Weekly Review: December 11th to December 17th

I am ambivalent when there are too many good things over the course of a week.

My attention is caught among trying to sift through all these different news articles and bring you some of the best that I can find. I want to share all the interesting things that I found but if my attention is strained trying to find them, your attention is just as strained because of the information with which you are trying to keep up yourself.

I hope that you will enjoy the articles that I have included here.

Do you have suggestions on how I can make the Weekly Review more interesting or more useful? Please comment below. I want you to enjoy the Weekly Review and get something out of it. I don’t want to be another aggregator that you ignore.

These Things Caught My Eye

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Weekly Review: October 30th to November 5th

by Matthew Koslowski on November 6, 2009
in Weekly Reviews

The Weekly Reviews are a lot of fun to write. I enjoy scouring the web for interesting articles and blog posts. But, all the same, the project had begun to become a unmanageable. There are so many websites and blogs to check out everyday. I had been afraid that I was going to miss something.

What I repeatedly missed was my own deadline. You may have noticed that the past two weeks I had postponed my Weekly Review until Saturday.

I have been working hard but I haven’t been working very smart. Then I remembered a quote from one of my favorite writers:

Novels are written in the same way that farms are made productive, or houses are kept clean, or baseball penant races are won: with steady work each day.
–Andre Dubus

Substitute “Weekly Reviews” for “Novels” and you get the same concept. Rather than gathering up work throughout the week and then trying to throw something together slapdash on Thursday night, starting this week I will be working on the Weekly Review throughout the week.

Thursday afternoon I spent some time setting up a feed reader through Google. Though I’m not quite sure how I feel about it yet — unlike Gmail, the posts disappear after you’ve read them unless you ask them to stay — but I am glad to consolidate many of my different websites into one place.

In addition to that, I’ve also setup Literature&Literacy on Feedburner.com. You can now subscribe to Literature&Literacy through an RSS Reader or through email.

These Things Caught My Eye

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Weekly Review: October 2nd to October 8th

Exploring back archives of interesting blogs is a wonderful idea. I came across a number of great essays on The Word Blog on boston.com. Anyone have any suggestions of good blogs about language, literature, or education? I am going to need to setup an RSS Reader…

Otherwise, it seemed like a slow week for news that interested me that had deep coverage. Some of the stories were too short, leaving me wondering for more. As we roll back our print media, we lose the ability to cover depth of different topics. Many things tantalized me. But the stories I found really fulfilling was one about imaginative play and its positive effects on early childhood behavior and education.

These Things Caught My Eye

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Children Left Behind: Statistics and Abstractions

by Matthew Koslowski on September 23, 2009
in Essays

In This Essay

No Child Left Behind and the Spirit of Democratic Education”, Why School? by Mike Rose
Monday Metaphor: Growth, Learning with Impact by John Spencer
“Why Our Standards-Based Grading Sucks”, Learning with Impact by John Spencer
“MCAS scores fall shy of target”, Boston Globe, by James Vaznis
“Charter schools see more attrition”, Boston Globe by James Vaznis
“The next chapter on education reform”, Boston Globe by Gov. Deval Patrick
“Critical thinking? You need knowledge”, Boston Globe by Diane Ravitch
“These test-score jitters are a sign of high standards”, Boston Globe

Ideals and Realities

I had some great conversations about education and public policy with a friend. She would take the pragmatic side of the argument while I would take the idealistic side. While I would speak of sweeping visions of what education should be, she would want specific plans on implementation.

Our arguments usually ended with me saying that so much depended on implementation, that what I thought could really have a great impact, and her saying that no implementation would be perfect and I needed to get my head out of the clouds.

Implementing High Stakes Testing

Last week saw the publication of the test scores for the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, or MCAS. Part of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993, this standardized test fulfills the requirements of No Child Left Behind.

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