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Washington State University
College of Education

January 2009

Good news

Greetings, all.

I’ll launch this blog with potential good news: Stimulus Plan Would Provide Flood of Aid to Education.

Some definite good news: The Gates Foundation is increasing its funding during these hard times, and that improving education remains a priority. My vote for quote of the week, from Bill and Melinda Gates’ first annual letter: “It is amazing how big a difference a great teacher makes versus an ineffective one. Research shows that there is only half as much variation in student achievement between schools as there is among classrooms in the same school. If you want your child to get the best education possible, it is actually more important to get him assigned to a great teacher than to a great school.”

Read the portion of the long Gates letter that deals with education, and here to watch the related video.

There’s another video from the West Side that’s of interest. It features Associate Professor Michael Pavel appearing before House Education Committee, discussing the faculty-produced and state-sponsored report “From Where the Sun Rises: Addressing the Educational Achievement of Native Americans in Washington State.” Click here and type the words “Native American” in the search video box.

And here’s my favorite literary passage of the week. “Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead.” Those are the opening lines of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, judged last weekend to be the finest example of children’s literature by the Newbery Medal selection committee. Our own Assistant Professor Sarah French, director of the Brain Education Library, was at the group’s meeting in Denver because she will be among those picking the 2010 Newbery and Caldecott award winners.