Kyler Nipper started the nonprofit Kyler’s Kicks to make sure others with limited means can have a new pair of shoes. It’s a struggle Kyler knows all too well. The 14-year-old lives in a shelter with his family and says he was bullied and attacked for his worn-out sneakers
Category : Education
Durham University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart Corbridge said: “We are delighted to award an honorary degree to the Archbishop of York, who so clearly shares our passion for empowering young people and preparing students to transition successfully to the next stage of their lives.
“We take our responsibilities as a centre for learning seriously and, like the Archbishop, we strive to create the opportunities, support and freedom for students to become the best they can, so they can go on to do inspiring and innovative things around the world.
Awarding the honorary degree strengthens the existing relationship between Durham University and the Church of England. A recently renewed partnership sees the University continue in its role as the single validating partner for the Church of England’s ordination training. The scheme, known as the Common Awards, is overseen by a dedicated team from the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University.
— Gospel Awake Project✝️ (@GospelAwake) January 9, 2020
“Professor David Wright has been sharing his love of physics with students at Tidewater Community College since 1974. Wright became a viral sensation in just one day after a student shared a video of his passionate teaching methods — using fire, slingshots and a bed of nails — on Twitter.”
Enjoy it all.
Heavenly Father and gracious God, we give thee thanks for the life and ministry of your servant Elizabeth Evelyn Wright, through whose vision, perseverance and strength, a legacy of education was provided for generations then unborn, and we pray for your Holy Spirit’s inspiration to follow her example, through the same Jesus Christ, who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Elizabeth Evelyn Wright, #Tuskegee alum, in 1906 founded #Denmark Industrial Institute in #Denmark, #SC, start of #Voorhees College (#HBCU). #Humanitarian and #educator, #founder of several #schools for black #children. #teacher #alum #Unsung #BlackGirlMagic pic.twitter.com/cLhkI0B8eq
— HBCU Alum Gives (@HBCUGIVES) July 2, 2018
If some say friends are the family you choose, then one young boy’s family just got much bigger.
Michael Clark Jr., from East Grand Rapids, Michigan, was so excited about his adoption day that he invited his entire kindergarten class to his adoption hearing.
In a packed courtroom on Thursday, Michael’s classmates filled up the first rows of seats in the Kent County courtroom and even gave sweet testimonies about how much they love their fellow friend.
I love this, so sweet: https://t.co/WDHkOXpdTS
— J Mummey🐰 (@mummey_j) December 6, 2019
Next year promises to be a bumper one for political books, at least on the Right, and in America. Ross Douthat has one out in February, The Decadent Society; before that in January Christopher Caldwell’s The Age of Entitlement looks at the US since the assassination of JFK, while I’m looking forward to the reasoned, nuanced media debate that will follow Charles Murray’s Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class.
I can’t see any tripwires there!
Much later in the year is Rod Dreher’s as-yet-unnamed book, which delves into the psychological resemblance between life under Communism and developments in America since the Great Awokening began….
The Minford High School Class of 2000, in rural Minford, Ohio, began its freshman year as a typical class. It had its jocks and its cheerleaders, its slackers and its overachievers.
But by the time the group entered its final year, its members said, painkillers were nearly ubiquitous, found in classrooms, school bathrooms and at weekend parties.
Over the next decade, Scioto County, which includes Minford, would become ground zero in the state’s fight against opioids. It would lead Ohio with its rates of fatal drug overdoses, drug-related incarcerations and babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome.
To understand both the scope and the devastating consequences of what is now a public health crisis, we talked to dozens of members of the Class of 2000. Many opened up to us about struggles with addiction, whether their own or their relatives’. They told us about the years lost to getting high and in cycling in and out of jail, prison and rehab. They mourned the three classmates whose addictions killed them.
In all of the interviews, one thing was clear: Opioids have spared relatively no one in Scioto County; everyone appears to know someone whose life has been affected by addiction.
The opioid epidemic is personal to Minford’s Class of 2000: 3 classmates died from drug use, at least 15 have struggled with addiction and nearly 75% of those we interviewed have family members who are addicted or in recovery. https://t.co/OqSZ5gONMY
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 2, 2019
The Church of England has published a Charter and resources to support schools in delivering Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE).
The Charter features eight commitments which all schools, Church of England and others, can sign-up to prior to the new guidelines becoming law in autumn 2020.
The Church of England’s lead Bishop for Education, Stephen Conway said in April that RSHE would require a shared duty of care between parents and schools, with the contents of the curriculum discussed and clearly communicated in advance.
To enable this, a skeleton agenda for parents’ meetings has also been published, together with a framework for school staff discussion, a policy template and activities and prayers.
A couple who threatened to take a school to the High Court over its religious assemblies have won their fight for alternative activities for their children.
Lee and Lizianne Harris withdrew their two children from assemblies at Burford Primary School in Oxfordshire over fears they were being “indoctrinated”.
The legal bid said the school breached their right to freedom of belief.
Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust said the case had diverted valuable funds.
The couple, who are non-religious, enrolled their children at the town’s only state school in 2015, before the trust took over.
But the children were unhappy watching Bible stories, including the crucifixion, during the Wednesday assemblies.
The most important thing was for the child to understand the meaning of the story, not the exact words on the page. So, if a kid came to the word “horse” and said “house,” the teacher would say, that’s wrong. But, Harper recalls, “if the kid said ‘pony,’ it’d be right because pony and horse mean the same thing.”
Harper was shocked. First of all, pony and horse don’t mean the same thing. And what does a kid do when there aren’t any pictures?
This advice to a beginning reader is based on an influential theory about reading that basically says people use things like context and visual clues to read words. The theory assumes learning to read is a natural process and that with enough exposure to text, kids will figure out how words work.
One big takeaway from all that research is that reading is not natural; we are not wired to read from birth. People become skilled readers by learning that written text is a code for speech sounds. The primary task for a beginning reader is to crack the code. Even skilled readers rely on decoding.
Read it all from earlier this year.
This year, eighth-grade reading scores in 31 states dropped two to seven points — which the federal government deemed significant — compared with their performances in 2017. Indiana, New Hampshire and Virginia had the largest declines. Fourth-grade reading scores dropped in 17 states, with New Jersey’s six-point drop the largest. Only one state, Mississippi, improved, the data showed.
James F. Lane, the superintendent of public instruction in Virginia, said that while grade-level proficiency was a goal, the school system “must also recognize that Virginia’s schools are enrolling increasing numbers of students whose learning is impacted by poverty and trauma.” He said the school system needed to recruit and retain high-quality teachers and equip them to meet the needs of a “changing student population.”
Average math scores fared considerably better, particularly among fourth graders. Nine states had significant increases in fourth-grade math, compared with 2017. Again, Mississippi led the pack. The eighth-grade score in three states improved, while those in six states declined.
American students have made large gains in math and small gains in reading since 1990. But those improvements began to level out around 2009. There is no consensus on why that happened.
The average American 8th-grade reading score on a national exam declined in more than half of the states https://t.co/XQa5pQWfzE
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 30, 2019
Ais likes to dance. She knows the words to “I’m a Little Teapot.” Her dimples are disarming.
Her parents didn’t want their daughter to dance. They didn’t want her to sing. They wanted her to die with them for their cause.
Last year, when she was 7, Ais squeezed onto a motorcycle with her mother and brother. They carried a packet that Ais refers to as coconut rice wrapped in banana leaves. Her father and other brother climbed onto a different bike with another parcel. They sped toward a police station in the Indonesian city of Surabaya, a place of mixed faith.
The parcels were bombs, and they were set off at the gate to the police station. Catapulted off the motorcycle by the force of the explosion, Ais rose from the pavement like a ghost, her pale head-to-toe garment fluttering in the chaos. Every other member of her family died. No bystanders were killed. The Islamic State, halfway across the world, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Ais, who is being identified by her nickname (pronounced ah-iss) to protect her privacy, is now part of a deradicalization program for children run by the Indonesian Ministry of Social Affairs. In a leafy compound in the capital, Jakarta, she bops to Taylor Swift, reads the Quran and plays games of trust.
At a School for Suicide Bombers’ Children, Dancing, Drawing and Deradicalization pic.twitter.com/aiDdRyfeD7
— ShamelNews (@NewsShamel) October 18, 2019
Teachers report mixed feelings about online grade books. Sean Riley, a high-school teacher in Seattle, said students and parents can become so focused on the metrics that they lose sight of the bigger picture. “It starts to turn learning into a series of tasks to be completed instead of a process of exercises to learn more,” he said.
Obsessive grade-checking is also symptomatic of the desire, peculiar to a generation that has grown up with everything just a swipe away, to receive instant gratification. Mr. Riley said this can lead to anxiety and disappointment in some students.
The upside is when students use the information to advocate for themselves.
Parents try to control the urge to check their kids’ grades all the time, but some can’t help themselves https://t.co/zHfGS2bd1M
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) October 15, 2019
It was largely a grassroots campaign. It was very deliberate, but also decentralized — with actors from different backgrounds and interests, concerned with different causes, working different institutional levers — learning from, and building upon, the work of one-another over time. Some of the most important tactics included:
They set up tenure lines, degree programs, interdisciplinary centers, academic journals, professional associations, etc. (see the work by Fabio Rojas for an excellent description of the transition From Black Power to Black Studies; see also his HxA blog post and Half Hour of Heterodoxy interview on this research).
They were ecumenical. That is, as opposed to being territorial or puritanical about the specific domains their ideas and methods applied to. For instance, sensitivity training was originally developed specifically to bridge tensions around religion and race. It now includes gender, sexuality, you name it. Instead of just white privilege and male privilege (as originally formulated), there is now cisgender privilege, straight privilege, able-bodied privilege, native-born privilege and many, many more (curiously underdiscussed, of course, is socioeconomic privilege – which is the stage upon which all these conversations take place to begin with). Microaggressions, which were initially about race (and the experience of African Americans in particular), are now implicated in gender, sexuality, fat shaming, ableism, ad infinitum. This was no accident: Derald Wing Sue’s 2007 paper, which led to a renaissance for the microaggression framework, explicitly called for others to adapt the concept in these ways.
Here, the notion of intersectionality is very important. It is the glue which holds it all together – encouraging advocates of any particular cause to see their work as complementary and interrelated with all other (left-aligned) movements. As a result of this approach, concepts like microaggressions, the idea that words amount to violence, calls for safe spaces and trigger warnings, etc. have been able to build upon and feed off one-another despite their disparate origins – creating a complex that encompasses a broad range of causes, stakeholders and institutions (and is, consequently, difficult to displace). As I will demonstrate in a forthcoming essay, a parallel movement for viewpoint diversity, which dates back just as far as any of the other phenomena listed here, has followed a very different trajectory up to now — to its peril.
— David Brooks (@nytdavidbrooks) October 12, 2019
On a quiet Sunday afternoon at the University of Pennsylvania, a dozen students sat in a circle, turned to one another, and asked: “Are you thinking of killing yourself?”
The difficult practice, accompanied by uncomfortable giggles and prolonged eye contact, came toward the end of a four-hour training session in a technique known as active listening. Students are taught to ask the question, among others, with a gentle and direct tone. The method and question can help reduce the risk of suicide, training experts say.
With 14 student suicides in the past six years, this Ivy League university has been asking hard questions and has bolstered its mental-health resources. But the recent death by suicide of a high-profile mental-health administrator—Gregory Eells, executive director of Penn’s Counseling and Psychological Services program that provides therapy sessions for students—highlighted the complexity of the school’s continuing battle against suicide.
“On a symbolic level, Dr. Eells’s death hit harder. Because of his position, it’s a stronger message across the university than I think student deaths are in a weird, kind of bizarre way,” said Greg Callaghan, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly who had met with Dr. Eells about graduate student mental-health initiatives.
The U.S. suicide rate for nearly all ages increased from 1999 to 2017, according to the most recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is the second-leading cause of death among Americans aged 10 to 34.
Penn has seen more than a dozen student suicides in recent years. Now the school is grappling with the death by suicide of their head of mental-health programs. https://t.co/Qps4VsJoiW
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) September 30, 2019
Thanks to private-school choice—vouchers, tax-credit scholarships and education savings accounts—this year nearly half a million children in 29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia will attend schools their parents selected.
Critics of school choice often argue that low-income families lack the knowledge or ability to choose meaningfully between schools. Worrying that parents will be taken advantage of or make poor decisions, they oppose choice programs or favor onerous testing requirements to prove they are effective.
New studies on school choice in Colombia and Barbados, however, suggest families know something that tests can’t detect. These two countries, with per capita incomes a quarter and a third of America’s, respectively, can teach us a lot about how the most economically disadvantaged families choose schools.
Stanford’s Eric Bettinger and his research team found that students who won a lottery for a voucher in Colombia were 17% more likely to complete high school on time than students who lost the lottery. The study, released in July, used a method of random assignment to compare apples to apples. So it isn’t because of selection bias that lottery winners earned 8% more than lottery losers by the time they turned 33. It’s because their parents were allowed to choose schools that were better fits for their children.
A working paper by @KiraboJackson found that when students attended a school their parents preferred, it improved student well-being significantly when it came to educational attainment, success in the job market, and health, as cited in a @WSJ op-ed. https://t.co/Fy1xWKF3k0
— Institute for Policy Research (@IPRatNU) September 4, 2019
Prayer spaces in schools have helped encourage positive mental health in young people, according to pupils who have been involved in a project promoting them.
Four Church of England secondary schools in the Diocese of Durham were involved in the “reservoirs of hope” project, which started in February.
The prayer spaces were set up in The Venerable Bede Church of England Academy in Sunderland, Ian Ramsey Church of England Academy in Stockton, Whitburn Church of England Academy in Sunderland and St Aidan’s Church of England Academy in Darlington.
Following reports of a judicial review granted by the High Court, the Church of England’s Chief Education Officer, Nigel Genders writes:
“We live at a time when children feel besieged by social media, weighed down by pressure and report poor mental health. Collective worship offers ten minutes in a day for children to pause and explore the big existential questions such as ‘Who am I?’ ‘Why am I here?’ and ‘How then should I live?”
“Offering this in the context of authentic Christian worship is not ‘religious indoctrination’ but a simple chance for children of all faiths and none to develop spiritually and gain perspective in an otherwise crowded day.
“There is much evidence of the value of collective worship to children and young people which is why thousands of community schools also have strong partnerships with local churches and faith groups. What happens in schools must be evidence-based and should not be in response to secular pressure group campaigns.”
(From a letter to The Times, 30/7/19)
(Telegraph) Atheist parents take primary school to court as they say assembly prayers breach children’s human rights
Atheist parents are taking their children’s primary school to the High Court, claiming that biblical re-enactments and praying in assembly are a breach of their human rights.
Lee Harris and his wife Lizanne have won permission to bring a judicial review against Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust (ODST) after arguing that Burford Primary School is acting “unlawfully”.
They allege that since ODST took over the running of the community school in 2015, they noticed “harmful aspects of evangelism spreading into assembly” and other parts of their pupils’ education.
In the first case of its kind, the parents are arguing that this interferes with their children’s right to receive an education “free from religious interference”.
Atheist parents are taking a primary school to the High Court, claiming that “religious indoctrination” is violating their children’s human rights, and that the school failed to provide an alternative to Christian assemblies.https://t.co/hFBmNQT470
— Head Lines (@HeadLines_EMM) July 29, 2019
When students return to public schools across South Dakota this fall, they should expect to see a new message on display: “In God We Trust.”
A new state law that took effect this month requires all public schools in the state’s 149 districts to paint, stencil or otherwise prominently display the national motto.
The South Dakota lawmakers who proposed the law said the requirement was meant to inspire patriotism in the state’s public schools. Displays must be at least 12-by-12 inches and must be approved by the school’s principal, according to the law.
(Guardian) Will Hutton–Turning our back on studying history fits with a society that’s losing its common purpose
The country undoubtedly needs more computer scientists, medics and engineers – but as a society surely not at the expense of the humanities, whose essence is captured in the name. A society that has forgotten its history, is ignorant of its poetry and most of whose citizens have no understanding of foreign languages or culture is withering. An organisation staffed only by those with instrumental skills will have little sense of its purpose or social place, which is the ultimate guarantor of success. The best scientists know they need their humanity colleagues – in a firm as much as a college.
It is not blinkered university humanities lecturers who are to blame for this intensifying bias – as suggested in a recent article in the Economist. They are committed scholars ready to do whatever they can to make their subjects relevant and accessible. But students will only value the humanities if society values them. And that means nurturing the organisations that have a sufficiently long-term sense of themselves and their purpose to be able to recruit from across the academic disciplines.
That in turn requires a vision of the good society – one reason why increasingly I have come to characterise Brexit as a cultural civil war. There is no prospect that Brexit can improve the deal for our young, economically or culturally. Public finances and organisations alike will be under more pressure. The language of very rightwing politicians will become the new common sense. Drug use will intensify at the bottom – and the cultural ballast in our society, loving history or Shakespeare for their own sakes, will decline.
The young sense this: it is why they voted so overwhelmingly to stay in the EU, and would do so in greater numbers today.
— BBC History Magazine (@HistoryExtra) July 22, 2019
The Church of England is to provide support for its schools to help them deliver new relationship education required by the Government by next year, including teaching on LGBT relationships and families.
The new government guidance on Relationship and Sex Education for primary-age children comes into force in September 2020, although some schools are beginning it earlier.
A course in one school, Parkfield Community School, Birmingham, sparked weeks of angry protests from mainly Muslim parents at the school gate.
The Government’s counter-extremism commissioner, Sara Khan, criticised the Department for Education in a BBC Panorama investigation this week for its lack of support for the school, and for the assistant head teacher, Andrew Moffatt, who devised the school’s programme, “No Outsiders”.
A Church House spokesman said this week that it was considering how best to support Church schools in delivering the new relationships education.
C of E to back up government guidance on LGBT lessons
A course in one school sparked weeks of angry protests from mainly Muslim parentshttps://t.co/BbJBZFK0Bk
— Church Times (@ChurchTimes) July 19, 2019
Good artists copy; great artists steal. Perhaps Benjamin Franklin knew as much, because when he wrote his famous Poor Richard’s Almanack, he did not cite sources for the proverbs that peppered its pages.
To many, quippy sayings like “Time is money” are synonymous with the Founding Father. People think Franklin thought them up. But Wolfgang Mieder, one of the world’s leading proverb scholars, knows better.
Mieder and a colleague traced the saying to a short, anonymous text published in a London-based newspaper, Free Thinker, in 1719. In fact, many of the sayings commonly attributed to Franklin actually come from English proverb collections, said Mieder, a professor of German and folklore at the University of Vermont.
Tracking down the origins of proverbs is “detective work,” he says. “You kind of feel like you’re discovering things.” He has researched and written about cultural wisdoms for nearly five decades and, in the process, amassed a one-of-a-kind scholarly library. It includes about 9,000 books (including 252 that Mieder has written, co-authored, or edited) and 6,500 photocopied articles and dissertations, all about proverbs. He doubts anything like it exists, anywhere.
This lovely story about a scholar, his passion, and a life lived in an institution feels like a time warp. https://t.co/GLXs2p4t9t
— James K.A. Smith (@james_ka_smith) July 16, 2019
Lord Justice Irwin, Lord Justice Haddon-Cave and Sir Jack Beatson analysed Ngole’s appeal at a court of appeal hearing in London in March and ruled in his favour on Wednesday.
Ngole said after the appeal court ruling: “This is great news, not only for me and my family, but for everyone who cares about freedom of speech, especially for those working in or studying for caring professions.
“As Christians we are called to serve others and to care for everyone, yet publicly and privately we must also be free to express our beliefs and what the Bible says without fear of losing our livelihoods.”
— Christian Concern (@CConcern) July 3, 2019
(GR) Roman Catholic school wars (yet) again: Can teachers take public actions that defy church doctrines?
So what should editors do, if the goal is to produce accurate, fair-minded coverage on this issue?
For starters, they need to know that these fights have been raging for decades, pitting progressive Catholic educators against pro-Catechism Catholics. It would help if reporters did some homework by reading “Ex Corde Ecclesiae (From the Heart of the Church)” — that’s the urgent 1990 encyclical by Pope John Paul II on reforming Catholic education. For St. John Paul II, “reform” meant asking schools to defend the basics of the Catholic faith, in words and deeds.
Journalists also need to familiarize themselves with this U.S. Supreme Court case — Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC. The key: Private religious schools and institutions have the right to take doctrinal issues into account when hiring and firing teachers and staffers.
Why? Because the professionals in these academic communities are “ministers,” in that their lives and work are linked to the doctrines affirmed in their job descriptions, contracts and/or covenants.
It’s important that reporters — the USA Today story is only one example — frequently mention this “minister” status, without explaining the Supreme Court context. This “minister” status, obviously, doesn’t mean that all teachers, staffers, etc., are ordained.
The millennial generation attended college in a golden era for student housing, as investors poured money into luxurious off-campus communities packed with resort-style amenities: rooftop pools, golf simulators, tanning beds, climbing walls.
The wow factor increased with every new development. Many universities amped up their campus dorms and amenities in an effort to bolster recruitment, with a few going so far as to put in “lazy rivers” for floating around pools.
“It was crazy to see what was going to beat the last new thing,” said Dan Oltersdorf, a senior vice president and chief learning officer at Campus Advantage, which manages about 70 off-campus student housing communities around the country. “You were just asking, what’s next?”
But as millennials move on and so-called Generation Z moves in, student housing is shifting away from recreational dazzle and toward amenities that reflect the gig economy: digital conveniences, ample spaces indoors and out for studying and collaborating, and cutting-edge fitness facilities to maintain wellness.
“Shared study rooms, a pickup spot for Uber and GrubHub, Amazon lockers — this is the ‘everything at your fingertips’ generation.” https://t.co/hID8S7Wnir
— NYT Business (@nytimesbusiness) June 25, 2019
Mobile phones will be banned from Victorian state primary and secondary schools under strict new rules aimed at tackling cyber bullying and distractions in the classroom.
The Victorian government has adopted one of the world’s toughest stances on mobile phone use in schools and from the start of next year, students must switch off their devices and store them in lockers during school hours.
Students from prep to Year 12 will not be allowed to use their phones during recess and lunchtime.
Victorian Education Minister James Merlino said teachers and parents regularly raised concerns about mobile phones’ effect on students.
The Victorian government has adopted one of the world’s toughest stances on mobile phone use in schools https://t.co/gpoEnDIBKB
— The Age (@theage) June 25, 2019
’10-year-old Sara Hinesley was born without hands, but takes a lot of pride in her perfect penmanship. Today, her hard work paid off when she was awarded a national prize for handwriting.’
The rector, the Revd John Parker, accused both the Church of England school and the diocese of silencing his concerns over transgender issues and how the school’s leadership was handling the topic.
The clergyman and the other governors and staff were informed earlier this year that the eight-year-old wished to return to school as a girl, not a boy.
Concerned by the school’s approach, Mr Parker secretly recorded a training session at the school led by the transgender education charity Mermaids.
In the recording, Mr Parker can be heard trying to ask questions and challenge some scientific and legal issues that are raised, but is told by the head teacher and others that he should not speak out and instead send his concerns in an email.
“Throughout the training session, there was an implicit threat to us that if we did not implement Mermaids’ ideology and affirm LGBTQI+ children, it would result in children committing suicide, self-harming, and police and OFSTED would enforce the policy,” Mr Parker said later.
“After the head told us about the plan to allow the pupil to transition, the school suddenly turned into a place where you did not even have the freedom to question or express a view. I felt it was no longer a Christian place of truth but a place of fear and intimidation.”
A rector in Essex has resigned as both parish priest and governor of the local primary school after a row over an eight-year-old pupil’s gender transitionhttps://t.co/tmz4ts507i
— Church Times (@ChurchTimes) May 31, 2019
“A unique program at Harvard Medical School sends aspiring doctors of human medicine to Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo, where they learn to treat lemurs, frogs and other animals. The goal: to learn how our worlds interact and improve care for all.” Watch the whole thing.