Education

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  • A Guide to the 2010 Newsweek-Kaplan College Guide

    By the time you reach the point of applying to college, you may feel that you've heard way too much advice from your parents, your teachers, your guidance counselors, your neighbors—even that guy who graduated from your high school three years ago whom you ran into at the movies last week. Everyone, it seems, has an opinion about where you should apply, what you should study, and even what you should write in your essay. If you can stand it, here's one more piece of advice: forget everything you've heard, at least for a moment, and think about the most important person in this process: you. What do you want out of college?It's a simple question with a very complicated answer. In fact, it's the theme of this 14th annual edition of the NEWSWEEK-Kaplan College Guide. Instead of focusing on different types of schools, we began by imagining different types of students and finding an environment that would work best for each one. Veteran education reporter Jay Mathews has assembled a...
  • Rosen: Think Backward About Your College Choice

    Everyone's college goal is not the same. For some students it's about experiencing college life—football games, intellectual conversations, living on campus, being away from home for the first time. For others, it's about the desire to learn about a particular area—be it art history or advanced mathematics. And for others still, it's a means to an end—a path toward a career. Many students give too little thought to what it is they really want out of college, and what kind of university can best meet their needs. And few consider whether colleges are able to meet their end of the bargain.Basing your college choice on a desired outcome can be a constructive way to approach the college-applications process. At some schools, curriculum developers actually use a process known as "backward design" to create courses by starting from the desired outcome. In other words, the curriculum is shaped and coursework selected on the basis of how well it permits a student to achieve their desired...
  • Five Great Health Sites

    Researching a health condition online? Don't get sucked in by poorly run, out-of-date sites that might scare you with misinformation—or discourage you from proven treatment. Bookmark these pages for all your health and medical questions. Still have questions? Find these sites and more on the Medical Library Association's Top Ten List. Centers for Disease Control and PreventionCleveland ClinicAmerican Academy of Family PhysiciansMayo ClinicMedline Plus (from the National Institutes of Health)—Lisa Jones
  • A Green University

    Abu Dhabi's revolutionary new eco--school looks to a future beyond oil.
  • Drugs, Murder, Race, and Harvard

    Chanequa Campbell rose from Brooklyn's gritty Bed-Stuy neighborhood to the pinnacle of the ivy league. Then somebody died in her dorm.
  • Summers's Spin: WE DID IT!

    Top White House economic aide Larry Summers gave a major policy speech at the Peterson Institute for International Economics today, but it had more to do with public relations than economics. The central message: WE DID IT! In other words, the U.S. economy has stepped back from the "abyss" of a second Great Depression, and we can thank President Obama's economic policies for turning the tide. Summers's speech may mark the beginning of a major political struggle over who or what should get credit for an economic recovery, assuming that one gets underway later this year. Summers suggested that's what will happen, but Summers notwithstanding, it isn't necessarily clear that it will.One conspicuous hole in his argument is that most of Obama's policies─proposed regulatory reforms and spending under the economic "stimulus" package─haven't yet taken effect. Most of the administration's financial reforms are still congressional...
  • The Link Between Beauty and Grades

    If you survived high school, or hope to, you probably made your peace with the fact that life is unfair: looks can compensate for a lack of brains and conscientiousness. Or to put it more bluntly, teachers give good-looking kids higher grades than homely ones, all other factors being equal, as numerous studies have found. The phenomenon is so well documented in science it even has a name: the attractiveness effect.Now sociologist Michael T. French of the University of Miami and his colleagues have discovered yet another reason for plain kids with less-than-winning personalities to feel that the deck is stacked against them. In a paper on "Effects of Physical Attractiveness, Personality and Grooming on Academic Performance in High School", to be published in the August issue of Labour Economics, they find that the three factors in their title indeed affect students' GPA in high school. (Attractiveness, personality and grooming might affect grades in K-8, as well as college, too, but...
  • Fact Check: When Did Obama Meet His Wife?

    Did President Obama make a flub today when talking about when he met his wife, Michelle? Just before his speech to a university here in Moscow this afternoon, Obama mentioned his first meeting with the future First Lady in an offhand remark. “I don’t know if anybody else will meet their future wife or husband in class like I did, but I’m sure you’ll all going to have wonderful careers,” the president said. The thing is: Obama didn’t technically meet his wife at school. Although both are Harvard Law School grads, Michelle Obama got her degree in the spring of 1988 while her future husband didn’t actually start school there until later that fall. (He graduated in 1991). The Obamas officially met in Chicago in 1989, when the future president was a summer associate at the Sidley Austin law firm and Michelle was assigned as his mentor. Was what Obama said wrong? Technically no, considering Obama was still going to school when he met his wife. But for those keeping close watch on Obama...
  • Life Without Summer Camp

    The economic downturn could be the best thing that ever happened to kids. The return of free play.
  • Breakfast Buffet, Monday, June 15

    Laid Off? Start a Business: Over half of this year's Fortune 500 firms were started in a recession or bear market.An Interview with Paul Krugman: "The risk of long stagnation is really high." Krugman has become very Cassandra-like lately but he has a Nobel Prize so we more or less have to listen to him.Checkmate at the Yellowstone Club: The tale of the Montana ski resort for the ultra-wealthy is a familiar one -- reckless borrowing, the over-reaching of the rich, overpaying for property -- but the details are fascinating and well-told.The Fed Calls the Shots: Should people who buy boats and snowmobiles be eligible for cheaper financing from the Federal Reserve?
  • Author Michael Pollan on "Food Inc." and How to Eat Well

    By Nicki GostinThe last few years have been interesting times for food and eating habits, as "slow food," locavores and farmer's markets have entered mainstream conversations about how we eat. This spring saw Michelle Obama planting the first garden on White House grounds since the era of President Roosevelt. One of the Pied Pipers leading the movement to eat more fresh, local fruits, vegetables and meats has been author Michael Pollan. In books such as In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto and The Omnivore's Dilemma, Pollan explains why junk food really is junky and why it's so important not to eat food that has ingredients that you can't even pronounce. Now Pollan appears in the new documentary Food Inc., a disturbing look at giant food companies in the United States, with a focus on the beef industry. NEWSWEEK's Nicki Gostin spoke with Pollan about whether the cost of food at farmer's markets is worth it, why Europeans eat better than Americans and the steps we can all take to...
  • Kids and War

    Since 9/11, more than a million kids have had a parent deployed. Their childhoods often go with them.
  • Breakfast Buffet, Monday, May 26

    As Goes California So Goes the Nation?: Paul Krugman, optimistic as always, worries that it might be so. He points to the shrinking and increasingly extreme ranks of the Republican party to explain why it will be especially difficult for the state to climb out of the fiscal hole--a scenario he can easily foresee playing out at the national level....
  • Liberty University Bans Democrat Club

    Liberty University's Democrat students club received notice last week that it would no longer be able to associate the University's name with any of its activities. According to a Lynchburg VA paper, the club's leadership was told "“There is absolutely no animosity at all toward any of these kids," Falwell said. “They are good, Christian kids who sit with me at ball games. I just hope they find a pro-life family organization to affiliate with so they can be endorsed by Liberty again." DNC Chair and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine has weighed in on the issue, along with gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe. "
  • St. Paul School Renamed After Obama

    As of last night, the school formerly known as Webster Magnet Elementary will be named Barack and Michelle Obama Service Learning Elementary. Staff and students had voted on the name change earlier this month, and last night the School Board ratified their decision in a 5-1 vote. The school is in it's first year of a service learning program and the community wanted a name change to reflect the change in direction. But it sparked a heated debate among parents about whether it was premature to name the school after a President who has been in office nary four months. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:Tom Conlon, the board's lone Republican, opposed the change. The...
  • No-Stress Tests

      The resurrection of Wall Street is at hand. That isn’t quite the intended message of the results of today’s stress tests, but it’s pretty likely to be the bottom line. Led by Citigroup and Bank of America, the 19 big banks that got us into much of this trouble will, by government-orchestrated means, receive the tens of billions of dollars in additional capital they need. But that’s mainly for another rainy day (as opposed to another perfect storm). “All the banks are solvent,” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said today, declaring he was “very pleased with the results.”   All of which means that whatever opportunity once might have existed for fundamental change in the financial system – with its giant institutions privately trading derivatives with each other globally --is probably slipping away. Oh, the reigning authorities won’t quite say that. There is going to be all sorts of new regulatory oversight, new capital requirements, reduced leverage rules, and such. But basi...
  • Brain Scan Update: 'Our Aim Was to Educate, Not Accuse'

    In a post earlier this week on a study raising doubts about some high-profile studies in neuroscience, I was remiss in implying that the problem existed only in fMRI studies. As the paper’s lead author, Niko Kriegeskorte, reminds me, “this is not only about brain imaging (as your title suggests), but equally affects other fields of systems neuroscience,” including EEGs....