Archive for November, 2012

UGA and Kennesaw among the top U.S. campuses for study abroad. Georgia ranks 12th for international students here.

Interesting data today on international students attending college in the U.S. and American students going abroad to study.

The stats are from the 2012 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, published annually by the Institute of International Education, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The report notes that the number of international students at colleges and universities in the United States increased by six percent to a record high of 764,495 in the 2011/12 academic year, driven by an increase in Chinese students.

At the same time, U.S. students studying abroad increased by one percent. Among the top 40 doctoral institutions, University of Georgia ranks 12th in the nation, sending 2,079 students abroad to study in 2010-2011. In that same category, the top five campuses for sending students abroad are New York University, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, …

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Teacher power: Key education votes elsewhere in America

While there’s been a lot of attention in Georgia to the charter school amendment passage, there were major education issues decided elsewhere in the country.

John I. Wilson, a long-time special education teacher and former executive director of the National Education Association,  wrote about some of them in his Education Week blog.

In his essay, Wilson says these votes show that the public trusts its teachers.

Here is an excerpt but please read the full blog over at Ed Week.

To illustrate this, let’s look at one of the reddest states in America, Idaho. The voters were not fooled by misleading slogans like “Students Come First” or the rhetoric of Tom Luna, state superintendent of public instruction. They rejected three recently passed state laws that rolled back collective bargaining rights, implemented merit pay based on standardized test scores, and established laptops and online credits at the expense of teachers and reasonable class size. Voters listened to …

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Ann Coulter vs. the Jesuits at Fordham: A college invite is rescinded

Pundit Ann Coulter

Pundit Ann Coulter

I have written this blog now for several years, and only mentioned acidic pundit Ann Coulter once. Three weeks later, I am bringing her up again because this incident demonstrates a sensible way to handle controversies over college speakers.

Coulter was invited to Fordham University in New York to speak on Nov. 29 by the College Republicans.

The planned appearance  triggered protests and a student petition. A group of students argued that tuition should not be used to underwrite speakers at the private college who are “not compatible with the values the Fordham community professes – particularly the Jesuit tenet of ‘Men and Women for and With Others’.”

See what you think of Fordham President Joseph M. McShane’s response and of the decision Friday night by the Fordham College Republicans to cancel Coulter’s appearance.

First, Father McShane’s statement:

The College Republicans, a student club at Fordham University, has invited Ann Coulter to speak on …

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Sexual assaults on college campuses: Emory says seven reported recently.

The Emory student newspaper, the Emory Wheel, says there were seven rapes reported in September and October, all by female students. One of the incidents occurred in the spring.

CBS Atlanta is reporting that the seven students told counselors that they were sexually assaulted by acquaintances and did not want to initiate investigations, but preferred to remain anonymous.

When I read these sorts of stories, I wonder if we are doing enough to educate young women and men about sexual assaults and about the role of alcohol. The Emory Wheel account does not address alcohol, but statistically there is a good chance it played a role in some of these assaults.

In a controversial 2004 report, the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study, Saint Joseph’s University and the University of Arizona found that one in 20 (4.7 percent) women reported being raped in college since the beginning of the …

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Help me out here: What should parents do to ensure their child’s success in school?

Help me out, folks.

I am speaking at Parents Palooza this weekend about how to ensure your child succeeds in school.  I am assuming most of the parents interested in this topic will have toddlers.

What is your advice? What do think parents need to do — or not do — to help their children do well in school?

I have my own list, but would love to hear from other folks.

Thanks, Maureen

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Family gives half million to Decatur Ed Foundation in gratitude to teachers and staff.

Email messages encouraged Decatur families to come to the downtown square this evening to hear an “important announcement.”

It was good news: A Decatur family gave the Decatur Education Foundation its single largest gift to date, $500,000 to provide educational support to the city’s students.

“This gift will allow us to continue to build on the work accomplished over the past 10 years to ensure that every child in Decatur has opportunities to thrive,” says Paula Collins, chair of DEF’s board. “Coupled with the continued support from our community, it will allow us to impact exponentially more children. For that, we are most grateful.”

The Decatur family, who is remaining anonymous, made the gift to express their gratitude “to Decatur teachers and staff who do such wonderful work educating the children in our community, and who play such an important role in making Decatur a great place to live,” according to a release from the foundation.

–From Maureen Downey, …

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Cherokee Schools name its teacher of the year: Sandy Giudice

Cherokee school chief Frank R. Petruzielo surprised Sandy Giudice with the district's Teacher of the Year award today.

Cherokee school chief Frank R. Petruzielo surprised Sandy Giudice with the district's Teacher of the Year award today.

Here is some more good news. This is the release from Cherokee County about its teacher of the year.

(Other district ought to send me their news about teachers of the year.)

From Cherokee County:

Macedonia Elementary School teacher Sandy Giudice’s third-grade classroom looks like what you would expect, but it doesn’t sound like it.

“All you need is love,” she sings to the students when they need to return their focus to their classwork.

“Love, love, love,” they sing back.

And that is the message that Ms. Giudice, the Cherokee County School District’s Teacher of the Year, said she hopes her students keep in their hearts forever.

“That I loved them,” Ms. Giudice, who is in her 11th year of teaching, said of how she hopes her students remember her. “That I cared about them and always wanted the best for them.”

Ms. Giudice was visited in her …

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Kentucky test results offer glimpse into how Common Core assessments will affect Georgia and other states

Noteworthy scores out of Kentucky, the first state to introduce tests explicitly tied to the Common Core State Standards.

Kentucky is part of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, a consortium of 23 states including Georgia that is developing a common set of k-12 assessments in English and math grounded in what it takes to be ready for college and careers.  Those assessments will be ready for states to administer during the 2014-15 school year

While the new Kentucky tests are not the PARCC tests, they are closely aligned and thus seen as a harbinger of things to come.

And what’s coming will initially be disappointing,  although expected. Testing experts say that a conversion to a new test usually brings a drop in scores.

Education Week reports that the  share of Kentucky students scoring “proficient” or better in reading and math dropped by roughly a third or more in both elementary and middle school the first year the tests were …

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Ole Miss chancellor on Obama protest: “Very immature and uncivil approach” to election results

Note: Stopped comments at 9:44 a.m. as we weren’t saying anything productive, Maureen

Here is the official statement from the University of Mississippi Chancellor Dan Jones on the reaction last night of some Ole Miss students to President Obama’s victory over Gov. Mitt Romney.

University police were notified by students shortly before midnight Tuesday that Twitter chatter was indicating students were gathering near the student union to protest the results of the election. The officers found 30-40 students gathered in front of the union, and over the next 20 minutes the gathering had grown to more than 400 students, many of whom were chanting political slogans. The crowd was ordered to disperse by university police, and after about 25 minutes students had returned to residence halls. About 100 students gathered again at one hall, and university police dispersed the group and made two arrests for disorderly conduct, including one for public intoxication and one for failure to …

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A real miss at Ole Miss: Students protest Obama re-election with racial epithets

Folks, Stopped commenting at 6: 12 p.m. as I thought we had crossed into the absurd. Happy to end with the sensible comment from the UM student, Thanks, Maureen

Expect a lot of unfortunate attention to Ole Miss as a result of a rabble of immature students reacting badly and crudely to President Obama’s re-election last night. They shouted racial epithets and burned Obama signs until University of Mississippi police arrived and dispersed them.

While some news accounts appear to exaggerate the late-night event as a riot, the Daily Mississippian reported it with greater temperance:

Hundreds of Ole Miss students exchanged racial epithets and violent, politicized chants in response to the announcement of the re-election of President Barack Obama.

What began as an argument around midnight quickly spread across campus.

UPD responded to a fire alarm being pulled in Brown Hall as crowds gathered near Kincannon and Stockard (dorms).

I think the best comment in response to this ugly …

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