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.

 

Problems Facing Startups in the Middle East

Submitted by George Nantwi on Tue, 02/14/2012 - 12:16am.
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The optimism and euphoria that started the Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt early last year has given way to a harsh reality in places like Syria, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen. Amidst the uncertainty of the volatile region that is the Middle East, aspiring entrepreneurs are looking to recruit talented young people to join their startups. Most of the uprisings and protests in the region have been initiated and led by young people (Middle East has one of the highest youth populations in the world), whose list of grievances against long serving despots include a lack of employment and overall opportunities.

As expected, there is a lack of potential, eligible and willing candidates for the openings at the startups. The primary reason is the uncertainty and future of the region. With the government crackdown on protestors in Syria garnering worldwide condemnation coupled with some unrest in Egypt and Libya and a host of other diplomatic issues, the Middle East doesn’t seem an appealing place to many young people. A lack of mentors and model businesses in place for the aspiring entrepreneurs to draw inspiration from and complex local laws have all added to the barriers of a successful startup culture in the region.

 

The Iowa Caucus

Submitted by George Nantwi on Tue, 01/03/2012 - 5:12pm.
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The first official round of "voting" for the presidential elections getting under way tonight with the Iowa Caucus. Unlike other forms of elections such as primaries and local elections, caucuses, especially the one in Iowa, is very unfamiliar with the general public. This interesting piece from CNN look at the Iowa Caucus, which has a very old school feel to it.

 

2011: A Bad Year for Dictators

Submitted by George Nantwi on Fri, 12/30/2011 - 12:37am.
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The death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il wrapped up a very bad year for dictators and despots all across the globe.

Laurent Gbagbo-former World Bank economist turned politician who refused to give up power after losing in presidential elections in fall 2010. Was captured by rebel forces in April and is now on trial at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

Muammar Gaddafi-was one of the longest serving leaders in recent history (42 years) until he was moved out of office by a rebel led NATO supported uprising in August. Was captured and killed by rebels in October.

Hosni Mubarak-took power after assassination of then ruler Anwar Sadat in 1981 and ruled until nonviolent protests drove him out of power in February. Currently on trial for a host of charges including murder.

 

Best of: JoAnn Agnitti

Submitted by George Nantwi on Thu, 12/29/2011 - 12:25am.
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It was really difficult to find one specific blog of Jo's that really stood out to me. Most of her blogs don't follow one specific thing or theme and the blogs are usually informative, witty, funny, or all three. I chose, Trends in Ed: The King's Quandry, as my favorite of Jo's blogs because I feel the whole notion of rethinking what a college education means and its worth, especially considering its high costs in these uncertain economic times, was one of the big education stories of 2011 and will continue to be in the foreseeable future. Peter Thiel's idea of encouraging budding entrepreneurs to drop out of college to pursue their ventures was radical and controversial but yet inspiring and brave.

Trends in Ed: The King's Quandry

Once upon a time, there lived a sad king. He saw himself as a visionary but throughout the land, he was seen as a trouble-making loon. But, this is not why he was unhappy. For, you see, the king noticed something upsetting happening in his kingdom: The brightest young citizens in the land could not go to the “best” schools but yet, the students at said schools were seen as the smartest and most talented, regardless of actual faculties. “Ah,” said the king, “So, it is not the student who brings value to the school, but the school who gives the student value. Should not it be the other way around?”

 

Celebrities And The Presidency

Submitted by George Nantwi on Mon, 12/12/2011 - 11:52pm.
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A few summers ago, Daniel blogged about celebrities seeking political office in the wake of Wyclef Jean’s then bid for Haiti’s presidency. As we eventually found out, Wyclef Jean didn’t meet the requirements to even mount a serious campaign. Now Russian billionaire and owner of the soon to be Brooklyn Nets, Mikhail Prokhorov, has announced he will be challenging Vladimir Putin in next year’s presidential elections. All this amid a backdrop of widespread protest against Putin and his party for alleged cheating in recently completed parliamentary elections.

Soccer star George Weah lost out in presidential elections in war-torn Liberia four years ago and was one of the leaders behind the opposition movement in recent presidential elections, which they lost again. In Pakistan, cricket icon Imran Khan recently led a massive antigovernment protest fueling speculation he will seek a presidential bid in the foreseeable future.

 

Live Blog: Coming To Your School: The Classroom Economist

Submitted by George Nantwi on Fri, 12/02/2011 - 6:33pm.
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Demetri and I are attending a session by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Coming to Your School: The Classroom Economist.

This session seems particularly important to one of the concerns of the UFR curriculum by teachers, some of who claim they don't have the knowledge or expertise to teach about economics or economic language in the classroom. Economics is one of the many subjects that the UFR curriculum can be taught, along with US History, World History, Civics, Math and Social Studies.

 

Live Blog: Teaching About the Federal Budget, National Debt, and Budget Deficit: Findings From High School Teachers and Students

Submitted by George Nantwi on Thu, 12/01/2011 - 10:40am.
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Professor Anand Marri of Teachers College, Columbia University is presenting his paper, Teaching About the Federal Budget, National Debt, and Budget Deficit: Findings From High School Teachers and Students at the 2011 National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) Annual Conference.

 

NCSS 2011

Submitted by George Nantwi on Thu, 12/01/2011 - 10:32am.
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Demetri and I will be promoting the Understanding Fiscal Responsibility (UFR) curriculum over the next couple of days at the National Council for Social Studies Conference (NCSS) in Washington, D.C.

We took a 3AM Amtrak train and arrived in DC about 7:15. After a 10-15 minute trip to the hotel and a few minutes to get settled, we made our way over to the Convention Center to get registered and are now sitting in at Professor Anand Marri's paper session on Teaching UFR.

Follow us on Twitter: @UFRCurriculum, hashtag #NCSS11 or #NCSS2011 for updates on our presence at the conference.

 
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