I ran across this story in The Enid News & Eagle earlier this month.
Because of street closings and rearrangements, etc., Eisenhower Elementary School will be within Vance Air Force Base’s boundaries.
The effect of this likely will be minimal, as 70 percent of the school’s students have parents who work on the base and thus have access. The remaining 30 percent, however, must obtain a pass to drop off and pick up their children, the newspaper reported.
“They will have to gain access through the main gate, just like everybody else,” a Vance official told the newspaper. “They will be passed through the gate, allowed to proceed directly to the school to pick up or drop off children. They will be issued a base pass to facilitate that.”
Those seeking passes will be briefed on rules of driving on Vance, which differ from civilian traffic laws. For example, driving while talking on a cell phone is prohibited, the newspaper reported.
And NO FIREARMS, even during deer season.
School employees also must obtain passes.
There are benefits to having children on base, Vance officials told the newspaper. Increased security is a huge one.
In the event of a base exercise that limits base access, Vance is working out details.
Does this mean extra days off school? Just asking.
Here’s a parental conundrum:
Your academically-gifted child is a shoe-in to be accepted into many fine universities. But instead of sending out applications, your child says he wants to take a year off after high school: a time of self-discovery, travel or good-deedery.
In Britain, such gap years are popular among youth. But here, it can seem pretty scary to families that don’t want their child to fall off the get-a-college-degree-or-else wagon.
I took two gap years. I had no money to travel and volunteerism was not on my radar. I just wasn’t ready to commit to the rigors of college work, socially or academically.
Instead I took a series of minimum wage jobs that eventually made me realize I wanted more out of life. I enrolled in college more focused and mature.
Obviously not every student is the same. Some will travel Europe, get inspired by the old structures and decide to become an architect. Others might simply laze around their parents house, and use their gap year as a nap year.
What do you think? Have you or your child taken a year off before college? Was it rewarding?
I always enjoy the e-mails I receive from Caveon Test Security.
I met representatives from the Utah company at an education journalism conference, where they presented ways to detect cheating on standardized tests. Obviously they were unwilling to give up their trade secrets, which, from what I can tell, consist of sophisticated statistical analysis, but their presentation nonetheless was useful in explaining irregularities that could catch a reporter’s eye.
And they had the catchiest poster I think I’ve ever seen — a “Ten Most Wanted Cheaters” in full Old West regalia. “Robin Hood” and the “Time Traveler” were my favorites. The titles pretty much speak for themselves.
As The Dallas Morning News has reported in recent years, cheating, in Texas and likely elsewhere, is common and rarely investigated thoroughly. In response to the newspaper’s articles that exposed widespread suspicion of cheating on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test, the Texas Education Agency hired Caveon to investigate.
Which brings us back to the Caveon e-mails. They always offer cheating snippets I wouldn’t have run across myself.
Cheating apparently isn’t restricted to the children of ulcer-inducing, living vicariously, I-want-my-child-to-be-chief-justice-of-the-Supreme-Court-or-at-least-an-NFL-player parents. Or to kids in schools that stand to be blacklisted if they don’t perform well.
This one is too good to be made up — Bulgaria
“In Bulgaria a medical student named Georghe Dimitriov used a government walkie-talkie (which belonged to his father) to cheat on an exam. Cheating became the least of Georghe’s problems as his exam just happened to coincide with a trip to Bulgaria by President George W. Bush. As Georghe was gathering test answers from his accomplice, United States Secret Service agents happened upon the conversation. Thinking they might be on to a terrorist plot agents raided the university and discovered Georghe in a bathroom scribbling notes.
“Georghe was detained for 24 hours — found innocent of a terrorist plot — but failed the exam,” according to the Caveon e-mail.
Some other fun stuff from Caveon:
1 > Chinese Arrest Three in Wi-Fi Exam Cheating Caper
Campus Technology – Chatsworth, CA, USA
…The Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that three people have been arrested for using Wi-Fi microphones to cheat on national college entrance exams. The exams, which are “make or break” rites of academic passage, are considered state secrets before the tests, Xinhua reported…
2 > Cheating the system
Texas A&M The Battalion – College Station, TX, USA
…My name is Kevin, and I’m a cheater. I won’t specify any classes or rat out any accomplices, but I cheated in high school and I’ve cheated in college. Cheating is a near-irresistible force….
3 > Cheating Cheaters of the Chance
Washington Post – United States
…As Washington area students complete final exams, teachers are using whatever means possible to expose cheaters, or at least scare them off before they try. Although cheating has been monitored at least since the advent of the No. 2 pencil, many teachers and students say enforcement has become more aggressive than ever. No longer do teachers simply rearrange chairs or walk around the room to proctor a test….
4 > Hanoi police nab man for organizing university exam fraud
Thanh Nien Daily – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
…Nguyen Van Vinh, 27, was caught red-handed by the police while delivering forged entrance exam admittance forms and identity cards to his henchmen. Vinh, from the central Nghe An province, promised to secure university seats for ‘clients’ for a payment of VND40 million, half of it in advance. He would forge documents, swapping the photos on the candidates’ ID cards and exam entry forms for those of his men who would then take the test on their behalf….
5 > Why some teachers cheat
Newsday – Long Island, NY, USA
…Of all the questions parents are asking about Uniondale’s test-fraud scandal, one is especially vexing: Why?
Why would a teacher or administrator risk a job to boost test scores by cheating?
The answer isn’t as obvious as it seems. It’s not simply money. Long Island schools don’t give pay incentives to educators who raise test scores.
“Any time a test becomes a high-stakes event, when educators are judged on how well kids score, then there’s pressure for educators to look good,” said W. James Popham, a testing expert at University of California, Los Angeles….
6 > Experts called to sniff out fraud
Newsday – Long Island, NY, USA
…”We use the results that are in the data, but we have a special kind of analysis to tease it out,” said John Fremer, president of Caveon, a company that started four years ago to help schools, companies and the military find test fraud. Some of the techniques Caveon uses would surprise test-takers. With “erasure analysis,” for example, an electronic scanner or a human reviews answer sheets to see how many answers were changed. Then computers crunch the numbers to look for unusual patterns….
7 > The Pervasiveness of Cheating
…In its modern form, the “gaokao” winnows out the superior from the average. Some students see it as their only way out a life of poverty and dismal future. Yet with close to 10 million applicants competing for 5.7 million slots at various national universities, the pressure to perform is overwhelming and has in many cases led to suicides. …
8 > How To Cheat With Your iPod
The Gadgets Page
…The end of the school year is looming, which means this is the big final test of the year. How are you going to study? Do you even have to study? When you can carry the breadth and depth of human knowledge in your iPod, should you be required to memorize all those dates and names? Isn’t it more important to know HOW to find information from reliable resources? Isn’t it more important to know WHICH information should be included?…
9 > An exam so crucial, life in China grinds to a halt
Philadelphia Inquirer – Philadelphia, PA, USA
…Unlike the United States, where standardized test scores are just one factor weighed by universities, how Chinese students do on the gaokao determines everything. Students list their top three schools and their major and hope their score is high enough to win a place. Extracurricular activities do not count, and neither do high school grades. And forget writing about volunteer work; there are no essays to persuade admissions officers. The Ministry of Education says only 5.7 million students – or 60 percent of those who take the test – will be able to enter college….
On a trip to Barnes & Noble yesterday, I made my usual tour of the bargain book aisles. One clearance item caught my attention: Paris Hilton’s “Heiress Diary,” — published several years ago when she was a mere party-girl socialite and still enjoyed wearing the color orange.
No, I didn’t buy the book. I didn’t even pick it up. But I got to thinking. Is that part of her life over? Did she finally grow up? It seemed that way in last week’s People magazine, where she was photographed wearing demure clothing in subdued shades, sans fake eyelashes.
Paris told fans on her Web site this week to have a fun July 4th, but not to drink and drive. Did that change anyone’s mind … did they hand over their keys to a designated driver?
It probably did have an impact, as Paris seems to have all kinds of influence over fashion, slang and “how-tos.”
I’m sure you remember in high school when Students Against Drunk Driving or another well-meaning group brought in speakers warning against the dangers of drunk driving. The speaker might have been a victim of drunk driving — a grieving mother of an innocent child. It might have been a drunk driver, telling a sad tale of poor judgement and second chances. Maybe there was a smashed-up car parked in front of the school — a jarring visual reminder of tragedy that could have been avoided.
Will Paris ever visit a school and tell of her tramatic few days in jail, forced to wear an orange jump suit and given food so bad that she actually lost weight during her stint?
Will it make a difference? Probably. And if that’s what it takes to get the message across, then I’m not sure it’s a bad idea.
When a teacher, administrator, CEO, IT person or otherwise suggests the need for better data collection, those of us who aren’t in the above categories often replay old commercial jingles in our heads.
Data, however, is as much a part of No Child Left Behind and the future of public education as high-stakes tests and labeling schools.
Digital Directions, a new publication of Education Week, reports: For five years, NCLB No Child Left Behind Act has increased demands on schools to put in place new and better systems to collect and analyze data.
Sounds simple enough, but it’s not. Collecting data in a useful way seldom is simple.
“Now that Congress is working to renew the law, educators’ hunger for data probably will grow, as will the demand for technology leaders to deliver the information to teachers, administrators, and policymakers in ways that they can use it to improve student achievement. Supporters of the law are floating ideas that would evaluate teachers on the test scores of their students, for example. Members of Congress also are proposing to help schools create a series of tests that track students’ learning in preparation for end-of-year assessments,” Digital Directions reported.
The magazine predicts principals and teachers will want numbers that give them clues about how to meet NCLB’s goal of ensuring all students meeting “proficient” standards in reading and math by 2013-14.
“I don’t think this is going to go away, with or without No Child Left Behind,” Julie A. Marsh, a policy researcher at the RAND Corp., a Santa Monica, Calif.-based think tank, said of the appetite for better data. “I think it’s here to stay.”
This is important for Oklahoma City Public Schools because new Superintendent John Q. Porter has made technology improvement — and with it, better data collection — a hallmark of his education career. We can expect to see this continue during his tenure here.
An Aspen Institute panel has laid out a plan that would evaluate teachers based on their students’ scores on state tests. States would rate teachers according to students’ progress during an academic year.
Teachers who ranked below the 25th percentile would receive intensive professional development. Those who continued to be in the bottom quartile would be unable to teach in schools that receive Title I funds.
“While the Aspen plan is just one proposal, it is a sign that policy experts are looking to data analysis to answer a pressing question: How do schools identify effective and ineffective teachers?” the magazine reported.
It continued, “To meet the demand for such information, school districts will have to overhaul their instructional materials and their data systems to ensure that they are useful to teachers, helping them track students’ academic progress and identify the interventions necessary to keep them on course.”
Technology officers probably won’t need to start all over, the magazine predicted.
Information districts already collect could be combined and made more usable.
I can say firsthand that knowing exactly what information a school district collects is a challenge. I’m sure it’s equally so for a henpecked administrator.
“Because existing data systems were designed to meet specific purposes, such as reporting attendance rates to state officials or registering students for high school courses, they can’t create comprehensive reports on specific students or of groups of them,” the magazine reported. “In a data-driven world, however, those systems need to be able to deliver numbers that teachers can use in real time.”
Right now, the magazine reported, many teachers don’t see much value in the student scores they receive from state tests, according to a recent online survey by the Teachers Network, a New York City-based coalition of districts and nonprofits that provides professional development for teachers. Although the survey participants were self-selected, the 5,600 respondents suggest that teachers aren’t getting much help from current test results.
“We should be looking at multiple assessments,” says Ellen Meyers, a vice president of the Teachers Network.
I’m by no means an expert, but one theme I see running through successful charter schools, and even some traditional public schools, is frequent benchmark testing. Teachers and administrators know at any time exactly where their students are.
My toddler learned a new song this week at preschool. It’s a song I’m sure I learned as a kid, but am sad to say forgot most of the lyrics.
So I looked them up today (the Internet is so handy!) and plan to lead the family in a sing-a-long.
You’re a grand old flag,
You’re a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You’re the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev’ry heart beats true
‘neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there’s never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.
If you need some visual inspiration, check out a new book that sets George Cohan’s lyrics against the charming folk art of Warren Kimble.
A review by The Associated Press says “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” published by Walker Books for Young Readers, is sweet and straightforward, with brief “song notes” and “flag facts” rounding out the package.
And, there’s sheet music in the back, so you can lead your own sing-along!
Eighteen Tulsa-area students will share $45,000 in scholarships, the Cox Connects Foundation has announced.
The foundation is an employee-funded program of Cox Oklahoma.
Each scholarship recipient will receive $2,500 for studies at any Tulsa-area university, college or career tech institution. In addition, a number of local educational institutions match the Cox Connects Foundation scholarships with an additional $2,500 in funds or tuition waivers.
Candidates for Cox Connects Foundation scholarships can be recent high school graduates, current undergraduates or adult parents over age 25 seeking to return to school.
The 2007 Cox Connects Foundation Scholarship recipients and their college preferences are:
From Tulsa: Alexandre Goncalves (Oral Roberts University); Desiree Robinson (Tulsa Community College); Latrice Fowlkes (Tulsa Community College); Lydia Stansill (University of Tulsa); Marva Graham (University of Tulsa); Pada Lor (Tulsa Community College); Renee Nelson (Tulsa Community College); Sally Krchmar (Tulsa Community College) and Tabatha Cornish (Tulsa Community College)
From Broken Arrow: Joseph LaValley (OSU-Tulsa); Meghan Henderson (University of Tulsa) and Reagan Barger (Oral Roberts University)
From Collinsville: Joy Kay Wray (Langston-Tulsa)
From Glenpool: KaSandra Speer (Tulsa Community College)
From Sapulpa: Kimberly Montgomery (Tulsa Community College)
From Jenks: Leslie Ireland (OU Health Science Center)
From Bixby: Ryan Staebell (University of Tulsa)
From Claremore: Sara Fultz (Rogers State University)
For more information, visit www.coxconnectsok.com.
I have a motto — a rule really — when I shop for clothing for my family.
Never pay full price! (Unless the item is so exceptionally cute that not buying it immediately would cause sleep loss and self-recrimination.)
I’m a master at leveraging coupons and clearance racks, buy-one-get-ones and bargain-basement bounty.
Maybe that’s why I’m not terribly psyched about the upcoming sales tax holiday, which applies to clothing for both children and adults. What is your local sales tax? It’s probably less than 9 percent. Would you make a special trip to a store advertising a whooping 9 percent off?
BUT, Oklahoma stores have a real opportunity to leverage the sales tax savings with some significant promotions of their own. By offering their own discount of 20, 30 or even 50 percent, that extra 9 percent becomes icing on the cake.
The stores have an incredible incentive, built-in advertising about the new sales-tax holiday — along with the various media reports that go along with it.
Texas has celebrated a tax-free weekend for years. I partook even before I had kids … drawn by the buzz and excitement leading up to that weekend. I got some deals too.
Will you shop during the Oklahoma sales-tax holiday Aug. 3-5? Tell me your strategy for savings at email@example.com
I won’t recap the divergent opinions about yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling limiting schools’ ability to use race in allowing students to transfer to schools.
Read the opinion here.
The e-mails, predictions, offering of expert sources, rhetoric and general babble about the decision started about a month ago.
On the surface, this looks like another of the reverse-discrimination cases that have appeared with some regularity since the Bakke case of 1978 in which a white student who was denied admission several times to the University of California-Davis medical school sued and ultimately prevailed in a split ruling from the Warren Burger Supreme Court.
What interests me as much as the ruling is the opposite histories of the defendents in this week’s case, against whom a divided John Roberts Supreme Court ruled.
The Louisville, Ky., district wasn’t far removed from court-ordered desegregation, while the Seattle district never faced such judicial intervention. The same could be said of any number of district across the South, including Tulsa, which faced lawsuits during the 1960s and 70s and finally scrapped race-based admissions at Booker T. Washington High School and Carver Middle School in 2003 only to find the schools’ demographics hardly changed.
The Louisville district (actually, Jefferson County Public Schools), which was hauled into court because of Brown v. Board of Education, decades later became the co-defendent in a pivotal case that critics of the ruling say will undermine Brown’s promise of equality.
In an editorial, The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal put it well:
“It declared impermissible the very same achievement of integration that those earlier jurists had so wisely required, with such profoundly gratifying results for our society.”
Despte the differences between the Louisville and Seattle districts, both promoted the idea of campus diversity though race-conscious student placement. Louisville spent 25 years under court order, which only ended in 2000. Afterward, schools had to keep black enrollment between 15 and 50 percent, The Courier-Journal reported.
“Yet while the justices affirmed the value of diversity, the decision took away one of the tools school districts commonly use to achieve it,” The Seattle Times reported.
Race was used as a “tiebreaker” in Seattle and more broadly in Louisville.
Some, no doubt, will see the ruling as a welcome reigning in of schools that have gone overboard with social engineering. Other will pity the districts for trying to maintain what they were ordered or, if not, strongly encouraged to do years ago to combat state-sanctioned segregation. Still others will see affirmative action’s death knell.
Housing patterns have largely guaranteed segregated schools for most students. To me, the bigger issue is not whether a school is integrated (although that is important for exposure to other people, cultures and ideas) but whether students are getting an equal education. The ruling doesn’t deal with these broad topics.
Our corner of the world has been a legal battleground over civil rights. Brown was a Kansas decision, while in Little Rock, Ark., in 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower federalized the Arkansas National Guard and allowed the “Little Rock Nine” to enroll at Central High School over the objections of Gov. Orval Faubus. The Army’s 101st Airborne Division provided security for the students.
Yesterday’s ruling has little to do with us, other than sparking a debate.
OSU Regents have launched a Web site giving details about their search for a new president.
You can check it out at http://osu.okstate.edu/presidentialsearch/news.html
The site doesn’t give information on specific candidates, but details search criteria, along with facts about the land-grant university and photos of every OSU president since 1891.
Also included is a list of all 33 members of the search committee.
Visitors to the site can send in suggestions or nominate their own candidates for president.
Regents hope to hire someone this fall. Provost Marlene Strathe has been capably leading OSU as Interim President since David Schmidly resigned in March.
Who would you nominate as OSU’s next president?