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How to use a Moneyball strategy for college applications and find excellent schools that are undervalued

BOOKWATCH

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Unlike other major purchases in life, families know little about what they will actually pay for a college education when they begin the search.

Without clarity on the eventual price, families think more about the academic and social fit of campuses rather than the financial fit. They believe, often incorrectly, that they can figure out a way to pay the cost through a combination of scholarships, loans, and savings. After all, they’ve heard that every school offers a discount to entice you to enroll (hint: they don’t).

As a result, emotions steer choices, and many wind up disappointed when the hoped-for financial aid doesn’t materialize.

During the year I spent inside the admissions process, what I came to see, and prospective students and their families should too, is that colleges are either “buyers” or “sellers” of spots in the freshman class.

Sellers are the “haves” of admissions.

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Manila to buy 27,000 more computer tablets for students enrolled in public schools

The local government of Manila will buy 27,200 more tablet computers to ensure that all the city’s public school students will have gadgets to use for the upcoming blended learning system.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso (Manila City Public Information Office / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

In his Facebook video message Friday night, Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said they ordered more computers as the city only initially ordered about 110,000 tablets.  There are 275,000 students enrolled in Manila public schools this year.

“Because the number of our enrollees ballooned, we held a meeting again with our school board and decided to buy 27,200 more tablets. So, in total, the city will have acquired 137,200 tablets,” Domagoso said in Filipino.

He clarified that each household— not each student—will get a tablet to make sure that everyone is covered.

“Ang solusyon na ginawa ay bawat household o sa Tagalog, bawat

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Briones: Classes in Manila public schools can start with gadgets at hand

MANILA, Philippines — There is no reason for public schools in Manila to stop classes after the local government provided gadgets to students as well as teachers to augment distance learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Education chief Leonor Briones said on Wednesday.

“I am informed, hindi ito biro-birong investment galing SES (Special Education Fund), na ang Maynila naman ay nagkokolekta. Ito ay nag-post ng P1.2 billion so hindi biro ito, mag-distribute ng isang dosenang computer. Ito ay P1.2 billion worth of assistance to DepEd (Department of Education) and to our children beneficiaries,” Briones said during a speech aired through a video call at the turn over of gadgets ceremony at Aurora Quezon Elementary School Covered Court.

(I am informed that this is not just a simple investment from the SES, which Manila has collected. This posted P1.2 billion so this is not easy to distribute one dozen computers. This is

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Students among first to return offer lessons for reopening schools

NASHVILLE — Abigail Alexander shuffled through a stack of papers trying to find instructions for logging in to her school-issued laptop. 

The 10-year-old chatted with her best friend, a fellow fifth grader, about who is in their classes this year at Head Middle Magnet Prep in Nashville and what period they have a specific teacher.

Their conversation Tuesday sounded like a typical one between excited, anxious students on the first day at a new school — except this year’s first day of school was like no other.

Abigail was seated in the dining room of her North Nashville home while her two younger foster siblings played around the table. Her friend was on FaceTime, the phone propped up against the side of Abigail’s laptop.

The girls were among more than 86,000 Nashville students who started the school year virtually while their schools remained closed due the ongoing spread of the

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Inside one school’s unorthodox reopening plan

DETROIT — With just days to go before the start of the new academic year, schools around the country are rushing to gather materials they never thought they would need: plexiglass dividers, piles of masks and internet hot spots to connect with students remotely.

And then there are schools that have an even more unusual list.

The Detroit Waldorf School in Michigan is buying carriage bolts, berry bushes and 8,000 square feet of cedar wood.

The San Francisco Unified School District has been busy gathering tree stumps.

And the Five Town Community School District in Maine is buying tents, yurts and enough all-weather snowsuits for each of its elementary school students.

These schools and districts are all laying the groundwork to move at least some instruction to outdoor classrooms. They’re making a bet that the lower risk of disease transmission in the open air, and the extra space outside for

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Schools seeking alternative to remote learning move classes outside

DETROIT — With just days to go before the start of the new academic year, schools around the country are rushing to gather materials they never thought they would need: plexiglass dividers, piles of masks and internet hot spots to connect with students remotely.

And then there are schools that have an even more unusual list.

The Detroit Waldorf School in Michigan is buying carriage bolts, berry bushes and 8,000 square feet of cedar wood.

The San Francisco Unified School District has been busy gathering tree stumps.

And the Five Town Community School District in Maine is buying tents, yurts and enough all-weather snowsuits for each of its elementary school students.

These schools and districts are all laying the groundwork to move at least some instruction to outdoor classrooms. They’re making a bet that the lower risk of disease transmission in the open air, and the extra space outside for

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The United States Is Reopening Many of the Wrong Schools

With coronavirus cases spiking in dozens of states, the prospect of anything resembling a normal school year is fading fast.

Schools can’t safely reopen if infections are exploding in the communities they serve.

But in regions where the pandemic appears to be under control, it is most important to get the youngest children back into school buildings, to stop the alarming slide in their learning. Older students, especially those in college, are better equipped to cope with the difficulties of online education.

That is the broad consensus among experts on back-to-school priorities. But, as things stand now, much of the United States is preparing to do exactly the opposite.

In many towns, college students are more likely than kindergartners to return to school for in-person instruction. An example is my home of Ann Arbor, Michigan, where schoolchildren will be learning completely online and university students will be attending at least

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Some parents want to hire tutors, start mini schools this year. Most can’t afford to.

CHICAGO – Millions of parents across the nation are facing difficult decisions about what to do with their kids this school year. But the pandemic affects every family differently, for reasons that range from their socioeconomic status to their health to the fields they work in.

Some parents are in a better position than others to ensure their children stay healthy and keep up with schoolwork, and researchers are raising questions about how the pandemic may exacerbate existing educational inequalities.

“Kids who are disproportionately low-income are at highest risk for learning losses,” said Ariel Kalil, a professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. “When these gaps in learning open up, absent some really serious and sustained intervention, the kids won’t (catch up). That will result in less academic achievement, lower lifetime earnings and even lower productivity in adulthood.”

USA TODAY spoke with more than a dozen

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Online school? Some parents want to hire tutors, start mini schools this year. Most can’t afford to.

CHICAGO – Millions of parents across the nation are facing difficult decisions about what to do with their kids this school year. But the pandemic affects every family differently, for reasons that range from their socioeconomic status to their health to the fields they work in.

Some parents are in a better position than others to ensure their children stay healthy and keep up with schoolwork, and researchers are raising questions about how the pandemic may continue to exacerbate existing educational inequalities.

“Kids who are disproportionately low-income are at highest risk for learning losses,” said Ariel Kalil, a professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. “When these gaps in learning open up, absent some really serious and sustained intervention, the kids won’t (catch up). That will result in less academic achievement, lower lifetime earnings and even lower productivity in adulthood.”

USA TODAY spoke with more than

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Online education was a mess in the spring. As COVID-19 prompts schools to stay virtual, will it get better this fall?

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced Chicago Public Schools to make a hurried switch to remote instruction earlier this year, Lidia Muro said it didn’t work out so well for her 5-year-old stepson Elijah, then a kindergartner at Marvin Camras Elementary.

Some of the schoolwork he was given required logins and passwords his parents didn’t receive, she said. Communication with his teacher was lacking. And while it took Elijah a single day to finish math lessons that were supposed to stretch over months, he fell behind in reading.

“The program was mostly games, I think,” Muro said. “Educational games are good, but (children) can only do games for so long.”

Contrast that with the experience of Wauconda High School junior-to-be Tori Mraz. She found her school’s online classes to be rigorous but flexible, and while a lack of face-to-face instruction created challenges, she gave virtual education high marks.

“I did really

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