Summary of “The Company Making Billions Off China’s Worried Parents”

Steven, a serious-looking 9-year-old public school student in Beijing, spent a recent Friday evening in a classroom at a tutoring center operated by TAL Education Group, cramming mathematics drills.
TAL’s initials stand for Tomorrow Advancing Life, a none-too-subtle nod to one of the biggest anxieties of middle-class families in the test-based world of Chinese education.
No one had profited from the stock’s rise more than Zhang Bangxin, TAL’s co-founder, a 37-year-old former math tutor who’s become one of China’s richest people: His TAL shares are worth about $7 billion.
TAL’s tutoring encourages students to practice the kinds of questions they’ll face on China’s exams.
The measures aimed to eliminate one of TAL’s profit centers: training for the Mathematical Olympiad, an intense competition for students up to age 20.
They were so central to TAL’s success that the company promoted them in its IPO prospectus.
At the time of the antitutoring edict, Nicky Ge, an analyst with China Renaissance Group, said the initiative could lower demand for TAL’s services, especially in math, which made up more than 60 percent of the company’s revenue last year.
Investors may be agreeing with Zhang, who says the government intervention could help TAL as tighter regulation drives smaller companies out of the market.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Inside the Travis Hill High School at the New Orleans Jail”

The New Orleans jail has offered something unusual: a full-day high school that’s part of the public school system and offers real credits.
There are between a dozen and 50 juveniles at the jail at any given time – and they needed a school.
The Orleans Parish School Board signed a contract last year with the national nonprofit Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings to start the Travis Hill School, named after a local trumpeter who was incarcerated as a teenager.
Since the school’s opening, three have earned a diploma; another 13 passed state exams in English, and 14 passed in math – all of it a first for anyone at the New Orleans jail.
To ease the students’ confusion, Travis Hill created a staff position that no other school would have: a “Transition” director.
In March, just a few weeks after Juron’s arrival, the Travis Hill School got the worst kind of news.
The news landed hard, piercing the illusion that school was just school and that jail and court were somehow ignorable.
The school’s first-ever graduate, Tristion, who received a degree in April, succeeded in school by trying to ignore the part where he was in jail.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I went to high school in a high-security fortress. You don’t want that for your kids.”

After the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School this February reignited the debate around gun control and school safety, some politicians are using the same logic as my school district did: Just outfit schools with cops, cameras, and metal detectors, and everything will go away.
In response to the Allen Independent School District’s new and overbearing policies, Boccia and her fellow protesters would wear a plain black armband to school.
The high school was the closest, ostensibly safe place for the middle schoolers to go after the evacuation.
As the drama played out in the courts, the city was finishing the construction of a massive new high school it called Allen High School.
In 1999, around 2,000 kids were enrolled at Allen High School alone.
The danger of these security measures to students is heightened in schools in communities that suffer from high rates of incarceration, especially neighborhoods with a high proportion of people of color.
Fortunately for students in Allen, and unlike in other schools across the country, that experiment was short lived: by the end of the school year, AISD decided the cost of the metal detectors outweighed their benefit and stopped using them, in addition to loosening security.
Those of us who went to Allen High School in 1999 know security theater doesn’t work.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Problem with “Learning Styles””

Indeed the notion that people learn in different ways is such a pervasive belief in American culture that there is a thriving industry dedicated to identifying learning styles and training teachers to meet the needs of different learners.
A recent review of the scientific literature on learning styles found scant evidence to clearly support the idea that outcomes are best when instructional techniques align with individuals’ learning styles.
Most previous investigations on learning styles focused on classroom learning, and assessed whether instructional style impacted outcomes for different types of learners.
It also raises the possibility that learning styles do matter-perhaps a match between students’ individual learning styles and their study strategies is the key to optimal outcomes.
More than 400 students completed the VARK learning styles evaluation and reported details about the techniques they used for mastering material outside of class.
Given the prevailing belief that learning styles matter, and the fact many students blame poor academic performance on the lack of a match between their learning style and teachers’ instructional methods, one might expect students to rely on techniques that support their personal learning preferences when working on their own.
Do we persist in our belief that learning styles matter, and ignore these tried and true techniques?
The popularity of the learning styles mythology may stem in part from the appeal of finding out what “Type of person” you are, along with the desire to be treated as an individual within the education system.

The orginal article.

Summary of “When a College Takes on American Poverty”

Lowery-Hart is the president of Amarillo College, a community college on the Texas Panhandle, and he had driven seven hours down to Waco to participate in a two-day, two-night simulation of homelessness run by a religious charity, in the hopes of more deeply relating to his many students who live in poverty.
What separates Amarillo College from most of its peers is not any particular program, but how much it focuses on addressing the effects of poverty.
As the college experiments, it is the students in poverty who are taking the biggest gamble.
If not college, what is the path for the students whom Amarillo College is trying to lift out of poverty? People can’t securely raise a family on a minimum-wage job.
A professor referred Pruett to the Advocacy and Resource Center, or ARC, the nucleus of the college’s poverty work, where a small team including Herrera helps hundreds of students each semester through their financial and life crises, marshals the college’s own resources, and hustles to connect students to every possible community or government program.
A gift from a local bank, for example, funded a renovation project that made space for the ARC. Perhaps less typical is that the Amarillo College Foundation is relatively well off with $43 million in assets, and it gave the college and its students over $3 million for the 2015-2016 school year.
Other aspects of the college’s poverty agenda lack evidence of systemic improvement, including the ARC. The college can point to students for whom help from the ARC clearly made the difference between dropping out and graduating, including Justin Allen, the single dad who was at the lunch with Pruett and Lowery-Hart.
In a society that offers so little support for a community-college education, and where growing up in poverty guarantees immense disadvantages, there’s only so much even visionary college leaders can do.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Bankrupt Ideology of Business School”

In his 2017 book on business school The Golden Passport, which focuses on Harvard, Duff McDonald names this as the central failure of today’s MBA programs.
MBA students may be dealing into the financial system of a New Gilded Age, but our social policy positions reflect a far more progressive era.
Not once have I heard a discussion of unions while in business school.
Students become like major corporations that sponsor Pride floats for employees or air heartening commercials of workers’ biracial families, then adopt practices that make those peoples’ lives more precarious.
Ask today’s business school student to describe the world of his or her dreams, and you’ll likely hear a description of the current system-just with more representative figures in positions of power.
In the 2016 presidential election, Harvard Business School polled students on their choice of candidate.
Privilege confers responsibility beyond itself, and one need not invoke pitchforks marching up the eighteenth fairway to show why MBA students have self-interested reasons for rethinking our ideology.
A more dynamic approach to addressing society’s problems, one which challenges students’ assumptions and moral priorities, might propel business schools to a more credible status in the public square, and allow them to finally become incubators of principled economic leaders rather than managers.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Less cramming. More Frisbee. At Yale, students learn how to live the good life.”

Laurie Santos greeted her Yale University students with slips of paper that explained: No class today.
That’s because some 1,200 students were simultaneously taking Santos’s “Psychology and the Good Life” class.
Santos thought she could share recent findings from psychology to inform the choices students make, to help them enjoy life more.
All semester, hundreds of students tried to rewire themselves – to exercise more, to thank their mothers, to care less about the final grade and more about the ideas.
Many students described it as entirely unlike any class they had ever taken – nothing to do with academics, and everything to do with life.
Did one class, full of simple ideas, teach them how to live the good life?
Santos said students were most skeptical of the idea that good grades aren’t essential to happiness.
Santos told them she was creating a center for the good life at the residential college she leads at Yale, and that people had already volunteered to help teach students skills for managing stress.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Bates College has designed a liberal arts education fit for the future of work”

During a five-week “Short term” in May, Bates offers practitioner-taught courses: One digital marketing course was taught by a digital marketing consultant, while a dancer educated students on the business concerns involved in pursuing a career in the arts.
She then spent 15 years at Harvard working with four different presidents, thinking a lot about what, exactly, a liberal arts education is, and should be.
Shortly after taking over as Bates president, Spencer gathered a group of faculty, staff, and students in 2013 to develop the framework for what it would look like to make purposeful work a meaningful part of a Bates education.
“I always thought you had to have a passion and great work would follow. I was awaiting for that a-ha moment.” Bates has also built an internship network dedicated to purposeful work, a key resource for students who lack parents or other personal contacts who can hook them up with jobs.
Bates has raised $1 million for the purposeful work program, which helps fund internships for students who can’t afford to work for free, or next to nothing.
Callie Reynolds, a senior at Bates and current student in the “Life Architecture” class, said that recently, Fraser-Thill showed students a chart from Carleton College in Minnesota, which showed the relationships between students’ majors and their later professions.
The data Bates has released paints a positive picture, showing that a growing number of students say the program has helped them to identify potential future jobs, network, plan their careers, and more effectively present their skills and experiences.
Ninety-seven percent of employers agreed the purposeful work interns “Added value,” and 91% said the Bates student involved in an internship would be a competitive candidate for a full-time job.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why we should bulldoze the business school”

Having taught in business schools for 20 years, I have come to believe that the best solution to these problems is to shut down business schools altogether.
In 2011, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business estimated that there were then nearly 13,000 business schools in the world.
Think about the huge numbers of people employed by those institutions, about the armies of graduates marching out with business degrees, about the gigantic sums of money circulating in the name of business education.
A similar kind of lens could be applied to other modules found in most business schools – accounting, marketing, international business, innovation, logistics – but I’ll conclude with business ethics and corporate social responsibility – pretty much the only areas within the business school that have developed a sustained critique of the consequences of management education and practice.
These are domains that pride themselves on being gadflies to the business school, insisting that its dominant forms of education, teaching and research require reform.
The problem is that business ethics and corporate social responsibility are subjects used as window dressing in the marketing of the business school, and as a fig leaf to cover the conscience of B-school deans – as if talking about ethics and responsibility were the same as doing something about it.
As Joel M Podolny, the former dean of Yale School of Management, once opined: “The way business schools today compete leads students to ask, ‘What can I do to make the most money?’ and the manner in which faculty members teach allows students to regard the moral consequences of their actions as mere afterthoughts.”
So if we are going to move away from business as usual, then we also need to radically reimagine the business school as usual.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Future of College Looks Like the Future of Retail”

As online learning extends its reach it is starting to run into a major obstacle: There are undeniable advantages, as traditional colleges have long known, to learning in a shared physical space.
Paucek is, for someone who runs an online-degree company, remarkably open about the importance of physical space: “The history of online education is a vast underestimation of the power of people,” he told me.
Some of the online students even traveled to Atlanta for commencement-the first time many of them had ever set foot on the campus.
Most of them are not designed to allow students to take just one course at a time or to toggle between online and face-to-face classes; taking a class on most campuses requires enrolling as a student in a full-fledged degree or certificate program and then choosing to participate exclusively in either online or in-person classes.
Several universities, including MIT, Penn, and Boston University, recently started a type of online degree called a “MicroMasters” as a way for students to begin work on a graduate degree without committing to a years-long program.
Such physical-digital experimentation can even alter the experiences of students already enrolled at physical college campuses.
75 percent of the 56,000 undergraduates at the University of Central Florida, in Orlando, took at least one online class at the school last year, even as they were enrolled in face-to-face courses.
Nearly a third of the university’s classes take place online, which officials say has eliminated the need to build at least five additional classroom buildings.

The orginal article.