Welcome to Wednesday, DMV folks! Just passing along some mid-week news …
Student Test Scores Show US Science-Education Deficiency — The results from the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress were released this week and, according to the Wall Street Journal, may well “reinvigorate the national debate over America’s future competitiveness in science and technology.” Possible reasons for the science deficiency “included shortages of qualified science educators and of advanced science classes in low-income and rural schools” and many teachers “blamed the lackluster showing on No Child Left Behind.” While the results are a cause for concern, do they clearly indicate that science education is lacking? Or rather, could they suggest that standardized tests are the wrong medium for assessing that education — or fairly assessing ability for students of all backgrounds?
What Should We Except From International Aid Organizations — Bob Ottenhoff, the CEO of Guidestar, states what many of us have been thinking: with nearly $4.5 billion in aid pledges, “there’s a lot of frustration today about the pace of progress” in re-building Haiti after a devastating disaster. However, he asks, “is it justified?” Check out his full post here, particularly his first point on the variance in “expectations about the emergency relief versus the complicated rebuilding efforts.” In sum? The latter takes far longer and does not always receive the coverage it deserves.
Transformative philanthropy – Livemint.com, partner of the Wall Street Journal, offers an intriguing piece from Rajesh Tandon, the Founder & President of the Society for Participatory Research in Asia. Dr. Tandon points out that another “face of philanthropy — giving for social transformation — … needs urgent attention and expansion in today’s India.” Solving immediate and specific problems is of course an essential goal of philanthropy, but he recommends a growing focus on “freedom struggles, movements to stop untouchability, violence against women, destruction of natural resources, and efforts at protection and promotion of human rights of minorities … Giving for the well-being of society.”
Donate $1 to new charity every day — Among other news outlets, MSNBC reported earlier this week on a new approach to giving, initiated by the site Philanthroper. In their own words: “You know those daily deal sites? We’re another one of those. But instead of selling something, we’re sharing the story of a new 501(c)3 nonprofit every day. And if you’d like, you can give them $1. We’re trying to make doing good a habit.” Definitely a cool habit to promote! But does starting this small and simple truly encourage larger and more in-depth giving? What do you think?