Student Attempts Graduation Backflip, Flops

Stop whatever prep for finals you are doing and take a 1-minute laugh break. Trust me on this one, it’s worth your time.

A graduating senior from Davenport University decided to celebrate his achievement with a backflip. In full graduation regalia. It goes about as well as you’d expect. The poor guy faceplants in front of the entire crowd, much to amusement of his classmates. Happily, he got up, laughed about it himself, and walked off stage with no injuries (except maybe to his pride).

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6 Skills Every College Grad Should Have Learned in Online Learning Middle School

By Elizabeth Simmons

As December graduates prepare to receive their diplomas and May grads get ready for their last semester, we have to wonder if they learned everything they need to know. I’m sure most of this year’s graduates are well educated in their fields, but an education in fields like engineering, history, or music will only get them so far.

The graduates of school year 2013-2014 are entering a job market that’s iffy at best. They also face the expectation that after four or more years of college they are able to be a successful adult. More often than not, however, college grads leave their hallowed educational halls lacking these important skills. They aren’t taught them in a lecture hall or classroom, but maybe they should be.


Ability to write a few lines of HTML code

This may seem like it’s coming from way out in left field, but a number of job postings today are asking for someone with a small amount of knowledge about coding. There are several schools like The Lang School where you can learn anything you want at any age. You don’t have to be a pro, but listing code writing as a skill (that you actually have) on your resume can make you stand out from the other applicants. Almost every industry works online on some level, so having the ability to write code and assist with even basic website management will help you enter any career field.

Manage a budget for a small household

Whether you’ve been living on your own for some time or finding your first place after graduation, you’re going to need to manage your own budget. I doubt there were courses on bill paying or managing checkbooks in college, but those are major parts of post-grad life. Take the time to sit down and see where your money is coming from and where it’s going. If you don’t already have one, open a savings account and put something in it every month. Learn even the basics about finance and investments so that your money can go a little further and you can actually understand that 401k benefit as well as manage your student loans. Read the rest of this entry »

Want to Live a Long Life? Stay in School

Stay in school. Get an education. Knowledge is power. All of these phrases are instilled in children from preschool on. It’s great advice and can definitely lead to some smart choices in life. But now it’s been found that getting more education can not only improve your life, but make it last a little longer.

A study published in the August issue of Health Affairs shows that the life expectancy of those who are poor and less educated has increased only slightly over the past several decades. The research also shows that in some cases, the life expectancy for those who don’t finish high school is getting shorter. Within this study, the researchers examined the trends in life expectancy from 1990 through 2008 paying special attention to how someone’s age, sex, race and education affected their longevity.

Lead author of the study Jay Olshansky stated in a news release, “There are essentially two Americas. The most highly educated white men live about 14 years longer than the least-educated black men. The least-educated black women live about 10 years less than the most-educated white women.” Read the rest of this entry »

All Graduates of Chicago Charter School Accepted into Colleges Third Year in a Row

It’s not very common that you hear about a high school whose entire senior class is going to attend college after graduation. It’s even more uncommon for that school to be in Chicago, an area that has a long history of education challenges. Considering these facts, I think it is fair to say that it is unheard of for a school facing these obstacles to accomplish this feat for three years in a row, but that is exactly what Urban Prep Academy has done.

The all-boys charter school is happy to report that all 85 members of the Class of 2012 have been accepted to colleges and universities across the country. There were even some standout students, like Vernon Cheeks, who were accepted to multiple schools; Cheeks was accepted to 14 different schools.

“It taught me how to be resilient,” Cheeks said about his time at Urban Prep Academy. “It also taught me how to be accountable for my own actions.”

The school is located in a neighborhood with a very high crime rate and is the middle of gang terrorizes. However, that hasn’t stopped the school or its students from succeeding. Founded in 2006, Urban Prep Academy has taken young men and helped them transition from barely reading at grade level to excelling and being accepted to university.

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President Obama to Deliver Commencement Speech at Barnard College

In a suave political move, President Obama recently announced that he will be delivering the commencement speech at Barnard College, a women’s college in New York City. By doing so, Obama is showing his support for women and women’s rights at the same time that the Republican party has been rallying to prevent contraceptives being covered under the new health care law.

Some are calling the Republicans’ acts a “war on women,” and by addressing a group of newly graduated women, Obama is putting himself on the side of the ladies. This makes a lot of sense, politically, because with the 2012 Presidential Election only a few months away, the candidates will want to secure as many votes as they can. By speaking to the women at Barnard College, Obama is probably hoping to secure their votes as well as congratulate and inspire them on their graduation day.

Of course, teachers and students at the school are excited to have Obama deliver their commencement speech, no matter whether it is part of his political agenda or not. Read the rest of this entry »

Does Class Size Matter in Determining Graduation Rates?

empty class room with desksDoes the size of a high school determine how successful its students will be? When the measure of success is the percent of students who graduate, the answer might just be yes….or it could be no.

MDRC, a research group in New York, studied students in 2010 who attended smaller high schools in New York City and found that these students were more likely to graduate than students who attended larger high schools. There are currently more than 100 smaller schools in NYC and most of these are less than a decade old.

In the past, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave billions of dollars to these schools, but the foundation has since stopped funding due to “disappointing” results.

Perhaps small schools are not all they are cracked up to be. These smaller schools can have a negative effect on larger schools in their area. For example, if a larger school which can enroll 1,000 students is shut down so that a smaller school which can enroll only 500 students can be built, where are the remaining 500 students supposed to go to school? Many of these students are shuffled off into another large school, where they might struggle to adapt, which could cause their grades to suffer.

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President Obama Wants Kids to Stay in School Until They are 18-Years Old

President obamaIf you are thinking of dropping out of high school before you turn 18, you had better act fast because President Obama is trying to change the rules. In his recent State of the Union address, Obama called for all 50 states to not allow students to drop out of high school before they are 18-years old.

Although this is the first time that the national government is directly involving itself in this issue, many states have been struggling with it for a while now. For example, several states, including Alaska, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, and Rhode Island, all tried to pass legislation that would increase the age at which students could drop out of high school to 18-years old. However, Rhode Island was the only state that actually approved the legislative efforts and passed the law. For the other states, the dropout age remains firmly set at 16-years old.

“Efforts to raise the age usually come up against the argument that requiring students to stay in school when they no longer want to be there is disruptive to other students and not fair to the teacher,” said a senior policy analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures, Sunny Deye. “Home-school groups often oppose raising the compulsory attendance age, and especially now, in this budget crunch, there are major concerns about the fiscal impact.”

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The First Students Graduate from Oprah Winfrey’s School in South Africa

Image via Oprah's Facebook page

Oprah Winfrey's School for Girls

Five years ago, Oprah Winfrey opened a school in South Africa for underprivileged girls. On January 14, 2011, the first class of girls graduated from the school and Oprah was there to watch them and offer the graduation speech.

During her graduation speech, Oprah told the girls that they were now “free to soar.” She also offered praise and recognition for the teachers, family members, social workers, and everyone else who has helped make this dream a reality for the girls. For many young people in South Africa, poverty and personal traumas make it impossible for them to become educated. Some of these personal traumas include violence, the death of one or even both parents, molestation, and grief, according to Oprah.

Originally, 75 girls were part of this class of graduating girls. Of those 75, all but three walked across the stage and are now planning to attend universities in the USA and South Africa.

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Princess Beatrice Graduates from Goldsmiths College

Princess Beatrice, perhaps best known for the eccentric hat she wore to cousin Prince William’s wedding day, graduated from Goldsmiths College on Friday, Sept. 9. She left her unusual head wear at home, and graced her diploma day in traditional cap and gown.

The princess, who is fifth in line to the thrown, earned a two-for-one degree in history and history of ideas from the university, located in London. Her three years in college were spent studying the classic writings of Plato, Aristotle, Confucius and Freud.

“I have had the most amazing university experience. Goldsmiths College is a wonderful place to study,” Beatrice said. “I am so lucky to have had the support of the incredible tutors and staff. I am so excited about my results. I wish everyone graduating today congratulations as well.”

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Amy Poehler Gives Funny, Wise Speech to Harvard Grads [VIDEO]

Graduates of Harvard University were all in tears on Monday, but probably not for reasons that you’d expect. Parks and Recreation lead, Amy Poehler, delivered a graduation speech for 2011’s class, and her hilarious anecdotes left her audience crying with laughter.

The comedian and actress, who got her start on SNL, had this opening line for her speech:

“Friends, Romans, country men, lend me your beers.”

She also reminisced about the times she had in college.

“I tried to write today’s speech the way I wrote everything in college: I stayed up all night, typing on a Canon word processor while listening to Sir Mix A Lot,” she admitted.

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