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Education

This researcher asked kids what's wrong with U.S. schools. Here are their ideas.

Who knows the most about school? Students.

education, mathematic assessment, American students, testing
Image via Amanda Ripley/PopTech.

Map demonstrating scores of the Program for International Student Assessment for each state compared to a country that has similar scores.




This is not news: America does pretty badly when it goes up against other countries academically.

This is true even if we take it one state at a time—no single state, no matter how wealthy or small, matches the top scoring countries. And yet, the U.S. spends more per student than many other countries in the world.


In the image at the top, each state is mapped to a country that had similar scores on the Program for International Student Assessment, an international test of mathematical reasoning given to 15-year-olds. The top 15 countries are in purple. No, there isn't any purple on this map.

Reporter Amanda Ripley wanted to figure out why U.S. education outcomes are so mediocre.

She started asking random people what they thought and she followed up on their ideas. The same theories came up over and over: People blamed poverty and diversity for the difference between U.S. students and students everywhere else. But when Ripley dug into the numbers, she discovered that, while those are factors, they don't fully explain the difference.

No adult could give her a satisfactory answer, so she went to the experts: kids.

Kids spend more time in school than anyone. They've got strong opinions about school. They have opinions on what is working.

She talked to the only students who could have firsthand knowledge of the differences between schools in top-performing countries and those in the U.S.: American kids who were exchange students in those countries.

She surveyed hundreds of exchange students and found three major points that they all agreed on.

The students all said that in their host countries:

  1. School is harder. There's less homework but the material is more rigorous. People take education more seriously, from selecting the content to selecting the teachers.
  2. Sports are just a hobby. In the U.S., sports are a huge distraction from the business of school, but that's not the case in other countries.
  3. Kids believe there's something in it for them. The students in other countries deeply believe that what they are doing in school affects how interesting their lives were going to be. Even if they don't like a class, they see their education as a stepping stone to their future.

To hear more from these amazing kids (and a great story about how an education reporter managed to take an international standardized test), check out the video from PopTech below:

This article originally appeared on 05.22.15


Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Family

Texas UPS driver proudly explains why he never helps his wife do any chores

“I don’t help her clean, do laundry, take care of the kids — none of that.”

J.R. Minton's video has over 6 million views.

Even though America has come a long way in gender relations over the past few decades men are still far behind women when accepting domestic responsibilities.

A recent study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' American Time Use Survey found that women aged 15 and over spend 5.7 hours daily on domestic tasks, whereas men spend 3.6 hours, a 37 percent difference. Women with a 35-hour week devote 4.9 hours daily to home chores and child care, compared to men's 3.8 hours.

In a world where men still trail behind women when it comes to work on the homefront, a Texas UPS driver is going viral for a TikTok video where he urges men to reconsider how they think about domestic responsibilities.


In a video with over 6 million views, J.R. Minton proudly says he doesn’t “help” his wife with jobs around the house. “I don’t help my wife cook. I don’t help her clean, do laundry, take care of the kids — none of that,” Minton, 32, began his clip.

Warning: Strong language.

So, why does Minton refuse to help his wife?

"Because I do what I am supposed to do as a father and a husband. I cook. I clean. I do the laundry. I take care of the kids. I can't help my wife do those things because they are my job, too,” he reveals.

He then urged men to change their perspectives on how they view their relationship to domestic responsibilities and their wives. “Change the way you speak, change the way you think, and grow the f*** up and be a man," he added.

The video received raves from women in the comments. Sadly, many used the video to share that their husbands have fallen short of Minton’s level of understanding. "My husband sometimes doesn’t even flush the toilet," Human Robot wrote. "I am sending this straight to my man he needs to see this," JJsMom added.

"Yep! My husband and I recognize it’s BOTH our kids and BOTH our house, therefore BOTH our responsibility," Sweetheart wrote.

Minton is an equal partner to his wife because he was raised much differently and wants to right the wrongs of his past. “Pretty much everything about my parenting style is in spite of what I saw when I was growing up,” he told Today.com

Minton knew that his philosophy on marriage was necessary when a woman at Target praised him for doing the “bare minimum." “I was wearing the baby, and I had two kids in the cart, and this lady comes up to Brittany, and she’s like, ‘Oh my God. Is this your husband!? Look at him. You should take a picture of him,’” Minton said. “I get so much credit for doing nothing. How low is the bar?"

Minton responded to his viral video with a heartfelt follow-up to everyone who loved how he cared for his wife and family. “I’m truly humbled at how far my message has gone,” he said. “However, I’d like to take a second to say: I am not special. I am no ‘unicorn.’ I am normal.”

“Nothing about my parenting style or my commitment to my wife is unique. Although it may seem out of the ordinary, it is far from extraordinary,” he continued. “Every father and husband we know (that seems to come up short) is fully-capable — yet unwilling.” He added that there was one thing that separates dads who do their part and dads who don’t: “Effort.”


This article originally appeared on 10.16.23

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Photo from Pixabay.

Running on empty.

There are two types of people in this world – those who panic and fill up their cars with gas when the needle hits 25% or so, and people like me who wait until the gas light comes on, then check the odometer so you can drive the entire 30 miles to absolute empty before coasting into a gas station on fumes.

I mean…it's not empty until it's empty, right?

But just how far can you drive your car once that gas light comes on? Should you trust your manual?


Now, thanks to Your Mechanic sharing this information in a recent post, you can know for sure. Of course, they also want to warn you that driving on a low fuel level or running out of gas can actually damage your car.

Proceed at your own risk.

fuel efficiency, cars, science, gasoline, gas

How far you can go on empty.

Graph from Your Mechanic.

Here's a link to a larger version of the chart.

These are, of course, approximations that depend on several factors, including how you drive, your car's condition, etc. So don't automatically blame Your Mechanic if you find yourself stranded on the side of the road.


This article originally appeared on 7.28.21

A map of the United States post land-ice melt.




Land ice: We got a lot of it.

Considering the two largest ice sheets on earth — the one on Antarctica and the one on Greenland — extend more than 6 million square miles combined ... yeah, we're talkin' a lot of ice.

But what if it was all just ... gone? Not like gone gone, but melted?


If all of earth's land ice melted, it would be nothing short of disastrous.

And that's putting it lightly.

This video by Business Insider Science (seen below) depicts exactly what our coastlines would look like if all the land ice melted. And spoiler alert: It isn't great.

Lots of European cities like, Brussels and Venice, would be basically underwater.

In Africa and the Middle East? Dakar, Accra, Jeddah — gone.

Millions of people in Asia, in cities like Mumbai, Beijing, and Tokyo, would be uprooted and have to move inland.

South America would say goodbye to cities like Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires.

And in the U.S., we'd watch places like Houston, San Francisco, and New York City — not to mention the entire state of Florida — slowly disappear into the sea.

All GIFs via Business Insider Science/YouTube.

Business Insider based these visuals off National Geographic's estimation that sea levels will rise 216 feet (!) if all of earth's land ice melted into our oceans.

There's even a tool where you can take a detailed look at how your community could be affected by rising seas, for better or worse.

Although ... looking at these maps, it's hard to imagine "for better" is a likely outcome for many of us.

Much of America's most populated regions would be severely affected by rising sea levels, as you'll notice exploring the map, created by Alex Tingle using data provided by NASA.

Take, for instance, the West Coast. (Goodbye, San Fran!)

Or the East Coast. (See ya, Philly!)

And the Gulf Coast. (RIP, Bourbon Street!)

I bring up the topic not just for funsies, of course, but because the maps above are real possibilities.

How? Climate change.

As we continue to burn fossil fuels for energy and emit carbon into our atmosphere, the planet gets warmer and warmer. And that, ladies and gentlemen, means melted ice.

A study published this past September by researchers in the U.S., U.K., and Germany found that if we don't change our ways, there's definitely enough fossil fuel resources available for us to completely melt the Antarctic ice sheet.

Basically, the self-inflicted disaster you see above is certainly within the realm of possibility.

"This would not happen overnight, but the mind-boggling point is that our actions today are changing the face of planet Earth as we know it and will continue to do so for tens of thousands of years to come," said lead author of the study Ricarda Winkelmann, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

If we want to stop this from happening," she says, "we need to keep coal, gas, and oil in the ground."

The good news? Most of our coastlines are still intact! And they can stay that way, too — if we act now.

World leaders are finallystarting to treat climate change like the global crisis that it is — and you can help get the point across to them, too.

Check out Business Insider's video below:

This article originally appeared on 12.08.15

Family

This is the best mother-daughter chat about the tampon aisle ever. Period.

A hilarious conversation about "the vagina zone" turned into an important message about patriarchy from mother to daughter.

A mother and daughter discuss period products.


Belinda Hankins and her 13-year-old daughter, Bella, seem to have a great relationship, one that is often played out over text message.

Sure they play around like most teens and parents do, but in between the joking and stealing of desserts, they're incredibly open and honest with each other. This is key, especially since Melinda is a single parent and thus is the designated teacher of "the ways of the world."

But, wow, she is a champ at doing just that in the chillest way possible. Of course, it helps having an incredibly self-aware daughter who has grown up knowing she can be super real with her mom.

Case in point, this truly epic text exchange took place over the weekend while Bella was hunting for tampons at the store.


Here's how Belinda introduced it on Facebook:

"THIS was the highlight of my parenting week. Sending my 13-year-old daughter into the store for (whispers) 'feminine hygiene products,' and having the following text exchange."

Let's give this the fanfare it deserves.

Act 1: The "right" aisle.

Every woman, whether she's 13 or 30 has said or thought "THEY'RE NOT HERRREEEEEE" while standing in an aisle, desperately searching for period products. It's like they're trying to make it a scavenger hunt for which we did not sign up.

Act 2: Everything is a lie.

Act 3: Success! Well, sort of.

That's right, Bella. Vagina, like Voldemort, is a word some people refuse to invoke because they're terrified what great, untamed powers doing so might unleash.

Act 4: The truth.

Only a truly great mom could put this in such a way that inspires laughter and fist-pumping agreement at the same time.

Act 5: Smash the patriarchy!

A brilliant conclusion, mom/daughter solidarity AND an accurate map that illustrates what women encounter on a daily basis? If this exchange were a stage play, it would receive five stars.

And many others have agreed; the Facebook post has already been shared over 57,000 times in just two days.

So hip-hip-hooray for moms like Belinda who are candid with their kids on issues big and small and teach them how to be strong using humor and real talk.

The more hilarious conversations like Belinda's and Bella's about vaginas and the patriarchy that there are in the world, the better.

This article originally appeared on 09.14.16

Image from Facebook of Alexandra Dal.

People of color experience many types of subtle racism.



If we're being honest, we all make assumptions about other people, right?

We look at their skin, their clothes, and their car, and we make guesses about them that we don't even realize we're making. Everyone does it.

You ask a pregnant female coworker if she'll keep working after the baby is born — but you wouldn't think to ask that question of a guy who was about to become a dad.


You ask that nice girl behind the counter at the bagel shop whether she'll ever go to college so she can get a better job — only to learn that she's an underemployed Ph.D.

You ask a hipster-looking guy on the subway whether he's into artisanal pickles — but he just happens to be a bad dresser who has no idea what you're talking about.

The fact is, though, that people of color deal with other people's assumptions constantly.

Research shows that other people's expectations can have a profound effect on us. They can determine our success or failure. And black women deal with this nonsense more than others. In a recent study, nearly half of the female black and Latina scientists polled reported being mistaken for janitors or administrative staff.


Let's agree to fix this.

racism, comics, artist, Alexandra Dal

A comic created by Alexandra Dal on racial expectations.

Image from Facebook of Alexandra Dal.

This story originally appeared on 12.15.15