"We sort our kids. We rate them. We chart them, and we measure their progress against the rest of the country and pray that they come out on the high end of the curve. And frankly, it's all horseshit. Every last bit of it. The competition industry is crushing us all."
Drew Magary, at Deadspin, unloads on the idea
that "these kids today" are little ninnies made soft by participation trophies and unscored soccer games. [more inside]
posted by escabeche
on Jul 16, 2014 -
"Them and Them." "Rockland County, New York's East Ramapo school district is a taxpayer-funded system fighting financial insolvency. It is also bitterly divided between the mostly black and Hispanic children and families who use the schools and the Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox Jewish majority who run the Board of Education and send their children to private, religious schools."
Also see: A District Divided
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Apr 24, 2013 -
When the Penn State scandal came out last year, I kept getting tangled in the questions everyone else was getting tangled in: How does an institutional culture arise to condone, or at least ignore, something that, individually, every member knows is wrong?
An alumnus of Horace Mann School
writes a shocking expose (NYT)
of a culture of sexual abuse at the elite prep school, some at the hands of teachers who were allowed to remain for years after accusations were first made.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero
on Jun 6, 2012 -
‘Everyone is a worker.’ That is a powerful statement, if you think about it. Richard Scarry wasn’t afraid to paint contemporary American society in such bold strokes. Nor was he afraid to explain commerce and capitalism to children.
- What Do People Do All Day
posted by Artw
on May 4, 2011 -
Saturday morning cartoons
were once a staple of American television, but by the year 2000 they had all but disappeared
. Of course, the Internet never
forgets. Case in point: Cartoon Network Video
-- a free, searchable, ad-supported service that provides hundreds of full-length episodes of classic shows like Dexter's Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Johnny Bravo, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends
, and The Powerpuff Girls
, as well as current offerings and scads of shorter material. Too recent for you? Then give Kids WB Video
a whirl -- it does the same thing with the same interface, but for older programs like Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, The Smurfs, Scooby-Doo, Thundercats
, and the original Space Ghost
. If you're in the mood to learn (and don't mind some live-action), PBS Kids Video
has educational fare such as Arthur, Wishbone, and Zoom. And don't forget about Sesame Street
, The Electric Company
, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood
, The Magic Schoolbus
and Schoolhouse Rock
! Now if only we had some Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs
posted by Rhaomi
on Sep 22, 2009 -
Three years ago, David Nixon took over the principalship at John C. Calhoun Elementary School. "Thirty minutes into his first day of school at John C, a father walked into Nixon's office and said, 'I want to give you the authority to whip my son's butt.' Nixon was surprised, but after he thought it over, he decided to give every parent the same option." Did corporal punishment save a struggling school? [more inside]
posted by jeeves
on Apr 28, 2009 -
The Case Against Homework. Does assigning fifty math problems accomplish any more than assigning five? Is memorizing word lists the best way to increase vocabulary—especially when it takes away from reading time? And what is the real purpose behind those devilish dioramas?
Sara Bennett wants to stop homework
. Here she explains why
posted by lunit
on Apr 9, 2009 -
Speaking of speeches, David Eggers delivers
one at TED on grassroots community tutoring for kids who need help with their English homework: "There's something about the kids finishing their homework in a given day, working one on one, getting all this attention. They finish their homework, they go home -- they're finished. They don't stall. They don't do their homework in front of the TV. They're allowed to go home 5:30, enjoy their family, enjoy other hobbies, get outside, play and that makes a happy family. A bunch of happy families in a neighborhood is a happy community. A bunch of happy communities tied together is a happy city and a happy world, right? So, the key to it all is homework." Love him or hate him (mefi consensus
) it's a great example of
nervous energy microphilanthropy
, social entrepreneurship
and, if I may make the connection, machines
of loving grace
posted by kliuless
on Mar 23, 2008 -
Are computers counterproductive to a child's development?
Wittenberg University education professor and former computer teacher Lowell Monke
thinks so, and has written a provocative essay arguing that, among other things, computers render children "less animated and less capable of appreciating what it means to be alive, what it means to belong in the world as a biological, social being," and "teach children a manipulative way of engaging the world.” His polemic is partially supported by evidence
(.pdf academic paper; BBC gloss here
) indicating that, above a certain threshold, computer use is correlated with lower test scores. The latest salvo in the continuing debate over education and the culture of simulation
posted by googly
on Oct 5, 2005 -
From MathNet to that silly song about the number nine, Square One
was one of my all-time favourite programs as a kid. It hasn't been released on video or DVD, but luckily there are plenty of fansites
with video clips, pics, and other media to take you on a trip down mathematical memory lane.
posted by sanitycheck
on Jan 18, 2005 -
, a site for kids devoted to the archeological excavations of the remains of a Neolithic town in central Turkey.
A great introduction for all ages to this important city, with activities
, quicktime tours
to more in depth resources.
posted by thatwhichfalls
on Oct 19, 2004 -
How I lost my childhood:
It may seem hopelessly lame to many, but as as child I, and many others of the same time period -- the first children of the microcomputer revolution -- spent many hours in front of our shiny new home computers reverently copying in BASIC programs from source printouts in books and magazines. For some, myself included, this was the launchpad into a sexy, exciting, fascinating career as a professional geek. Now, the book that was one of my sacred texts during this time period, David Ahl's BASIC Computer Games
, is available, scanned, online
. [via Boing Boing]
posted by jammer
on May 14, 2004 -
Every Child Left Behind:
"The federal No Child Left Behind law is threatening to wreck public education in Minnesota and elsewhere."
"That's what it was designed to do.
Focuses on my home state Minnesota, but the point is relevant to every state in the USA. What do we do to change it?
posted by mooncrow
on Mar 15, 2004 -
You're not from around here, are you?
On Tuesday in Wellesley, MA a kindergartener was put on the wrong bus to go home from afterschool care. The boy is black, and the bus is for the Metco program, which buses minority kids from Boston to suburban schools. Random mixup, or racial bias at work? Much hand-wringing ensues.
posted by serafinapekkala
on Sep 5, 2003 -
Teachers Traumatizing Students of Deployed Soldiers
"WABI TV reported Friday that the Maine National Guard Family Assistance Center has received about 30 complaints from children of deployed soldiers concerning Principals, Teachers and Guidance Counselors reportedly demeaning the role of their deployed parent. Some children involved are 7 to 9 years of age." More inside...
posted by darian
on Feb 26, 2003 -
Girl to sue over detention
"The family, who want compensation, will argue that the detentions were unlawful because they took place in Freya's free time. " If you can't give kids detention, how else are they going to be punished for breaking school rules?
posted by feelinglistless
on Dec 28, 2002 -
Yesterday I saw a wonderful movie - Spellbound
- a documentary about the annual Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee
- which won the Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature at SXSW
It explores the dynamics surrounding kids and parents desire for success in the
competition, reconciliation with failure and differing models of education, competition and success.
When I was a kid I was on the TV show It's Academic
- along with lots of other famous faces. While you
may want to
of the show - I still remember it fondly. My parents were happy to see me compete but generally
unconcerned about the outcome in any way. Now we've got Math Olympics
, the Academic Decathlon
and a host of other competitive ventures. Any other MeFites remember school days competitions and the drive to succeed?
posted by dhacker
on Oct 21, 2002 -
Expelled for Blogging?
Kid threatened with expulsion after having the nerve to blog from school. I assume his high school had nothing else to crack down on other than the gangs of bloggers up to no good like keeping a tech journal.
posted by Coop
on Sep 26, 2002 -
Gifted elementary kids in California could go straight to college. Students of any age, even kindergarten, could demand to take the state's high school proficiency examination under legislation approved recently by the Assembly.
Passage of the test -- which measures reading, writing and arithmetic skills -- would qualify young students to enter community colleges as if they had obtained their high school diplomas.
Academically, these kids may be ready for college, but are they mature enough to handle being surrounded by students six to ten years their senior?
posted by DakotaPaul
on Jun 20, 2002 -
Mother jailed for girls' truancy
A question for our British gang, is truancy such a problem in the UK now that this is really necessary? When I went to school in England, lo those mumblemumble
years ago, I don't remember it being this bad. For the rest of the world, do you think truancy in your country would justify locking up the primary caregiver or is this punishing the wrong person? Can parents be held responsible for everything a child does? And better said, should they? When should we grant children the priviledges and penalties of their own autonomous actions?
posted by dejah420
on May 13, 2002 -
The Try Group's site
uses a simple Flash "game" to deliver their central idea: that children should be encouraged to look at the world in different ways. There's a little more info
at the developer's site.
Neat concept, and also just fun to poke around in for a little while.
posted by Su
on May 2, 2002 -