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Stories by Lory Hough

By Lory Hough 01/22/2018 3:13 PM EST
Anjali Adukia
In August of last year, a Bollywood movie called Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, which translates to Toilet: A Love Story, debuted about a woman in India who left her marriage because her husband wouldn’t build a toilet in their house. It sounds farfetched, at least here in the United States, but it’s actually based on a true story. And it highlights a very real, very serious issue in much of the developing world: Many people defecate, by choice or necessity, out in the open. In India alone, it is estimated that 70 percent of households don’t have working toilets. Where does this leave schools? As...
By Lory Hough 01/22/2018 3:11 PM EST
Dan Koretz
You’ve been writing about this issue for decades, but you’ve been holding back. Why the change? As an academic, I try to evaluate the evidence dispassionately, and for many years, I wrote measured descriptions of the accumulating evidence. I presented the first evidence of score inflation — increases in scores much larger than actual improvements in learning — more than 25 years ago, and I and others have presented additional studies of score inflation, bad test preparation, cheating, and other negative effects ever since. But I finally lost patience. Dispassionate explanations turned out to...
By Lory Hough 01/22/2018 3:10 PM EST
More Than Words
When Jodi Rosenbaum, Ed.M.'02, first began More Than Words with four young men living in a foster home in Boston, the future for the online used bookstore and training center run by troubled teens didn’t look promising. “These young men didn’t like books or technology or me telling them to pull up their pants,” she says, describing the first few weeks. But what they did come to like — what has helped the nonprofit generate more than $1 million in revenue annually — was power. Putting books into the system and seeing them sell made the teens feel something they hadn’t before: that they could...
By Lory Hough 01/22/2018 3:01 PM EST
Illustration by Rob Wilson
Cynae Punch Brown, Ed.M.’08, wrote her first young adult book, Pineapple Sugar, in part to encourage others to listen to that nagging voice in their head telling them to do something — start a business, take a class, or, like her, write the book. Brown, an instructor in the Urban Education Program at the University of Houston, talked to Ed. about motivation, grief, and how she reclaimed her creativity. LIKE THE MAIN CHARACTER, YOUR MOTHER ALSO PASSED AWAY.
After my mother died, I remember returning to school, and one of the hardest parts of the day for me was dismissal and pick-up time....
By Lory Hough 01/22/2018 2:51 PM EST
Jake Murray
After working for more than 25 years in education and human services, it would be easy for Jake Murray, Ed.M.’94, to focus on the problems. He’s certainly seen his share of them. But that’s not what he’s drawn to. He’s drawn to the optimists. The altruists. The people doing caring things. Life-saving even. And it’s these people who are now the focus of his latest work, a podcast called Power of Good. “What inspires me are those folks who see a social problem — homelessness, domestic violence, disaster relief — take action, develop a solution, and sustain this work over time,” says Murray,...
By Lory Hough 01/22/2018 2:42 PM EST
Illustration by Rob Wilson
What advice is helpful for starting your own children’s picture book series, with each book set in a different location around the world? Longy Han, Ed.M.’17, shares five tips based on her experience writing Gusto & Gecko, set first in Kenya, followed by New Orleans, China, and Australia. 1. Writing what you know helps. “I actually have only written books about places I have been before. That way I can ensure their authenticity, and I feel like I write better when I am closer to the subject. It helps to eat the food, breathe the air. I don’t think I could write about places I haven’t been...
By Lory Hough 01/22/2018 2:31 PM EST
Shireen Al-Adeimi
It was no coincidence that the day civil war broke out in Yemen in March 2015, Shireen Al-Adeimi started using Twitter. The Yemeni-born doctoral student, living in the United States at the time, noticed that what friends and family back home were reporting was being virtually ignored in the media. “They were saying, ‘We’re getting attacked!’ but there wasn’t anything in the news,” she says. She decided that she would do what she could, from Cambridge, to raise awareness. “Awareness is the number one reason I joined Twitter the day the war started,” she says. Al-Adeimi also wrote a letter to...
By Lory Hough 01/22/2018 2:17 PM EST
Josephine Kim
When Lecturer Josephine Kim moved to the United States from Korea, first to Chicago and then to Virginia, she didn’t speak English. After getting all Fs on her first American report card, she questioned the fairness, knowing she never had the chance to learn the material. She was 8 years old. Now a licensed mental health counselor, Kim spoke to Ed. about growing up, a teacher who made a difference, and why she’s known as Dr. Self-Esteem back in Korea. Hometown? The area of Seoul I was born and raised in until the age of 8 was characterized by dirt roads and lacking anything scenic like grass...
By Lory Hough 01/22/2018 1:56 PM EST
Question marks
Ever wonder what widely held practice you should stop if you’re a literacy teacher? Or what techniques you can use to help students gain confidence in math? The Ed School’s Usable Knowledge, in partnership with Digital Promise, a nonprofit authorized by Congress to spark innovation in education, launched a new series called Ask a Researcher that offers guidance to classroom dilemmas in the areas of literacy, math, and English language learning. The series collects questions from current teachers and has researchers at the Ed School answer them. Because the guidance is coming from researchers...
By Lory Hough 01/22/2018 1:48 PM EST
There’s always that risk, when a university offers a one-year master’s program like the Ed School does, that newly formed student groups and projects won’t make it beyond their first anniversary. The founders move on and new students may not have the same interests. That’s not the case with The Palette, a podcast series that focuses on the intersection of art and education. The podcast was started in 2015 by two students in the Arts in Education Program (AIE), Andrew Bauld, Ed.M.’16, and Mike Lipset, Ed.M.’16. It continued last year, producing seven episodes under co-hosts Sami Nagy-Chow and...