One way to select various features in Arcmap

I wanted to figure out if it was new residents or old residents living in a particular part of the city in 1960.
1. Click on selection in tools

2. Highlight all the census tracts you want. Be careful because some tracts will appear to be highlighted when they are not.
3. In TOC, right click on layer.

4. Click on selection, then create layer from selected features.

5. You can export this layer from there as a separate .dbf. I’m not sure how the shapefile works, i.e., does it stay attached ?  (No, it doesn’t).

Quote from Marc Bloch

“I can conceive of no higher praise for a writer than to be able to speak in the same tone to savants and schoolboys alike, but so noble a simplicity is the privilege of the select few.”

Marc Bloch, The Historian’s Craft (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1954), 3.

Harry Potter and Reading

The NYT has a brief “let’s talk to some teachers, some students, and some experts” article about the impact of Harry Potter.

The ability to find an educational expert to back up every possible opinion is demoralizing. To wit:

Some reading experts say that urging kids to read fiction in general might be a misplaced goal. “If you look at what most people need to read for their occupation, it’s zero narrative,” said Michael L. Kamil, a professor of education at Stanford University. “I don’t want to deny that you should be reading stories and literature. But we’ve overemphasized it,” he said. Instead, children need to learn to read for information, Mr. Kamil said, something they can practice while reading on the Internet, for example.

This vision will be happily embraced by any and all who are ready to gut whole language and who want to emphasize reading as a skill rather than a love or a vocation. I know I’m a romantic but “reading for information” can’t be the starting point for teachers seeking to inspire their students or for kids learning to read.

Death by Bureaucracy

This article from Friday’s Times describes the plight of a teacher buried by paperwork.

Nothing new there.

What’s most impressive, though, is the way in which the high-level administrators respond, as if nothing could be more natural than five weeks of paperwork to prepare to teach.

End result: new teacher, with lots to offer, departs for another position.
Bureaucrat in nice suit: promoted.

Capstone Seminar for Student Teachers

What if this course was taught as a recapitulation of all the other courses necessary for certification?  In other words, it would begin with the issues raced in “Schools and Society,” proceed through the research highlighted in “Educational Psychology,” and then consider questions of special education, literacy, and the specific content area pedagogy?

Not bad as an organizational tool.  And it would ask students to reflect on coursework that was relevant but probably forgotten.


John Street was right !?!

Not a big fan of Mayor Street, but his adamant refusal to allow police officers into Philadelphia public schools was the right call. The columnist, Bob Herbert, from the New York Times, has been steadily documenting the abuses perpetrated by New York City Police Officers on schoolchildren in NYC.

Today’s article — here

LBJ urging passage of the Civil Rights Act, 1965

My first job after college was as a teacher in Cotulla, Texas, in a small Mexican-American school. Few of them could speak English and I couldn’t speak much Spanish. My students were poor and they often came to class without breakfast and hungry. And they knew even in their youth the pain of prejudice. They never seemed to know why people disliked them, but they knew it was so because I saw it in their eyes.

I often walked home late in the afternoon after the classes were finished wishing there was more that I could do. But all I knew was to teach them the little that I knew, hoping that I might help them against the hardships that lay ahead. And somehow you never forget what poverty and hatred can do when you see its scars on the hopeful face of a young child.