Category: Information

Learntobe.org

Another contemporary educational initiative: http://www.learntobe.org

The question here, I think, is: What are we learning to be?

From the “About Us” page:

MISSION: To provide free online tutoring and academic resources to underserved communities.

The Learn To Be Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that operates solely on donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations. It was organized exclusively for educational purposes on the principle of using the World Wide Web as a medium for people of all ages to grasp their educational potential. The Foundation’s hope is to foster and cultivate free online tutoring services that are driven by a community of users dedicated to teaching and mentoring those in need.

The backbone of the Foundation’s website includes tutoring sessions that occur online with the tutor and the student communicating via audio and a virtual whiteboard to create a seamless transition from one-on-one in-person tutoring to one-on-one online tutoring. Today, there are over one hundred Learn To Be Certified Tutors helping students across the country.

Learn To Be works with schools and organizations to provide tutoring to students in Grades K-8 in the following subjects:

  • Math
  • Science
  • Language Arts

Contaminating the University

A new interview from ClassWarU.org:

From her experiences creating an occupied social center in Rome, Claudia Bernardi speaks of self-organization and self-education between migrants, students, artists, and other precarious workers.  Within the global crisis, these spaces of resistance make common institutions that cross the boundaries of the university and city. As a kind of autonomous study center, the project has intertwined labor union organizing with political movements and knowledge production.  Building occupations have spread to include artists and other cultural workers who have squatted cinemas and theaters, making culture as a common good.  In a time of proliferating borders and frontiers, we all become migrants, struggling across divisions for shared spaces, culture, and knowledge.

Bernanke just assured that the student loan bubble will be the next “financial stability issue”

Here is the issue in a nutshell: college tuition, just like government spending, is off the charts. Both are so high, that on an unlevered basis, the payback rate is N/M. Note the use of the world “unlevered” as it is one which will never occur, before the next systemic reset, when talking about anything involving the government. And what leverage does is mask true supply and demand. If college tuition was representative of real supply and demand, prices would be tumbling on average. Instead the easy access to student debt makes college seem quite affordable at any price point and thus there is no pressure to lower the equilibrium price. Which explains this chart, where the government-funded student debt surge is merely there to fill the needs of all those kids going to college, all of whom will never be able to pay it off especially as America increasingly transitions to a part-time worker society.

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CFPB Report on Student Loans

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, a government entity created by the Dodd-Frank Act, has put out a new report on the student loan industry.

The report is useful in a number of ways. It differentiates private student loans from public Stafford loans, and tells the story of how the former overtook the latter and why over the last decade or so.

When trying to understand how debt influences the personal economics of university education, this report has essential descriptions of basic entities.

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Formative Justice

Formative Justice is a new blog on education and culture. From their About page:

Justice arises because people cannot have it all, that is, they must choose between competing “goods.” Different forms of justice arise because people find themselves constrained to choose among many kinds of goods—public goods with distributive justice, human rights with social justice, enforcement of norms with retributive justice, and prospective potentials with formative justice.

Formative justice arises as persons and groups, facing their future, find more potentialities confronting them than they have the energy, time, ability, and wherewithal to pursue. They must make choices, deploying attention, habits, effort, skill, and thought towards some possibilities, not to others. Appetites urge here and there; emotions amplify now one and then another; thought modulates it all—formative justice continually integrates drives, feelings, and reflections into a flow of existential choices that form the course of life.

Contributors to this blog examine formative justice in contemporary life and culture. We seek to clarify the concept of formative justice and with it, to sharpen awareness of how people pursue their aspirations in personal and public life.

  • What is formative justice and how does it work in the lives of persons? How can each exercise formative justice in the conduct of life and avoid formative injustice?
  • How does the public ethos strengthen a person’s capacity to exercise formative justice? What public practices spread susceptibility to formative injustice?
  • Are schools and colleges, and other institutions with formative purposes, enhancing justice? Or are they perpetrating significant formative injustices? What would make them more conducive to the full achievement of formative justice by all?What are the formative consequences of prevailing social, economic, and political practices? How do they strengthen and weaken the attainment of formative justice?

Lawn School

(from their “About” page)

A weekly series of free classes, lectures, discussions and workshops that occur on the lawns of public parks throughout New York City. Open to any and all to teach and attend, each session will take place on Thursday evenings July – August 2012. 

Our goal is to facilitate an open and welcoming learning environment in a public space, provide an opportunity for those who wish to teach a course or share a skill with interested peers to do so, and engage a diverse audience who is interested in learning but otherwise may not attend public lectures or peer to peer skill share.

Interview with Allison Hearn