Weekly Roundup for January 13, 2012

Kids from PS 188 in Manhattan enjoying the bilingual book "It's Bedtime, Cucuy! / ¡A La Cama, Cucuy!"

Jess Tonn>      Check out SchoolBook’s roundup of reactions to Mayor Bloomberg’s State of the City address. And if you follow NYC politics, take a couple minutes to watch the Mayor’s opening video (you’ll laugh! I promise!) featuring Irish step dancers from PS 59, an ExpandED School affiliate.

>      Two takes on charter school closings announced in NYC this week: Why a charter school organizer says they must be closed and why parents say they must be saved.

>      New York State received a B in Education Week’s annual Quality Counts report this year, the same grade we received last year, and Massachusetts passed us in the overall 50-state ranking, bumping us down to third. (Maryland held on to the top spot.)

>      We’re psyched to welcome two fabulous education groups to the Twittersphere this week: our partners at the Collaborative for Building After-School Systems (@CBASS_National) and ed-reformers NYCAN (@NY_CAN). P.S. Stay tuned for exciting announcements about a Jan. 24 Twitter chat on expanding learning time that we’re planning with @CBASS_National and @educationsector.

>      In Chicago, the school district released guidelines for how it would like schools to implement a longer school day, while parents continued to debate how long the school day should be.

>    A new report by the Association of American Colleges and Universities says higher ed isn’t doing enough to educate citizens, only worker bees. Are there lessons for K-12 in these findings?

>      John M. Bridgeland of Civic Enterprises proposes that we create a new Civilian Conservation Corps to help young people stuck in poverty—and to clean up our urban parks and waterways. Sounds like a good idea to this NYRP AmeriCorps alum.

>      Summer may seem like a distant memory right now, but you only have four weeks left to apply for the National Summer Learning Association’s 2012 Excellence in Summer Learning Award. If you’re looking for summer learning inspiration, especially when it comes to using technology to engage kids in learning, check out our partner Global Kids, one of last year’s winners.

>      January is National Mentoring Month, an annual event to honor individuals who are making a difference in kids’ lives every day. How will you thank the people who helped you?

>      How many times have you had to pry the remote control, your smart phone or iPad out of your little one’s grasp? Listen to this podcast to find out what that screen time is doing to your kid’s brain, and how to turn it into an educational experience.

>      I love the closing line from this Huffington Post article on how libraries offer more than books: “What is a library? It’s place to connect and create.”

Featured Friday Funding Opportunity:

Google Science Fair 2012
The Google Science Fair challenges students aged 13-18 to carry out a scientific investigation into a real-world problem or issue that interests them. The competition asks them to carry the investigation forward through rigorous experimentation, recording and conclusions.

Deadline: April 1

And now for something completely different:

Heads-up Mark Zuckerberg: Red harvester ants may be the next party to sue you for partial ownership of Facebook.

Researchers at Stanford University have found that red harvester ants communicate in methods comparable to human interactions on social networking sites. According to their findings: “Each ant communicates with small groups, while some individuals act as a hub and connect to thousands of other ants. As soon as they communicate or post something to their group of ants, many other individuals receive the information. These interactions are the primary variables that determine how a colony behaves.”