American Educator: Spring 2004

  • Notebook

    Don't Forget Grammar!

    There's a big disconnect between what students think is necessary for college and what colleges think—a topic discussed extensively in this American Educator. A survey from ACT shows there's also a big disconnect between high school teachers and college professors on the importance of ......

  • For Better, for Worse: Standards and Accountability

  • It's Time to Tell the Kids: If You Don't Do Well in High School, You Won't Do Well in College (or on the Job)

    James E. Rosenbaum

    Every year I ask my college class how many students have seen a high school teacher cry, and most students raise their hands. When I ask what provoked the crying, most stories are about teachers who threaten to give students bad grades and students who do not care. When I ask my colleagues the...

  • What You Need To Do in High School If You Want To Graduate from College

    Let's start by getting the cold, hard truth out in the open: Less than 40 percent of students who plan to go to college actually earn a two- or four-year degree within 10 years of graduating from high school (Rosenbaum, 2001). Do you know what it takes to succeed in college? The simple answer is...

  • All Good Jobs Don't Require a College Degree...

    But Getting a Good Job without a College Degree Depends a Lot on High School Effort—and the Support a High School Provides James E. Rosenbaum

    Encouraging students to attend college despite their poor academic preparation is a practice based in part on the premise that all decent jobs require a college education. Although average earnings are higher for those with college degrees (Carnevale and Desrochers, 2002), it is easy to misread...

  • What Does It Mean to Be Prepared for College?

    (Or for Jobs in the High-Growth, High-Performance Workplace)

    As James Rosenbaum notes, there are currently good jobs with which one can support a family (such as in construction trades, clerical and administrative support, graphics, and many government and social services jobs) that students with strong high school records and no college degree can...

  • High School Preparation Is the Best Predictor of College Graduation

    What increases students' chances of earning a bachelor's degree? According to a widely-acclaimed study of over 10,000 students, the high school curriculum is key. Called Answers in the Tool Box, this study by U.S. Department of Education researcher Clifford Adelman examined more than 20...

  • Education in Wonderland

    Outdoor Classrooms and Rich Murals Make Learning a Delightful Adventure Roberta Fallon

    Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, once said, "Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it." Thanks to a group of hard-working teenagers and the support of the Mural Arts Program, these...

  • Opening Classroom Doors

    Heroes for the Good of the Profession James Hiebert, Ronald Gallimore, James W. Stigler

    At a recent meeting of mathematics teachers and educators in Wilmington, Del., an eighth-grade math teacher named Crystal Lancour was introduced to enthusiastic cheers and heartfelt applause. Had she won an award? Had her students accomplished something special? No, nothing like that. Then what...

  • Ask the Cognitive Scientist

    Practice Makes Perfect—but Only If You Practice Beyond the Point of Perfection Daniel T. Willingham

    Question: Just how much should students practice what they learn? On the one hand, it seems obvious that practice is important. After all, "practice makes perfect." On the other hand, it seems just as obvious that practicing the same material again and again would be boring for...

  • Cultural Literacy Rocks

    How Core Knowledge Can Help You Understand and Enjoy Rock Music ... and Much, Much More Matthew Davis

    "What if you knew her
    And found her dead on the ground?"

    That's the question rock musicians Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young (CSNY) asked in their hit song, "Ohio." When the band released the song in May of 1970, every young person in...