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At 76, Jonathan Kozol Is More Outraged Over Inequality in Education Than Ever

Education activist Jonathan Kozol is letting loose on child poverty, racism, and educational inequity these days.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to get so angry," author and education activist Jonathan Kozol told a crowd of mostly educators in Los Angeles on Monday night. The teachers, many toting dog-eared copies of Savage Inequalities, Kozol's groundbreaking 1991 text which exposed in heartbreaking detail the education disparities between wealthier, whiter students and poor, minority kids, didn't need the apology. Instead they applauded Kozol, who is on a nationwide lecture tour promoting his 13th tome, Fire in the Ashes, for sustaining his moral outrage over child poverty, racism, and educational inequity for the past 40 years.

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How Technology Helps Keep This 3,000-Student Class Engaged

At Virginia Tech, a savvy professor teaches thousands of students live and in-person.


If you’ve been to college, chance are you’ve taken a big lecture class—as many as 500 students in a huge auditorium taking notes or struggling to stay awake—while a professor talks. Students often end up feeling like they’d be better off watching a video lecture from their dorm room and then just completing whatever papers or exams are required. But at Virginia Tech, “World Regions” instructor John Boyer is using technology to keep as many as 3,000 in-person students engaged.

Boyer told the Chronicle of Higher Education that there was high demand on campus for his class, so three years ago he decided to teach such large numbers as an experiment. But he’s not simply lecturing to his students. Along with having an engaging, progressive teaching style, Boyer has introduced gaming principles into his class. Students can choose their own assignments and rack up points for completing them. If they earn a total of 1,050 points, they receive an A. He also keeps students on their toes by giving them regular updates and asking questions through Facebook and Twitter—announcing online quizzes only through those channels—and he holds online office hours using instant messaging on Ustream so students can ask questions and connect.

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As Thousands of American Teachers Face Pink Slips, Teaching Is China's Hottest Job

Across the Pacific, thousands of teaching jobs are vacant.


On recent shopping trip to Trader Joe’s, I discovered that the guy bagging my groceries was a laid-off elementary-school teacher. He'd taught for eight years and planned to be a teacher for life until the budget cuts that have raised class sizes and sent pink slips to tens of thousands of teachers nationwide put that dream on ice. “Know anywhere that’s hiring?” he asked me. “China,” I replied.

Indeed, a booming population and increased demand for education across the Pacific has left schools struggling to fill teaching vacancies, particularly for kindergarten teachers. According to Asian Correspondent, school leaders showed up to a recent job fair in Hebei province looking to fill nearly 9,000 positions. Only 810 applicants showed up, giving prospective teachers plenty of options.

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Steven Colbert and Teachers Union Head Randi Weingarten Skewer Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Colbert weighs in on the Wisconsin protests with "the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Mullah Sheikh Omar Randi Weingarten."

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Teachers union head Randi Weingarten appeared on The Colbert Report last night to voice her support of Wisconsin's protesting public employees. What ensued was a subtle skewering of both Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's plans to end collective bargaining, and the anti teachers union sentiment that's swept the nation over the past two years.

Colbert poked fun at the ridiculous level of union vilification by introducing Weingarten as one of the "terrorist union leaders" that should be hunted down, adding, "Here for her last interview before she is renditioned to Guantanamo, please welcome, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Mullah Sheikh Omar Randi Weingarten."

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