Weekly Roundup for May 25, 2012

Jess Tonn Graduation headshot>  Earlier this week, we blogged about media coverage of a new report that shows how proposed cuts to after-school and childcare will affect working parents and their kids. The full report is now available here (PDF 1.31 MB).

>  A record number of students—four for every available seat—applied to attend NYC charter schools next year, the New York Charter School Center reported this week.

> More high school students are enrolling in STEM courses and taking online classes, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Education.

>  What kind of internet connection will schools need to keep up with this rise in web-based instruction? Broadband speeds of 100 Mbps per 1,000 users, the State Educational Technology Directors Association claim.

>  The College Board unveiled its “Don’t Forget Ed” campaign aimed at “elevating the topic of education in the presidential campaign” this week. Education Sector’s Kris Amundson is underwhelmed.

>  You say “bullying prevention,” I say “censorship.” Before we call the whole thing off: The American Jewish Committee and the Religious Freedom Education Project/First Amendment Center released a new set of guidelines to help schools protect kids from bullying without limiting their First Amendment rights.

>  This is just plain cool: A group of Portuguese designers won an honorable mention in a contest called “Rooftops, Why Not?” for their idea to put schools on top of NYC skyscrapers.

>  Principal Rashid F Davis of Brooklyn’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School told Schoolbook that a longer school day is key to strengthening his students’ STEM skills.

>  On the opposite coast, what does the National Teacher of the Year Rebecca Mieliwocki of Burbank, Calif., think the school day should look like?

“I envision a hard-core [academic] bloc—four hours of math, science, social studies, English in the morning—then a two-hour fitness block; I’ve never seen so many kids who need exercise. And then an afternoon of hands-on enrichment, kids taking computers apart and putting [them] back together, kids filming movies, kids cooking. There has to be part of the day where they are learning by doing.”

>  Here’s one example of a program that’s helping kids learn by doing: YouthBuild was featured on PBS’s NewsHour this week.

Featured Friday Funding Opportunity:

Library Grant Program
These grants support libraries or organizations that serve economically or socially at-risk children in preschool through grade 8. Public libraries, school libraries and non-traditional libraries operated by 501(c)(3) agencies are eligible to apply.

Deadline: June 15

And now for something completely different:

Get out your cap and gown and strike up Pomp and Circumstance: It’s graduation season. For some of the best commencement speeches ever given, check out these picks on Slate.

And for Kurt Vonnegut’s sunscreen speech, check out Valerie Strauss’ list of the best graduation speeches never given.