Social networking and school reform. An unlikely pair? Not any more, given Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent donation of $100 million to struggling public schools in Newark, New Jersey. Check out the New York Times’ coverage of the announcement here.
Speaking of hundreds of millions of dollars, among other organizations directing new attention and funding to education worldwide is the World Bank, which recently unveiled a five-year, $750 million initiative to help make universal primary education a reality. In the eyes of many, however, this number falls far short of the need.
President Obama, John Legend, Brian Williams, Fordham President Chester E. Finn, Jr., and others took the stage at New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza this week for Education Nation, a forum on how to best address the complex educational challenges America faces in the 21st century. Check out the website, where there are enough videos to keep you busy for hours.
Educational innovations are undoubtedly all the rage these days, but even in the current climate, Quest Learning’s new strategy stands out. Video games, not blackboards and books, are the educational tools of the future, says Katie Salen, the video game developer-turned school administrator who created Quest. Adolescents, rejoice.
Grade skipping has fallen out of favor with many school districts in recent years, but according to Jay Mathews in his recent Washington Postcolumn, it’s time the idea came back into fashion. Gifted students, he says, derive limited benefits from the minimal “extra mile” opportunities they receive in classrooms composed of their physical, but not academic, peers.