The Teacher, Revised Mixed Bag

by ALISTAIR BOMPHRAY

A godsend of a day off here in Hayward finds me messing around on the Internet (of course). Here are the five best things I found:

1. An interactive feature in the NY Times where you can quantify the diversity of your school district and see how it compares to other districts in your county, state, etc. For four years I’ve been spouting off about the diversity of Hayward Unified and apparently it’s only the 14th most diverse district in Alameda County (which, by the way, is the 3rd most diverse county in the country). Also, it shows trends in demographics over the last 15-20 years: http://projects.nytimes.com/immigration/enrollment

2. A short video about progressive education in the 1940’s. Too bad standardized testing got in the way between then and now:

3. A Florida first grader is committed to a mental institution after a temper tantrum. Check the ridiculously long and detailed police report: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2010/0212102haley1.html

4. An article and video about the discrepancy between the way students use technology and the way it’s used in the classroom: http://www.edweek.org/dd/articles/2010/02/03/02kids.h03.html

5. A beautifully done audio slideshow about a student at Bronx Lab School in New York. Joshua’s story is exemplary of the complex and tenuous relationship many urban teens have with education. If you’re an urban teacher, you have to watch this one: http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/nyregion/1-in-8-million/index.html#/joshua_febres

Happy President’s Day Weekend, y’all!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The Teacher, Revised Mixed Bag

  1. Thanks for sharing the link to the NYT diversity widget, it’s very interesting. I checked the numbers for the district where my mom grew up, the district where my dad grew up, the district where I grew up, and the district where my kids are growing up. These are all affluent suburbs considered to have “good” schools. The results surprised me.

    Two of the districts showed a dramatic demographic shift, while the other two showed little change. The district we live in CA went from 19% non-white in 1987 to a whopping 48% today. My dad’s alma mater in MA went from 18% to 30% non-white.

    By contrast, my alma mater (also in MA but further out from Boston) went from 5% to 7% non-white. My mom’s alma mater in Ohio went from 3% to 5%.

    The schools that showed the biggest changes started out more diverse so I have to wonder if there’s some sort of “tipping point” at play.

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