Brazil's ambitious anti-poverty initiative engages its youngest citizens

New research suggests that a key cause of poverty is poor parents' lack of engagement with neonates and toddlers. Brazil is trying to change that by showing parents the importance of interacting meaningfully with young children through eye contact and activities. Read the rest

David Garcia thinks he can become governor of Arizona by campaigning for progressive policies instead of against Republicans

Despite being home to millions of sensible people, including a large bloc of potentially progressive Latinx voters, Arizona keeps elevating billionaire-friendly (and billionaire backed) white supremacist authoritarians to high office. Read the rest

Disgraced charter school exec pleads guilty to criminal money laundering, resigns from LA school board

Ref Rodriguez ran a big-money campaign to be the first representative of a charter school to be elected to LA's public school board; the money came from the deep-pocketed investors in charter schools, and was criminally laundered with Rodriguez's help and led to him being made president of LA's board of ed. Read the rest

The Gates Foundation spent $775m on a Big Data education project that was worse than useless

Kudos to the Gates Foundation, seriously: after spending $775m on the Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching, a Big Data initiative to improve education for poor and disadvantaged students, they hired outside auditors to evaluate the program's effectiveness, and published that report, even though it shows that the approach did no good on balance and arguably caused real harms to teachers and students. Read the rest

Trump's tariffs will kill making, especially STEM education, while encouraging US manufacturers to go offshore

With Trump poised to exact high tariffs on goods from China, it's tempting to declare the gadget party over: everyone is going to pay through the nose for electronics, from makers to Apple, and that's the end of the story, right? Read the rest

GDP vs human thriving: a "healthy" economy means debt-haunted people, desperately searching for housing

GDP and stock market performance are the two metrics that economists (and politicians) use to measure the health of a nation's economy, and by those metrics, Trump is doing a hell of a job. Read the rest

British army targeted "stressed" 16-year-olds on exam-results day with Facebook recruitment ads

Every August, British 16-year-olds get their marks from the GCSE exams, a high-stakes test that has an enormous impact on their future educational and earnings prospects; on results day 2015, the British Army used Facebook targeting to reach these 16-year-olds with messages like "No matter what your results will be, you can still improve yourself in the army." Read the rest

Lecture videos from MIT's "The Human Brain" undergrad course

MIT 9.11, "The Human Brain," is taught by Nancy Kanwisher, the Walther A. Rosenblith Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences, MIT; Kanwisher is an engaging and lively science communicator and has posted videos of the complete course lecture series for your perusal; her own speciality is neuroimaging, and the introductory lecture is a fascinating (and, at times, terrifying) tale of her colleague's neurological condition and what she learned from it. (via Four Short Links) Read the rest

Tax-funded charter schools textbooks deny evolution, teach human-dinosaur cohabitation, endorse slavery and indigenous genocide

2,000 US schools use textbooks from Abeka, BJU Press and Accelerated Christian Education (ACE), including tax-funded charter schools across America; students who learn from these texts are taught that God wanted Protestantism to flourish in North America and that Catholocism is not a true faith; that it was better Africans to be enslaved and come to "know Christ" than to be free but not Christian; that evolution is untrue; that humans and dinosaurs lived together (and that Noah brought baby dinosaurs on the ark); that the Loch Ness monster is real; that "abortion, gay rights and the Endangered Species Act" are part of a "radical social agenda"; that nonwhites are inferior (60% of the tax-funded scholarship students at charter schools come from racialized minorities and are thus taught that they are racially inferior to their white schoolmates). Read the rest

How much are teachers paid in every US state?

How much money are teachers in the US paid? The correct answer, of course, is "not enough." As nationwide teacher strikes continue, HowMuch created infographics showing the average annual teacher salary by state. Above is the elementary school infographic.

The coasts offer the highest salaries, led by liberal states like New York and California, where teachers can make tens of thousands of dollars more than the national average wage of about $49k. There are also a couple of states in the Upper Midwest where teachers can make between $60-70,000, including Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan. The combination of above-average incomes with great benefits like a pension make these places ideal for teachers.

See the middle school and high school data here: "The Best (and Worst) States for Teacher Compensation" Read the rest

Texas high-school principal fires award-winning, nationally famous journalism teacher to rein in critical student newspaper reporting

Dallas-Fort Worth's Prosper High School has an excellent student paper, the Eagle Nation Online, with a most excellent advisor, Lori Oglesbee-Petter, a journalism teacher with 34 years of experience, whose students won 175 state and national journalism awards last year alone. Read the rest

Florida Man arrested for teaching kids where babies come from... at the top of his lungs

No matter how shitty a day I've had, I can always count on Florida Man to cheer me up or at the very least, horrify me to the point that my personal problems feel like minor issues.

In this episode, we find Florida Man educating the young in the miracle of human reproduction. Unfortunately, not everyone present for Florida Man's lecture enjoyed what he had to say, or how he said it.

From BuzzFeed:

A Florida man was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after climbing on top of a playground full of children and yelling about where babies come from.

A police officer said Otis Dawayne Ryan, 30, climbed to the top of the playground equipment at a park in Clearwater on Sunday afternoon and began shouting at the children, telling them "babies come out of women," according to court documents.

"He then yelled, 'They come out of their pussies,'" the officer wrote in an arrest affidavit. "At that time parents were rushing to the area to remove their children."

I suppose I can see their point.

This wasn't Mr. Ryan's first brush with the law. Hell, it wasn't even his first brush with the law of the day. According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, before holding his sex education class on top of the jungle gym, Ryan spent his morning yelling at tourists  and making lewd comments to any women who happened to pass by.

Despite what a class act he is, the cops were only able to ding Ryan with one count of disorderly conduct, which carries a fine of $118. Read the rest

New York high school will use CCTV and facial recognition to enforce discipline

Next year, high schools in Lockport New York will use the "Aegis" CCTV and facial recognition system to track and record the interactions of students suspected of code of conduct violations, keeping a ledger of who speaks to whom, where, and for how long. Read the rest

High school students who will not smile in the hallways are sent to mandatory counselling, while bullying is rampant

High school students in Pennsylvania's Northern Lebanon School District report that they are not allowed to walk through their schools' hallways unless they smile; if they refuse they are sent for mandatory counselling. Read the rest

Student debt crisis watch: pay $18,000 of your $24,000 loan, owe $24,000

Kaitlin Cawley finished grad school with $95,000 in student loans, including a $24,000 variable-rate loan that started at 9.4% and now stands at 11%, a loan that the US government lender Sallie Mae brokered for her when she was 20. Read the rest

75% of Theresa May's £50m gift to grammar schools will go to Tory districts

The UK Conservative Party has "made Britain great again" by restoring systems that use tax money to subsidise the wealthy; for example, they have revived the "grammar school" system of publicly funded schools that get to turn away students based on their test scores. Since you can improve your test scores by paying expensive tutors, grammar schools are primarily a way of letting wealthy people enjoy a parallel, publicly funded educational system. Read the rest

Prof says he'll grade students on a curve, so they organize a boycott of the exams and all get As

Johns Hopkins Computer Science prof Professor Peter Fröhlich grades his students on a curve: the highest score on the final gets an A and everyone else is graded accordingly. Read the rest

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