Huckleberry Finn and Jim
Huckleberry Finn is no hero, though he does symbolize the American conscience at the time Mark Twain wrote, or at least the conscience Twain hoped for. Yes, Huckleberry Finn is a coming-of-age tale and a social criticism and satire, but it also asks crucial questions: Who actually changes? What type of American will change?
…and 4 Challenges
When deciding whether or not to homeschool your child, it’s important to keep in mind both the positives and negatives of homeschooling.
All parents want what’s best for their children. But when it comes to schooling, the field of choices can be murky and the decisions difficult. Parents don’t always get a close look at what goes on in their kids’ schools, nor can they fully understand the demands of homeschooling until they’ve made the leap. Continue reading
In a decision last week, the European Court of Human Rights has undermined its claim to being the “conscience of Europe” and pitted parents against children.
The Wunderlich family wanted to do what thousands of families in America do with no questions asked: educate their children at home.
But homeschooling is not allowed in Germany, and the state has relentlessly pursued the Wunderlichs and even seized their children. Continue reading
Photo by Tobias Aeppli
Writing in The Atlantic, Paul Barnwell says that students today have a “broken moral compass” because “The pressures of national academic standards have pushed character education out of the classroom.”
One of the reasons I wrote A Gift of Wonder was to share a picture in which character education is integrated with academics. I discovered that this approach made my lessons engaging and thus made it easier for students to grasp the academic content because they were never bored. Continue reading
As 2018 wound down, our nation’s colleges and looniversities continued their campaign to bury our civilization under a mountain of idiocy.
At Penn State—where “Coach” Jerry Sandusky practiced pedophilia for umpteen years before they finally caught him in 2011—the resident sages are offering a new “examine relations between gender and agriculture” — that is, Ph. D. candidates — to “examine relations between gender and agriculture,” at the end of which, these suckers – er, students – will become “gender fellows.” Continue reading
Teachers (have gone) on strike in the Los Angeles school district …
They have plenty of complaints. But what they don’t have is accomplishments.
Only 22% of fourth graders in the district scored proficient in math. Even a typical terrible inner-city school district has a 30% proficient rate.
Since 2003, 245,000 students have left the district in favor of better districts, or charter schools. Continue reading
A new bill has reportedly been pre-filed in South Carolina that would require high school students in the state to take a personal finance class.
Under the legislation from Republican state Sen. Luke Rankin, high school students would be required to take at least one half-credit personal finance course and pass a test at the end of the school year in order to graduate, a local ABC station recently reported. Continue reading
This is the big issue in education that nobody is talking about. I wrote this Post for Scary Mommy in September of 2017 about public school teachers losing professional autonomy. ~ K.A.
They will be extinct by 2033 if the current rate of loss continues.
Like most endangered creatures, their habitat is threatened. When you were a child they were present in every city and town in the United States, but now their world has changed. They can be found only in rare, hospitable environments.
I’m not talking about polar bears, the red wolf, or the pygmy rabbit. The endangered ones I speak of here are not four-legged animals, but an important category of educators: teachers with a high level of professional freedom. Continue reading
A Teacher’s Advice to Parents in One Short List
According to studies and parents themselves, parenting can make you tired, overwhelmed and anxious. And no wonder. The parent zone includes marinara drizzled onto your new beige carpet, more hours in the car than in your bed and entire mountain ranges of laundry. Plus you are responsible for the health and well being of someone who means more to you than joy itself. My sense is that researchers who study parenting are finding nothing new; exhaustion, occasional (or perpetual) feelings of being overwhelmed and chronic anxiety have plagued parents since basically forever. Continue reading
Just 24 percent of millennials demonstrated a basic understanding of financial concepts, according to a recent PwC study.
Flickr-MIKI Yoshihito | CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
Finance is hard to see. And as a result, finance can be hard to understand – especially for kids! Let me explain. My sister goes to the grocery store with her debit card. She swipes the card and leaves the grocery store with the card and a bag of groceries.
From her son’s perspective, it seems like a sweet deal! It doesn’t look like my sister gave anything up to get the groceries. Her son doesn’t see the exchange; he doesn’t see that money left my sister’s bank account and went into the shopkeeper’s bank account. He doesn’t see that my sister first earned the money after she provided services to hospital patients. If my sister used a credit card instead of a debit card, the exchange would have been even more confusing! Now a credit card company is lending money to my sister? Continue reading
The math exam that has made it difficult for hundreds of new North Carolina teachers to get their license could be phased out as early as February, based on a recent vote by a panel of state education experts.
In August, the state Board of Education learned that almost 2,400 elementary and special education teachers had failed the math portion of the licensing exam. Critics say the test requires middle and high school math skills that teachers of young children may not use, while failing to gauge whether licensing candidates will be effective teachers.
Those critics got a boost from a report presented last week to the state’s Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission. That report looked at more than 1,100 beginning teachers who have taken licensing exams created by the for-profit Pearson publishing company. It found that teachers who passed the math test on the first try didn’t get significantly better results with their students than those who failed at least once. Continue reading
A school system in Massachusetts is proving to be malicious, incompetent, or maybe both.
Of course, we suspected that already. But the latest example comes from a lawsuit from a woman who pulled her 8-year-old son from Worcester Public Schools to homeschool him last January.
Josilyn Goodall is suing the Worcester School Committee, Superintendent Maureen Binienda, and the state Department of Children and Families after police entered her home, handcuffed her, and arrested her over what amounted to a paperwork dispute. Continue reading
We have retired teachers who contribute to this site who will fully understand what you are about to read… but I suspect that many of our readers will as well. ~ Ed.
They sit in front of a screen for five hours a day, hundreds of people at desks moving through the programs, step by step. Once a week they meet with a person for fifteen minutes. Occasionally they join a group listening briefly to a speaker. But mostly they interact with a screen, reading and giving answers. They try to keep on task, but sometimes they can’t resist the lure of a computer game. When the wi-fi is down they just sit, waiting. One day, fed up with the eerie quiet, with eye strain, with boredom, they walk out in protest.
Who are these people? Continue reading
“You Big Dummy!”
Least-Educated State: California No. 1 in Percentage of Residents 25 and Older Who Never Finished 9th Grade; No. 50 in High School Graduates
California ranks No. 1 among the 50 states for the percentage of its residents 25 and older who have never completed ninth grade and 50th for the percentage who have graduated from high school, according to new data from the Census Bureau.
Texas ranks No. 2 for the percentage of its residents 25 and older who have never completed ninth grade and 49th for the percentage who have graduated from high school. Continue reading
Some university and college students would rather concern themselves with radical politics than concentrate on their studies. That’s the opinion of a conservative commentator and former university professor.
Earlier this month, the student government at the University of California, Berkeley approved a resolution donating funds for the migrant caravan from Central America seeking entrance into the U.S. After a four-hour meeting, the Associated Students at UC-Berkeley voted unanimously to contribute $1,500 to migrants’ “pursuit of asylum and safety.” Continue reading