October 2006 Archives

In the spirit of Halloween, we just wanted to remind students (and educators!) to think carefully about the costumes they’re wearing to school. This Associated Press story posted by the Washington Post details the goings on at Long Beach High School in Long Beach, N.Y., where three female students were sent home to change after they dressed up like storybook hero Captain Underpants. As you might guess, Captain Underpants wears his undergarments where everyone can see them, but the school’s principal did not appreciate the view....


There’s a lot of focus on struggling urban schools, but this podcast from the Merrow Report highlights urban school districts that have found success. John Merrow, a long-time education broadcaster, sat down with the leaders of five school districts-- Boston; Bridgeport, Conn.; Jersey City, N.J.; Miami-Dade, Fla.; New York City and Norfolk, Va.—whose districts were all finalists for this year's Broad Foundation prize. The annual prize awards $1 million to the top urban school district in the nation. The superintendents talk with Mr. Merrow about everything from contract negotiations with unions to the federal No Child Left ...


There’s been a burst of concern on the education scene this year about boys and whether they’re falling by the wayside in school. For decades the focus has been on girls and how they’re being short-changed by classes like math, that may be structured in favor of the opposite gender. Then, this year, folks started worrying about boys instead, with a cover story in Newsweek raising the level of concern. But an article in the October issue of the American School Board Journal says don’t believe the hype. It argues that researchers are finding boys doing ...


This month, both the NEA publication, NEA Today and the AFT magazine, American Teacher, feature articles on Wikis and Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. The NEA article provides an in-depth look at Wikipedia, which strives to be a free, online reference allowing anyone to create entries—thus, says NEA Today, opening the medium for mistakes and vandals who intentionally post incorrect information. The AFT item presents the views of two teachers: one who views Wikipedia and Wikis in general (which students can create themselves) as a valuable learning tool, and another who says the use of Wikis...


The British government's new regulations that require schools to serve healthy lunches aren't going over too well with some English children. They're not overly impressed with the more nutritious fare being served up at their schools; they want their hamburgers, fries, and sugary drinks back on school menus. Some parents feel sorry for the kids, stating that children won't eat what's not appetizing to them, no matter what, and have even sold them banned food though the gates of a northern English school, according to a story posted by The New York Times....


The Washington Post provides tips for parents and for educators to bridge the chasm that often divides the two groups. Teachers often complain that parents are either overbearing or not involved at all in their child’s education, while parents bemoan the fact that teachers don’t take their input seriously. This article gives tips for both sides on how to make the relationship between educator and parent work in favor of the student. Some of them are fairly basic, but worth a look....


October is Children’s Health Month and the Environmental Protection Agency is going all out to make sure everyone is aware of the risks of hazardous chemicals in schools, the threats that old, dilapidated school buildings pose, and of the benefits of a healthy school environment—for students and adults. Check out the EPA’s list of activities for the month, or read their 2006 report on children’s environmental health, or consult the daily calendar that has a children’s environmental health tip every day. If you want to be more participatory, mark your own calendar for Oct. 19, ...


This is the story of how a turnaround specialist struggled to turn things around. The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer reports on the efforts of one Virginia turnaround specialist, Park Land, who pledged to spend three years as principal at Boushall Middle School in Richmond and make the struggling school into an educational example. The school had failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress and was on a targeted list of schools “in need of improvement” by the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Listen to or watch the story to find out what happened....


Jeremy Iverson was a 24-year-old Stanford University graduate when he decided his private boarding school experience was not much of an adolescence. So he enrolled at a public high school in Southern California and went undercover to write a book, posing as a 17-year-old student. Only the school's principal knew who he was. The result is “High School Confidential” which takes a look not only at today’s teenage culture of text messaging, hook-ups, and steroid use, but also at the public education system and the way it works. In this Salon article, Mr. Iverson talks about the failings of ...


The killing of five Amish students in Paradise, Pa., has brought increased attention to the Amish community, which shuns the modern-day trappings of everyday life. While Amish children may not be as technologically plugged-in as their student peers outside of the Amish community, they do have many things in common, one of which is school. Mark Dewalt, an author and professor who has studied one-room schoolhouses and Amish education in the U.S. and Canada for two decades, talked with National Public Radio's Melissa Block about Amish schoolhouses and how the children are educated....


In the wake of all this recent school violence, MSNBC has collected 10 myths about school shootings from a 2002 study on the issue by the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education. The myths include everything from “He didn’t fit the profile” to “He was a loner” and make for an interesting read. However, it’s noteworthy that the study assumes that the shooter would most likely be a student or someone with a strong connection to the school. Two of the most recent school shooting incidents involved adults who were not even affiliated ...


NPR's "Morning Edition" takes a look at the start of the school year for the New Orleans school district, still decimated from Hurricane Katrina more than a year ago. The school system is now a hodge-podge of charter, state-run and and district-run institutions. The report highlights the daily reality for principals, who don't know how many teachers to hire because students continue to trickle back to class, or who are faced with barring students from class because they don't have the proper documentation....


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