Why You Don’t Belong at Harvard

When it comes to elite school admissions, there’s a game. If the outcome of an elite education is important for your long term development, you need to acknowledge that there is a game and learn what it is so you can choose how you want to play it. For those less inclined toward the elite education path, beware cutting your interest prematurely**.

PART 1: DON’T CONFUSE HOW YOU WANT THE GAME PLAYED FOR HOW IT IS PLAYED.

Be Exponentially Better, Not Incrementally

“It’s Easier To Make Something 10 Times Better Than To Make Something 10% Better” – Astro Teller, head of Google X My students who struggle the most start 30-60 points away from their target score. It seems so close. But the brutal truth is that most won’t make it. In the hordes of students I

Pushing our Bottoms

Falling and Failing by pushing our bottom third into teaching. According to McKinsey and Co., Finland, Singapore and South Korea have 100% of their incoming teachers coming from the top 1/3 of their college classes. The US . . . has a dismal 23%. Over 47% of our teachers graduate in the bottom third of

Students and Self Esteem

This is the abbreviated version of a Saturday Night Live skit (Basement Karate – Bryan Cranston). What was so striking was the little boy’s reaction to getting shellacked by his old man. I have heard some of the exact same phrases out of my GMAT students…. I know, I know, I shouldn’t laugh . .

Education Career

I get the darnedest things by email. Today I received an email offering MBA-oriented positions within the Education sector. This is a real group with real reach so if you are interested in impacting public education, you may want to chat with Chaka Booker. The focus of the Broad Residency is to place those with

More Math Education, Less Self Esteem Training

  Finances. If you’ve ever struggled with your tax return, wondered how interest rates could stay so low, or tried to explain why raising taxes on employers is actually not conducive to job creation…. We need solid math education now more than ever. We are no longer an agrarian nation yet we teach math like

Cost of Education

Friday night my little sisters graduated from high school. Come Fall they are off to college. What better time to reflect on the changing values of a college education. Does it make sense to go to the best school you get into? Is it worth $100k, $200k in debt? It seems to depend on what

Start at the Beginning

As students struggle to determine how to invest their time wisely, one question dominates the conversation. Do I make incremental improvement or do I start from the beginning? In proper CYA fashion, it depends . . . But what it depends upon may surprise you.

Education Issues – State v Federal Standards

Former Intel CEO Craig Barrett is behind the Common Core State Standards Initiative and hopes you will be too…. Mr. Barrett sees common education standards as essential to creating the work force of tomorrow and he wants to narrow the gap in education quality among the states. All of which sounds ideal . . .

Crush Your Competition – the Superstar Effect

The best way to win? Be better. How much better? Soul crushingly better. Sound cruel? The Weekend Journal shared a great piece about the Superstar effect – how some stars are so much better than everyone else in the field that they literally crush their competition before the game/match/negotiation begins. Boris Spassky, Bobby Fishcher’s rival

Superstar Effect

Everyone’s favorite Intimidators The Weekend Journal recently published an article on one of my favorite topics – the Superstar Effect. They also kindly included a list of the most famous intimidators. Here is that list: Muhammad Ali – noting himself as the “greatest” and following it up with a nasty punch . . . very

Education Issues: Quantity, Quality?

So let’s go for a drive. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to cross the US by car . . . say from Chapel Hill, NC to Berkeley, CA, or Boston, MA to Berkeley, CA or Atlanta, GA to San Diego, CA, you have seen that there are many choices to make along the way.

Contextual Cues Influence Learning

Did you know . . . The fusiform facial area is a special area within the brain that processes facial images. This is apart from the processing of other spatial objects. The neurons literally light up in a different pattern depending on whether we are looking at a human face or a non-human object. It

Education Issues – Teacher Signaling

Confession: as a teacher I have challenges with the different levels of students who cycle through my classroom. I am not unbiased, and yes, I take my students’ performance personally. But this is as it has been and should be…. Some students are bright, but it’s not just the ability level of the student it

Stat of the Week – Monkeys and Medals

Lionel Tiger shares the history of monkeys and medal in his latest Op-Ed piece for the Wall Street Journal. He posits that there is a biological need for humans to have games such as the Olympics Like our primate cousins, competition is in our blood. Is this just more justification for what my less athletically-inclined