Amy E. Slaton is a Professor of History in the Department of History and Politics at Drexel University. For more information on her scholarship and research, see the "About" page or download her CV. For information on her teaching, please visit her official university Web page.
In the pursuit of more affordable higher ed for more Americans the idea of “direct assessment” strikes many as promising, as Paul Fain reports in “Beyond the Credit Hour,” on InsideHigherEd. This is a move to use competency tests, rather than numbers of credit hours taken by students, as the measure of degree-program efficacy.
I have no doubt that racist inclinations underlie Mitt Romney’s claim this week that different “cultures” explain Israeli prosperity and Palestinian poverty. Essentialist characterizations of this kind, which depend on strategic denials of history, arise from bigotry, full stop. In the taxonomic universe Romney inhabits, positive labels, as that given here to seemingly industrious Israel, [...]
I wasn’t going to post anything about Gene Marks’ ridiculous Forbes column of the other day, “If I were a poor black kid,” which told disadvantaged young people that if they study a lot and use lots and lots of technology, they will transcend the immense structural inequities that shape America today (oh wait, I [...]
Birdwatching. Rock collecting. Stargazing. These science-centered field activities have lately taken on the label of “out of school experiences” for some STEM educators, and “outreach” for the clubs and organizations that sponsor them. Here, Jesse Smith, Philadelphia-based writer and curator, guest blogs, on the complex issue of inclusion in one “recreational” science:
I am privileged to live in a district with superb public schools. But, despite its proximity to some of the most affluent suburbs of Philadelphia and access to significant tax revenues, this is also a school system, like so many others in the nation, with a documented achievement gap between African American students and those [...]
Teeth pretty much gritted, I’m collecting uses of the word “innovation” in discussions of America’s current economic malaise, convinced that the promotion of high-tech invention has become the smiley face of the new millennium: A jolly and superficial exhortation (“If only we innovate, things will be better!”), that has started to function as [...]
An article by Tamar Lewin this week in the New York Times (front page, no less), “For Students at Risk, Early College Proves a Draw”, deserves a close read. The title alone signals the unusually progressive outlook of the program described in the piece; “At risk” kids and “early college” opportunities? A rare combination.