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  1. 9-Year-Old Girl Delivers Rousing Critique of Standardized Testing, Drops the World’s Biggest Mic

    Today in "Leslie Knope's home videos"

    On March 17, 9-year-old Sydney Smoot appeared at a meeting of her local school board and effectively tore the Florida Standards Assessment Test a new one, suggesting instead that students be given three smaller tests throughout the year.

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  2. Do Students in Online Courses Give Better Ratings to Teachers They Believe Are Men?

    Does a teacher's gender play a role in how students rate their educational efforts? A new study says yes—at least, when you can't see them.

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  3. Reading Rainbow Kickstarter Now Getting Benjamins On BackerKit

    Now where is this pile of money so we can all Scrooge McDuck in it?

    The world has become Rainbow, and now you can, too. The initial literacy fundraiser ended last week after raising an incredible $5,408,916, but there's still time to donate over on BackerKit, a crowdfunding platform that has definitely hitched itself to the right gravy train.

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  4. New Study Looks at the Impact of Snow Days on Student Performance

    Now study the impact of calling out of work with a hangover.

    For a kid (or teacher) in school there is nothing better than a snow day, but educators have been concerned with how an unexpected day off might impact a student's education. A new study examined the impact of snow days on how students learn, and the results are promising for kids who want a day off.

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  5. School Bans Superhero Costumes for Halloween

    This is how the Keene Act gets started.

    This morning a disturbing photo made its way onto the /WTF subreddit. It showed a letter sent home by a school informing parents that superhero costumes have been banned from school Halloween activities. What's even the point of Halloween then?

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  6. Bad News, College Kids: Homework Actually Does Help You Learn

    In related news, coming to class stoned does not help you learn. As we've always suspected.

    According to a recent survey of classes at East Carolina University by economics professor Nick Rupp, students who receive some amount of regular homework ultimately earn higher grades on tests. Great. I'm sure that's exactly what all of you wanted to hear right before the fall semester starts. Next we'll be telling you that too much beer is bad for you.

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  7. French Teacher Suspended for Showing Saw to Sixth-Grade Class

    Saw is probably not a good film to show 11-year-olds, and not just because of the predictable plot and hackneyed direction.

    It's that time of year again when kids are starting summer vacation and teachers just couldn't give a damn. Yesterday, we brought you the story of a fourth-grade teacher from Wisconsin who got falling down hammered while chaperoning a class field trip. Today, Europe is getting in on the action as a sixth-grade teacher in France has been suspended for putting on a viewing of Saw for a roomful of 11-year-olds. If he really wanted to watch a Cary Elwes movie that badly, it occurs to us that The Princess Bride might have saved him a lot of trouble. Also, it's a good film, unlike Saw.

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  8. Preschool Bans Kids From “Super Hero Play,” Doesn’t Even Have the Decency To Do It With Proper Grammar

    Your Stupid Minds! Stupid! Stupid!

    By now you may have seen the picture floating around of a flyer distributed by an unnamed preschool that has banned "Super Hero play." If not: Yes, there is such a preschool. Apparently kids have been getting a little rowdy there lately—which is absolutely a problem that should be solved—so the school decided, hey, instead of addressing the violence issue, let's just say they can't pretend to be superheroes. The letter, with my commentary, is behind the cut. I am unable to can with this one, folks.

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  9. Preschool Bans Kids From Pretending to Be Superheroes, Misses Point of Childhood Completely [Updated]

    A preschool has banned children from pretending to be superheroes, monsters, and wrestlers, because they clearly don't understand childhood.

    In 1954 Fredric Wertham published his book Seduction of the Innocent which said comic books were the cause of juvenile delinquency in America. They aren't, but the idea that comics are dangerous keeps popping up. This time it's showing itself in the form of a preschool that has banned "Super Hero play." What's really offensive, though, is what they've asked parents to do.

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  10. School Bus Service in Spain Gets Cut, So Mothers Pose for a Semi-Nude Calendar to Pay For It Their Own Darn Selves

    Assuming Direct Control

    Spain, as much of the world, isn't doing too well economically. After the country's construction bubble popped the government instituted sizable budget cuts, including to schools, many of which now charge way too much for lunches and have had to cut bus services. Dozens of kids at Evaristo Calayatud in Valencia now have to walk nearly four miles over unpaved roads to get to school. But a group of mothers aren't having it. If the government can't afford school buses, well, they're just going to raise the money themselves. By posing for a semi-nude calendar.

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  11. You Must Have Brains To Be Eligible For This Zombie Scholarship

    Braaaaiiiinnnnns

    Everyone deserves to be able to further their education if they want. Even zombies. Who are we to discriminate? What? This is a "Zombie Scholarship," not a scholarship for zombies? Well, I'm going to have to rethink this whole thing.

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  12. You Can Take A Skyrim Class At A Texas University

    Here Be Dragons

    We had one comic book course when I went to college and I didn't even get to take it. Now one university in Texas is offering a course on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Maybe I need to go back to school... 

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  13. Teacher Accidentally Syncs Revealing Photo to School iPad, Students Suspended for Seeing It

    As everyone probably guessed, adding technology to the classrooms has its advantages and disadvantages. Sure, it allows for students and teachers to interact with subjects and lessons in entirely new ways, but technology can also prove just how inept we truly are when it comes to gadgets. At Highland Middle School in Anderson, Indiana, four boys have been suspended after viewing a "partially-clad" photo of their teacher on a school-issued iPad. Their teacher had apparently not realized that her phone had synced with the device.

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  14. Real Swedish Chef Makes Yummy, Healthy Food For Students, Gets In Trouble For It

    Not a Misprint

    Annika Eriksson's food is delicious. Therefore, she must stop serving it to the children at the Swedish school she works in. Obviously. 

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  15. Cyberbullying Less Prevalent Than Thought; Wedgies Still Alive and Well

    Good news and bad news from the world of grade school harassment today. The good news: The dramatic uptick in cyberbullying may not be the scourge of today's youth that it is sometimes made out to be, according to a just released study. In fact, even with all their newfangled Internets and Facebooks, kids these days are still more likely to be pushed around by their peers in person than they are online. The bad news? They are still pretty likely to be bullied in the traditional manner, facing name-calling, locker stuffing, and all the other myriad pleasantries that consistently made junior high the best time of anyone's life ever.

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  16. Valve Launches Teach With Portals, All Tests To Be Proctored By GLaDOS

    We all know how good GLaDOS is at articulating physics concepts in simple words - "Momentum, a function of mass and velocity, is conserved between portals. In layman's terms, speedy thing goes in, speedy thing comes out." Now that Portal 2 is headed to classrooms complete with lesson plans, she's going to be so good with children!

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  17. Student Builds Realistic, Shooting Portal Turret for Final Project

    We've seen some nifty Portal turrets in real life before, but not one that actually shoots. A Penn State University student created this currently frameless turret for his Advanced Mechatronics class' final project. The turret, like in the game, tracks its victims via an IP webcam, as well as shoots at them, though luckily for said victims it only shoots Nerf bullets. He's working on a frame so the thing looks more like the iconic white turret we've all come to love and fear, and yes, the turret also talks in that sing-songy, haunting voice. Check out a video of the thing in action after the break.

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  18. Dad Dresses In Costumes, Spends School Year Embarrassing Son By Waving At School Bus Each Morning

    16-year-old Rain Price's high school's bus routes changed and he found that his bus would be passing by his house each morning. His dad, Dale, took this opportunity to dress up in a different costume each day and stand outside, waiting for the bus to pass by so he could wave to it. The first day of school, Dale was dressed normally for his wave. The second day, he wore a San Diego Chargers helmet. The third day, he wore an Anakin Skywalker helmet. The fourth day, he followed the Star Wars tribute by wearing swim trunks and a snorkel mask. Luckily for Rain, his peers on his bus didn't take the easy opportunity to ridicule him for his wacky dad, but instead found the morning wave and change of costume fun.

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  19. Teachers Bring Twitter Into the Classroom, But Does it Work?

    These kids today. Back when I was in school, simply having a cellphone in the school could be enough to land you in hot water. Now, the New York Times is reporting that a growing number of teachers are using Twitter and other digital communication systems as a "back channel" through which students can ask questions and engage in discussions. Educators who have embraced the new approach say that it brings more people into class discussions. From the NYTimes:
    Nicholas Provenzano, an English teacher at Grosse Pointe South High School, outside Detroit, said that in a class of 30, only about 12 usually carried the conversation, but that eight more might pipe up on a backchannel. “Another eight kids entering a discussion is huge,” he noted.
    Some students seem to echo this belief. One 17 year old interviewed by the Times said that he never felt the need to speak up during discussions. He adds that when typing, however, he feel like he can better express himself. Beyond boosting participation, some educators say that modern children respond better to more modern teaching methods. Again, from the Times:
    In Exira, Iowa, Kate Weber uses the technology for short periods almost daily with her fourth graders. “You’d think there’s a lot of distraction, but it’s actually the opposite,” she said. “Kids are much quicker at stuff than we are. They can really multitask. They have hypertext minds.”
    Bold changes to traditional teaching like this are bound to beg the question of whether or not they work.

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  20. Armenia Makes Chess a Mandatory School Subject

    Armenia is a country mad for chess, having won a number of world chess competitions in recent years. Now, the country will impart a love of chess to the next generation, committing $1.43 million to an educational program that will see chess taught as a school curriculum subject for children six and above, who will study chess in classrooms for two hours per week. While the country is framing the program in terms of Armenia's world competitiveness in chess, it's fair to expect that there will be broader educational benefits: Education ministry official Arman Aivazian said that chess lessons would "foster schoolchildren's intellectual development" and teach students to "think flexibly and wisely." (news.com.au via Neatorama. pic via Shutterstock.)

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