CU-Boulder report: 42,012 pounds of reusable items collected at student move-out - Boulder Daily Camera

I'm sure I threw out some things when I moved out each summer, but 21 tons of stuff sure seems like a lot. Silver lining? Throwing stuff away might be a sign the economy is improving.

TMC – People Just Like Me! | I Speak Math

I've read several summaries of Twitter Math Camp (#tmc12) and I think Julie's is one of the best, even if her extroversion is pretty frightening to my introversion.

Task force to brainstorm ways CU can leverage technology - Boulder Daily Camera

Yes, higher education needs continual improvement, and technological advances can help us get there. Still, there are many devils in the details, and if our current instruction is good, then expect it to be difficult to replicate it with flipped classrooms or open courseware.

Segregated Charter Schools Evoke Separate But Equal Era in U.S. - Bloomberg

Designing a charter school to serve a particular underserved population sounds like a noble venture, but we're seeing in more and more places how it's just exacerbating racial and economic segregation in our schools. Some say it's not segregation because it's not legally-mandated segregation, while others say that doesn't matter because the results aren't much different.

UNI: Price Lab to come down in future

While I'm still saddened at UNI's decision to close Price Lab (something I should blog about, but haven't yet), my sadness isn't really about seeing the building go away. Like with so many of our public schools, the struggle to stay up-to-date technologically while keeping the building properly maintained on a limited budget ends up being a losing battle.

Math Mistakes «

I'm not sure who is behind this site, but I really like the idea. Teachers can submit student work that has mistakes so other teachers can collaborate about why the mistake was made. Also, the mistakes are categorized by CCSS standards.

More Reasons to Learn Algebra « Wild Math

This is an excellent summary of responses by +Damon Hedman (@wildmath) to the NYT "Is Algebra Necessary?" piece.

Khan Academy Statistics videos are not good | Learn and Teach Statistics and Operations Research

This gives me a head start on something I've been meaning to do: watch Khan Academy statistics videos and review them for quality. (Hint: Quality was apparently hard to find.)

welcome to the mathtwitterblogosphere - Home

This is a great site created by @samjshaw encouraging math teachers to take control of their own professional development by collaborating with other teachers online using social media and blogs.

Don't Use Khan Academy without Watching All This First - EdTech Researcher - Education Week

A now-somewhat-dated post discussing #mtt2k and critiques of Khan Academy.

How well does Khan Academy teach? - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post

This tough critique of Khan Academy by Christopher Danielson and Michael Paul Goldenberg gets at something near to my heart: the resistance to building a curriculum upon established research. They quote Khan: "I think frankly, the best way to do it is you put stuff out there and you see how people react to it; and we have exercises on our site too, so we see whether they’re able to see how they react to it anecdotally."

teaching / math / culture - My Response to the NYT Editorial on Algebra

Ilana Horn's critique of the NYT "Is Algebra Necessary?" includes this reasoning about inequity should algebra not be required: "Hacker’s proposal for Citizen Statistics, another attempt to make a curricular ghetto (remember Consumer Math anyone?), shows his naivete about our schools. He insists that he is not trying to make a vocational track yet such a class would inevitably be remedial. Hacker imagines this class as demographically balanced, democratically filled with children based on interest and ability, representing students from across racial and socioeconomic spectra. In truth, parents who have the resources and time to pursue academic and professional aspirations for their children would continue to make sure they were placed in a 'true' college preparatory curriculum, leading to even greater inequities in our system."

Is Khan Academy a real ‘education solution’? - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post

I like Marion Brady's three ways of thinking about learning: (1) first-hand, autonomous, and curiosity-driven; (2) shared experiences and the dialogue it creates; and (3) delivered information. Much of our education system has relied on (3), and Khan Academy is no exception. As Brady says, "Yes, Khan is good. In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king."

Sweeney Math: The Best Professional Experience of my Life

I've enjoyed reading the reflections on Twitter Math Camp (#tmc12) and I hope soon this kind of self-organized professional development opportunities are too numerous to count. Different attendees took away different things from the camp/conference, but I like Sean Sweeney's single sentence summary: "I've never been more excited to teach in my life."

Tell the Truth about American Education (Math) « Diane Ravitch's blog

Some people speak as though American education has fallen from grace and does nothing but get worse. As Diane Ravitch points out, our most reliable measure of performance over time says the opposite, and we've never been better.

Deadline extended for vacant Thompson School District Board of Education seat - Loveland Reporter-Herald

I worked for a school board once where all six members had won their seats uncontested, and the seventh seat sat vacant. Thompson School District is probably doing the right thing to encourage the election of a democratically-chosen school board member.

Khan Academy Blends Its YouTube Approach With Classrooms -

This NYT article about Khan Academy is from last winter, but I thought they picked a good quote from Frank Noschese: "Instead of showing our students a better lecture, let's get them doing something better than lecture."

AngryMath: Algebra in NY Times

Delta's rebuttal to the NYT "Is Algebra Necessary?" piece with stories of how his girlfriend, a fine artist, uses math and algebra in her work and life.

Too innumerate « The Accidental Mathematician

Through a story about a friend with diabetes who tracked her blood sugar, this mathematician makes an argument that some of the skills you learn and practice in algebra show up in non-obvious yet critical places.

MTT2K - Episode 1 - YouTube

This is the "Mystery Teacher 2000" video that John Golden and David Coffey made to critique Khan Academy. They admit that the video was snarky and that they hoped to spark a conversation about KA quality. It seems they've succeeded, even though it meant taking a lot of heat from fans of KA.

70 Students at Stuyvesant to Retake Exams After Cheating Case -

Cheating on standardized tests seems to affect rich and poor, academically successful and unsuccessful. I know Stuyvesant typically has a stellar reputation and this will certainly harm it.

dy/dan » Blog Archive » Kate On Khan, Khan On PBL

Dan Meyer addresses Khan Academy claims that they aren't procedure-focused, and shows how the example they claim is actually one he helped develop at Stanford ( Even though the unit is Creative Commons licenced, KA still has an obligation to properly attribute the resource.

The hardest jobs to fill (think plumbers) - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post

In the event that I tire of working in education (unlikely), I think I might consider being an electrician. Not quite as messy as a plumber or strenuous as a bricklayer and still a well-paying, honorable skilled trade.

Douglas County schools says spring survey inconclusive - The Denver Post

I realize there are political forces at work, but the idea that 4,900 survey responses out of 76,500 possible isn't "statistically valid" because it falls short of a 30% response rate is laughable. That's the funny thing about samples: they really don't care how big your population is. Now, if DougCo wanted to argue that the 4,900 responses represent a large but biased sample, that'd be a different story.

Gift from former UNI professor will benefit math students | Newsroom

The University of Northern Iowa press release announcing Bonnie Litwiller's generous gift to future math education students at UNI.

Nation of patriots, nation of fandoms

If there's a tradition as old as America itself, it's probably misinterpreting the intent of our founding fathers. Here, Sherman Dorn looks at how men like Jefferson would have felt about a nationalized school curriculum.

Shanker Blog » How Often Do Proficiency Rates And Average Scores Move In Different Directions?

Example: Imagine 4 students scored on a 10-point scale where 5 and above is proficient. Year 1 the scores are 4, 4, 4, and 10, resulting in 25% proficiency and an average score of 5.5. Year 2 the scores are 5, 5, 5, and 5, resulting in 100% proficiency and an average score of 5. According to this analysis, for ELA and math students in New York this kind of phenomenon is happening 15-20% of the time.

Rich Kid, Poor Kid: How Mixed Neighborhoods Could Save America's Schools - Sarah Garland - The Atlantic

It's not easy to build a mixed-income neighborhood and school, but just as the Coleman Report suggested in 1967, low-income kids in diverse (including economically diverse) schools tend to do better academically. It would be great to see if this model can be replicated in different areas around the country.

Google's Very First Employee, Craig Silverstein Departs - Kara Swisher - News - AllThingsD

Khan Academy does deserve some credit for getting some select talent, like Craig Silverstein -- the first employee to join Larry and Sergey at Google.

Can Khan Move the Bell Curve to the Right? : Education Next

This article is a pretty good description of the promise of Khan Academy but minus some of its criticisms. Maybe the last paragraph is telling: "'You can't just put a kid down in front of a computer,' Goines said, although the kids I saw in Julian's, Cadwell's, and Negash's classes sure seemed to enjoy it."

Commentary: Uncertain future for building funds | EdNewsColorado

Anybody have $14 billion lying around? Because that's what Colorado's schools need for capital construction, and the BEST (Building Excellent Schools Today) funds, while helpful, are limited while the program faces some uncertainty.

Brief: CU, CSU garner $340 million | EdNewsColorado

Yes, you read that correctly: The amount of funding the state provides the University of Colorado is less than 2/3rds what it gets from donations.

Parents resist career-tech requirements | EdNewsColorado

I like seeing students take classes in career and technical education (CTE), but too often these courses get saddled with "shop/home ec" baggage of the past. One of the difficulties of "college and career ready" is that many parents see it as "college prep for my kid, but career prep for somebody else's kids." San Diego wished to make 2-4 CTE courses required for graduation, but parents where overwhelmingly opposed to the mandate. Quoted in this article is Kenneth Gray, emeritus professor of education at Penn State: "I'm convinced that for a whole lot of people, they would much rather have their kid go to Yale and turn out to be a bum than go into career and technical education and be successful."

Is Algebra Necessary? -

I always find this an interesting debate, and it's not unusual for me to agree with points on both sides. Still, some statements here are hard to agree with, such as, "Making mathematics mandatory prevents us from discovering and developing young talent," which the author uses as a lead-in to a bunch of dropout statistics that point back to algebra as a cause.

Delta Scape: Who will be the math education savior?

I think David has it exactly right. I have moments when I wish for a Freudenthal-like figure to organize and inspire math education here like the Dutch saw 40 years ago, but real improvement will come one teacher at a time. We can support those teachers with our respect, trust, resources, and with opportunities to learn from and inspire each other.

Sal Khan responds to critic - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post

Following Karim Kai Ani's post in The Answer Sheet (, Sal Khan replies with a post of his own. As he's done before, he stresses how Khan Academy is not a cure-all and he appreciates feedback. Then he claims that "Karim's corrections are very incorrect" and links to a rebuttal video ( that responds to Karim's argument that he's been incorrect in the way he teaches slope.

My Year Volunteering As A Teacher Helped Educate A New Generation Of Underprivileged Kids vs. Can We Please, Just Once, Have A Real Teacher | The Onion - America's Finest News Source,28803/

Once again, The Onion covers something relevant to current debates (the value of Teach for America) in education and hits the nail on the head. It really makes me wonder if they have a writer that has a particular interest in educational issues, or if this is something they prioritize as an education.

Khan Academy: The hype and the reality - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post

I've seen this shared several times already, but I wanted to add this thought: While Sal Khan should be applauded for his contributions, I sincerely hope that five years from now we'll look at his videos as they are now and think, "Wow, I can't believe we ever thought these were good. What we have now is so much better!" If people like Karim Kai Ani (the author of this article) keep the pressure on Khan, we might not even have to wait five years. There's a place in education for free, self-administered video lessons, but to make true progress we're going to need (a) better videos and (b) a better perspective and understanding about how and when to use them. If this article will be remembered for anything, I hope it's the quote, "Experienced educators are concerned that when bad teaching happens in the classroom, it’s a crisis; but that when it happens on YouTube, it's a 'revolution.'"

The End of Teachers Unions | Hoover Institution

I can't think of many (any?) times I've agreed with Terry Moe, but that doesn't mean that the predictions he makes in this essay won't turn out to be accurate. He argues that an increased demand for technology will reduce demand for teachers, and fewer teachers means shrinking teachers' unions. Smaller unions will have less power, making it easier to implement more tech-centric reforms, which will reinforce a "more tech, fewer teachers" cycle.

CU regents warned of state funding disaster - Boulder Daily Camera

To keep its universities funded, Colorado has made some tweaks to get around limitations imposed by Amendment 23 and TABOR. Unfortunately, those tweaks aren't permanent solutions and, if current trends continue, Colorado will run out of money for its universities in as little as three to five years.

Let Penn State play football, but without its fans (essay) | Inside Higher Ed

We'll find out tomorrow about what punishments the NCAA will impose on Penn State. Ira Socol has an idea that falls between the so-called "death penalty" (essentially a temporary elimination of the sport) and simple sanctions -- play without fans. Ira's argument: "Allow the players to play, insist that Penn State pay its contractual commitments, allow the Big Ten to have its right number of games televised everywhere but the State of Pennsylvania, but send an unmistakable message that Penn State exists for some reason other than to provide Saturday afternoon entertainment eight days a year."

Educational Insanity – An open letter to AERA

Jon Becker here says much of what I've felt about AERA and the dissemination of education research. I attended the AERA annual meeting when it was conveniently located in Denver in 2010, but haven't been compelled to return. In an institution where it's not unusual for me to see three AERA past presidents in a given day, there's an expectation to participate. But then I think about my six years teaching high school, when I was totally unaware that AERA existed. Until AERA changes their access policies and really focuses on their relationship to teachers and other educators (key word: disintermediation), I can't help but think that my efforts are best directed elsewhere.