Making College Preparation Mandatory

Submitted by George Nantwi on Sun, 03/25/2012 - 11:29pm.
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Washington’s D.C’s public schools will soon become the first school district in the nation to require all college eligible students to apply to college or some kind of postsecondary school. Additionally, they are one of several states requiring all 11th graders to take the ACT, SAT or some sort of mandatory college entrance exam. The requirements are part of a broader set of laws and regulations, Raising the Expectations for Education Outcomes Omnibus Act of 2012, passed by lawmakers.

Although the bill contains provisions such as ensuring all students entering kindergarten can read and write, giving $10K to teachers to relocate to poor and struggling schools as well as closely monitoring the progress of at risk students as early as elementary school throughout high school, the mandatory college application and test taking has ignited the most debate. Chief among the criticisms of the regulation is how students, especially those from poor families, will afford the exams and ultimately college. The issue of financing is not relative to students as D.C’s schools don’t even have enough funds to see out all aspects of the measure.


Teacher Recruiting and Retention

Submitted by George Nantwi on Thu, 03/22/2012 - 11:37pm.
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Fred’s recent post on Teach for America notes how most of their graduates tend to spend a year or two in the program and then go off to pursue other non-education related endeavors. This piece by the National Education Association (NEA) states that in the coming decades, the US will need to hire more new teachers as well as find new ways to retain ones already in the system. According to the article, four factors that will affect teaching recruiting is:

(1) a shrinking teacher force

(2) a growing student population

(3) a lack of diversity among teachers to match the diversity of their students

(4) a need for teachers in specific types of schools, geographic locations and subject areas

In addition to these, what are some other factors that can or will affect teacher recruiting and/or retention in the coming years?


Why are Analytics jobs hot? And how do you get one?

Submitted by George Nantwi on Thu, 03/08/2012 - 11:04am.
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As the EdLab continues to think about ways in which we can use data to inform the work and decisions we make, an upcoming event at Pace University offers a chance to hear from professionals who’ve worked with leading companies on how they got into the business analytics field and how they use data to inform the projects those companies eventually take on. Kaiser Fung, college relations chair of the INFORMS Metro NY Chapter, who are hosting the event, is a previous EdLab seminar guest who presented on statistical ideas not usually taught in statistics class. The details for the event are below and the flyer is also attached.

Anyone interested in attending? What are you interested in learning from the panelists?

Come listen, ask questions, and enjoy FREE FOOD.

Theme: "Why are Analytics jobs hot? And how do you get one?"

Date/Time: March 22, 2012 (Thursday), 6-8 pm


Company Cultures To Die For

Submitted by George Nantwi on Mon, 03/05/2012 - 11:12pm.
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This article highlights the seven companies with the best cultures to die for. Here is the rundown:

1. Google--Indoor and outdoor fitness areas, including bowling lanes, dance studios, a basketball court, a soccer field, tennis courts, a roller hockey rink, a putting green and more, free food for employees in 25 cafeterias, free Android smartphones, given as a holiday gift to employees, 18 weeks maternity leave and 12 weeks paternity leave for new parents.

2. Facebook--100% employee healthcare coverage and 50% dependent coverage, up to four months of paid parental leave, plus $4,000 baby cash for new parents, 21 days of paid vacation, unlimited sick days and 11 paid holidays annually and free on-site laundry and dry cleaning.

3. Zappos--100% healthcare coverage and 85% coverage for dependents and partners, 40% employee discount on, free breakfast, lunch, snacks and more onsite wellness, pet insurance, monthly team outings, concierge services and even nap rooms.


US Debt Infographic

Submitted by George Nantwi on Mon, 03/05/2012 - 1:15pm.
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One of the ideas that came out of the Development & Research meeting on UFR professional development videos and promotion was the EdLab creating digital and print infographics to highlight some aspect of the curriculum.

I found this infographic on the percentage of the US national debt on our country’s overall GDP through past presidential administrations. It interestingly starts with the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) through to the current Obama administration. Many of the social programs Americans enjoy today, e.g. social security (for how long we will enjoy this is open to debate), were created during FDR’s administration as part of his New Deal to reinvigorate America’s ailing economy following the Great Depression. The infographic also highlights the party in control of both the presidency and Congress during this time period (1940-2012). The idea there is to show periods of economic stability and recessions are not specific to one party or fiscal policy.


Apple's Milestone

Submitted by George Nantwi on Thu, 03/01/2012 - 1:32am.
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Earlier this week, Apple joined exclusive company when it became the fifth company in history to have its market value hit $500 billion. Exxon Mobil, Microsoft, General Electric and Cisco are the previous companies to hit the $500 billion market value plateau. Already the world's most profitable company, Apple's value is now higher than the GDP of countries such as Saudi Arabia and Sweden. With anticipation buzzing around the immediate announcement of the iPad 3 as well as rumors surrounding an iPhone 5 release later this year, how much can Apple be potentially valued when all is said and done?


Browser Wars

Submitted by George Nantwi on Wed, 02/29/2012 - 1:12am.
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Though I can't recall the last time I used Internet Explorer (IE), it still remains the most popular browser among web users, though Google Chrome recently and surprisingly surpassed Mozilla Firefox as number two in the browser chain of command. Chrome's challenge to IE is one of several wars Microsoft and Google are currently waging. Microsoft's search engine, Bing, is slowly chipping away at Google's monopoly on search engines. Which browser and search engines do you usually use and why?


High School Graduates' Perceptions of College

Submitted by George Nantwi on Mon, 02/27/2012 - 11:39pm.
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Despite the ongoing debate (in some small circles) about the need for high schoolers to skip college and jump into the real world, this infographic (see below) on a study of high school graduates by GOOD magazine suggests most still see college as an important step in achieving career goals.


US Supreme Court to Hear Case on Race Based Admissions

Submitted by George Nantwi on Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:37pm.
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The US Supreme Court agreed last week to hear whether University of Texas’ use of race in their admissions process is constitutional. The Court’s decision to hear the case adds to a heavy and what will prove a controversial docket of cases. The Court has agreed to hear cases on President Obama’s healthcare reform, illegal immigration, and voting rights, among others.

The case arose when a graduate of a Texas area high school sued the U. of Texas after her application for admission was rejected in 2008. U. of Texas confirms it uses race as one of the many factors in deciding applications to achieve its goal of creating a diverse campus. The plaintiff was eventually accepted to LSU and is scheduled to graduate from there this May. This raises the legal question of whether she has standing to even file suit in the first place since the Court’s decision will have no effect on where she will go to college and essentially renders the case moot. The larger constitutional question of using a race as part of admissions is probably the main reason the Court decided to take this case.


Live Blog: Google Analytics Knowledge Sharing

Submitted by George Nantwi on Fri, 02/24/2012 - 4:24pm.
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Manav Malhotra leads a knowledge sharing presentation on Google Analytics at the EdLab.

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