Weekly Roundup for December 9, 2011

Jess Tonn>      Top education stories in NYC this week: The New York Times reports that enrichments such as music and art are replacing recess in some NYC schools. Meanwhile, NYC was the only big city whose NAEP scores dropped this year, though the achievement gap seems to be narrowing.

>      Here’s hoping that the latest NAEP scores won’t exacerbate this problem: Two-thirds of teachers across the country say that subjects such as art, science and social studies are being crowded out of the school day, according to a survey commissioned by Common Core.

>      Digital learning is on the rise: More than half of districts have students in distance learning programs and college professors are using games in their classes as a way to stimulate learning.

>      I love this idea: John Merrow and his team at Learning Matters propose using “shared poetry” to connect kids to their community and teach them video production skills—all while “energizing the 80%” of Americans who do not have school-age children. Here’s their submission to the project, a Shel Silverstein classic:

Featured Friday Funding Opportunity:

Open Society Fellowship for Black Male Achievement
The Open Society Foundations and Echoing Green have established a new fellowship program for individuals dedicated to improving the life outcomes of black men and boys in the U.S. It is the first fellowship program of its kind that targets social entrepreneurs who are building innovative organizations in the field of black male achievement and generating new ideas and best practices in the areas of education, family and work.

Deadline: January 9

And now for something completely different:

The second annual TASC cookie bake-off—spearheaded by yours truly—will take place on December 21. As coordinator and official vote counter, I disqualify myself from baking, but I’ll throw this out there for any TASCer who may be listening: These gingerbread cookies, mega-chocolate chip cookies, and salty oatmeal cookies (but I use chocolate chips instead of raisins…and A LOT of them) are very popular in my house.