What's wrong with this teacher's comments?
A Pasadena HS teacher circulated a letter with his complaint that African American students at the school are the reason for bad behavior and low test scores. He's now suspended...rightly? More inside...hoping to keep this civil, too...(thanks to Jim Romenesko)
posted by serafinapekkala
on Oct 23, 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 -
Nature versus Nurture.
A London teenager who had a bit of history and had been excluded from school was placed in public school by a television programme. He appears to have excelled, though how he is top of a class of 15 year olds at Latin is beyond me, unless he was a surreptitious Latin reader throughout his early childhood. I think there may be some ethical issues around this, but it does suggest that thousands of children are being systematically failed by the education system. Long live Rousseau
. As it were.
posted by Fat Buddha
on Oct 13, 2002 -
High school Satanism club prompts parental outrage
some kids in a high school start a club called Satanist Thought Society. As expected, everybody gets offended, especially the Christian Society. It can be argued, though, that the the Satanist Society has as much right to exist as the Christian Society. Is this just a 1st ammendment issue or is there a moral question to be thought out? (via Camworld
posted by falameufilho
on Oct 2, 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 -
Think you're smart? How does your test-taking ability stack up to your forebears? Could you have graduated eighth grade
in 1895? Been accepted into college
in the 1930s? What do you think - is it easier to be a student today or harder?
Oh, here's a cheat sheet
in case the 8th grade exam proves too challenging!
posted by madamjujujive
on Sep 25, 2002 -
"'The best thing is being able to write my name,' says Siddiqa, 18...." Simple and powerful lessons
are being taught in Afghanistan.
posted by donkeyschlong
on Sep 23, 2002 -
I just read
will be offering free education via it's OpenCourseWare
project (starting September 30th). This makes me very happy. Are there any other universities that offer similar services?
posted by Rattmouth
on Sep 22, 2002 -
Artists, Lovers And Art Lovers or Amadeo, Anna and Olga
: I was astonished to find such a thorough Modigliani gallery as this on the Web, complete with a charming piece
on his love affair with the great Russian poet Anna Akhmatova
. It's part of Olga's Gallery
, an entirely amateurish affair
mounted by Olga and Helen Mataev
with the intention of opening their children's eyes to the wonders of the (art) world. Its innocence and guilelessness are obvious, but its enthusiasm for painting - and its anxiety to share what's unsettling and magnificent about art - did much to renew my faith in the good ship Internet and in so many who sail in her. Long live amateurishness and its real root, love
! OK, so it's a bit raw around the edges... Who cares? It may be unprofessional, uncool and even awkward - but it's truly lovely.
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Sep 9, 2002 -
"It's a terrible thing, but it's time to embrace Big Brother"
A high school in Santee California has implemented "security procedures" that would do Mr. Orwell proud. Wireless cameras the face and license plate of every driver and car entering the parking lot. If you go to the bathroom, your picture gets logged. Hall monitors will soon carry wireless computers that can pull up a student's school picture and class schedule. And they are considering implementing face recognition software. Installed over the summer, a few parents complained to the school system - NOT
that it was being done, but that they hadn't been notified. (LA Times Link - metafilter99/metafilter99
posted by Irontom
on Sep 9, 2002 -
Yoga in the classroom? EGADS! That reeks of religious implications
, say parents in Aspen, Colorado. "For some families, the chanting that accompanies a selection of yoga techniques creates a challenge for separation of church and state." Aspen Elementary
says the pilot program "was proposed as a way to help kids cope with their return to school. Rowdy tots could be calmed and readied for class work after recess using a series of relaxing breathing and stretching techniques."
posted by msacheson
on Aug 28, 2002 -
Easly High, home of the Scarlet Letters.
Students violating the dress code of the South Carolina high school will now be forced to change into t-shirts bearing the phrases "Dress for Success"
on the front and "Today I did not meet the dress code policy for proper attire"
on the back. Boy, it's a good thing they're putting them on teenagers, because they would never think of creative ways to violate this idea in... what, about thirty seconds? Discuss your ideas for the new fashion trend: custom punishment signs!
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Aug 26, 2002 -
Just another crazy person's site,
but I catch myself wasting way too much time here, so maybe you will too. The guy's name is David Blomstrom if I remember right and he really really really cares about Seattle Public Schools. It's his thoughts on the issue that are intriguing though; he's very right about somethings, horribly wrong about others and crazy as hell through out.o
posted by Slimemonster
on Aug 17, 2002 -
Corporate Welfare and Social Welfare.
Which is the most egregious? A bill in Congress to address welfare got comments from GWB during a political fund raiser in SC. Does this statement make any sense to you?
"In the way they're kind of writing it right now out of the Senate Finance Committee, some people could spend their entire five years on welfare - there's a five-year work requirement - going to college. Now, that's not my view of helping people become independent, and it's certainly not my view of understanding the importance of work and helping people achieve the dignity necessary so they can live a free life, free from government control." -GWB-
I always thought education WAS the key to escaping poverty but the "education President" obviously disagrees. I'd really appreciate your comments on the bill and this article.
posted by nofundy
on Aug 1, 2002 -
Textbook Publishers Learn to Avoid Messing With Texas.
"Out of Many," the work of four respected historians, is one of the biggest sellers among American history college textbooks in the United States, but it is not likely to be available to Texas high school students taking advanced placement history. Conservative groups in Texas objected to two paragraphs in the nearly 1,000-page text that explained that prostitution was rampant in cattle towns during the late 19th century, before the West was fully settled.
posted by ncurley
on Jun 30, 2002 -
Schools conspire against boys: educator
I really don't know what to make of this. Nobody complained that schools were "anti-boy" before girls started to do better and outpace male enrollment in college. Boys were always the ones getting in trouble when I was a student too.
posted by Salmonberry
on Jun 29, 2002 -
Court gives the go-ahead on random drug testing for non-athlete students. "Given the nationwide epidemic of drug use, and the evidence of increased drug use in Tecumseh schools, it was entirely reasonable for the school district to enact this particular drug testing policy," Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the decision.
Drug tests which really only target marijuana use (alcohol, cocaine, opiates leave the body shortly after use) can now be randomly given to students involved in extra-curricular activities. Is this a further step in the "my anti-drug" campaign? Is debate or drama club YOUR anti-drug? By denying student drug users the privilege of participating in activities, aren't we just marginalizing them further and making the problem worse? What will it be? Drugs or getting involved?
posted by Hammerikaner
on Jun 27, 2002 -
Edison schools 'privatization with public money' scheme a failure?
School districts such as San Francisco's, which saw Edison as a panacea, may end up worse off for having played the privatization game. If Edison goes under, the district (could) be faced with huge logistical challenges: re-enrolling kids, renegotiating contracts with teachers who were working at Edison schools, maybe even dealing with the company's creditors.
posted by skallas
on Jun 27, 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 -
15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense
From Scientific American..."Opponents of evolution want to make a place for creationism by tearing down real science, but their arguments don't hold up.
Besieged teachers and others may increasingly find themselves on the spot to defend evolution and refute creationism. The arguments that creationists use are typically specious and based on misunderstandings of (or outright lies about) evolution, but the number and diversity of the objections can put even well-informed people at a disadvantage.
To help with answering them, the following list rebuts some of the most common "scientific" arguments raised against evolution. It also directs readers to further sources for information and explains why creation science has no place in the classroom."
posted by martk
on Jun 17, 2002 -
Pimps and Gangs Subtracted From Math Test "Rufus is a pimp for three girls. If the price is $65 per trick, how many tricks per day must each girl turn to support Rufus' $800 per day crack habit?"
So reads a math test from a now suspended Canadian teacher, apparently modeled after this joke
posted by bloggboy
on Jun 14, 2002 -
"I just can't believe that I'm having a baby."
The yearbook at Pinellas Park High School this year included a 12 page spread about teen pregnancy and highlights some students and their experiences with staying in school while pregnant. Some see it a step in educating students about the issue, others see it as a glorification of teen pregnancy. Having had an older sister almost not finish high school because of a pregnancy, I'm all for education, but is the yearbook the appropriate place?
posted by turacma
on Jun 11, 2002 -
Sensitivity or Censorship?
A fascinating article in the NY Times reveals that the the New York Board of Education is editing literary passages used on its high school exit exam to remove passages that might "make a student feel ill at ease" while taking the test. Deletions include all references, no matter how innocuous, to drugs, alcohol, homosexuality, God, race, Congress, unpaid U.N. dues, nudity, sex, violence, and much more. Some of the quoted authors, including Annie Dillard and Frank Conroy, are pretty upset with the state, especially since the passages don't indicate that they have been "revised." On the other hand, standardized tests are often criticized as being culturally biased
so maybe this is a justifiable attempt to make students from different backgrounds feel equally at ease in taking the test. What do you think?
posted by boltman
on Jun 2, 2002 -
Can dropping out of school be a good career move?
According to Fabula magazine some teenagers can thrive if they leave state education and endeavor to teach themselves at home. This is 'unschooling' and the writer seems to think it's becoming an increasingly popular way to go: "Unschoolers can read what they want, volunteer, do internships, or become an apprentice. The can also write a novel, tackle advanced math problems, go on hikes, or even audit classes in college (which are very different from high school classes). The point is to do whatever they’re excited about." Which sounds fine in theory, however how are they going to survive in the job market? I'm having enough issues and I've a degree and six years experience in a number of positions. Sooner or later surely things will come home to roost for them eventually. Won't they?
posted by feelinglistless
on May 23, 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 -
No plans, no graduation.
An LA County school district is forcing students to reveal their post-high school plans to participate in their high school graduation. If they refuse to provide evidence of further education or training (college, military, internship, etc.), they will not be allowed to participate. If I was a student, I'd sue. What do you think?
posted by MikeB
on May 7, 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 -
A hell of a way to thank someone... "Teachers would keep more money in their pocket each payday and send less of it to the IRS...Hard-earned money always goes further in a household than in a rat hole."
Sen. Zell Miller (D-GA) wants to attract teachers and keep them...by decreasing or removing their income tax liability. As an aspiring teacher, I like the idea...but does it actually have legs, or does the legislation have the proverbial snowball's chance of survival? Has any politician ever tried to introduce a bill that would give a tax cut to a particular profession? How did it fare? Discuss amongst yourselves.
posted by Spinderella56
on Apr 17, 2002 -
A few laughs at the expense of a "pretty great state"
Legislators' Ignorance Is Embarrassing
Few would argue that "a proper understanding of American history and government is essential to good citizenship," as stated in a bill written this year by the Utah Legislature and signed into law March 18 by Gov. Mike Leavitt.
But in its zeal to put God back in government, the Legislature revealed an embarrassing ignorance of America's history and its Constitution.
posted by onegoodmove
on Apr 7, 2002 -
He needed it to cut an onion.
Under normal circumstances I would have shook my head and said, "Oh, those silly americans". This story, however, is about my 12-year old brother who's facing a 1 year expulsion after bringing a (small) kitchen knife to school for a science assignment. Zero tolerance - or zero interest in what's best for the kid?
posted by mschmidt
on Apr 6, 2002 -
Dumbing Down The SAT
I was reading this article and several recent news stories came to mind (sorry, can't find links). One was regarding the resistance of teacher's unions to adopt teaching techniques that have proven successful in private schools (phonics would be an example) and the other was a radio news story about a teacher's union defending three schools that had failed to meet state requirements as to quality of education being provided. So, my question is, are teacher's unions interested in educating children or simply fighting to lower the standards?
posted by billman
on Mar 25, 2002 -
Not a hoax!?
'We are in Mrs. Lentz's Computer Class at Clara Bolen
Elementary in Tawa City, MI. We are doing an experiment for the art and science fair to be held in April at our school. We are trying to see where our email can travel in the space of one month.'
posted by asok
on Mar 12, 2002 -