Weekly Roundup for November 11, 2011

Jess Tonn>      Nick Kristof’s column usually is a must-read, but this one, filed from Vietnam, is especially so. Here’s an excerpt: “I wish we Americans, especially our politicians, could learn from [a young girl I met in Vietnam] that our long-term strength will depend less on our aircraft carriers than on the robustness of our kindergartens, less on financing spy satellites than on financing Pell grants.”

>      In honor of Election Day, Learning Matters asked ten education leaders to name America’s best “education President.” Who gets your vote?

>      Learning how to design a cell phone app—is there a club for that? Now there can be, thanks to sixth-grader Thomas Suarez. Somewhere, Steve Jobs is watching this TED talk and smiling.

>      We’re big fans of apps: CBASS and TASC are among the partners working with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS on an initiative to help young children develop early math and literacy skills using video, online games, mobile apps and off-line activities.

>      Good news for those of us who care about education in the Empire State: The New York Campaign for Achievement Now (NYCAN) is launching this month. Join their mailing list to get updates from New York’s “newest education movement.”

>      More evidence that we need to bring community educators into schools: In New York State, students of color make up almost half of the public school population, but teachers of color are only 16 percent of the teaching force. Researchers also have found that 55 percent of middle school teachers in New York City leave their school within three years, and are more likely to consider leaving their school when they have a long commute or are required to teach a new subject.

>      A longer school day in Chicago might not mean more time for gym after all, since the Board of Education is seeking a two-year waiver for Illinois high school phys. ed. requirements. The reason? They want more time to focus on core academics.

>      Education Sector’s Susan Headden challenged us to Think Differently About Time on Task this week, “because if we don’t increase learning opportunities, we will increase learning gaps.” Ain’t that the truth?

Featured Friday Funding Opportunity:

NFL Youth Football Fund Grassroots Program
The NFL provides non-profit, neighborhood-based organizations with financial and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety and accessibility of local football fields. Applicants must be located within NFL Target Markets and serve low- to moderate-income communities.

Deadline: December 16

And now for something completely different:

Thanks to my fellow blogger Charissa Fernandez for the heads up on this one: In addition to being Veteran’s Day and one of the most Facebook-ed dates ever, did you know that 11/11/11 is also The Grandest Meeting of the Corduroy Appreciation Club? I’d be sporting my cords today (11 wale, straight leg, extra long inseam), but they’re in the wash, having been worn twice already this week. But I’ll have no excuse to wear blue jeans on the day of the next meeting, 1/11/12—it doesn’t fall on a TASC casual Friday.