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English Hound brings you educational and cultural news from the United States. But these articles are just the beginning! We welcome submissions from people in Asia, the U.S. and anywhere in the world. Whether you are a mom, an educator, a writer, or a student, we want to hear your thoughts about English learning, education, culture and philosophy. We will publish submissions that we believe are well-written, informative, and interesting. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

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Articles of the Week

New York Times (January 31, 2016): "How to Raise a Creative Child. Step One: Back Off" Child prodigies rarely become adult geniuses who change the world. We assume that they must lack the social and emotional skills to function in society. When you look at the evidence, though, this explanation doesn’t suffice: Less than a quarter of gifted children suffer from social and emotional problems. A vast majority are well adjusted — as winning at a cocktail party as in the spelling bee. What holds them back is that they don’t learn to be original. They strive to earn the approval of their parents and the admiration of their teachers. But as they perform in Carnegie Hall and become chess champions, something unexpected happens: Practice makes perfect, but it doesn’t make new. [Read More]

New York Times (January 20, 2016): Rethinking College Admissions" Over recent years there’s been a steady escalation of concern about the admissions process at the most revered, selective American colleges. And little by little, those colleges have made tweaks. But I get the thrilling sense that something bigger is about to give. The best evidence is a report to be released on Wednesday. I received an advance copy. Titled “Turning the Tide,” it’s the work primarily of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, though scores of educators — including the presidents and deans of admission at many of the country’s elite institutions of higher education — contributed to or endorsed it. Top administrators from Yale, M.I.T. and the University of Michigan are scheduled to participate in a news conference at which it’s unveiled. “Turning the Tide” sagely reflects on what’s wrong with admissions and rightly calls for a revolution, including specific suggestions. [Read More]

Boston Globe (January 19, 2016): "Fight to find cheats takes schools around the world" As a record number of Chinese students stream into American universities, verification companies like this one have sprouted up to help combat doctored transcripts, falsified essays, and surrogate test-takers. They vie against another set of Chinese companies, which turn out false applications and seek to profit off the frenzy for a US degree. [Read More]

New York Times (December 26, 2015): "New Jersey School District Eases Pressure on Students, Baring an Ethnic Divide" This fall, David Aderhold, the superintendent of a high-achieving school district near Princeton, N.J., sent parents an alarming 16-page letter. The school district, he said, was facing a crisis. Its students were overburdened and stressed out, juggling too much work and too many demands. In the previous school year, 120 middle and high school students were recommended for mental health assessments; 40 were hospitalized. And on a survey administered by the district, students wrote things like, “I hate going to school,” and “Coming out of 12 years in this district, I have learned one thing: that a grade, a percentage or even a point is to be valued over anything else.” With his letter, Dr. Aderhold inserted West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District into a national discussion about the intense focus on achievement at elite schools, and whether it has gone too far.[Read More]

New York Times Motherlode (May 15, 2015): Free Range vs. Helicopter Parenting: Get the Facts Free Range and Helicopter Parenting are two different and opposing parenting styles that illustrate what happens to a flourishing post-industrial society with excess leisure time. This also explains why “The Bachelor” is in its 19th season. [Read More]

Washington Post Innovations (May 18, 2015): "Why calling Asian Americans a model minority glosses over crucial issues". Asians Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are the fastest growing racial group in the United States; their population is expected to double to more than 47 million by 2060. Yet the needs of these communities are rarely discussed,because AAPIs, in the aggregate, are also the highest-income and best-educated ethnic groups in the United States. A common perception is that they are the model minority: the doctors, techno wizards, and successful business owners. The success isn’t, however, evenly distributed, and these communities face serious problems, just as other minority groups do. [Read More]

New York Times (May 16, 2015): "Let the Kids Learn Through Play" The idea seems obvious: Starting sooner means learning more; the early bird catches the worm. But a growing group of scientists, education researchers and educators say there is little evidence that this approach improves long-term achievement; in fact, it may have the opposite effect, potentially slowing emotional and cognitive development, causing unnecessary stress and perhaps even souring kids’ desire to learn. [Read More] (May 18, 2015): "Asian-American Groups Accuse Harvard of Discrimination". A coalition of Asian-American organizations says the federal government should step in to change Harvard's approach to admissions, accusing the university of racial discrimination. In a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education and the Justice Department on Friday, the coalition of more than 60 groups claims that the university unfairly holds Asian-American applicants to a higher standard. Asian-Americans have the lowest acceptance rates at Harvard University and other elite universities, the complaint alleges, despite having some of the highest test scores and overall academic achievement. [Read More]

New York Times (April 27, 2015): "Moments that move me at Women in the World" After every year’s Women in the World summit, I’m left to ponder the extraordinary courage of the women who have joined us. There were many, and they and their stories will live on in our hearts. [Read More]

New York Times (April 25, 2015): "Push, Don't Crush, the Students". PALO ALTO HIGH SCHOOL, one of the nation’s most prestigious public secondary schools, is sandwiched between two stark and illusory paths. Across the street to the west, Stanford University beckons as the platonic ideal, a symbol of the road to Google, the White House, the mansion on the hill. To the east, across a bike trail, are the railroad tracks where three boys from the school district have killed themselves this year. Suicide clusters are relatively rare, accounting for about 5 percent of teenage suicides. Startlingly, this year’s is the second contagion to visit this city. Five students or recent graduates of the district’s other high school, Gunn High School, killed themselves beginning in 2009. [Read More]

Education Week (April 10, 2015): "Gifted Students Are Still Stepchildren." No other country in the industrialized world pays so little attention to its gifted children as the U.S. ("Gifted students -especially those who are low-income - aren't getting the focus they need," The Washington Post, Mar. 31). This may be because we assume that the gifted don't need the same focus as their classmates. [Read More]

New York Times Motherlode (April 9, 2015): Raising Your Successful 35-Year-Old What do we mean when we say we want to raise “successful” children? Too often, especially around this time of year, that conversation centers on college or the kinds of academics and activities that lead to college. “Success” is hard to measure, and those external markers make for comforting milestones along the way. Comforting, but dangerous. Because when checking off the achievement box is what defines success, it’s too easy to forget that it’s the qualities in our children that might lead to those accomplishments that matter — not the goals themselves. [Read More]

The American Conservative (April 3, 2015): "Meritocracy Fails in Fairfax County. TJ High is an elite magnet school that admits students based on their academic aptitude and achievement and offers “courses in differential equations, artificial intelligence and neuroscience.” According to the Post, 70 percent of the incoming freshmen are Asians, the highest percentage ever for a school already 60 percent Asian. Ten years ago, the student body was 32 percent Asian. White students make up 29 percent of the school today, but are only 22 percent of the entering class. The class of 2019 will have 346 Asians and 102 whites, but only 12 Hispanics and 8 blacks. [Read More]

NPR Code Switch (April 3, 2015): Way More College Students are Studying Korean. Is 'Hallyu' the Reason?" A recent study found that in general, college students aren't taking foreign language classes as much as they used to — a slowdown of nearly 7 percent since 2009. But for one language in particular, there's actually been a pretty amazing jump in the rate of enrollment: Korean. The Modern Language Association says there was a 45 percent increase in university-level enrollment in Korean language classes between 2009 and 2013, from 8,449 students to 12,229. Though the raw numbers are still quite small, a look at why any sort of jump might be happening is interesting. [Read More]

New York Times (April 6, 2015): "At Success Academy Charter Schools, Polarizing Methods and Superior Results". In its devotion to accountability, Success Academy, New York City’s polarizing charter school network, may have no peer. Though it serves primarily poor, mostly black and Hispanic students, Success is a testing dynamo, outscoring schools in many wealthy suburbs, let alone their urban counterparts. Those kinds of numbers have helped Success, led by Eva S. Moskowitz, to expand to become the city’s largest charter network. [Read More]

New York Times (April 3, 2015): "Parents and Teachers Meet in a New York Minute (or 5 if They’re Lucky)" On parent-teacher conference day at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan last week, scores of tense parents bunched together in the lobby, penned in behind yellow caution tape. At exactly 1 p.m., the tape dropped and the grown-ups stampeded up the stairs, jostling to get to the front of the pack. “It’s like the running of the bulls in Pamplona,” said Randi Amick, the mother of a junior, before disappearing down a hallway. In middle and high school, most New York City public school teachers have at least 150 students, and so the few hours each year set aside for formal conferences become an exercise in orderly chaos. [Read More]

Business Insider (April 2, 2015): The 50 smartest public high schools in the US

Business Insider (March 31, 2015): "Ivy League admission letters just went out — here are the acceptance rates for the Class of 2019". Based on today's Ivy League acceptance notifications, this article delineates the new acceptance rates for the Ivies. Surprisingly, some of their admissions percentages actually increased this year.

Business Insider (March 30, 2015): "Strategy More: Success Psychology Children Education Science says that parents of successful kids have these 7 things in common". Mr. Baer points to certain characteristics that parents of successful kids tend to have and how these characteristics can help kids get a head start in life.

Buzz Feed: "I Saw My Admissions Files Before Yale Destroyed Them". In, I Saw My Admissions Files Before Yale Destroyed Them, Buzz Feed writer Molly Hensley-Clancy writes about her experience reviewing her confidential admissions file at Yale. In a basement in the Yale Admissions Office, Ms. Hensley-Clancy received a sneak-peek of Yale's review of her candidacy as a high-school candidate from Minneapolis.

Business Insider (March 30, 2015): "Here's the college essay that got a high school senior into all 8 Ivy League schools

Christian Science Monitor (March 29, 2015): " Academic dishonesty at Stanford: What compels elite students to cheat?"

Yahoo News with Katie Couric (March 18, 2015): "Frank Bruni talks college admissions madness"

Washington Post (March 26, 2015): "Why America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous"

New York Times (March 28, 2015): "Linda Zecher of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: The Danger of ‘One Size Fits All’"

TED (September 4, 2014): "What the Best Education Systems are Doing Right"


World Science Festival, May 27 - 31 "The World Science Festival returns to New York City, May 27 to May 31, with more than 50 extraordinary events, performances, and exhibitions designed to make the esoteric understandable and the familiar fascinating. Now in its eighth year, the 2015 Festival brings together many of the world’s leading scientific minds with renowned artists and influential thinkers for a five-day celebration that, through discourse and debate, conversation and performance, allows everyone—kids and adults, novice and enthusiast—to experience science in a unique and thrilling way." [Read More]

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