higher Education News

U. of Missouri Chief Resists Calls to Resign After Football Team Joins Protest of Racism

Chronicle of Higher Education - November 8, 2015 - 4:45pm

In a statement, Timothy Wolfe acknowledged that "change is needed." But his words did not satisfy protesters, and the governing board scheduled a special meeting for Monday morning.

Categories: Higher Education News

U. of Colorado Returns Coca-Cola Money Used for Controversial Advocacy Group

Chronicle of Higher Education - November 8, 2015 - 7:27am

The research group studied "energy balance," which suggests that people should focus more on exercise than the calories they consume. The university said it was returning the $1 million grant because its source was distracting attention from the group's "worthwhile goal."

Categories: Higher Education News

The Higher Education Act Just Turned 50. Has It Done What It Was Supposed To?

Chronicle of Higher Education - November 8, 2015 - 2:55am

The law has helped democratize college in America, and its symbolic value is undeniable. But it hasn’t met Lyndon Johnson’s ambitious vision of college for all.

Categories: Higher Education News

Richer Data on College Applicants Help the Prospects of Low-Income Students

Chronicle of Higher Education - November 7, 2015 - 12:00pm

Admission officers at selective colleges who were given more details about applicants’ high schools look more favorably on needy students, a new study found.

Categories: Higher Education News

High Pay for Presidents Is Not Shown to Yield Any Fund-Raising Payoff

Chronicle of Higher Education - November 7, 2015 - 9:30am

Although some college boards suggest that "you get what you pay for" when it comes to presidential compensation, the argument that high salaries drive giving "appears dubious," a new study finds.

Categories: Higher Education News

Another Athletics Administrator at U. of Minnesota Quits

Chronicle of Higher Education - November 6, 2015 - 2:59pm

The resignation of Mike Ellis, the associate athletic director, follows that of the athletic director, Norwood Teague, in August.

Categories: Higher Education News

A Major Barrier to Alumni Giving: Graduates’ Mistrust

Chronicle of Higher Education - November 6, 2015 - 2:30pm

A study based partly on fake solicitation letters finds that whether alumni will give to their alma mater depends mostly on their trust in it.

Categories: Higher Education News

Teach to Lead Summit Inspires Literacy Reform

U.S. Department of Education Blog - November 6, 2015 - 1:10pm

Improvements are under way at the Louisa Boren K–8 STEM School in Seattle, and the most recent Teach to Lead summit played an important role in facilitating some big changes.

A month ago, 100 teacher leaders gathered near Tacoma, Washington, for the fifth regional Teach to Lead Summit with hopes of learning how to address challenges in their schools.

These summits are part of the Teach to Lead initiative, created by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) to expand opportunities for teachers to lead, particularly those allowing teachers to stay in the classroom.

Two of us came to the summit from the Louisa Boren K-8 STEM School in Seattle, where we focus on low student literacy skills. We left this two-day meeting filled with energy and ideas to address our concerns, many of which our school has immediately begun to implement. Our rapid progress is amazing!

Since Louisa Boren opened in 2011, teachers have watched their students master subjects that today’s global job market rewards — science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Our students’ language arts skills, however, often don’t keep pace. Too many haven’t grasped phonics, don’t know how to break down words into syllables and lack skills that eventually will be needed to analyze complex literature.

We hoped the Teach to Lead Summit could set us on the right path, and we weren’t disappointed. During the summit we developed a concrete reform plan to take back to our school, “Literacy is the Backbone of STEM.” With support from one of the 70 educators present at the summit (our “critical friend”), we learned to:

  • Develop a “logic model,” which is a framework for evaluating a program and finding ways to improve it. We first clarified exactly what our problem is, then created goals to move us beyond the problem and finally developed steps and activities to reach the goals. Our biggest challenge is that Seattle hasn’t adopted an elementary school literacy curriculum in 14 years, so teachers in our project-based school have no common way to teach literacy. Consequently, students don’t have aligned literacy instruction and no consistent literacy assessments, nor is a structure in place to discuss student data and use it to inform instructional practice. Our aim is to provide instruction that is aligned within all classrooms at a particular grade, as well as from one grade to the next
  • Create an “elevator speech,” which provides us and other school educators with a short, clear, and consistent message about literacy expectations, which we can now share and communicate to and between the staff and the community
  • Use our critical friend, who was assigned to us at the summit, to guide us in developing our school’s logic model and helping us and our school find appropriate instructional resources

Since the summit ended, our work to implement literacy reforms has accelerated. In just one month, teacher leaders at our school (1) gave an elevator speech to the principal and presented the logic model; (2) developed and distributed a staff survey to learn how the STEM staff can align literacy instruction and assessment within the context of the school’s project-based learning environment; (3) developed literacy professional development plans; (4) gathered information to guide the improvement of classroom libraries; (5) made a presentation to the PTA president to gain support for literacy reforms, as well as more money for books; and (6) took steps to involve parents in the conversations and reforms.

And the work continues! We hope our logic model eventually can grow to address literacy issues not just within Louisa Boren, but throughout all Seattle Public Schools.

Mary Bannister is a teacher-librarian and Jodi Williamson is a second-grade teacher at the Louisa Boren K-8 STEM School in Seattle. Both teachers are certified by NBPTS.  

Categories: Higher Education News

What Is Going On at the University of Missouri?

Chronicle of Higher Education - November 6, 2015 - 1:09pm

A hunger strike and other protests over racism come amid lingering anger over health-insurance and Planned Parenthood controversies.

Categories: Higher Education News

Supreme Court Will Hear Religious Colleges’ Objections to Contraceptive Rule

Chronicle of Higher Education - November 6, 2015 - 12:55pm

The court's decision follows years of legal wrangling and a 2014 ruling in a similar case involving private for-profit companies, the so-called Hobby Lobby case.

Categories: Higher Education News

ParentCamp Brings Families to the Education Table

U.S. Department of Education Blog - November 6, 2015 - 12:50pm

Last week the U.S. Department of Education (ED) hosted its first ParentCamp USA with over 200 participants from across the country.

The ParentCamp participants joined ED staff to build relationships, network, and talk about the issues parents face every day. ParentCamp, like the EDCamp “unconference” model for educator engagement and professional growth, provides an opportunity for families to engage in facilitated conversations that are of interest to them. Conversation topics were generated by registered participants with other topics added to the conversation board as people gathered for the day’s activities. Through discussions and sharing, parents and educators came away from sessions with effective ideas used in other parts of the country. It was a wonderfully, positive experience with many participants planning on hosting ParentCamps in their own communities.

While we know that families are children’s first and most important teacher, advocate, and nurturer, they are not necessarily seen as the experts when it comes to educating their children. Families may be the most important resource educators have for supporting positive outcomes for all children, and yet, they are often the most underutilized asset a district or school could have. It is our hope that ParentCamp USA will start conversations and build the relationships needed to create purposeful family, school, and community partnerships to improve schools and student outcomes.

Over the coming months, ED is committed to hosting and participating in ParentCamps across the country and to gathering and disseminating the tools and resources states, districts, schools and families need to build meaningful partnerships. We understand that great work is happening all across the country and want to hear your stories of successful family, school and community engagement. It is our hope that every educator will have the knowledge, tools and support they need to meet the hopes and dreams that every parent has for his or her child. After all, it doesn’t just take a village to raise a child; it takes a village to educate a child.

You can find more information about the Department’s October 26th ParentCamp USA on our Facebook page.

Please check back for more information coming soon on how you can share your stories and be a part of a movement to support family, school and community partnerships in your community.

Tell Us Your Story

One of the best ways to start the conversation is through the exchange of best practices. In the form below, tell us about a successful family engagement program in your community and we’ll share it with our readers.


Vicki Myers is a Special Assistant in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education.

Categories: Higher Education News

President Upholds Reprimand for Professor Who Didn't Assign Department Chair's Book

Chronicle of Higher Education - November 6, 2015 - 9:45am

Alain Bourget, a mathematician at California State University at Fullerton, had appealed the reprimand, which he received last year.

Categories: Higher Education News


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