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Swarthmore in the NewsJanuary 13, 2012

Huffington Post

"This Is Alice Korngold, She's an Activist"

By Alice Korngold, President, Korngold Consulting LLC

January 12, 2012

That's how Eugene Lang ['38] introduced me to the President of Swarthmore College when we met a few years ago. I was startled by the introduction. Standing there in Gene Lang's office in my black suit and black patent heels, that wasn't the introduction I anticipated. I've thought it over many times since then. And actually, Gene Lang nailed it....

At ten, my friend and I organized a carnival fundraiser in the park for muscular dystrophy. During my teenage years, I volunteered as a guide for visitors at an international center, a tutor for a child from Vietnam, and a counselor at an inner city summer camp. I also volunteered as a visitor guide at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History; my boss was Nancy Brennan, a young volunteer coordinator, with whom I was enchanted. Decades later, I sat next to her father at a dinner party and told him; Supreme Court Justice William Brennan so enjoyed the story that he asked me to repeat it on the few occasions that we met at events. I understand that Nancy Brennan continues to do much to be admired.

By nature, I'm an exuberant and curious person. I'm passionate about service, and the opportunity for people to enrich their own lives by finding meaningful ways to make the world better. I'm also passionate about a number of causes including human rights, women and girls, education, and immigration.

My story also helps to explain my passion about boards -- both nonprofit and for-profit boards. People who agree to serve on boards accept important responsibilities for the economic, social, and environmental welfare of the world in which we live. ...

Swarthmore College assistant coach Hoffman ... gears for Wings' season opener Saturday night

By Phil Bergman, special to

January 10, 2012

Swarthmore College assistant coach Eric Hoffman has high hopes for a special season as he and the Philadelphia Wings gear for their National Lacrosse League 2012 Saturday night against the Rochester Knighthawks at the Wells Fargo Center ....

Hoffman, the strength and conditioning coach and facilities coordinator for Swarthmore College, is in his second season as the defensive coach for the Garnet. Last season, the Garnet went 4-9, posting a 1-7 record in Centennial Conference play.  

Growing up in Bucks Country, Hoffman attended Pennridge High School before playing at Ursinus College in Collegeville. ...

Last season, the Wings finished a disappointing 5-11. However, Hoffman believes that the team has the potential to be a challenger this season.

"I think we're going to be good. I really do. I think this is going to be the year that we turn it around," said Hoffman. "We brought in a bunch of offensive guys that we really needed, and the size of our defenders is bigger than most, and I think those two things combined will be good." ....

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A decade of No Child Left Behind; a hit or a miss?

January 9, 2012

By Maureen Downey, staff

Sunday marked an anniversary that few educators celebrated. On Jan. 8, 2002, President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act into law, setting off a decade of test-driven school reform.

The landmark law mandated annual testing in reading and mathematics with the ultimate goal of all students reaching a "proficient" level by the 2013-14 school year. Schools had to reach escalating target scores to prove "adequate yearly progress" [AYP] or risk a failing label.

Over the past decade, there has been a steady increase in percentage of schools each year that did not make AYP. ...

And there is evidence that the cheating that besmirched Atlanta's reputation also occurred elsewhere in the country.

Indeed, some of the impressive results in Houston schools --- the so-called Texas miracle --- on which Bush modeled No Child turned out later to be an illusion, in part because schools dramatically undercounted their dropouts.

There have been treatises written on where No Child went off track. But there is also evidence of some successes. Researchers Thomas Dee of Swarthmore College and Brian Jacob of the University of Michigan found strong evidence that math achievement improved in the earlier grades as a result of the law. ...


The Korea Herald

Female teachers dominate middle, elementary schools

By Robert Lee

January 8, 2012

The gender disparity among teachers here has grown over the past decade, raising concerns about a lack of male teachers in middle and elementary schools.

The Education Ministry said Sunday that a survey it conducted on teachers in elementary, middle and high schools found that some cities have roughly one male teacher for every four female teachers.

However, men still made up the majority of high-school teachers, with female high school teachers rising to 46 percent of the total in 2011 from 35 percent in 2002....

The ministry said there were concerns from some corners that more male teachers were needed to deal with school violence, and build character for adolescent boys.

"Most school violence can be prevented though counseling, but it is impossible for the school to direct male students particularly prone to violence," said one anonymous middle school therapist.

According to a study by Thomas Dee, a professor at Swarthmore College in the U.S., boys benefit more academically from male teachers, while girls learn more from female teachers.

next gen journal (Web site)

Wash, Rinse, Repeat: Obama Election Strategy 2012

By Collin Smith [’14] Swarthmore College

January 6, 2012

Anyone remember the 2008 presidential election? The banners of Hope and Change? The excitement of having a fresh new face in the political sphere? How the Obama camp, in a brilliant campaign move, was able to spin Obama's youth and relative inexperience as an advantage, catapulting him into the White House by casting him as a political outsider fighting against the status quo?

Those were the days. Unfortunately, with Obama having been president for three years now, his re-election team can't reuse that inspired theme for election 2012. With the upcoming race promising to be a tough one for the unpopular president (Republican primary chaos notwithstanding), the Obama camp is going to have to come up with a pretty good campaign slogan to win his re- election.

And they've decided to go with...a political outsider fighting against the status quo.


In an interesting political move that is at times both brilliant and horrifying, Obama has adopted a stance that puts him explicitly at odds with Congress, or more specifically, the extreme right-wing elements of Congress that have long been explicitly at odds with him. ....



Rejected Muppets for the New Movie

By Kristen Bobst

January 2, 2012

When Muppet Overlord Jason Segel cast the new Muppet movie, he left behind a cavalcade of rejected Muppets with shattered dreams. These are their stories...

 Syntax the Erudite's Muppet jokes were way too obscure for a family film. Syntax now writes strongly worded movie reviews (which befuddle man and Muppet) from his office on the campus of Swarthmore College. Rumor has it that he is co-writing his own Muppets screenplay with Noam Chomsky.