Officer Friendly doesn’t work here any more | Joanne

Whatever happened to Officer Friendly? asks Eric Easter of Urban News Service.

“I remember Officer Friendly used to come from 1st to 4th grade, teaching us that the police were our friends,” Chris Newman wrote on Old Time D.C. “Then, in 5th grade, it went from ‘I am your friend’ to ‘I am not to be trifled with.’ That is a very jarring experience.”

Most police departments have dropped “Officer Friendly” programs, writes Easter.

However, New Jersey legislators hope to put Friendly back on the school beat. The Assembly has passed a bill requiring schools to teach children how to interact…

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Did Eratosthenes really measure the size of the earth? | Pedro

The Renaissance Mathematicus

Last Thursday was Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and The Guardian chose to mark the occasion with an article by astrophysicist turned journalist and novelist, Stuart Clark, who chose to regale his readers with a bit of history of science. The big question was would he get it right? He has form for not doing so and in fact, he succeeded in living up to that form. His article entitled Summer solstice: the perfect day to bask in a dazzling scientific feat, recounted the well know history of geodesy tale of how Eratosthenes used the summer solstice to…

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Apprenticeship: Will it work in the U.S.? | Joanne

Apprentices learn control engineering in Leipzig, Germany Photo: Waltraud Grubitzsch/dpa/Corbis

The much-admired German apprenticeship system “relies on a very stratified education system along with regulated and heavily unionized labor markets,” writes Eric Hanushek in Education Next. Furthermore, it produces narrowly trained workers who aren’t prepared for changing work demands.

Half of all German youth participate in their vocational and apprenticeship system, which itself builds upon school tracking that occurs in the 4th  grade. The dual system involves youth at the end of compulsory…

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Scaling Up “Successful” Reforms (Part 1) | larrycuban

Recently a journalist contacted me to discuss the closure of a Carpe Diem school in Indianapolis after five years and the jeopardy of the charter network’s expansion from its original Yuma (AZ) location (see here and here; YouTube marketing video here).

We talked about the historic difficulties of “scaling up” innovations in public schools. I offered some examples of how hard it is to take a “successful” innovation and grow it quickly elsewhere in the name of efficiency (economies of scale) and effectiveness (to help more children and youth). In many instances, pressure to “scale up” from…

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2 years to prosperity: nursing, aviation, tech trades | Joanne

Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics students Tyler Clark and David Hink simulate removing an engine with instructor Paul Eisenhart at the Hagerstown campus. Photo: Joe Crocetta/Herald-Mail

A two-year degree in nursing or a technical trade can lead quickly to a middle-class wage, reports Forbes in a story on top trade schools.

Payscale estimates a $52,500 early career median salary for a nurse with an associate degree. That’s more than 75 percent of four-year graduates earn.

There are lots of opportunities for people with technical skills as baby boomers retire.

“We just had a career…

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