Long-unavailable recordings go online via National Jukebox project

The Library of Congress has made available more than 3 million music and spoken-word recordings for online public streaming as part of a new National Jukebox project, a joint venture between the library and Sony Music that will give free access to thousands of Sony-controlled recordings long out of circulation because of commercial or copyright issues. Some of the 10,000 titles streamable at the new National Jukebox website have been unavailable for more than 100 years, a significant chunk of them because of complex laws controlling ownership of sound recordings, which did not become subject to federal copyright laws until 1972. Among the highlights are vintage performances by celebrated classical musicians, including Enrico Caruso and Fritz Kreisler; the first blues recording, “Livery Stable Blues,” made in 1917 by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band; a comedy skit by the vaudeville team of Gallagher and Shean; speeches of President Teddy Roosevelt; and music of the John Philip Sousa Band conducted by its namesake. “There are so many angles from the academic perspective of how this would be a resource,” said Chris Sampson, associate dean of the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. “Just in my small corner of the universe of teaching songwriting, the ability to be able to go to the source so students can see the tradition of American music and American songwriting … is going to be enormous. To me, that’s just gold.” http://www.loc.gov/jukebox

tags

High school graduation rates up, but some states lag behind

More high school students are hitting the books and getting their degrees within four years, data from the National Center for Education Statistics show. But not every state is part of that positive trend, the Lookout reports. About 74.7 percent of high school students in the class of 2007-08 graduated on time, up from 72 percent of the class of 2002. But on-time graduation rates dropped by more than 5 percent in Utah, the District of Columbia, and Nevada over the same period…

Click here for the full story

tags

School’s out as districts weigh lightening homework loads

School districts from coast to coast are weighing the elimination of homework on weekends and holidays, part of a move by educators to rein in student workloads, Reuters reports. Officials at public schools in Galloway Township, New Jersey, this week proposed no more homework on weekends and holidays for their 3,500 students, and the Pleasanton Unified School District in northern California suggested drastic changes to homework policy for the 14,500-student district…

Click here for the full story

tags

Calif. budget will keep new $105M school closed

A Southern California school district spent $105 million on a new state-of-the-art high school, but after three years of funding cuts doesn’t have the money to operate it, reports the Associated Press. The Alvord Unified School District in Riverside was supposed to open the new Hillcrest High School in September to relieve overcrowding at another high school. But the district can’t afford to hire staff and pay the costs to open it, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Click here for the full story

tags

GOP questions federal rules on healthier eating

House Republicans are pushing back against Obama administration efforts to promote healthier lunches, saying the Agriculture Department should rewrite rules it issued in January meant to make school meals healthier. They say the new rules are too costly, the Associated Press reports. The bill, approved by the House Appropriations Committee late Tuesday, also questions a government proposal to curb marketing of unhealthy foods to children and urges the Food and Drug Administration to limit rules requiring calorie counts be posted on menus…

Click here for the full story

tags

Mexican teacher, praised for protecting students during drug war fight

A kindergarten teacher in northern Mexico was honored Monday for her courage after a video showed her calmly instructing children to duck and cover as gunfire rattled outside their school, the Associated Press reports. A certificate presented by the governor of the northern state of Nuevo Leon said teacher Martha Rivera Alanis showed “outstanding civic courage” in her steady performance during the Friday gunfight in the northern industrial hub of Monterrey…

Click here for the full story

tags

Alliance calls for ‘deeper learning’ to better prepare students

American students lag behind their international peers in their ability to apply knowledge to problem solving.

Mere proficiency in regurgitating facts is not enough, the Alliance for Excellent Education (AEE) said in a policy brief released May 26: To be competitive in today’s complex society, students need to be exposed to “deeper learning” that will allow them to be more prepared for college or a career.

“Deeper learning is simply what highly effective educators have always provided: the delivery of rich core content to students in innovative ways, allowing them to learn and then apply what they have learned,” said Bob Wise, AEE’s president.

The brief, entitled “A Time for Deeper Learning: Preparing Students for a Changing World,” outlined the policy changes necessary to provide students with learning that develops more than mere familiarity with content.

According the report, deeper learning prepares students to do the following:

  1. Know and master core academic content.
  2. Think critically and solve complex problems.
  3. Work collaboratively.
  4. Communicate effectively.
  5. Be self-directed and able to incorporate feedback.

AEE said this kind of deeper learning produces higher academic performances and allows for the application of lessons to real-world situations.

“A Time for Deeper Learning” argues that the United States has a two-tier system of education, where affluent students have more of an opportunity to achieve deeper learning, whereas low-income students learn only basic skills and knowledge. Results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) highlight the fact that American students lag behind their international peers in using their knowledge to solve reading, math, and science problems.

tags