Do you have or know small children who go to a school for small people? Then you may know about the latest fad for the littlest consumers: terrifying campus lockdowns. Because our Constitution requires all citizens to keep enough guns and ammo to wipe out everyone in their zip code, it takes nothing more than a threatening phone call or some gibberish on Facebook to turn your neighborhood school into a potential site of mass murder.
My oldest child, a second grader, spent the latter part of his Tuesday class time huddled in fear underneath a desk, which is what they were all trained to do after Newtown. In every [...]
“This was done by somebody who was barely literate." —Daniel Pinkwater, genius towering super-hero of literature, is profoundly pissed at the mangling of his work that then caused the uproar over the absurd and bizarre NYS reading exam test question about the pineapple in the race with the hare.
Marty Skoble sits in his office surrounded by the words of his students. Recently, one of his charges slipped a note under his door that read simply, "Waves look like white horses." That is not the most advanced of similes, but consider the context: The uncertainty of the pensmanship suggests that the anonymous writer was in his or her first decade.
Skoble started teaching poetry at Brooklyn's Saint Ann's in the 1980s. More than 30 years later, the balding, bearded gentleman who speaks with the thoughtful cadence of a lifelong educator is an institution, meeting with every lower school student once a week and 400 children in total. In [...]
"Though you would never know it from the state of public alarm about education, the numbers show that regular public school performance has skyrocketed in the last two decades to the point that, for example, black elementary school students now have better math skills than whites had only 20 years ago. (There has also been progress for middle schoolers, and in reading; and less, but not insubstantial, progress for high schoolers.) The reason test score gaps have barely narrowed is that white students have also improved, at least at the elementary and middle school levels. The causes of these truly spectacular gains are unknown, but they are probably inconsistent with [...]
Good news for America's money-hungry colleges and universities! Yale: "Class of 2015 admit rate lowest ever." UCLA: "A record-high number of applicants for UCLA results in low admissions." Harvard: "Harvard Accepts Record Low 6.2 Percent of Applicants to the Class of 2015."
So, yes: application rates are through the roof, admission rates are way down, and at the same time, prices are going up! Coupled with the trend of the use of high-priced admissions "consultants," who help eliminate admissions to needy ("poor") students so as to get more paying students, it's going to be a great year for institutions (to sock away some cash and educate [...]
There was a teacher in my high school, Mr. Johnson. I had him for Current Events class my senior year. He would sporadically stop class and call out "Pop quiz: Who's Catholic?" Then, he'd point to each raised hand and say, "Plus five, plus five, plus five…" He was joking about giving out this Catholic extra credit. Sorta kinda. But he'd give the football players exemptions from homework assignments if they played a good game-for real, and let everybody know about it. He had a mustache and wore polo shirts tucked in too tight. He was one of the "cool" teachers in the school and very popular with the [...]