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Vocational Education in the 21st Century

The Salem News ran an edited version of this article. Here is the full length version. Vocational Education isn’t what it used to be.  If you graduated high school prior to 1990, your perceptions of, and experience with, vocational education is undoubtedly out of date.  It is no longer just an  alternative pathway for kids who are not on a college track nor is it an academic track that prepares students for entry levels jobs that only require a high school education or where academic expectations are low and post-secondary education is not an option. Allow us to introduce you […]

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What to Test Instead

September 16, 2012 | Leon Neyfakh | Source: Boston Globe When Harvard University announced last month that it was investigating 125 students for cheating on a take-home exam, most of the ensuing public fuss focused on the students: whether they were kids wrongfooted by the requirements of an unpredictable class, as they claimed, or sneaky overachievers driven to cut corners by some mix of ambition and laziness. But beyond the question of the moral fiber of Harvard students, there was another player in the drama: the test itself. The final exam, according to the instructions, had been “completely open book, […]

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Do We Need Algebra?

In a recent article in the New York Times entitled “Is Algebra Needed?” by Andrew Hacker, (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/29/opinion/sunday/is-algebra-necessary.html?&pagewanted=all) Mr. Hacker states that “making mathematics mandatory prevents us from discovering and developing young talent…..and from depleting our pool of brainpower.” Mr.  Hacker states that failure to meet math requirements are the primary reason for dropping out of high school and college.  His claim is largely based on anecdotal evidence. However, even if math was a reason for many to drop out, why are we presuming it is math itself?  Perhaps it is the pathetically dull and incomprehensible way in which we are […]

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