Book Picks April 2016

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Book Picks April 2016Schools on Trial: How Freedom and Creativity Can Fix Our Educational Malpractice

Are America’s schools little more than cinder-block gulags that spawn vicious cliques and bullying, negate creativity and true learning, and squelch curiosity in their inmates, um, students? Nikhil Goyal, a journalist and activist whom the Washington Post has dubbed a “future education secretary” and Forbes has named to its 30 Under 30 list, passionately thinks so, and in his new book Schools on Trial: How Freedom and Creativity Can Fix Our Educational Malpractice, he offers both a scathing indictment of our teach-to-the-test-while-killing-the-spirit educational assembly line and maps out a path for all schools to harness children’s natural aptitude for learning by creating an atmosphere conducive to freedom and creativity. He prescribes an inspiring educational future that is thoroughly democratic and experiential, and one that utilizes the entire community as a classroom.

Book Picks April 2016
Nikhil Goyal

Goyal has appeared on MSNBC and Fox and written for The New York Times, MSNBC, The Nation and other publications. Goyal has also had speaking engagements with the Clinton Global Initiative University, Google, Stanford, University of Cambridge, SXSW and LEGO Foundation, among others. He takes on standardized testing and the conventional school system, raising crucial questions for educators and policy makers alike. At 20 years old, he offers a unique perspective on how schools can harness children’s natural aptitude for learning by creating an atmosphere conducive to freedom and creativity.

Book Picks April 2016The Secrets of Picking a College (and Getting In!)

Picking a college can be a daunting, anxiety-filled task for students and parents alike. College can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $70,000 a year. Each person pays a different price, but the price isn’t revealed until one is ready to buy. There are over 4,000 choices, but most people have no idea of how they differ. There are rankings, but they’re mostly done by people who’ve never even sampled the product. And some buyers wonder whether the product, college, has any value at all.

Wiley Publishing and Professors’ Guide Content Products have assembled a team of world class experts—each with different expertise and a different perspective—to help the almost four million prospective college students each year master the college application maze. Lynn F. Jacobs and Jeremy S. Hyman are college professors with more than 50 years of combined teaching experience; Jeffrey Durso-Finley is a former admissions officer at a major university, now a college counselor at a prestigious high school; Jonah T. Hyman is a high school senior currently in the throes of the college picking process. Together, they provide more than 600 tips, techniques and strategies designed to demystify the college application process, reduce the stress of those going through it and, most important, maximize each student’s chances of being accepted to the college of his or her choice.

Practical and easy-to-read, The Secrets of Picking a College (and Getting In!), offers insider tips for the top 10 “moments” of the college application process:

•Making a coherent initial list of colleges
•Getting good information from the college fairs, college night and college rep visits
•Facing the finances: family need, financial aid and outside fellowships
•Visiting the colleges: what to do, when to go and how many to visit
•Preparing for and taking the SATs/ACTs—including the new 2016 SAT
•Constructing your application: the 2015-16 Common App essay, extra-curriculars, letters of recommendation, and supplemental essays and attachments
•Figuring out what admission officers are looking for in an application
•Deciding whether to apply early decision, early action or regular decision
•Putting your best self forward in the on-campus or alumni interview
•Making your final choice—and improving the offer

“We’re out to change college admissions in America: to rationalize the college application process and show each and every student how to maximize his or her chances for admissions. But it’s more than that,” said Hyman. “We’re also out to level the playing field: to give each and every student—not just the ones who go to elite high schools or who can afford $5,000 private counselors—an equal chance of getting in to the college of their choice. Isn’t that what America’s all about?”

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