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eduwonkette's First COWAbunga Award!

A few weeks ago, Kent Fischer started a great feature on his Dallas schools blog called "Comment Of the Week Award," also known as "the Golden COW." Starting today and every week thereafter I'll follow his example and give the COWAbunga Award to an insightful, interesting, or funny comment on this site.

This week's COWAbunga Award goes to two comments, one serious and the other satirical. The first was by Margo/Mom, a terrific regular contributor to this site, who responded to skoolboy's post on America's academic standing in the world. Regarding whether other countries offer "well-rounded" educations, Margo/Mom wrote:
Finland systematically includes the arts at a young age--although not in what we would consider to be "school" (more like after-school programs that all students attend). In Japan, the "shadow" system--which some think of as "cram" schools, actually functions to offer enrichment to most young students (with a more academic bent as high school levels are approached). Many of countries the countries mentioned include languages at a very early (elementary) age. In Finland instruction begins with "mother-tongue" (Finnish, Swedish, Sami, or the homeland language of immigrants), with the addition of a second national language soon after. I would call this evidence of "[well-]roundedness."
The second comment, by "What Would Paris Do," takes issue with Bloomberg's claim that the achievement gap in NYC has been cut in half. Here's an excerpt from WWPD as she channels Paris Hilton:
Unlike some people, I know what "half off" really means. Not that I would buy a Gap sweater even if it was half off. But I know the difference between a "storewide sale" and a "discount on selected merchandise." Trust me. You don't want to be standing at the cash register screaming at a clerk for overcharging you only to realize you messed up your math. Not hot.

And Mike and Joel, let me just say on a personal note that I understand that people make mistakes. As a famous New Yorker once said, "I have always believed in second chances." But let me warn you -- when something you did that a lot of people think was really wrong gets out on the internet, it won't go away. My advice to you is to swallow your pride, lay low, and hope none of your friends talks about it to the press. The last thing you need is that white-haired wrinkly dude talking about you over and over and over again because that will just make people google your name. And guess what they will find? Exactly. In 24 hours, your dumb mistake will be the most searched phrase in the entire world. Everyone will link to it. Everywhere. People might even forget that you are a singer and a model and so much more.
Thanks to everyone who takes the time to make the discussions here so dynamic!
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