Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Education and America's future

From a New York Times op-ed article:

Roughly a third of all American high school students drop out. Another third graduate but are not prepared for the next stage of life — either productive work or some form of post-secondary education.

A recent survey of teenagers by the education advocacy group Common Core found that a quarter could not identify Adolf Hitler, a third did not know that the Bill of Rights guaranteed freedom of speech and religion, and fewer than half knew that the Civil War took place between 1850 and 1900.
In the Common Core survey, nearly 20 percent of respondents did not know who the U.S. fought in World War II. Eleven percent thought that Dwight Eisenhower was the president forced from office by the Watergate scandal. Another 11 percent thought it was Harry Truman.

Language and Thought

Does a specific language affect the way an individual perceives his world? Does reality determine the way language functions?

Language helps us learn novel categories, and it licenses our unusual ability to operate on an abstract plane, Dr. Lupyan said. The problem is that after a category has been learned, it can distort the memory of specific objects, getting between us and the rest of the nonabstract world.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Nexus of Evil

Written in chalk on a blackboard above a basket of bagged-coffee in the Starbucks at Sarasota Square Mall:
Support the Troops,
Buy Them a Bag of Coffee

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Boys in education

From The New York Times Magazine:

Nationwide, boys are nearly twice as likely as girls to be suspended, and more likely to drop out of high school than girls (65 percent of boys complete high school in four years; 72 percent of girls do). Boys make up two-thirds of special-education students. They are 1.5 times more likely to be held back a grade and 2.5 times more likely to be given diagnoses of A.D.H.D.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Goog411

Free plug for our future A.I. overlords.

Google 411

It's a free 411 that's easy to use and accurate (and FREE)