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Swarthmore in the NewsFebruary 10, 2012

Centennial Conference (Web site)

Swarthmore Shocks Shoremen

February 8, 2012

Swarthmore 84, Washington College 78: For the first time this season, all the bounces went Swarthmore's way. Led by easily its best offensive effort of the 2011-12 campaign, the Swarthmore College men's basketball team (2-20, 2-13) upset second-place Washington College 84-78 on Wednesday evening from Tarble Pavilion. The win snaps the Garnet's 14-game losing streak and marks the team's first home win since January 15, 2011. Four different players reached double-figures for the Garnet, led by junior Will Gates' 25 points and 10 rebounds. ...


The Electronic Intifada (blog)

Gaza children's art exhibition to be hosted at Swarthmore College

By Nora Barrows-Friedman

February 7, 2012

A collection of artwork created by children in Gaza immediately after Israel's attacks in the winter of 2008-09 (Operation Cast Lead) will be shown at Pennsylvania's Swarthmore College in April.

As I reported back in September for The Electronic Intifada, the exhibiton - entitled "A Child's View From Gaza" - was slated to show at the Museum of Children's Art in Oakland (MOCHA) on 8 September but was canceled at the last minute after intense intimidation from local and national Israel lobby groups.


The Phoenix, Swarthmore's [student] newspaper, reported on 2 February that the exhibition is being co-sponsored by Students for Peace and Justice in Palestine (SPJP).


The exhibition opens at Swarthmore on 6 April.



Some 'best value' colleges pricey; Author says list looks at more than just cost

By Mary Beth Marklein

February 7, 2012

The latest list of America's "best value" colleges includes several with the highest sticker prices in the nation, according to a new ranking released Monday.

Among the schools with large tuitions that are nonetheless considered top-value colleges are Williams and Swarthmore, according to The Princeton Review's annual list of best value schools. The list is considered a guide for prospective college applicants to seek out the best value for their money.

"We're very quick to say it can't just be a low sticker price," Best Value Colleges lead author Robert Franek says. "The commitment has to be much deeper than that."


Note: This article also appeared in the Tucson Citizen (Ariz.), PR Newswire, US Fed News, Buffalo News (NY), Long Beach Press-Telegram (Calif.), Erie Times-News (Pa.), and on CNN


Today (NBC)

Princeton Review's Rob Franek discusses their list of best value colleges

Interview by Ann Curry, co-host and anchor

February 7, 2012

ANN CURRY: ... Financial aid season kicks off this week and just in time, the Princeton Review is out with its annual list of the top 150 colleges that offer the best value. And Rob Franek is the senior vice president of Princeton Review and the author of "The Best Value Colleges." ... 

CURRY: OK, number two on this list is Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. This also is very expensive every year, $53,250 a year.

FRANEK: It is an expensive school, but when we start to think about that average sticker price and then the average grant at right around that 35, $36,000 mark, bringing it down to, on parody with most public colleges in the states. And Swarthmore has been number one in our best value colleges list, number one in our best financial aid list. It is a usual suspect and well deservedly so.



Philadelphia Inquirer

Green Chair Dance Group offers an exuberant 'Tandem Biking'

By Merilyn Jackson

February 6, 2012

Throughout their show at the Annenberg's Harold Prince Theatre on Saturday night, Green Chair Dance Group displayed intellect and exuberance in Tandem Biking and Other Dangerous Pastimes for Two. Its three dancers, Sarah Gladwin Camp [’05], Hannah de Keijzer [’06], and Gregory Holt [’05], sustained a high level of gutsy, risk-taking antics, halting only periodically to "explain" what they were doing, or about to do.

Founded in 2004, Green Chair is the only dance group to grow out of Swarthmore College's dance department and is now supported in part by its theater department. It is based at the Mascher Space Cooperative in Kensington. The three artistic codirectors produced Tandem Biking in collaboration with actor/director Alex Torra. ...


Watching, you'd think this is stuff you and your friends could do in your living room. Think again. It took these pros years to make it look so simple and playful. ...

... You ought to see me laughing as I write this. Better yet, see Green Chair.


Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minn.)

Time for schools to man up?

By Kim McGuire, staff writer

February 5, 2012


[Doug] Sayles and eight other male teachers at a Waconia elementary are the pioneering members of "Men of the Chalk." Part social club, part volunteer organization, the group also seeks to fill a void that exists in most elementary schools -- male role models.

"It was just one of those things where one day someone looked up and realized there are quite a few men here," said Sayles, a 25-year classroom veteran who now teaches kindergarten at Southview Elementary. "We realized we had a different climate than most elementaries."

Sayles is right. In Minnesota, like the rest of the country, the gender gap is growing in the teaching ranks, especially within the primary schools. ... Nationally, men make up 24 percent of the teaching ranks, according to the most recent federal data.

The disparity comes at a time when more school districts are actively trying to diversify their teaching ranks by hiring more men, minorities, immigrants and teachers with different educational backgrounds.


Some studies suggest a teacher's gender does matter in the classroom. A provocative 2006 study by a Swarthmore College professor indicated that boys learned more from male teachers while female teachers had a more positive impact on girls. The key, the author opined, was better communication between men and boys and women and girls.



The Atlantic

Doomsday Speeches: If D-Day and the Moon Landing Had Failed

By Dominic Tierney, associate professor of political science at Swarthmore College

January 25, 2012

If these landmark events had ended in tragedy, here's what General Eisenhower and President Nixon planned to say.

On June 5, 1944, General Dwight Eisenhower wrote down a message, carefully folded it, and placed it in his wallet. It contained a public statement in case the D-Day invasion failed. Twenty-five years later, in 1969, Richard Nixon's White House drafted a speech to use if the moon landing was unsuccessful and the astronauts were trapped on the lunar surface. This is not alternate history. This is very real history, about leaders preparing for a contingency that never transpired. More than anything, the messages reveal the fine line between triumph and disaster.

Publicly, Eisenhower radiated confidence about the liberation of Europe. But privately, he was deeply worried that the Germans ....

Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air, and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.


In 1969, the world watched as Apollo 11 headed for its rendezvous with destiny. To illustrate the difficulty of the mission, just as American astronauts were walking on the surface of the moon, an unmanned Soviet spacecraft malfunctioned and crashed into the lunar mountains. One of the most challenging phases of the moon shot was launching the lunar module from the moon so that it could rejoin the command module. If it failed, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin would have been abandoned to their fate: desperately trying to fix the lunar module until they ran out of oxygen.

Nixon's speechwriter Bill Safire crafted a presidential statement in case tragedy struck.


History could so easily be different, with Eisenhower and Nixon's grim messages having entered the national record. And if we lived in this alternate world, we might discover, in a forgotten corner of the archives, the triumphant speeches that were written in case of success in 1944 and 1969 -- but never needed. As we dusted off these documents, we might wonder what would have happened if D-Day had prevailed or the astronauts had somehow escaped their lunar tomb.


Delaware County Daily Times

Spencer: Charter school is struggling to survive

By Gil Spencer

January 24, 2012

John Alston is reflecting on how the Chester Upland School for the Arts came to be. It sounds like it started when he was about 12 years old.


It was the summer before going into the sixth grade when he was invited to join the prestigious Newark Boys Chorus.

They practiced three hours a day and ended up touring the world, giving concerts from New York to Rome.


In college, he majored in music and got his Ph.D. in choral conducting. He came to Swarthmore College in 1991 to teach. But he didn't stay put on that lovely and leafy campus.

"I got this crazy notion to go into Chester and start a boys chorus ... I guess I was trying to recreate my experience. I found seven boys and started rehearsing and hanging out with them."


They're up to 120 children and still growing. As the years passed, Alston saw a need in these children that was not being fulfilled.

"I always knew that most of our children need a more intense academic experience than they were getting in the regular schools."


The idea for a school born.

After two years of research and planning, he and his team wrote up a charter school proposal....


The Chester Upland School for the Arts opened in 2008. Alston is president of the foundation that helps fund it.


Tuesday night, John Alston was not honored by the president of the United States as he gave his State of the Union speech for his selfless and longtime work with the Chester city school children.

Maybe next year.