Written by Education Week's Katie Ash Education Week reporter, and frequent contributor to this blog, Kathleen Kennedy Manzo has an interesting story this morning about today's students choosing to read less and less in their free time, according to a report released by the National Endowment for the Arts. Endowment Chairman Dana Gioia attributes the lack of interest in reading in part to the growth and popularity of electronic media, but also to the inability of schools to foster a love of reading in their students, the article says. The decline has serious implications for students' reading proficiency and comprehension, ...


Written by Education Week's Katie Ash A government-sanctioned organization wants to see creativity added to the list of skills taught in school, says this Associated Press article. According to Eric Lui, the founder of Creativity Matters, good teachers encourage students to tap into their imaginations when approaching problems, and that teaching style should be given more emphasis. Asking kids to think in creative ways may even help boost their resumes, the article suggests, citing Boeing Co., as an employer that lists creativity and imagination in its job requirements. Pure creativity might be difficult to teach, but thinking outside the box ...


An increasing number of college students are taking foreign language courses, according to this Associated Press article. What do you think is motivating them? Competition for jobs in a global economy? A desire to understand a different culture by learning its language? The pure joy of conversing in a different tongue?...


Are parents doing their part to ensure their children are successful in school? A school board member in Manchester, Conn., wants to know. Steve Edwards proposed last month that the district issue report cards to parents, to gauge how well they support their children’s academic, physical, and emotional well-being, according to this story in the Hartford Courant. The story suggests that Edwards' proposal faces an uphill battle, and recounts the failed experiment with parent report cards in Chicago. But there is increasing recognition that what parents do, or don't do, to help reinforce the importance of learning and working ...


Check out the latest of New York City's ideas to entice kids with cash prizes and other incentives to get them to do better in school. According to this New York Times story, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is considering a proposal to give some students free cellphones and to reward high academic performance with free cellphone airtime. Of course, this could be at odds with the city's ban on cellphones in the schools. But the Mayor sees no potential conflict. All this prizes-for-performance stuff is beginning to feel a little ridiculous....


A recent article in the New York Times, "Less Homework, More Yoga, From a Principal Who Hates Stress," made me think: Now this is the kind of principal I wish I had had in high school. He was even ridiculed by Jay Leno and Rush Limbaugh for his efforts to get kids to chill out. Joking aside, this is an issue worth debating. If teenagers are stressed out and worrying constantly about academics, are they likely to do their best in class? Might a little official endorsement of relaxation (which is promoted in quite a number successful companies around the ...


My eyes were not opened to the pure joy and energetic powers of a cup of coffee until I was a young adult working at a daily newspaper. Purely out of survival, I began consuming coffee throughout each day and the habit has continued for almost two decades. But I have serious reservations about making coffee easily available to high school students, as is being done in coffeehouses now setting up shop in high school libraries. See "High School Libraries Luring Students in with Coffeehouses." The idea is to entice more kids to visit the library. Sure, my As and ...


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