Thursday, March 23, 2017

It seems the best states to raise a family include a lot of snow and cold weather

North Dakota, New Hampshire, Vermont, Minnesota and Nebraska lead the list. The District of Columbia, Mississippi, and New Mexico are at the bottom. Tennessee is 37th, right behind Kentucky. From WalletHub.

2017’s Best & Worst States to Raise a Family
Raising a healthy, stable family sometimes requires moving to a new state. And the reasons are often similar: career transitions, better schools, financial challenges or perhaps a general desire to change settings. 
But wants and needs don’t always align in a particular state, which might offer, for instance, a low income-tax rate yet subpar education system. Consequently, a family must make unnecessary sacrifices — the kinds that are easily avoided by knowing which states offer the best combination of qualities that matter most to parents and their kids.

Source: WalletHub

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Social notworking

We no longer have to live with unanswered questions. Remember when we had to dig out the encyclopedia? When we could buy encyclopedias at the grocery store as an incentive to shop? O brave new world, / That has such people in 't! I suggest you try calling in sick to work with one of these--like nomophobia. From The Week.

5 new brain disorders that were born out of the digital age
1. Nomophobia
Some people are afraid of spiders. Others, heights. Or maybe you're unreasonably fearful of clowns. The list of phobias is long, and researchers recently added one more: In 2012, the world learned of "No-Mobile Phobia" or "nomophobia" — the feeling of panic one has upon being separated from one's phone or tablet. In one U.K. survey, 73 percent of respondents felt panic when they misplaced their phone. And for another 14 percent, that panic spiraled into pure desperation. 
But the research into this new fear is so new, it's hard to say conclusively whether nomophobia is good or bad for our long-term health. "Maybe the nomophobic have higher quality relationships," Piercarlo Valdesolo speculates at Scientific American. "Maybe the nomophobic have greater life satisfaction. Maybe they have more successful professional lives. Or maybe I should admit this is wishful thinking and try to detach from my device for a while."

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tennessee Reconnect

Pushing for adults to be able to attend community college for free. I've heard little opposition to it. From

A Republican governor from a deep red Southern state has emerged as an unlikely leader of the free tuition movement, winning converts across party lines by emphasizing the need for a better-trained workforce.
Now Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is pushing his state to become the first to make community college free to almost every adult. 
Liberals and conservatives remain divided about how much taxpayer money should go toward ensuring more people graduate college. But a critical shortage of skilled, qualified workers is building rare bipartisan consensus that government needs to push harder to educate today’s workforce.
“The free college movement has gained support from the left and the right, albeit for different reasons,” said Thomas Harnisch, director of state relations and policy analysis for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Liberals see free college as a social justice matter that benefits low-income students, he said, while conservatives see it as a way to bolster the workforce without significant spending.
Tennessee made history three years ago when Haslam pushed the passage of an education bill offering free community college to new high school graduates, a first in the country. That same legislation made state technical schools free to all residents, no matter how long ago they graduated. 
Former President Barack Obama’s attempt to pass a similar federal program was a non-starter with Republicans in Congress, but several states followed with their own variations and more are considering them. 
Haslam now wants an expansion – one that would make Tennessee the first state to offer free community college to nearly all adults without a post-secondary degree or certificate. The proposal still has to pass the state’s Republican-dominated legislature, but the House and Senate speakers have said the measure is expected to sail through.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

You mean Kindergarten Cop

Doesn't accurately portray how teachers work? I'm shocked. Shocked. Could the documentary discussed in the interview below, Teacher of the Year, be the only movie that really looks at a teacher's responsibilities? From The Atlantic.

How Pop Culture Misrepresents Educators
Andrew Simmons: The movie may critique the Hollywood hero-teacher narrative, but doesn’t Angie come across as the kind of teacher that a teacher should emulate? 
Angie Scioli: To suck the public in, you give them that narrative, which establishes my moral authority as a “good” teacher. Then in the second part of the movie, you learn that half my fourth-period class is failing, my value-added test scores are terrible, and the event I organized, Pridefest, is not a success. You think, “Wait, I thought she was a good teacher.” The public has been fed a media narrative that a good teacher is the hero teacher. Once that’s established, it’s more powerful to find out it’s not going all that well in some aspects. The audience hopefully realizes it’s more complicated. 
Simmons: Movies about teachers also don’t show teachers grading papers—as Angie does—for six hours on a family road trip. But that’s part of a real teacher’s life. The second half of the movie even shows Angie constantly reflecting on those challenging and disappointing experiences and trying to think of new approaches. Will non-teachers just see this as the humanizing of a hero? Or will they see it and think, “Wait, she is a great teacher, and not in spite of the stumbles, but because of how she responds to them?” 
Rob Phillips: I’m hoping it creates dialogue in which people question the monolithic, unrealistic expectations of the hero and the “hack narratives” and instead have a nuanced discussion about what teaching is. Angie is, on any day, both successful and unsuccessful. It is one thing to say and another to see. That makes it hard to ignore.

Simmons: What is the “hack narrative?”

Phillips: In film, Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Someone who knows the material but not how to perform. Someone who doesn’t care. Someone invested in a union or a teacher group, which are maligned in films. They are always a barrier, like with [Erin] Gruwell’s department head in Freedom Writers. Or when Jaime Escalante is trying to teach calculus [in the 1988 film Stand and Deliver]. 
Jay Korreck: In movies, the veteran is always the hack and the new teacher, in contrast, is a hero.