In a recent blog post, my colleague and teacher Rabbi Hayim Herring writes about the Fast Company article that questions whether the introduction of smartphones and handheld computers into classrooms worldwide will be the start of an educational revolution. Anya Kamenetz, author of the book DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education wonders "How technology could unleash childhood creativity -- and transform the role of the teacher."
After providing sensitivity training to some 3,000 students, teachers and law enforcement officials over the past 18 months, the Simon Wiesenthal Center's New York Tolerance Center will open its doors to the public next week.
But don't hop in a cab yet. Although the center (which strives to educate the public about respect, understanding and responsibility) is being promoted by the city's tourism bureau, NYC & Company, visits are by appointment, and only on Mondays.
The center will organize groups of 30 to undergo a two and half-hour experience.
Along the peaceful streets of Riverdale on a sunny summer afternoon, signs of Jewish life are everywhere. Kosher shops and restaurants abound on Riverdale and Johnson avenues, and seven synagogues and the Riverdale Y are bursting with activity in this suburban-flavored, hillside Bronx enclave overlooking the Hudson.
Yet synagogues, kosher shopping or even housing stock do not hold the key to Riverdale's Jewish future, community leaders say, as much as a single unremarkable building on the corner of Independence Avenue and 237th Street: Middle School 141.
At a time when university study programs in Israel have become a tough sell for many American parents, the country's Education Ministry and the Jewish Agency are setting their sights in a different, more ambitious direction: high school students.
In an unusual move, the City University of New York's chancellor overrode the administration of Brooklyn College Monday, awarding tenure to a controversial associate history professor.
Robert "K.C." Johnson, who has been teaching at the college three years, said he fell out of favor with colleagues after he complained that a faculty teach-in after 9-11 was biased against Israel and American foreign policy. Faculty members called him uncollegial.
Jewish students at Brooklyn College are standing behind a beleaguered history professor who claims his ongoing problems with the administration began when he protested alleged anti-Israel bias in a campus forum two months after 9-11.
About a quarter of some 500 students who signed a petition in defense of associate professor Robert "K.C." Johnson said they were backing him because of his stance on the November 2001 teach-in, said Daniel Weininger, a BC senior who founded Students Against Academic Terrorism, an ad hoc group supporting Johnsonís bid for tenure.
The Board of Trustees of the City University of New York has become a "rubberstamp" panel that will not debate serious matters of higher education, but carry out the will of the mayor and governor, says Edith Everett, who spent 23 years as a trustee.
A foreshadowing of the debate that could result from the state's recently passed charter schools bill, and proposed tuition voucher programs, played out last week in a free-wheeling panel discussion that touched heavily on issues of race and religion.
It wasn't quite what they were pushing for, but the coalition seeking a tax cut for parents of private school students is welcoming the break that will put $330 per child back in parents' pockets next year.
The break will apply to all families earning under $110,000 with school-age children, in a plan negotiated by both houses of the Legislature.
"This is an important first step in empowering families to make the educational choices they want for their kids," said Nathan Diament, director of public policy for the Orthodox Union.
The state legislature and Gov. George Pataki are expected to continue haggling over the scope and nature of a child tax credit following Pataki's budget vetoes last week.
The governor, who favors a credit that would aid education spending, nixed a plan ironed out by the Assembly and Senate that would award $330 to the parents of every child in the state between ages 4 and 17.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver intends to override the veto.