News - February 2010

10 Ways Teachers Make a Difference

Educated individuals tend to be happier and healthier, and study after study has found that an educated populace leads to a stronger economy. The fact is, teachers make a difference. To show our appreciation, we here at would like to take a moment to reflect on some of the ways in which teachers make a difference in our world.

10 Ways to Use Your Education to Give Back

Yesterday we wrote about several of the reasons that we're thankful for having an education here at Today we'd like to share a few ideas on how you can use that education to give back to your community.

110 Years of Awarding Excellence: The Nobel Foundation Announces the 2010 Nobel Laureates

In 2010, the Nobel Foundation is celebrating 110 years of recognizing world class innovation in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace (the economics prize was added later). Read on to learn more about this year's distinguished Nobel Laureates.

30 Music, Movie and Book Search Engines

Although Google suffices for most searches, there are many specialized engines that work even better when you're searching for music, movies and books online. These engines can help you find free files, recommendations, price comparisons and much more. Here are 30 music, movie and book search engines worth exploring.

5 Surprisingly Well-Educated Movie Stars

Sometimes actors have to pretend to be really intelligent, and other times they carry on as though there's not much going on upstairs. In reality actors, like many other professionals, exhibit a wide range of formal education. Here's a few that really took to book learning.

5 Surprisingly Well-Educated Rock Stars

All the fame and money that people typically associate with being a rock star comes with its down side. According to popular stereotypes, most musicians are poorly educated, inarticulate party animals who luckily stumbled into a glamorous career path. Here's five rockers who buck that train of thought.

A Call for Quality

A recent LEAP survey by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) indicates that employers are dissatisfied with the quality of the education and preparation being offered by our nation's postsecondary schools. In response, the AAC&U has issued a statement calling for an increase in quality as well as quantity in American higher education.

A Global Crisis: New Report Looks at the Effects of the Economic Recession on European Universities

The European University Association recently released a report on the impact the economic crisis has had on financing for national universities across Europe. The report reflects challenges in both public and private funding for European research and higher education.

A New No Child Left Behind?

Initially one of the bipartisan hallmarks of George W. Bush's presidency, 2001's No Child Left Behind bill (officially the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) has come to be synonymous with the previous decade's failings in education reform. Now, President Barack Obama has called for an overhaul of the much-maligned policy. What are Obama's new plans for the bill, and when does he want this done?

A Recent Discovery Reveals a Less Poetic Side of Walt Whitman

Biographers have previously noted acclaimed poet Walt Whitman's time as a low-level bureaucrat for the U.S. Government. Thanks to a new discovery of documents in the National Archives, we now have physical artifacts from this more mundane sphere of Whitman's work as a writer.

A World of Learning: Speaks With the CEO of Room to Read

Room to Read promotes literacy and gender equality in education among children worldwide. The organization has built reading rooms throughout Asia and parts of Africa, with plans to expand African programming in 2011. recently spoke with Erin Ganju, CEO and co-founder of Room to Read, about literacy education as a basic human right.

All-Star Chefs Drive Demand for Cooking Schools...But Is that Good for Students?

The life of top chefs can seem pretty glamorous when they're seen on television shows. But are these shows giving future culinary students the wrong impression of what the field is like?

America Celebrates National Teacher Appreciation Week

National Teacher Appreciation Day is May 4, but educational organizations are celebrating throughout the week. Read on to discover more about the history and traditions of National Appreciation Week and National Teacher Day.

America Gives Back: U.S. Cities and States With the Highest Volunteer Rates

It's Thanksgiving week, and what better way to give thanks than to volunteer in your community? Read on to discover the places that have America's highest volunteering rates.

American Library Association Announces 2010 Winners

The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the winners of America's top children's and young adult book awards, including the Newbery, Caldecott and Printz.

American Universities Abroad Double as Diplomats

In a recent editorial for 'The Chronicle of Higher Education,' American University of Iraq at Sulaimani chancellor Athanasios Moulakis expounded on the ways that United States universities abroad may actually be our country's best export. What services can American schools render in foreign lands that government officials can't?

Americans Believe Education Is More Important But Less Available

A joint study released earlier this week cited colliding trends in the American public's view of higher education. A college education is thought to be more necessary in today's workplace than ever before, but less available to potential students.

Apples to Oranges: Are PISA Tests Fair?

The Program for International Assessment (PISA), administered every three years, is an evaluation of student learning in dozens of countries across the globe. While many view the assessment as the best means by which to compare countries' educational systems, some see flaws in the exam and how it is administered.

April Is National Autism Awareness Month

It's believed that about 1.5 million Americans are affected by autism. National Autism Awareness Month is intended to promote understanding of the disorder and advocate for those who it affects. Learn more about autism and how you can educate others about the disorder.

April is National Poetry Month

Booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools, poets and poetry lovers across the country come together every April to observe National Poetry Month. Read on to learn more about the ways they are celebrating and to find out how you can join in.

Are State Budget Cuts Affecting the Quality of Public Higher Education?

As we approach the end of America's second year in economic recession, major cuts are being made in public service funding all over the country and education hasn't escaped the chopping block. New York is now the latest state to report major belt-tightening for public education: Governor David Paterson just announced a 4.5% cut to the state's education budget. These cuts have negatively impacted the quality of public higher education across the country.

Back to (Better) Basics

Schools are the primary educators of American children, but community organizations also have an important role to play in learning. These agencies provide extra instruction and programs that schools aren't able to offer. Learn about Better Basics, an organization working to improve literacy in Birmingham, Alabama.

Being Focused Can Make You Happier

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's idea of 'flow' has become an important concept for those looking to improve productivity. A recent study suggests that sustained focus not only helps you get more done - it can also make you happier. Learn more about this research and how you can improve focus.

Black Leaders in Education

Today, children of all races can attend any public school in the United States, and the practice of racial discrimination in admissions to private institutions is officially prohibited. Unfortunately, it wasn't always this way. It took a long struggle for racial equality to be established in education. Learn about some of the individuals who led the way.

Blacklisted Books Return to Tunisia and Egypt

As with most oppressive regimes, the recently deposed leaders of both Egypt and Tunisia limited the books available to their citizens. In the wake of political turmoil, though, things have begun to change. Reading material previously banned by leaders has started to make a comeback in shops and street corners across both countries.

Bonus Program for Teachers Eliminated in NYC

A recent study has revealed that a bonus program for New York City teachers has been ineffective and because of that the program is now being eliminated.'s Education Insider takes a look at the program and what went wrong.

Books and Beyond: How Public Libraries Build Collections

There are more than 16,600 public libraries in the United States, and filling these information centers with materials is not cheap. Recent data from the American Library Association (ALA) reveals that public libraries annually purchase over $1.6 billion in print, audiovisual and electronic resources. But just how do librarians determine which materials will fill library shelves and servers?

British Higher Education's Market Economy

Britain's higher education system has seen dramatic changes in policy since the coalition government took office last year. Funding cuts and increased tuition costs have the mostly publicly-financed higher education system moving in a market-driven direction. As an indication of this change in direction, last month the government released a series of controversial proposed reforms.

Building Libraries, Developing Minds: Speaks With the Riecken Foundation

The Riecken Foundation has been promoting literacy and access to knowledge in Central America since 2000. Through their community libraries, the Foundation has brought books, newspapers, the Internet and other resources to over 60 small communities in Honduras and Guatemala. recently spoke with William Cartwright, current president and CEO of the Foundation.

California Nursing Programs Get Grant Fund Boost

California recently awarded $2.7 million in grants to 19 postsecondary nursing programs through the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD).'s Education Insider recently spoke with David Byrnes, Public Information Officer at the OSHPD, about their grant program.

Campus Performing Arts Centers Expose Community to the Arts

The best performing arts venue in your town may be at your local college campus. Campus performing arts center don't just feature student performers, they also frequently host visiting professionals. Added bonus: performances on college campuses are often less expensive than at other venues.

Can Merit-Based Pay for Educators Work?

Whether teacher pay should be tied to student performance is a question being debated among educators nationwide. Viewed by some as an essential step toward education reform, the concept is abhorrent to many others who work in the nation's public schools.

Can We All Learn to Think Like Banksy?

One of the world's most recognizable and talked-about artists got his start by breaking the law. While we certainly can't condone the vandalism that characterizes much of his work, Banksy is nonetheless an innovative thinker who has managed to secure broad popularity, seemingly without even really trying. Is there anything we can learn from analyzing his success?

Can You Put a Price on Good Teaching?

Economist Eric Hanushek has spent years researching education and the economy. He's recently come up with an (admittedly crude) formula that claims to pin down the monetary value of individual teachers as it relates to the United States' gross domestic product (GDP). Some professionals, though, question Hanushek's method of measurement, claiming it to be too narrowly focused to really judge the good a teacher does.

Celebrate! It's National Arts and Humanities Month

October is the time to explore your cultural history with National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM). Read on to learn more about the history of this annual celebration and how you can get involved.

Celebrating Deaf History Month

Since 1988, March 13 - April 15 has marked the celebration of Deaf History Month in the United States. The bounding dates on both sides reflect milestones in the history of deaf culture, from the first deaf president being elected at Gallaudet University to the establishment of the American School of the Deaf, the first public school of its kind, in 1817. Pretty much everyone knows the inspiring story of Helen Keller, but here are some other key figures in deaf history.

Celebrating Public Radio Day: The History of Public Radio

Happy Public Radio Day! What better way to commemorate this day than a little history? Keep reading to learn a little bit more about this popular public service.

Centuries-Old Voynich Manuscript Puzzles Scholars

Readers of 'The Da Vinci Code' who enjoy puzzling out mysteries can feast on another literary cryptogram: The Voynich Manuscript, recently discovered to be more than 500 years old, is considered by many to be the most mysterious book in the world. What is it that makes this medieval artifact so enigmatic?

Chicago Public Schools CEO Choice Gets Mixed Reviews

Last week, Chicago mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel announced who he would appoint to head the city's public schools. Jean-Claude Brizard comes to the job with a reputation for being a reformer. His policies and leadership style, however, have been called into question by many observers.

Cities Threaten to Lay Off All Public School Teachers

Providence Public School District made headlines in February when the school board voted to send termination letters to every one of its 1,900 teachers. This month, Detroit Public Schools followed suit, sending out nearly 5,500 layoff notices. While not all teachers in these cities will actually lose their jobs, massive layoffs are expected in public schools - and in districts throughout the country.

Civics Survey: How College Is Impacting Americans' Beliefs

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) just released their fourth major study on the relationship between higher education and civic knowledge. According to the study, higher learning is influencing Americans' views on polarizing social issues, but civic knowledge is exerting an even broader influence on American opinion.

Climbing Tuition Discount Rates Come at High Cost for Colleges

A recently released report by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) shows that tuition discount rates have reached record highs in private nonprofit colleges across the country. However, the increase in institutional grants is forcing many schools to slash budgets in other areas, including staff hiring and faculty salaries.

Closing Hispanic Completion Gap Deemed Crucial For Meeting College Attainment Goals

A new report by the American Enterprise Institute points out that raising graduation rates for Latino students, a group that has the lowest six-year graduation rate, is crucial for meeting the President's college completion goal for 2020. Their analysis of national education data shows that it may be possible to achieve this by changing institutional practices.

Coalition Calls for Equal Treatment for Non-Tenure Faculty

The Coalition on the Academic Workforce just released a brief calling on colleges and universities to recognize that they have 'one faculty' and to offer equal benefits and better professional treatment to professors off the tenure track.

College Degree Not a Magic Ticket Out of Poverty

A recent study by the Institute for Higher Education Policy found that many young adults with a postsecondary degree are still living in poverty. The report examines the population of low-income American young adults, hoping to shed light on how higher education can improve economic outcomes for students in poverty.

Colleges Face Tax Challenges From the IRS

The IRS released findings last week from their 2008 survey of U.S. colleges and universities. The survey scrutinized college finances, looking for discrepancies between their financial activities and what they report to the government. The agency found a number of compliance issues that have already led them to begin auditing over 30 institutions.

Columbus Day: Celebration and Controversy

Columbus Day is observed on the second Monday in October every year to honor the anniversary of the 'discovery' of America on October 12, 1492. Given recent discoveries, however, one has to ask: is celebrating Columbus Day appropriate, or are we just too lazy to do away with tradition?

Community and Collaboration: Speaks with the Authors of Zora and Me

Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon recently won the Coretta Scott King New Talent (Author) award for 'Zora and Me,' a novel that reimagines Zora Neale Hurston as a young girl. caught up with them to find out how the idea for the book was born and what it's like to write with your best friend.

Community Colleges in Crisis

Whether you want to become a dental hygienist, earn continuing education credits as a nurse or build a stepping stone to a 4-year degree, community college may be the place for you. However, the economic problems over the past few years have put a major strain on these schools when they're most needed.

Comparisons in the Global Classroom

Americans performed abysmally in reading and math on the latest PISA, a standardized test administered to young students around the globe. By contrast, students from Shanghai outscored every other country even though this is their first time participating in the test. Speaking to The New York Times, Education Secretary Arne Duncan called the results 'a challenge to get better.'

Congress Considers Expanding Troops to Teachers Program

This fall, Congress introduced a bill to expand Troops to Teachers, a program designed to help America's veterans find new careers in education. The newly expanded program will help young vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan find civilian careers in education.

Controversial Changes Proposed to British Higher Education

The United Kingdom's public finances have been hit hard by the global economic turmoil of the past few years. The British government has adopted austerity measures in response to the crisis. One area being considered for cutbacks is the nation's public education system. A plan announced in October of 2010 has led to widespread criticism and highly publicized student protests.

Controversial NYC Schools Chancellor Cathleen Black Resigns

When Cathleen Black was appointed chancellor of New York City public schools last year, many observers were critical of the hire. Citing her lack of education experience, analysts suggested she was ill suited for the role. Earlier this month, critics were proven right when Black was forced to resign after only a few short months on the job.

Could Ms. Frizzle be a D.C. Teacher?

Washington, D.C.'s new teacher evaluation system IMPACT has made its results felt across the district, letting go of hundreds of educators who failed to meet its standards. We ask - how would famous fictional teachers stand up to its scrutiny?

Cyberbullying: A National Epidemic

Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi's suicide has brought media scrutiny to cyberbullying. While many people associate cyberbullying with middle and high school, Tyler's death reveals that higher ed students are also vulnerable to this form of mistreatment. Learn more about cyberbullying and how technology can be used to support - rather than harm - students.

Department of Ed Being Sued Over Gainful Employment Regulation

New U.S. Department of Education regulations designed to make sure students are being prepared for employment after graduating college are being met with opposition from institutions that feel the Department is overstepping its authority. The issue has now been sent to the courts to decide.

Details of Final Student Aid Bill Revealed

After long delays, Congressional Democrats finally settled on the details of the student aid bill, partnering it with the healthcare bill to help ensure passage of healthcare reform. Marked with a lot of compromise, the bill still managed to end bank-based federal loan distribution.

Detroit Set to Close Half of City Schools

A budget gap of $327 million has forced Detroit Public Schools officials to propose massive operational cuts. A recent plan approved by the Michigan Department of Education includes closing 70 of Detroit's 142 schools by 2013.

Dewey Decimal System vs. Library of Congress: What's the Difference?

Today is Dewey Decimal Day, an occasion celebrated among many librarians and book lovers throughout the world. For proponents of the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) system, though, it's time to reawaken the good-natured feud between the two library categorization systems. But what's the diff, really, between them?

Did University Endowments Contribute to the Financial Crisis?

A new report by the Tellus Institute shows that risky investment practices by wealthy colleges and universities jeopardized institutional endowments and led to a negative ripple effect in local communities in the form of job losses and struggling businesses.

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Being creative is more than just being artistic - it also refers to being able to create something original and useful. Many schools don't actively encourage students' creativity, due in part to the cookie-cutter nature of state education standards. However, some innovative educational approaches may be changing the landscape - read on to learn more.

Do the Write Thing: It's NaNoWriMo!

Students, writers, everyday people - it's time to realize your literary dreams with National Novel Writing Month! Join us this November for 'thirty days and nights of literary abandon.'

Do What You Love or Love What You Do?

Finding the right career path can be challenging, and many people get hung up on the pressure to 'do what you love.' Read on to discover why that's not always the best approach and learn about alternative ways to build a rewarding career.

Doing Good vs. Doing Well: Microfinance and Accessibility

Microfinance is a lending practice in which small amounts of money are lent to individuals - usually women - who are poor. The loans, typically under $200, serve as capital that people can use to start small businesses. At one time, it was largely humanitarian nonprofits that engaged in this form of lending. In recent years, however, many for-profit microfinance companies have appeared in the developing world. But is it possible to do good for others while also doing well financially?

Early Reports on Stimulus Funding for Education Are In

Nearly $100 billion in education funding has been distributed by the U.S. Department of Education under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. At the end of October, the federal government went public with the quarterly reports from this program. The reports offer an early look into how states are using the stimulus funds to support financially struggling schools.

Easy as Pi: Ways to Celebrate Pi Day

3.14159265… Math lovers out there will recognize this number as pi, a mathematical constant that's as delicious as, well, pie. Learn more about this special number and how you can celebrate Pi Day today, 3.14. (Don't forget to give a shout out at 1:59!)

Ed Tech News: Lecture Capture Goes Open Source

OpenCast, an education technology collective, has released a new open source lecture capture system called Matterhorn 1.0. Although there are non-negligible costs associated with implementation and maintenance, this nominally free software stands poised to compete with commercial giants such as Tegrity and Panopto in the burgeoning lecture capture market.

Education Groups Lobby to Keep Student Healthcare Costs Down

Last week, the American College Health Association (ACHA) and the American Council on Education (ACE) sent a letter to Congress warning that the Senate's healthcare bill could dramatically raise the cost of health insurance for college students.

Education Initiatives Round Out President's Proposed Budget

Earlier this week, President Obama announced his proposed budget for 2012. The spending plan is characterized by cost-cutting in some 200 federal programs, but education has mostly avoided the chopping block. Learn about some of the education initiatives the president has targeted for funding.

Education Linked to Heart Disease and Cardiovascular Health

For the first time, researchers have linked higher education with heart disease and stroke around the world. They found that while formal education leads to better cardiovascular health in high-income countries, it seems to have the opposite correlation in many low-income and developing countries.

Education: An International Human Right - Speaks With the Kilgoris Project

In honor of Universal Human Rights Month, recently spoke with Caren McCormack, cofounder of The Kilgoris Project. Read on to learn what she has to say about educating children in some of the poorest parts of the world.

Elinor Ostrom Becomes First Woman to Win the Nobel in Economic Science

Elinor Ostrom became the first woman honored with the Nobel Prize for Economic Science. Ostrom teaches at Indiana University, Bloomington and will share her prize with Oliver Williamson.

Examining Student Retention: Study Links Drop-Out Rates to High Numbers of Adjunct-Taught Courses

A study published recently in the journal Educational Policy found that students who take large numbers of courses taught by part-time faculty in their first year are less likely to return as sophomores. However, institutionally-specific findings suggest that the underlying issue may be one of administrative support.

Explore 2010's National Book Award Finalists

Since 1950, the National Book Awards have recognized American authors for outstanding literary achievement. Last week, finalists for the 2010 awards were released. Take a look to see whether any of your favorite reads from the last year are represented. You might also find some titles to add to your reading list.

Express Yourself: Celebrate National Poetry Month

O Captain! My Captain! April is National Poetry Month. Established in 1996, the occasion represents an opportunity for poets and poetry lovers of all persuasions to express their love of verse. Learn how you can join this literary affair.

Fairer Access: What British Charities are Doing for Education Accessibility

The effect of social inequity on education access is a problem familiar to many learners around the globe. A charitable organization in the United Kingdom, though, has come up with a pretty solid plan for sending economically disadvantaged students to universities. What can the rest of the world learn from their example?

Federal Report Shows Some Increases in College Enrollment, But Are They Enough?

The National Center for Education Statistics recently released the '2010 Condition of Education.' The report shows that as overall enrollment in postsecondary institutions grows, women will continue to account for a disproportionate share of college students. While increases in total enrollment are a good thing, some experts worry that the numbers aren't climbing fast enough.

Feds Scrutinize Department of Education's Oversight of Special Funding for Minority-Serving Institutions

The Government Accountability Office recently released a report highlighting misuses of Titles III and V funds at minority-serving institutions. The report questions the Department of Education's oversight of special funding programs and makes policy recommendations to improve the administration process.

Fiction Squared: Great Books Starring Great Books

Lovers of literature, take note: These novels don't just adapt classic works, they transport them to a whole new world. From revisionist histories to literary mash-ups to detective novels weaving in and out of classic plots, these books will give you a new perspective on your favorite timeless tales.

Finding a Balance Between Freedom and Job Security: Study Explores Contingent Faculty's Experiences Working Off the Tenure Track

Researchers at the University of Michigan's Center for the Education of Women recently released a study exploring the work environments of non-tenure track faculty. They found that while these professors have a passion for teaching and enjoy many of the freedoms of working off the tenure track, they also desire greater job security and support from college administrations.

Finnish Education: What the U.S. Can Learn

After performing in the top tier of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) the past ten years, Finland has developed a reputation for having one of the world's most successful education systems. Justin Snyder at The Hechinger Report recently spoke to the Minister of Education for Finland to find out just what educators there are doing right.

First Draft of Common Standards Released

The Common Core Standards Initiative released the first public draft of their grade-by-grade academic standards this week. The document describes the skills that all American K-12 students should have in mathematics and English to prepare them for college and the workplace. The standards will be open for public comment through April 2.

First Round of Race to the Top Winners Announced

Education Secretary Arne Duncan just announced the first winners in the Race to the Top competition. He surprised everyone by choosing only two states for the first disbursement of federal funds rewarding educational innovation.

Foreign Enrollment Slows at U.S. Colleges and Universities

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently released a study indicating that the enrollment of international students at American colleges slowed dramatically between 2008 and 2009. The organization predicts that continuing economic problems here and abroad may continue to drag down foreign enrollment in the coming years.

FreeRice: Feed the World While You Study

FreeRice is a United Nations World Food Program website that donates rice to hungry people every time visitors answer a trivia question correctly. Find out how you can get a free education from this site and work to end world hunger at the same time.

From 'Stand and Deliver' to 'Waiting for Superman': Education in Film

'Waiting for Superman' is a documentary examining the state of the American public educational system - and it's not a pretty picture. Fictional films about schools and education are generally uplifting, but this nonfiction depiction is sobering. Learn more about how schools and teachers are portrayed in American film.

Generation Me: Study Finds College Students Lack Empathy

Are today's college students narcissists? Watch the video to find out!

Get Involved: College Students Raise Money For Haiti

Last week, Stanford and Partners in Health (PIH) launched a national college fundraising competition for Haiti. With Dartmouth leading the pack, the effort has raised over $200,000 in 10 days.

Girls Dominate Google Science Fair

The Google Global Science Fair is an annual competition among students aged 13-18. Students can compete across a variety of categories, including physics, electronics and food science. This year, girls from the U.S. took the top honors among each of the three age groups. Read on to learn about their innovative winning projects.

Government Forum Emphasizes the Need to Bring University Research to the Market

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce met yesterday with the presidents of many leading American colleges to discuss ways to improve the role of universities in our economy. The forum focused on accelerating the translation of university research from academia to the marketplace.

Grim Illiteracy Statistics Indicate Americans Have a Reading Problem

Contrary to what some may think, literacy goes beyond the simple ability to read and write. The 1998 U.S. Workforce Investment Act includes computational abilities necessary for societal and job functionality along with English reading, writing and speaking proficiency in its definition of literacy. Though some statistics report a high rate of literacy in the U.S., others paint a less rosy picture.

Hidden Gems of Public Radio

Continuing our celebration of public radio, we bring you a list of some fantastic, but perhaps underappreciated, public radio programs. Hopefully you'll find something new to listen to!

Higher Education Plays Growing Role in Economic Development

The Rockefeller Institute released a report recently showing that colleges and universities are taking an increasingly active role in states' economic development. The study shows that universities are going beyond their traditional research function with efforts as varied as business consulting, job training and housing rehabilitation.

History Re-Imagined: Great New Reads in Historical Fiction

What was it like to live with the Brönte family? Who was the real Catherine de Medici behind the crown? How did women live in Medieval England? People love historical fiction because it offers vivid, albeit fictional, answers to questions about which scholars can only speculate. In fact, the genre of historical fiction is so popular that it's become almost as large as history itself! We decided to focus on five great reads in historical fiction from the past year.

House Education Committee Approves Merit Pay for Teachers

The House Education Policy Council approved a controversial bill on Monday that will tie teacher pay to student performance rather than tenure. Supporters of the legislation say that it will reward good teachers. Those who oppose it argue that it targets teachers and puts too much focus on test scores.

How a Government Shutdown Might Impact Education

Partisan disputes over budgeting issues threatened to 'shut down' the government late last week. Fortunately, Congress and President Obama were able to come to an agreement, keeping the government funded and fully operational for the time being. However, there's no guarantee that this problem won't recur at some point in the future. What impact would a government shut down have on education?

How Canada Is Overcoming Education Obstacles

Recent findings by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), a global evaluation of academic performance, show that Canada ranks in the top 10 for student scores in reading, science and math. This success comes in spite of the considerable challenges Canadian schools face in educating youth.

How Could the Debt Ceiling Affect US Education?

The debt ceiling deal made by Congress earlier this month preserved the federal Pell Grant program and avoided disaster in higher education institutions across the country, for now. However, the deal demands a high price from grad students, and leaves room for more spending cuts in education in the future.

How Do I Love My Library: Let Me Count the Ways

Though many use February 14th to observe Valentine's Day, Australia celebrates another kind of love: that between a nation and her libraries. For several years in Australia the 14th has marked Library Lovers Day, a promotional campaign designed to make citizens aware of these tremendous resources. People all over the world can get into the spirit by taking time to reflect on some of the many advantages provided by their public libraries. Here are a few of them.

How Educated Are American City-Dwellers? New Study Reports on Educational Attainment in U.S. Metropolitan Areas

The Brookings Institute recently released their report on 'The State of Metropolitan America.' Noting the relationship between higher education, economic prosperity and high standards of living, the study includes a chapter exploring the educational status of adults in American cities and their surrounding suburbs.

How Materials for the Arts Helps Teachers

As budgets get tighter and tighter, some teachers are seeking creative ways to get badly needed supplies. In New York City, schools can get assistance from the non-profit organization Materials for the Arts (MFTA).

How the YMCA Academy is Redefining 'Physical' Education

Canada's YMCA Academy recognizes that not all students learn the same way. For students whose learning needs aren't being addressed in traditional classrooms, the YMCA Academy's small classes and hands-on approach to learning provides an innovative and fun alternative.

How Well Can Christian Colleges Teach Liberal Arts?

In a recent 'Philanthropy Daily' editorial called 'Illiberal Education and the 'New College' Problem,' author Naomi Schaefer Riley wonders whether some newer, small Christian schools can truly deliver a liberal arts education, regardless of their purported mission. Can a school so enmeshed in the philosophy of the religious right really be considered a beacon of liberal arts?

I Can Read, That Means I'm Literate, Right? Wrong!

Many people have the impression that being literate suggests an ability to read and write text in print. In fact, literacy is a multifaceted concept, one whose understanding has changed considerably over time. On this International Literacy Day, learn more about what it means to be literate.

Immigrant Students Return to Alabama Schools in Face of Recent Crackdown

In Alabama, the crackdown is on: as part of its tough stance on immigration, the state is requiring public schools to report the immigration status of students starting September 1, 2011. Alabama is the first state to enact such legislation. With the new law looming are the numbers of potentially illegal immigrants, mostly Hispanic, diminishing? Most schools, Education Insider finds, are reporting a surprising trend.

Instructional Outsourcing a Growing Trend on University Campuses Across the Country

While outsourcing at higher education institutions is not unheard of - food services and bookstore management, for example, are routinely outsourced at many colleges and universities - instructional outsourcing is relatively new and largely untested.'s Education Insider examines why this type of outsourcing might be done and the positive and negative impact and connotations related to the practice.

Introducing the 2011 Youth Media Awards Winners

The American Library Association has announced the winners of the 2011 youth media awards. These include the Newberry, Caldecott, Printz and Coretta Scott King prizes, as well as awards for outstanding children's illustration, videos and audiobooks.

It's National Book Month: Join the Celebration

What would education be without books? Whether you're a student, librarian or just a reading enthusiast, don't miss this celebration of National Book Month.

It's National Massage Therapy Awareness Week!

Did you know that there are more than 80 forms of massage? Since it's National Massage Therapy Awareness Week, why not take a little time to learn more about this increasingly popular practice for wellness. Read on to learn how massage can improve your health - and how you might become a massage therapist.

It's Universal Human Rights Month: Spotlight on Education

December is Universal Human Rights Month. Each year at this time people around the world promote the importance of maintaining our inalienable individual liberties. Learn more about this celebration and why education is a fundamental human right that all people deserve.

January is National Mentoring Month

Has a mentor made a difference in your life? Celebrate that person today, Thank Your Mentor Day, and for the rest of National Mentoring Month. In honor of all the great mentors out there, explores the important role these individuals play and shares how you can become a mentor.

JFK's Vision: The Peace Corps Then and Now

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps, a government agency dedicated to promoting peace and friendship around the world through volunteerism. Learn about the beginnings of the Peace Corps and the important work it's doing today.

Le Critique: New Book Attacks French Educational System

Last fall, Peter Gumbel published 'They Shoot Schoolchildren, Don't They?' - a book criticizing the French education system as rigid, intimidating and unresponsive to students' needs. The book has sparked controversy throughout France and the U.K.

Leaders and Laggards: States Issued Report Cards on Educational Innovation

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce just released their 2009 'Leaders and Laggards' report. Co-authored by the liberal Center for American Progress and conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the report takes a close look at how American states are innovating - or not - in the field of education.

Leaders in Literacy: Speaks With the Director of SCALE

The Student Coalition for Action in Literacy Education (SCALE), based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, organizes and supports student-run literacy programs at colleges nationwide. recently caught up with Executive Director Megan McCurley to speak about literacy challenges in the U.S. and what college students can do to help.

Leading by Example: Report Finds That Some Institutions Have Closed the Racial Gap in College Completion Rates

Nationally, a strong gap persists between white and racial and ethnic minority graduation rates at U.S. colleges and universities. But a recent analysis of college completion data by The Education Trust reveals that many institutions have closed the gap, while others are still failing to serve the needs of Hispanic and African American students.

LEGO Helps Astronauts Teach From Space

LEGO and space. Two pretty cool things that are likely to appeal to kids of all ages. As part of a partnership between NASA and LEGO, space and those fun colored bricks are closer than ever before.

Libraries in Crisis: What Budget Cuts Mean for CA Libraries

With California facing an urgent budget crisis, Governor Jerry Brown has proposed drastic funding cuts across the board. At the top of the chopping block are California libraries, which are expected to see a 100 percent cut in state funding. Library advocates fear that this will mean the end of many essential services.

Libraries on Life Support: Funding Cuts Threaten Services

This week, we've examined how libraries provide services in communities across the country, illuminating the important role of libraries in our society. We close the week with a somber look at how cuts in funding nationwide are putting libraries in peril.

Living in America's Most Literate Cities

Central Connecticut State University recently released their annual list of the most literate cities in America. Read on to cross-reference them with the American Institute for Economic Research's list of top college destinations and find out where the best schools are for literature lovers.

Looking Ahead: International Education Week 2009

From November 16-20, people all over the world are celebrating International Education Week 2009.

Love Science? Take a Picture of It!

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the 'Earth Science Picture of the Day' website, NASA invites high school students to submit images that explain the science of the Earth. Students submitting the top five entries will win a hi-def camcorder for their classrooms.

Measure What You Treasure: What Does School Testing Really Tell Us?

Critics of public education have asserted that American schools are failing children and in need of reform. Many experts have for years advocated the power of testing to help raise standards and improve teacher accountability. But one education advocate suggests the emphasis on testing is the wrong approach for improving schools.

Mexican Schools Opening Branches in the U.S. as Families Fleeing Violence Settle in America

Kidnappings. Bodies dumped in remote areas. Severed heads found along highways. The drug- and gang-related violence in parts of northern Mexico is staggering by any standards. Fearing for their safety, Mexican families continue to flow across the border into the United States and settle in El Paso and other areas of Texas. In hopes of retaining their culture and rebuilding their lives, the families have begun to bring their businesses and, more recently, even their schools to American soil.

Michelle Rhee's Legacy (and Future) in Education Reform

When Michelle Rhee stepped down as chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools in October, it marked the end of an era. Rhee oversaw massive reforms in just a few years on the job. In the wake of her resignation, the former chancellor is focusing her attention on a national effort to reform education.

Minority Students Drive Recent Enrollment Surge

The Pew Research Center just released a demographic study of students in the early years of the recession, when American colleges and universities saw a record rise in enrollment. Their analysis shows that much of the surge was due to growing numbers of Hispanic and black students, which has led college campuses to be more diverse than ever before.

More and Better Testing: The Future of Measuring Student Success?

Standardized testing is a deeply contentious issue throughout American education, including in New York City schools. With the recent hire of a self-described test advocate as Chief Academic Officer, the largest public school system in the U.S. appears to be moving toward an assessment model with additional (and more rigorous) testing measures.

More Doctors Than Ever

Considering graduate education? How about a Ph.D.? The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently released the results of the 2009 Survey of Earned Doctorates, which shows that more individuals earned doctoral degrees in the 2008-2009 school year than ever before.

Most Controversial Books Ever Banned by Libraries

There is a long list of librarians who work tirelessly to make sure society has the freedom to read. Nevertheless, there are some books that have been challenged so many times that they have actually been banned from certain libraries. Here is a list of the ten most commonly challenged and banned books.

Moving Past 'One Size Fits All' Reform

Joshua Starr has recently been appointed to oversee the schools in Montgomery County, Maryland, the nation's 17th largest school district. One interesting fact about this hiring decision is that Starr does not advocate for the style of eduction reform in vogue among many superintendents at larger schools. Instead, Starr believes in a restrained approach to reform that bypasses hyperbolic ideology for constructive dialog.

National Academic Standards Program Has Launched

The Common Core Standards Initiative, which has been in development for nearly a year, has officially been launched. The release of the final set of standards is a major step in the effort to bring academics at public schools nationwide up to a common standard of college- and career-readiness.

National PTA Lends Support to Common Standards

The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), with financial backing from the Gates Foundation, is launching a campaign to increase support among parents for the Common Core Standards Initiative.

New Discoveries Explain the Powers of Music on the Human Brain

Extraordinary human engagement with music is a phenomenon that spans the globe. Can the universality of music be explained in terms of how it affects our brains?

New Federal Budget Plan Favors Higher Education

The Obama administration demonstrated its commitment to college education this week when the President unveiled his 2011 fiscal budget. In spite of the general spending freeze, most of the higher education and research programs were preserved and some, such as the Pell Grant Program, will actually be increased.

New Food Rules for Mexico's Students

Childhood obesity is a recognized epidemic in the U.S. that has been targeted by health experts and politicians. Now officials in Mexico are also addressing high rates of obesity among children. So far, the results have been mixed.

New Report Explores Which Students are Most Likely to Have High Levels of Student Loan Debt

The College Board recently released a report examining characteristics common to students and graduates with significant student loan debt. They found that debt levels are connected to the type of college that students attend, as well as dependency status and race.

New Report Offers Solutions to Financial Aid Challenges at Community Colleges

The College Board's new Advocacy & Policy Center just released a report on the underutilization of financial aid at 2-year institutions. Although community college students are the most likely to qualify for financial aid, they're also the least likely to apply for it. The report explores the likely causes of this discrepancy and offers policy solutions to help correct it.

New Study Links Education to Economic Growth

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the results of a survey exploring the performance of international education systems. Presenting a persuasive argument for prioritizing education on a policy level, the study correlates improvements in cognitive skills with a country's overall economic growth.

New Teacher Training Initiatives Focus on Classroom Education

Joining a national wave of pressure for teachers' colleges to overhaul training programs, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) just formed its own Blue Ribbon Panel on Clinical Preparation, Partnerships and Improved Student Learning. The group will make recommendations on how to refocus teacher education on hands-on experience.

No Child Left Behind Lessens Punishment on Under-performing Schools

No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the education law of the land since 2001, demands that schools annually assess students' proficiency in math and reading. The legislation states that schools not meeting academic benchmarks are subject to sanctions, including potential closure. But many underperforming schools are getting a reprieve from punishments.

Obama Tackles Higher Education Standards: The Low Down on Keeping America Competitive

In a recent speech on education, President Obama unveiled his plan for a complete and competitive American education system. The ambitious undertaking involves Head Start investment, support for charter schools, merit rewards for teachers and increased financial aid for students.

Obama's Blueprint for Education Receives Mixed Reviews

President Obama's new blueprint for education, which overhauls the controversial No Child Left Behind Law, seeks to make every student college- and career-ready by 2020. Although the reform proposal has been accepted by some as a good idea, it has also received intense criticism from teachers' unions and other education-related associations.

One in Six Adults Don't Have Basic Literacy Skills

Today is International Literacy Day, an occasion meant to raise awareness about the important role of literacy in the lives of individuals and communities. First observed in 1966, the UNESCO initiative is also intended to bring attention to outstanding global literacy needs. Learn about five organizations working to improve literacy around the world.

Outlook Bleak for South African Graduates

Like many nations, South Africa is currently suffering a poor economic forecast. At the end of 2010, the nation's unemployment rate was about 24 percent. Concern is growing that these economic factors, combined with education challenges, could have a strong negative impact on recent high school graduates.

PA School Draws People Across the Country to Houseparent Positions

Being a houseparent is the sort of job that is both rewarding and frustrating and has the power to lure people hundreds and even thousands of miles from the comfort of their homes and careers. Why? Education Insider takes a closer look at this unique opportunity and why some people give up almost everything to pursue it.

Pass or Fail Grading Applies to Teachers Too

Former Washington, D.C. school chancellor Michelle Rhee first took office in 2007, bringing with her a whirlwind of controversial educational reforms meant to whip a troubled district into shape. Among those reforms is Impact, a four-tiered system for evaluating teachers that's expected to fire about ten percent of the district's educators this year. While some embrace the change, others have a few objections.

Plan to Reform Michigan's Schools Met With Praise and Doubt

Troubled schools in Detroit's public school system are the target of a promise that could help, in addition to other planned reforms, to turn these institutions around: free tuition for high school graduates attending a two-year college or vocational school. But details of the plan remain unclear, sponsors are largely uncommitted and opponents see the scholarship as little more than a 'band aid' or 'dangled carrot stick.'

Plans for a Common Core Standards Open Resource

As teachers begin to incorporate the Common Core State Standards in their classrooms, they envision an online platform to share model curriculum units and get feedback on lesson plans. Their dream may soon become a reality. Two major efforts are underway to make open source curriculum resources available by 2013, a year before the Common Core Standards are expected to be fully implemented.

Poor and Minority Students Underserved by Public Universities

A new Education Trust study finds that states' flagship universities are failing to provide sufficient financial aid to meet the needs of low-income and minority students.

Promoting Student Success: Speaks With Minds Matter

Minds Matter is a national organization that helps high-achieving, low-income youth prepare for and succeed in college. recently caught up with Shari Ashton of the flagship New York City chapter to find out how the program is increasing access to education for kids all over the country.

Race to Nowhere: Conflicting Viewpoints

''Race to Nowhere'' is a documentary created by parent Vicki Abeles. She made the film in response to the strain she saw on her children from their daily homework. Yet despite the film's impassioned plea for relief from perceived excessive assignments, there are many voices who challenge her basic premise. These conflicting viewpoints are part of a fierce debate sparked by the film.

Race to the Top a Winner in President's Proposed Budget

President Obama this week revealed his proposed 2012 budget, a blueprint for spending that cuts many areas of the federal budget. Select education initiatives, however, are actually set to receive more funding in the upcoming fiscal year. Among these is Race to the Top, a program that provides education grants to schools implementing education reform.

Race to the Top: Obama Encourages Education Reform With Federal Grant Money

On the first anniversary of his election, President Obama traveled to Madison, Wisconsin to speak to teachers and students at a local charter middle school, but his message was directed to educators across the country: Now is the time for educational reform. His Race to the Top program offers $4.35 billion in federal grants to U.S. states that institute 'top to bottom' education reforms.

Rap and Hip Hop Stars Who Went to College

Everybody knows that Kanye West decided he was better off without higher education - see his incredibly successful album, ''College Dropout''. But what about the rappers who stayed in school? Being educated may not be part of the hip hop image, but it has helped a lot of high-profile rappers achieve success.

Read a Banned Book!

Read any good books lately? Banned Books Week is a great excuse to settle in with some quality literature. The annual campaign is designed to promote the right to read and combat censorship. In the past decade, American libraries have faced more than 4,300 challenges to books in their collections. Show your support for the First Amendment by digging into a hot read that's been banned or challenged.

Reduced Resources Linked to Increased Time to Degree

A recent study published by the National Bureau for Economic Research confirms what many worried parents have already noticed: Students are taking longer and longer to finish their bachelor's degrees. The paper examines where this problem is concentrated and what may be causing the delays.

Register for the 2010 American Math Challenge

Love math? Show off your number skills with the 2010 American Math Challenge. The deadline to register is almost here, so don't miss this article on how you can get involved!

Registration Open for World Math Day

World Math Day, also known as World Maths Day in Australia and other countries, is a two-day mathematics competition for students around the world. This year's World Math Day will take place on March 3, 2010.

Report Explores Long Term Trends in American Public Education

The Brown Center just released their 2009 Report on American Education. The analysis takes a longitudinal view on student assessment in three parts. Part I explores trends in National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores. Parts II and III look at the history of student test scores in California to determine whether schools can truly improve and better understand conversion charter schools.

Report Finds that U.S. Teachers Working More Hours Than Counterparts in Other Countries

A study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has found that United States educators spend more time teaching than those in other countries. But is this a good thing or a sign of problems?

Reuters Releases Global Institutional Profiles for Academia

Thomson Reuters is getting ready to release the Global Institutional Profiles Project, a new database that offers information on hundreds of colleges, universities and research institutions around the world. The much-anticipated Times Higher Education World University Rankings, to be published next week, will be the first system to utilize the custom datasets offered by the Global Institutional Profiles Project.

Rural Students Turn to Personalized Learning

While individual projects and independent study can be staples of higher education, personalized learning is not normally considered when one thinks of secondary schools. But for a group of rural New England high schools taking part in a federal grant program, such innovation has become commonplace. The Education Insider offers a closer look at the types of opportunities this network provides and the positive impact it can have on students, teachers and even entire communities.

Scholar Advocates for Increased Academic Partnership Between U.S. and Cuba

In January, President Obama lifted restrictions on academic travel to Cuba, making it easier for students to partake in educational exchanges with the island country. To get an expert's perspective on that decision, spoke with Arturo López-Levy, Ph.D. candidate and research associate at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies. López-Levy is a passionate advocate for increasing shared educational opportunities between the U.S. and Cuba.

School Independence in Australia: Pros and Cons

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has a plan to allow schools to function more independently from government authority. The program is considered by some to be similar to the charter school system in the U.S. As with most political matters, there is opposition to this plan, with some opponents concerned about the total privatization of Australia's educational system.

Schools Use Metadata to Manage Information

What do a tag on HTML coding and a library card catalog have in common? They both use metadata as a way of managing information. This information can range from who wrote a book and where it is located in a library to resources on the Web, including e-books, electronic documents, educational materials, scientific research and government information.

Secretary Duncan Says Teachers Should Make Up to $150,000 a Year

In the latest of ongoing efforts to increase support for merit-based pay for educators, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has proposed a compensation system in which teachers would make between $60,000 and $150,000 annually.

STEM Education Not Necessarily Linked to Economic Growth

Paul Whiteley, professor of politics at the University of Essex, recently released an analysis of the relationship between the number of individuals studying STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects and nations' economic growth rates. He found that while investing in higher education in general does lead to economic growth, it doesn't appear to be linked to any particular subject.

Student Journalists Get Their Day in Court

A federal judge in Illinois recently cleared the way for a lawsuit against the Chicago State University administration for censorship to go to trial. Although the judge refused to decide the case in summary judgment, her ruling is considered a victory for student press since she extended broad First Amendment protections to college journalists and campus newspapers.

Student Protesters: Then and Now

College students played a significant role in Wisconsin protests over scaled-back labor-union rights. And Egypt's recent political transformation would not have been possible without the support of students in that country. Learn how events like these fit within the history and heritage of student activism.

Students Celebrating Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week, the largest and longest standing drug prevention program in the United States, is observed annually at the end of October. Find out how students around the nation are celebrating Red Ribbon Week this year.

Students Defend Public Higher Education

Last week, college students across the country rallied in support for public higher education. They staged protests, held sit-ins and reminded their elected officials that funding for postsecondary education is still a priority for the voting public.

Study Examines Growing Relationship Between Big Oil and Research Universities

In a recent report, the Center for American Progress analyzed 10 multimillion dollar energy research agreements between American universities and large oil companies. They found that many schools are failing to preserve their academic and public-interest roles when negotiating research contracts with large corporations.

Study Explores Marketing Trends in Higher Education

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), in partnership with marketing firm Lipman Hearne, recently released findings from a survey of marketing spending at colleges and universities. The report shows that colleges that have increased their marketing budgets and their use of new media have seen a commensurate rise in both enrollment and the quality of their applicants.

Study Shows Drop in State Support for Higher Education

''Grapevine,'' in cooperation with the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO), just released a survey of state financial support for higher education for the 2009-2010 fiscal year. Across the country, the results were dismal.

Study Shows Effects of Recession on Students' Financial Behavior

A group performing an ongoing study on students' financial attitudes and behavior at the University of Arizona just published an interim report on the effects the economic downturn has been having. They found that students have higher debt levels, report less financial confidence and are engaging in riskier coping strategies.

Taser Use on College Campuses Not a 'One Size Fits All' Policy

Violence is an unfortunate part of life that can threaten anywhere, including college campuses. How campus police departments react to and handle violent situations tends to differ from one institution to another. One policy that has been debated is that of Taser use. In the past, such show of force has been questioned. So how, Education Insider asks, should colleges deal with this issue?

Tau Day Generates Controversy Among Math Scholars

For more than 20 years, math enthusiasts around the world have celebrated Pi Day on March 14. This year, there is another calendar event for numbers geeks to get excited about - Tau Day. The only potential problem: Those with an affinity for 3.14159... may worry the occasion threatens pi's place in the mathematics pantheon.

Teacher Accountability Measures Become Law in Illinois

In what is being hailed as historic education reform, Illinois legislation passed last month dictates that teacher effectiveness and expertise, not seniority, will be most important in schools' decisions about tenure and layoffs. The new law has been widely praised and advocates have suggested that it represents a model for nationwide education reform.

Teachers Face Tough Decisions Regarding Illegal Immigrants

There is estimated to be about 11 million illegal immigrants currently enrolled in school systems throughout the United States. The U.S. Department of Education and the Justice Department have stated that all children are by law allowed 'equal access to public education.' Yet those residing in the United States without proper authorization are violating federal law. On which side should teachers fall?

Teaching the Deaf an Issue in Many States Across the Nation

Add specialized schools for blind, deaf and disabled students to the growing list of casualties as budget cuts continue to affect educational institutions and programs across the U.S. However, in some states the threats against schools for the deaf simply fuel an already-heated argument between advocates for the teaching of American Sign Language (A.S.L.) and those who favor a more mainstream education for deaf and hard of hearing students.

Tenure Under Attack?

In the current atmosphere of education reform, teacher tenure has become a hot topic. Administrators argue that tenure makes it impossible for them to fire ineffective teachers, while teachers say that it provides essential protection against unfair dismissal. Now more and more politicians are calling for state-level elimination of the teacher tenure system.

Thankful for Education

It's the season for remembering all the things in life to be thankful for. Here at we'd like to take a moment to share ten reasons we're grateful for education.

The 2009 American Math Challenge

Math lovers, start your engines! The nonprofit MATHCOUNTS foundation has announced the 2009 American Math Challenge. Middle school students nationwide are invited to compete in November for the title of American Math Champion.

The 3-Year Debate: Education Leader Comes Out Against Accelerated Bachelor's Degrees

The president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities just released a statement arguing against shortening the typical 4-year undergraduate degree program. Her letter stands against a growing wave of support for standardizing the 3-year degree plan.

The 30 Goals Project is Inspiring Teachers to Aim Higher

Teaching is an essential profession that is by turns frustrating and inspiring. Luckily, there are plenty of education professionals out there with great ideas on how to succeed. If you're an educator who's always looking for ways to improve your performance, why not take the 30 Goals Challenge?

The Bentham Project Needs Your Help

Developed by University College London, the Bentham Project seeks to publish a new and authoritative edition of the works of Jeremy Bentham (1748-1842), noted British philosopher and reformer. The previous collected works edition is viewed as being inadequate since it omitted many of the philosopher's manuscripts and correspondence housed in the University College London Library and the British Library.

The College Completion Agenda: The College Board Releases a National Progress Report

The College Board Advocacy & Policy Center (CBAPC) recently released a series of resources for educators and policymakers, including a progress report on the United States' goal to become a world leader in educational attainment by 2025. The report tracks several indicators at the state and national levels aligned to recommendations by the Commission on Access, Admissions and Success in Higher Education.

The Debate Around Common Core Standards

While the U.S. Department of Education regulates many policies related to funding and evaluating schools, the curriculum that is taught to K-12 students is largely determined at the state level. In recent years, there has been a push on the part of states to more closely align their efforts in educating children.

The Doctor Is In(ternational): Foreign Medical Schools and U.S. Hospitals

For years, Caribbean medical schools have secured residency training for their graduates at U.S. hospitals. But now New York medical schools are trying to put up road blocks in their state, arguing that this phenomenon results in poorly trained American doctors and unfair competition for dwindling residency slots.

The Education Drain: Study Finds That States Are Losing Billions to College Drop-Outs

According to an analysis by the American Institutes for Research, state and federal governments spent over $9 billion in five years on college students who dropped out as freshmen. The report highlights how crucial college completion efforts are, not just for students but for the taxpayers who are funding their student loans.

The Future of Egyptian Education

Egypt was plagued by a variety of problems, including substantial troubles in its education system, prior to the recent political turmoil. While many of these problems led to the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak's government a few weeks ago, regime change alone won't solve the crises. What will these changes mean for higher education in the nation?

The Impact 9/11 Had on Higher Education

The terrorist attacks of 9/11 left a lasting impact on the lives of Americans and influenced teachings at higher education institutions. As the country observes the tenth anniversary of the attacks, The Education Insider takes a look at some of the changes that occurred on college and university campuses as a result of the attacks.

The Inclusive Design Research Centre is Making Learning Better for Everyone

Have you ever thought about how a blind person might use the Internet? What about a deaf person, or someone without the manual dexterity to manipulate a mouse and keyboard? As the focus of our digital lives moves away from being all about entertainment and becomes increasingly important for business and other tasks, how can we make sure some folks aren't being left out? The Inclusive Design Research Center is already taking things like this into consideration.

The Kaplan Commitment

Kaplan University has introduced a new school trial program called the Kaplan Commitment. Through this program, students can take classes for up to five weeks with no financial obligation. This can be a great way to find out if taking classes and going to school will work for you. Keep reading to learn more about the Kaplan Commitment program.

The Nation's Best Library Systems's spotlight on libraries continues with a look at a recent report rating the nation's best systems. In the 'LJ Index of Public Library Service 2010', high-performing systems, or 'Star Libraries', are identified for excellence in key patron services areas.

The National Governors Association's College Overhaul Favors Job-Centric Education

The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (CBP) recently released a report on the current state of higher education entitled 'Degrees for What Jobs? Raising Expectations for Universities and Colleges in a Global Economy.' Unfortunately, the CBP might have some bad news for students of the liberal arts. They believe that priority should be given to degree programs designed explicitly for the labor market, which means ceasing 'emphasis on broad liberal-arts education.'

The Power of Doodling: How Doodles Can Lead to Great Ideas

Doodling is a national pastime in classrooms and offices throughout the nation. Who hasn't put pen to paper during lectures or meetings to pass the time? More than simply a way to occupy yourself, doodling can actually enhance your capabilities at school or on the job. Here's how.

The Ramifications of Educators Getting Involved in Cheating

The recent educator cheating scandal in Atlanta is only one of many such cases that have happened all over the world. When teachers and school officials take it upon themselves to cheat, it will only hurt the students in the long run.

The State of Education: Students Respond to the State of the Union Address

Students across the country gathered in bars, college unions and in front of streaming webcasts to watch President Barack Obama's first State of the Union address. Many of them live-Tweeted their responses as Obama touched on K-12 education reform, cutting college costs and 'revitalizing' America's community colleges.

The USGenWeb Census Project is Rewriting History

The goal of the USGenWeb Project, which began in 1997, is to transcribe and upload every U.S. Federal Census into the USGenWeb archives. The project is huge and relies heavily on the time and effort of volunteers. Access to the uploaded content is free, and it provides users with a wealth of information on U.S. census data.

Today is World Teachers' Day

On October 5, students and educators around the globe are celebrating World Teachers' Day 2010. This year's theme is 'Recovery begins with teachers.' The event is designed to draw attention to teachers worldwide who have been affected by major humanitarian and economic crises.

Tomorrow 'Tis Talk Like Shakespeare Day, Methinks

On April 23, you can join people all over the world in celebrating the bard's 447th birthday. Just resurrect a little olde English: 'Tis Talk Like Shakespeare Day!

Top 10 Events in Education News for 2010

The year in education saw lots of dramatic events, from controversial federal student aid rules to a dire national progress report and major program cuts in the humanities. But the news wasn't all bad - one city started college savings accounts for every incoming kindergartner, while the feds won extra funding for higher ed and an effort to improve academic standards across the country was officially launched. Read on to reminisce about the top 10 education events in 2010.

Top 5 Figures in Education for 2010

With education at the top of the presidential priority list, three major administration figures made our list of movers and shakers in education for this year. But there were also two passionate women who stirred up controversy - and reform. Read on to learn more about's top 5 figures in education for 2010.

Tuesday Talks: Chat With the White House About the Arts

In celebration of National Arts and Humanities Month, the White House is hosting a live chat on the arts and humanities in the United States. Read on to learn how you can participate.

UCLA Teams With Private Company to Offer Online Career Training

In shaky economies, continuing education for adults becomes perhaps more important than ever. Re-education may offer the key to finding successful employment or, beyond that, just finding a career to enjoy. UCLA, in a partnership with the Encore Career Institute, may have found an innovative way to help baby boomers switch their careers mid-life, though some educational administrators aren't sold on the idea.

Undercover Chancellor: UC Riverside's Unorthodox Choice

Pete Weston is not who he seems to be. That's because he's actually Tim White, chancellor of the University of California - Riverside campus. Pete Weston is White's nom d'emprunt (or nom de guerre, as the case may be) from his recent appearance on 'Undercover Boss,' during which he experienced his school from an entirely new perspective.

University of Alabama Students Finally Graduate Amid Tornado Wreckage

The human spirit is, among other things, resilient. In the wake of tragic events, it is often common for people to find some spark of hope, some reason to celebrate and move on. This is certainly true of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and the university housed there. It is true of the parents of six students killed by a monstrous tornado. And it is true of the surviving students, who in early August celebrated a graduation day they thought was swept away, along with everything else, three months before.

US Colleges Becoming a Hard Sell for Indonesian Students

For many years, America was seen by students abroad as the land of hope and opportunity. Foreign students flocked to its colleges and universities to gain an education they could not, they believed, get elsewhere. However, the allure of America has seemed to fade. Is enough being done to remedy this situation?

Veterans Day Tribute

Veterans Day, also known as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other areas of the world, is being observed today in the United States. Learn more about how you can honor military veterans on this special holiday.

Was Prince William's Wedding Bad for British Schools?

It's inevitable: every time a major cultural event with lavish costs occurs, people begin to wonder where that money might have been better spent, and the U.K.'s recent royal wedding is certainly no exception. What could that money have done to help British schools? Or did the wedding actually help schools anyway?

What Does the Situation in Egypt Mean for Students Abroad?

Citizens protesting the 30-year autocratic rule of President Hosni Mubarak have brought world attention to the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities. In the wake of increasing violence, American universities are scrambling to evacuate students studying abroad in Egypt. How can students stay safe during their international studies?

What Happened to the Rubber Room?

When a student gets in trouble, he or she is typically sent to the principal's office, given detention or assigned some other standard punishment. Most school systems have established channels for disciplining students, but not for teachers. In the past decade, attention has been drawn to an unusual practice of disciplining public school faculty in New York City.

What is Free Comic Book Day?

An olive branch from a once-maligned industry? A chance for some free promotion? A push for youth literacy? Now in its ninth year, the annual Free Comic Book Day is a bit of all those things and more. Mostly, though, it's a fun chance to get some free reading material.

What Keeps Students in One Place? Study Examines Factors in Student Retention

In a paper presented at the annual forum of the Association for Institutional Research, two researchers examined several factors that have previously been linked to student persistence at colleges and universities. They found that students' attitudes toward their schools early in their first semester was the strongest predictor for whether or not they would remain in the long term.

What President Obama's Speech Means for College Students and Job Seekers

On September 8, 2011, President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress and laid out an ambitious plan aimed at creating jobs and reducing unemployment. Called the American Jobs Act, the president asked Congress to pass the legislation as soon as possible. If the act passes, what will it mean to college students and job seekers?

What Steve Jobs' Resignation Means for Education

Steve Jobs is retiring as CEO of Apple. This move has raised a lot of speculation about everything from the future of the company to Jobs' personal health. One area that may see some fallout from this development is education - but what changes can really be predicted at this point?

What the New Illinois Dream Act Means for Undocumented Students

Educators, business leaders and immigrant advocacy groups have lobbied Congress to pass the national DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act for over ten years. The Illinois state House and Senate passed this historic education bill in May 2011, which will provide opportunities for scholarships, college savings programs and prepaid tuition to all Illinois residents, including undocumented students, at no cost to taxpayers.

What We Can Learn From Shanghai: Chinese Students Earn Top PISA Scores

In late 2010, results from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) test - a global exam of 15-year-old student aptitude in math, reading and science - were released to much media attention. Shanghai, China, boasted the highest scores in each category, while the United States failed to crack the top 15 rankings. Can students and educators in the U.S. learn anything from the methods that led to the testing success of students from Shanghai?

What Would a Common Curriculum Mean for Teachers and Students?

A group of education professionals is pushing for a common curriculum to be adopted by states in the U.S. This move has bipartisan support, but its implementation is no guarantee. What could a common curriculum do for pubic education in the United States?

Where Have All The Cowboys Gone: National Cowboy Poetry Week

Howdy! Got cattle wranglin' on the brain? You just might take a shine to cowboy poetry. If this genre is of interest to you, you're in luck: it's National Cowboy Poetry Week! Here's some info on cowboy poetry and some tips on how to celebrate. Yeehaw!

White House Announces New Math and Science Achievement Campaign

President Obama just announced the White House's new math and science education program, 'Educate to Innovate.' It's part of his administration's efforts to bring America back to the forefront of international achievement in science and technology. Partnering with a wide variety of groups, from Sesame Street to the Gates Foundation, Educate to Innovate offers creative 'outside the classroom' solutions to the challenge of improving math and science education for our nation's youth.

White House Convenes Summit on Community Colleges

On October 5, Dr. Jill Biden will chair the first-ever Summit on Community Colleges at the White House. The Summit will explore how 2-year colleges can help meet Americans' job training needs while working toward the administration's educational attainment goals. Read on to learn how you can participate in this event.

Who's Who in the U.S. Department of Education

With a budget of more than $63 billion, the U.S. Department of Education is responsible for funding and administering programs that 'promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.' But who are the important players in the Education Department? Here are three at the top:

Why North Korea Closed Its Universities

Since its establishment in 1948, North Korea has been notoriously secretive in its carryings-on, often forcing political pundits to take their best guess at what's happening within its borders. Here's a puzzle to consider: why, on the last week of June, did the country announce they were closing their universities down for almost an entire year?

Wisconsin Protests Reflect National Anger Among Teachers

More than two weeks after educators and other public workers began protesting proposed legislation to alter union rights in Madison, Wisconsin, public debate on education cuts and teacher unions has spread throughout the country. Analysts suggest that widespread rallies have been fueled in part by a feeling among teachers that they face unfair criticisms and benefit cuts.

Wisconsin Teacher Protests Spread to Other States

When teachers and other public workers descended upon Wisconsin's Capitol building in Madison last week to protest an anti-union bill, they could not have known the full impact of their action. Public rallies aimed at preserving collective bargaining rights have spread to Indiana and Ohio with protests set to occur in other states.

Women in the Sciences

A new report from the Center for American Progress explores why women scientists are 'leaking' out of the research pipeline - and how to keep them in.

You Are What You Read: The International Edible Book Festival

Do you have a ravenous appetite for exceptional books? How about an intense passion for delicious cuisine? If you have twin cravings for great literature and primo provisions, the International Edible Book Festival may be just your thing.

Young Alumni Reluctant to Give at Most Colleges and Universities

The Engagement Strategies Group recently released the results of their survey, 'The Mood of Alumni.' The survey found that high tuition costs and the widespread perception that schools are wealthy discourage many under-35 alumni from donating, while weak relationships tend to keep participation rates down among older alumni. The survey's findings shed light on the challenges many institutions face in trying to engage graduates.