Thursday, April 9, 2015

April is National Poetry Month. You can find free poetry and other resources on and (the website of the Academy of American Poets).

If you like your poetry on paper, go to the University Bookstore on Friday, April 10, when all poetry books in stock are 25% off.

University Book Store sale ad

Get prepared for April 30, Poem in Your Pocket Day!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

New Study: Mexican-American Toddlers Fall Behind

Interesting story by Claudio Sanchez on NPR today: Claudio Sanchez, Mexican-American Toddlers: Understanding The Achievement Gap.

The paper discussed is Bruce Fuller et al.,  Differing Cognitive Trajectories of Mexican American Toddlers The Role of Class, Nativity, and Maternal Practices, Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 139-69 (May 2015).

Fuller's profile (Berkeley Grad School of Education) led me to organization, PACE (Policy Analysis for California Education), a site that has lots of interesting information about schools and kids.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Important Skills for Children to Get Ahead

Pew Research Center asked adults about 10 skills: "Regardless of whether or not you think these skills are good to have, which ones do you think are most important for children to get ahead in the world today?"

Graphic adapted from Pew Research Center
The skills Americans say kids need to succeed in life
(Feb. 19, 2015) 
The percent of respondents who said each skill was important was:
Communication 90%
Reading 86%
Math 79%
Teamwork 77%
Writing 75%
Logic 74%
Science 58%
Athletic 25%
Music 24%
Art 23%
Of course, the skills aren't independent of one another. It would be hard to have great communication skills without having any reading, writing, or logic skills. And while only a minority listed art, it seems to me that graphic literacy is increasingly important to communication.

Maybe kids don't need athletic skills per se, but everyone needs to move around enough to be healthy. Athletics, music, and art enrich the quality of life, even if they aren't needed to "get ahead."

Read The skills Americans say kids need to succeed in life (Feb. 19, 2015) for more about the survey and some interesting differences by age, gender, race, and education level.