Bluum Wire: 12/4/15
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What Happens When Students Create Their Own Curriculum?

Erin Siegal McIntyre, The Atlantic

Nothing in particular stands out about the two adjoining rooms at South Burlington High School, one littered with desks, the other lined with simple grey cubicles. Yet the 30 students working inside are taking part in a uniquely personalized curriculum unlike anything their peers—or most U.S. high-school students—ever get to experience. Big Picture, a program with a chapter at South Burlington, bucks the traditional model of high-school learning. There are no tests, no grades, and, for some students, no traditional classes to sit through. READ MORE

Capturing the Amazing

Eric Kellerer, EdD, Director, NNU Doceō Center

When I travel, I take a lot of pictures. On my most recent trip, I took over 2,500. When my children were teens, they would roll their eyes as the shutter on the camera whirred. I wasn’t taking pictures of my kids; I was taking pictures of other people’s kids, buildings, cars, motorcycles carrying five people and a pig, and things that were different from my ordinary life. Checking out chalk and ringing the bell, this Liberian school attendant sat patiently through each day. When I am home, I do not take a lot of pictures. Why would I take a picture of my office or car? Why would I take a picture of my kid’s school? Despite having a camera with me at all times, routine and the predictable does not turn the eye. READ MORE

Massachusetts’s Rejection of Common Core Test Signals Shift in U.S.

Kate Zernike, The New York Times

BOSTON — It has been one of the most stubborn problems in education: With 50 states, 50 standards and 50 tests, how could anyone really know what American students were learning, or how well? At a dinner with colleagues in 2009, Mitchell Chester, Massachusetts’s commissioner of education, hatched what seemed like an obvious answer — a national test based on the Common Core standards that almost every state had recently adopted. Now Dr. Chester finds himself in the awkward position of walking away from the very test he helped create. READ MORE

Helicopter Parenting and What it Means
for Educators Today

Gil Troy, Brookings

“This must stop,” a Maryland principal recently implored in a mass email. “Parents, find another way to bond with your children.” A principal feeling compelled to remind parents not to allow underage drinking parties at their homes contradicts the usual stereotype these days of aggressive, overachieving parents pushing principals and teachers to help their children get into top colleges. But both stereotypes coexist uncomfortably as the enduring legacy of baby boomer parents. The mixed messages many modern parents convey to their kids confuse educators too. READ MORE

How Washington Created Some of the Worst Schools in America

Maggie Severns, Politico

It took 50 years for the federal government to admit officially that the education it had promised to provide Indian children was so bad it qualified as abuse. “Grossly inadequate,” wrote the authors of a scathing 1928 report. Forty years later, the feds were taking themselves to task again, in a report by Sen. Edward Kennedy that called the state of Indian education a “national tragedy.” Flash forward 46 more years. READ MORE

About Bluum

Bluum is a non-profit organization committed to ensuring Idaho’s children reach their fullest potential by cultivating great leaders and innovative schools. Bluum believes that school choice helps families, children and educators achieve more and do better. Bluum works to help Idaho become a national model for how to maximize learning opportunities for children and families. Learn more at
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