The Anti-Zen Links
1) Common Core & NCLB: The Common Core report out today found that kids don't know basic historical facts or literary references and argues that NCLB contributes to this problem. In my view, NCLB has little to do with the historical fact gap. (See Bush to World: NCLB Led to iPhone or Greatest Generation Struggled With History.) I haven't read the report yet, so correct me if it included longitudinal data - but did kids know these facts 10 or even 50 years ago? You know I'm troubled by the fact that reading and math have crowded out other subjects, but if there are any losses at all in historical fact knowledge, the shift in social studies teaching away from memorizing facts, the diversification of the curriculum, and a cultural ethos centered around Britney, Paris, and Miley are more likely culprits than NCLB.
2) Is There a "Right Age" To Talk to Kids About Sex?: Via the NY Times, check out this short documentary starring two girls, ages six and four, called, "Please Talk to Kids About AIDS." The young ladies attended the International AIDS conference and asked the bigwigs questions ranging from, "How does it get inside your body?" to “How come they want to have sex with each other?” Wherever you are on this issue, it will make you think about it more deeply. You can watch the movie here.
3) Ed Policy Dudes and Baseball: Will the baseball argument end by opening day? In reverse order: Kevin Carey, Leo Casey, Kevin Carey, Matthew Tabor, Leo Casey, Kevin Carey, Mike Klonsky, Ed Muir, Kevin Carey, Steve Koss, and the original Carey. I'm sure I've missed some posts or have that slightly out of order, so accept my apology in advance. But here's my real question: where are all of the ed policy women? Is it just my impression, or is the ed policy blogosphere dude dominated? (Note that Sara Mead recently improved the gender balance with her new early ed blog.)