Weekly Roundup for March 16, 2012

AmeriCorps member Rafiel Pastor and student Vanessa Benitez examine plant specimens at the Queens Botanical Garden.

Jess Tonn>   NYCAN has a new blogging fellowship for public school teachers, principals, parents, and students who want to “report from the front lines of education reform, giving an up-close and personal look at education policy as it affects what happens in the classroom and in life.” Apply here.

>   If you still don’t know much about Sal Khan, the creator of Khan Academy, check him out on 60 Minutes and in this recent Q&A with Education Week. When do you think my little digital native will be ready to watch her first Khan lesson?

>   Do you love TED videos? Then you’ll be psyched to hear that TED now has a YouTube channel of “lessons worth sharing,” TED-Ed. Cool stuff happening there.

>   Despite all this fabulous educational video content on the web, a recent study found that teens still watch about four hours of traditional TV a day.

>   Earlier this week, The Core Knowledge Foundation released encouraging results from their literacy pilot project in NYC, which Robert Pondiscio describes in The Answer Sheet blog as “a comprehensive literacy curriculum emphasizing phonics, coherent content knowledge, and oral and written language development across a wide range of subjects.” What do you think about their approach?

>   In The Boston Globe, Mayor Thomas Menino and EdVestors Executive Director Laura Perille reported on major investments and promising practices in arts education in Boston, noting that 14,000 more Boston students have access to the arts during school than they did three years ago.

>   Congrats to Mimi Yen, a Stuyvesant High School senior and Brooklyn resident, who won third place at this year’s Intel Science Talent Search. [And congrats to all the other non-NYC winners, of course!] Bob Wise of the Alliance for Excellent Education wrote this dispatch from the awards ceremony, saying “I’ve been to a lot of gala award banquets over the past decades; few have offered the hope and inspiration of this one.”

>   If you’re still feeling frustrated after reading this New York Times feature on the lack of diversity at Mimi’s school and other selective high schools in NYC, take a look at this SchoolBook article about a free tutoring program aimed at helping Black, Latino and poor students prepare for the city’s high school entrance exam. Could one of the program’s 8th graders be the 2016 Intel champ?

>   Happy AmeriCorps Week to our current TASC AmeriCorps team and the more than 2,400 members who have worked in our schools and programs since 2000. We couldn’t do what we do without you. Thank you.

Featured Friday Funding Opportunity:

Why Open Ed Matters
Earn up to $25,000 for producing a short video that explains the use and promise of free, high-quality open educational resources and describes the benefits and opportunities these materials create for teachers, students and schools.

Deadline: June 5

And now for something completely different:

Charissa recently sent me this video about one 20-year-old’s vision for his future, and if you’re not among the 15 million people who’ve already watched it on YouTube—and even if you are—spend the next two minutes watching, reading and listening to it. Simple, smart, inspiring. A good way to end the week.