August 2008 Archives

Students in the North Texas hamlet of Harrold spent the week wondering which teachers were carrying concealed pistols, The New York Times reports. The town’s school board approved a policy last fall to let teachers carry concealed weapons, with requisite training and licensing, to protect against school shootings. Brian Siebel, a lawyer for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, told the newspaper that the policy is not only unwise, but possibly illegal. According to The Times, a state education statute says "'security personnel' authorized to carry weapons on campuses must be 'commissioned peace officers,' who undergo police ...


As Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama takes the podium Thursday night to end his party’s national convention, many in the audience will be educators. According to the monthly magazine The American Prospect, about one in ten delegates on the convention floor are members of teachers’ unions. Among the teachers are Dorian De Long, Monica Jurado Stonier, and retiree Marjorie Clark, who have been blogging about their experiences in Denver. Their convention commentary isn’t all politics – the posts cover everything from celebrity sightings to special interest swag. De Long is using his blog as a tool to educate his ...


In a recent interview with the New York Times, Deborah Phelps, middle school principal and mother of Michael, the most medaled Olympian in history, remembers how her son’s elementary school teacher once told her, "Your son will never be able to focus on anything." Michael Phelps was big when he was born (9 pounds, 6 ounces), awkward as a kid, and bullied by his classmates. In preschool, his teachers complained that he couldn’t sit still. When Michael was in 5th grade, his mother and family doctor discussed whether Michael might have A.D.H.D. His parents, now ...


There are no bars on the windows, but Texas’ Gonzales High School could start to resemble a prison. A new policy at the school, located 70 miles east of San Antonio, states students who violate the dress code will be required to wear an inmate-style navy blue jumpsuit to class if they refuse to attend in-school suspension or don’t change their clothes, The Houston Chronicle reported. “We’re a conservative community, and we’re just trying to make our students more reflective of that,” Gonzales Independent School District deputy superintendent Larry Wehde said. Dress code violations include spaghetti-strap tank ...


With concerns about energy prices and global warming now at that forefront of the national consciousness, interest in environmental education in schools is growing dramatically, according to USA Today. Among the signs of the times: A bill is now making its way through Congress that would give states funding to develop green curricula and increase teacher training in environmental areas. And the National Environmental Education Foundation, which works with schools and other organizations to improve environmental literacy, has seen its partner list increase fivefold over the past two years. “A lot of people are thinking and talking about environmental topics ...


When biologist Dr. Steven Farber visits the classroom, students see organs forming and red blood cells pumping out from zebra fish. According to The New York Times, Farber brings genetics lessons to students in inner-city schools through his nonprofit organization BioEYES, which he began in 2001. One of the first people Farber hired to work with him was former 3rd grade teacher, Jamie Shuda. Shuda taught Farber how to reach students at their level on the subject of biology . “I’d advise anyone who wants to start a project like this to work with a professional teacher. That’s key,” ...


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