POSTS WITH TAG: education

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    Think you’re more intelligent than a 4-year-old? I sure thought I was, up until I took a new kindergarten admission test geared for this tender age group! I failed miserably, which proves one of two things: Either I’m an idiot, or this test is crazy. After all, if I flunked it, how would my 4-year-old daughter do? 

    Called the Admission Assessment for Beginning Learners (or AABL for short), this new assessment will be offered this fall at some schools as an alternative to standard IQ tests often administered around this age. Stranger still, the test will be administered by iPad (aren’t parents lectured up the wazoo that they should cut down on the amount of screen time their kiddos get?).

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    The debate over homework has raged on in American homes for the past several years. But the battle is not between the parents and the kids who don't want to do it. Instead, it's parents challenging the system and asking that schools reduce or ban homework altogether. And it looks like one school is well on its way to embracing the no-homework system.

    Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, there definitely is one big catch. If administrators do decide to ban homework, they will have to lengthen the school days. Since parents mostly want homework restrictions so kids can spend more time playing, enjoying their days, and hanging with the family, it could seem like the plan is backfiring.

    But the trade-off might just be totally worth it.

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    The value of school uniforms and dress codes has been debated over and over again. Arguably, they help to keep kids safe because intruders can be easily spotted, but they prohibit choices and keep kids from creatively dressing. And most recently, a North Carolina principal has landed herself in hot water after demanding that students walk outside for more than two hours after violating the uniform code.

    According to reports, Manchester Elementary School Principal Tammy Holland ordered several dozen children to walk on a dirt track until their parents could bring them a change of clothes or pick them up to go home. She even said that they weren't allowed to eat any breakfast or be served any water. They were only brought inside after administrators in the school's office were alerted of the situation.

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    Controlling a classroom of 20 to 30 elementary school students is no easy feat. Teachers set rules, guidelines, and limits on what the children can do in order to maintain a good learning environment. But a story of a school that is limiting kids to using the bathroom only twice a year shows us how some school rules can cause kids more harm than good.

    Parents of fourth grade students at Loma Portal Elementary School are complaining that their children only receive two bathroom passes per year. Turns out, kids are using up their two passes quickly and then are not allowed to use the bathroom. Instead, if they need to use the bathroom, they have to take a detention or be excluded from activities.

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    Turning 18 and graduating high school is a natural stepping stone for kids before they enter college. And for one Alabama family, they're doing it all. Except by age 12. Kip and Mona Lisa Harding are parents to 10 children. Seven of them have gotten into college by age 12.

    And the other three will soon follow suit. Their oldest, now 26, has been an engineer for four years and already holds two masters degrees. Their second oldest daughter is an architect with her own firm. And the other kids are on their way to becoming doctors in the U.S. Navy, computer scientists, musicians/composers, scholars of the Middle Ages, and lawyers.

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    Do you know what your kids' teachers think of them? Wait, scratch that. Would you WANT to know? Because a mom in Ohio was shocked by a message left on her voicemail by her 7-year-old's teacher.

    It seems the educator forgot to hang up the phone before voicing her opinion about the kindergartner to a colleague. Needless to say, what Ashley Moore heard about her son was none too complimentary.

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    Michigan teacher Alan Barron was recently suspended just two weeks before he was set to retire from his 36-year teaching career, and parents at Monroe Middle School are none too pleased. The district is looking into whether his teaching methods on black history were appropriate.

    It seems as though the 59-year-old dared to show a video in class of white actors in blackface during a lesson plan on African-American history and Jim Crow racial segregation laws. Although he explained that many people once considered that entertainment, a vice principal sitting in on the class thought it was enough to turn it off and place him on leave.

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    This was no ordinary science fair! Today's fourth annual White House Science Fair celebrated 100 students from more than 30 states, who represent over 40 different science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions across the country. Additionally, 30 student teams exhibited their awe-inspiring, award-winning projects. President Obama hosted the event, applauding these young people's achievements.

    After viewing the students' exhibits, it was clear a self-effacing POTUS was floored by their accomplishments, joking, "I have a confession to make. When I was growing up my science fair projects were not as successful as those here! ... I accidentally killed some plants that were a part of my experiment. Another time, a bunch of mice escaped in my grandmother's apartment. These experiments did not take me straight to the White House!"

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    Several years ago our circumstances changed quite a bit when my husband left his established job to launch a business. I couldn't have been more supporting of his decision, and I was thrilled that he had the courage to follow his dream in such a big way -- but I hadn't realized how much a drastically reduced salary would impact our daily lives. At first it was enormously challenging, as I'd analyze nearly everything I did in order to determine if it fit within our newly tightened budget. Eventually, however, things greatly simplified: by and large, I just ... stopped spending money on non-essential items.

    These days our budget isn't nearly so cramped. We have discretionary income again, and I don't budget like I used to. I'm also pretty sure my parenting has suffered as a result.

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    I don't know about you, but I expect a certain amount of maturity and decorum in our educators and those who run our schools. But, sadly, that is not always the case. Here is a perfect example of those who REALLY should know better behave in a way that is not just offensive but unacceptable.

    A New York school board president resigned after video surfaced of him saying unkind things about one of the parents of a student. Really unkind things.

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