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Stories by Matt Weber

By Matt Weber 10/18/2017 4:37 PM EDT
Mark Emmert, president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), wants you to know that there are some misperceptions when it comes to his organization. For one, the NCAA is not a corporation where one person, or even a few, dictate how things are going to work in college athletics. Instead, he says, the nonprofit acts as an organizational structure where over a thousand schools come together to make decisions through a representative system. The NCAA, says Emmert, is more like the United Nations than the NFL. Emmert also wants to be clear that, despite the fact that a number of...
By Matt Weber 10/11/2017 8:09 AM EDT
Preschool Paints
On October 5, 2017, the Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative brought together leaders in early education from across the country for discussions around the delivery of high-quality early learning at scale and its benefit to children and society for its convening, The Leading Edge of Early Education: Expansion and Improvement for Impact. Read more about the early findings of the Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative: Where Preschoolers Learn.   About the Harvard EdCast The Harvard EdCast is a weekly series of podcasts, available on the Harvard University iTunes U page, that...
By Matt Weber 09/20/2017 4:40 PM EDT
Girls Who Code
In the 1980s, says Girls Who Code Founder and CEO Reshma Saujani, more than 40 percent of computer science graduates were women, but today that number has decreased to about 18 percent. What caused this tremendous decline? Saujani has a theory: While the image of the "brogrammer" — young men in hoodies in front of computer screens — was hard to miss in pop culture, there was rarely a woman to be seen. “[Little girls] looked at this image and they didn’t see themselves in it, and they started opting out,” says Saujani. To counter this, she founded Girls Who Code with a single mission: to close...
By Matt Weber 09/13/2017 8:34 AM EDT
Dan Koretz
    About the Harvard EdCast The Harvard EdCast is a weekly series of podcasts, available on the Harvard University iTunes U page, that features a 15-20 minute conversation with thought leaders in the field of education from across the country and around the world. Hosted by Matt Weber and co-produced by Jill Anderson, the Harvard EdCast is a space for educational discourse and openness, focusing on the myriad issues and current events related to the field.
By Matt Weber 08/31/2017 3:38 PM EDT
What does it take for a non-incacerated instructor to provide a valuable learning experience for his or her incarcerated students? This is a question without definite answers, says Erin Castro, assistant professor at the University of Utah. A longtime instructor affiliate with the Education Justice Project, which provides higher educational opportunities to students at the Danville Correctional Center in central Illinois, Castro engaged one of her incarcerated students, Michael Brawn, in a dialogue exploring the challenges of educating a population within the constraints of a carceral system...
By Matt Weber 08/17/2017 2:12 PM EDT
School Hallway
Throughout his long career as an education journalist for PBS Newshour and NPR, John Merrow, Ed.D.'73, spoke to many people in education — from policymakers to district leaders to classroom teachers — and he was impressed by the dedication most had to improving the field. "The best people in the world work in education," says Merrow, author of numerous books on education including The Influence of Teachers: Reflections on Teaching and Leadership. "There’s no question about that.” But there was a problem, in his estimation. Despite all the well-meaning people devoting their time and energy to...
By Matt Weber 06/20/2017 4:45 PM EDT
Newark School
Christopher Cerf came to Newark in 2015 ready to work. The public schools in the city had faced a number of tumultuous years — even becoming state-operated in 1995 — but, if the low graduation rates and test scores, and low percentage of students reading on grade level were any indication, there was more to be done. "Change was in order," says Cerf, when he took on the role of the city's superintendent. He jumped in, first dismantling the system's "top-down monopoly" of traditional public schools run by traditional school boards. Now the city's students have options: they still have a number...
By Matt Weber 06/15/2017 10:23 AM EDT
New Report Finds Young People Troubled By Romantic Relationships and Widespread Sexual Harassment
Navigating the road to adulthood — especially in regard to sex and relationships — is difficult for even the most self-assured kid. What can make things even worse for young people is the general feeling that everyone around you is hooking up. That is actually a misperception, as only a small number of young people are actually engaging in casual dating and sexual encounters, says Senior Lecturer Richard Weissbourd, faculty director of Making Caring Common (MCC), but that belief can do damage. "There is a cost to these misperceptions because a lot of young people feel like there is something...
By Matt Weber 05/31/2017 2:41 PM EDT
Green Mountain Education
School districts in the state of Vermont range from small (4,000 students in the district) to smaller (15 students in the most rural of schools), but one thing that looms large in each community is its schools. "These schools are really at the heart of their communities," says the state's Secretary of Education Rebecca Holcombe, Ed.M.'04, Ed.D.'16. "These are not just schools that educate people, they are really community centers. And our communities are deeply invested in their health and well-being." For Holcombe, witnessing this pride makes leading education policy in the state a privilege...
By Matt Weber 04/26/2017 3:37 PM EDT
Tommy Chang, courtesy of Boston Globe
When, almost two years ago, Tommy Chang took on the role of superintendent of Boston Public Schools, he did so with the hope that he would be able to build on the successes of his predessors to increase equity, innovation, and family partnerships. But, as with any large urban school system, he knew there would be challenges. "There is such a rich history of education in the city, and it is one of the highest performing urban school systems — if not the highest performing urban school system in the country," says Chang. "But what you see here, like you see everywhere else, is persistent...