Summer's here and the time is right...for American high school football players to drop dead. [more inside]
Student Protests Prayer at Graduation, Gets Divine Retribution Instead A high school atheist in Bastrop, Louisiana tried to stop prayer at his graduation by writing to his superintendent and threatening to bring in the ACLU. The superintendent complied, but the student's name was leaked, and soon he was harassed by fellow students and a former Teacher of the Year, and was kicked out of his house. [more inside]
Today the Washington Post released its annual High School Challenge Index, which ranks DC-area public high schools. But in a twist this year, they have also expanded their rankings nationally to more than 1900 public high schools. [more inside]
"I, Amy Myers, do hereby challenge Representative Michele Bachmann to a Public Forum Debate and/or Fact Test on The Constitution of the United States, United States History and United States Civics."
The Society for Science in the Public Interest photostream features photos of Westinghouse (now Intel) Science Talent Search winners from 1942 to the present. First place winner Ron Unz, later a failed California gubernatorial candidate and now publisher of The American Conservative. Nerds have always loved glowing liquids. Also van de Graaf generators. A guy made the finals with a sweeping robot. "Look! It's the future!" Ann Sieferle-Valencia won 7th place in 1997 with a an archeology project and is now the curator of the Tucson Museum of Art. George HW Bush digs science projects. So does Chuck Schumer. Tall finalist. Science! I just liked this one.
Tired of the hype around MTV's (and before that, the BBC's) modern teen drama Skins? Miss the 90s? Try Orange Juice in Bishops Garden, a web series, detailing the lives of a group of teenagers as they navigate high school in the year 1994. The show is set and shot in the greater metropolitan Washington DC area and is created by the DC-area filmmaker, Otessa Ghadar. [more inside]
High school student "comes out" to entire school on MLK Day. Extraordinary.
There is a firestorm in Bedford, New Hampshire, because a parent wants the school board to take the book "Nickel and Dimed: Not Getting By In America" off the reading list for a high school personal finance class. [more inside]
The cost of raising a child from cradle to 18 has risen to $222,000. Chiefly among the reasons is parents' desire to "cultivate" their children.
The Daily Beast discovers that the college programmers behind Facebook not only love their captors but also perpetuate the atrocities they themselves endured. Behind the new code of the schoolyard... [more inside]
Want to know what your old high school is doing to protect and support its LGBTQ students? Write Your Principal encourages and collects correspondence about anti-bullying efforts between alumni and their alma maters. [via projects]
Oak Reed was a write-in candidate for homecoming king who won with a majority of the votes. The school administration took away his crown, saying that since Oak is biologically female, he isn't eligible to win the title. Well, his classmates didn't like that.
"People want to think that there's always legal accountability where there should be moral accountability."
What Really Happened to Phoebe Prince? Six teens remained charged--down from the original nine--in the death of Phoebe Prince, who committed suicide after bullying at school. Legal writer Emily Bazelon of Slate.com continues her investigation of the case with a new three part series: I've wrestled with how much of this information to publish. Phoebe's family has suffered terribly. But when the D.A. charged kids with causing Phoebe's death and threatened them with prison, she invited an inquiry into other potential causes. The whole story is a lot more complicated than anyone has publicly allowed for. [more inside]
When a person graduates high school as one of the top students, all sorts of grand predictions are made for the person's future. But how many of them end up doing the things predicted of them? The Buffalo News did a feature in 2007 on what the top students in the Buffalo area from 1987 ended up doing after high school. Some of them have done remarkable things, while others have made their mark in smaller ways, all are interesting in their own way.
Why are so many recent Young Adult novels set in nightmarish futuristic dystopias? Because they're just like high school. [more inside]
Instead of kicking the shit out of a team that had just been formed out of kids who'd never played the game, didn't have a full set of equipment, and only loosely understood the rules, Roncalli High School's JV women's softball team forfeited the game in order to use the time to teach the new team how to play, then took up a collection to help them buy equipment and hooked them up with a former coach to help advise the program.
Do you remember who your high school graduation commencement speaker was? Yeah, me neither. Fortunately, the class of 2010 at Kalamazoo Central High School in Kalamazoo, MI won't have that problem: KCHS was just selected as the winner of the White House Race to the Top Commencement Challenge, and will host President Obama at this year's commencement ceremony.
9 Teenagers Charged After Classmate's Suicide. In April 2009, an 11 year old in Springfield, MA killed himself after enduring relentless anti-gay bullying. In January of this year, Phoebe Prince--a recent immigrant from rural Ireland to South Hadley, MA--killed herself after months of harassment from her high school classmates. And now, 10 days after the Massachusetts House of Representatives unanimously passed an anti-bullying bill, 9 teenagers have been charged in Prince's death.
The national record (PDF) for the most career points scored in high school basketball is held by a woman: Lynne Lorenzen from Ventura High School. Lorenzen and her sisters played six on six basketball, a fast paced and high scoring game. Six on six was a great tradition in Iowa, surviving until 1993, when Oklahoma became the last state to have games. There is both a documentary and a book detailing the nuanced history of the game in Iowa.
The Shattuck Crack Squad (be sure to turn on your sound) started in 1882 as the "Far Famed Fancy Drill Squad" at Shattuck School, a military prep school in Faribault, Minnesota. It has included famous members, such as Marlon Brando. Based on a drill manual developed by John J. Pershing, the squad marches using the "Zouave" step at 250 steps a minute and uses Springfield 45-70 breech-loading rifles from the Civil War era (pdf). They have won many drill competitions, and their performance is thrilling and fascinating. It even has its own Facebook page. [more inside]
Prophetic Pictures from Menominie, Wisconsin. In 1905, high school senior Albert Hansen took photogaphs of his graduating classmates at Menominie HS. Not as they were -- but as they believed, or hoped, or feared they would be in the decades to come. Dorothy M. Jesse was going to be a mathematician, and Fred Quilling a pharmacist. Alice M. Tilleson would be a prominent socialite, whose "eccentric ideas with reference to danger, force her to cling to that old fashioned vehicle, the automobile, instead of the new wheel-less aerial motor car." William C. Klatt, a future physician, would operate on disembodied heads. And Hansen himself was destined for the hobo's life. The Wisconsin Historical Society has the whole collection available online, together with the text from the yearbook and the truth, as best the Society could learn, of how the graduates' actual future compared with prophecy. (Spoiler: Fred Quilling really did become a pharmacist.) Just one of the many remarkable collections at Wisconsin Historical Images.
"The Staff Room" is a series of short satiric youtube videos that give a glimpse of what really goes on in high school staff rooms everywhere. [more inside]
Another institution might be close to biting the digital dust: The high school/college yearbook. Some are looking at alternative business approaches. " Last spring was the first time since World War II that University of Virginia students did not publish their yearbook, "Corks and Curls." No one seemed to notice."
Joshua Peter Tubbs is a self-proclaimed "kool" kid - class (co)president, Mr. Timberlane, a national honors student - who decided that for NaNoWriMo he would write an honest review of all 349 students in his senior class [more inside]
Eminem's "Lose Yourself" re-envisioned as a high school math course. The math and film departments of Madison East High School collaborate on a video, starring math teacher Philip Galarowicz. Not to be confused with The Rappin' Mathematician (hear "The Number Line Dance" here), or these high school math rappers, or the rap battle of TI-83 and Fitty Slope. The quadratic formula, rapped. The quadratic formula, rapped again. The quadratic formula, rapped, strangely compellingly, by a teacher in a tie.
Does american football unavoidably lead to brain damage over time? Does a culture favoring perseverance at the expense of well being begin in high school?
No reaction allowed is the rule in Mr. Rubin's forensic science class at New Rochelle High School. Many high schools around the country are offering forensics science, including Eagle High, which will be starting next year. John F. Kennedy High School's forensic science class has their own blog.
Over a thousand photos from Fallsburg High School, 1974-1978. Bonus: non-annoying interface. (via)
Amanda Palmer, of Dresden Dolls fame, returns to her high school in Lexington, MA to assist with an original, student-written play. Running May 7-9th at Lexington High School, the play, entitled "With The Needle That Sings in Her Heart", is inspired by (and features live music from) Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, and is about "Anne Frank as imagined by an artist, and about how Anne uses her imagination and fantasy-mind to escape the horrors she experiences in a death camp." [more inside]
A high school teacher's account of an LSD trip he didn't mean to take.
"This is the safest place these kids have," Mr. McMonigle explains. "No matter how crazy it gets here, no matter how bad the school is, it’s still better than what’s waiting for them out there when they leave. The irony is that after all the bitching and the moaning about how they don’t want to be here, at the end of the day you can’t get them to go home!" School of Hard Knocks is a heartbreaking 7-part series of articles about kids with behavioral problems in a Philadelpha high school. [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] [via mefi projects]
A People's History for the Classroom [pdf] is a high school history lesson plan/workbook based on Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. The entire 124-page workbook available for free as a downloadable PDF, as part of the Zinn Education Project, supported by Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change. You must enter an email and agree to take a later survey to download.
All of you have been given a harsh gift. It’s the same gift the graduating class of 1917, and 1938, and 1968 and now you guys got – the chance to enter adulthood when the world teeters on the rim of the sphincter of oblivion. You’re jumping into the deep end. You have no choice but to be exceptional. Patton Oswalt addresses the class of 2008 at his old high school. [more inside]
Renegade high school English teacher Connie Heermann was suspended without pay for 18 months for using the book The Freedom Writers Diary in her class. [more inside]
Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble! A "board game" where you gather a gang of girls in the roaring 20s and taunt, fib, & flirt your way to high school domination! [more inside]
Crystal Meth: Friend or Foe High school science project alchemy: dumb shit into comedy gold.
Bikes: Steel? Aluminum? Carbon Fiber? Wood, and nothing but wood.
Fiddler on the prairie. The story of a 1970s high school production of Fiddler on the Roof. The school was in Billings, Montana.
"Some legal experts said the charge against Allen Lee is troubling because it was over an essay that even police admit contained no direct threats against anyone at the school." Newsfilter: A high school senior is arrested for a "disturbing" essay in the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting.
The FIRST ("For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology") robotics competition has recently begun it's 2007 competition season. The competition, which began and still enjoys it's greatest popularity in the United States, challenges high-school students and mentors to design and build a (teleoperated) robot to play a game in six weeks. Founded by Dean Kamen, of segway, IBOT, the first home dialysis machine, and clean drinking water fame founded the competition in 1988 to inspire students to enter the engineering profession. Every year a new challenge is put forth, and this year's game involves placing inner-tubes on a cylindrical rack in addition to lifting other team's robots. A sizeable community has sprung up around FIRST, with much attention paid to Dean Kamen's ideal of gracious professionalism which is like sportsmanship without the sports. The 2007 regional competitions provide teams an opportunity to show off their work. If you're interested in getting involved, or just watching the events, FIRST provides a handy Event Locator.
[T]his pattern, grade for the sake of a grade, work for the sake of work, can be found everywhere. Ladies and gentlemen, the spirit of intellectual thought is lost. I speak today not to rant, complain or cause trouble, and certainly not to draw attention to myself. I have accomplished nothing and I am nothing. I know that. Rather, I was moved by the countless hours wasted in those halls. Today, you should focus on your child or loved one. This is meant to be a day of celebration, and if I’ve taken away from that, I’m sorry. But I know how highly this community values learning, and I urge you all to re-evaluate what it means to be educated.- from a graduation speech by the valedictorian of Mainland Regional High School, Kareem Elnahal, critiquing his school's education process.
The principal's reaction? “My hope was they did not hear or understand what he was saying. ... He was belittling the diplomas of every one of those kids.”.
Gulfport High School class of '61 a facinating collection of life stories. check out the Our Classmates page. David sailed across the atlantic. Babs died when katrina hit the gulf coast. jane has 17 grand-children. C. H. Locklin was a chaplin working at the pentagon on 911.
Is this guy an awesome teacher or just crazy? Or maybe it goes hand in hand. Think back to the days of high school and college science classes. For most people, it probably wasn't chalkboards full of endless physics equations that got them interested in the sciences, but rather the crazy, cooky and awe-inspiring professors who do dramatic and unique demonstrations to get students interested. What makes a good teacher or professor? Is this teacher really reckless or is it a legit demonstration that benefits students?
Mascots helping Mascots High schools across America have witnessed the devastation brought about by several recent natural disasters, such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. An outpouring of sympathy and concern, and a desire to help, have come forth from high schools wanting to assist those in need. To enable schools to help other schools, the National Federation of State High School Associations has initiated a fundraising program called the Mascot Adoption Program.
"We can't do anything about it. We just have to obey." Fulton (Mo.) High School drama students learn that resistance is futile.
DJ Shadow likes high school bands.
High school bands like DJ Shadow. (2nd link requires Windows Media Player, via Soul Sides)
High school bands like DJ Shadow. (2nd link requires Windows Media Player, via Soul Sides)
Remember how you wrote when you were in high school? Would you have been secure enough to post one of your essays online? [.doc files] Essay.org has compiled a collection of essays (in various languages), in order to "provide free essays for entertainment, education, and publishing." (My favorites are definitely the persuasive essays.)
Steuard Jensen for Prom King! Three nerds get the resident high school science geek on the ballot for Prom King, and...well, you'll have to read the story to get the answer. Like in fiction, sometimes in real life the protagonist/hero comes from the most unexpected position.