A higher percentage of children is living in poverty in America today than was the case back in 1975.
Median household income for families with children dropped by $6,300 between 2001 and 2011.
For the first time ever, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless. That number has risen by 57 percent since the 2006-2007 school year.
Since 2009, the number of teens forgoing contraception when they bed a new partner has spiked 39 percent in the United States and 111 percent in France. Among the reasons cited were not liking it and not having adequate access to it.
The class of 2012 scored the lowest average SAT reading score since 1972
80,000 elected school boards in 1950, 14,000 today
Number of elementary schools lowest since 1960s
Number of teachers who eat lunch with their students lowest since 1960s
Books checked out of public libraries worst since 1990s
If 12 or 1500 schools are to be placed under one general administration, an attention so divided will amount to a dereliction of them to themselves. It is surely better to place each school at once under the care of those most interested in its conduct. - THomas Jefferson
MEN IN TEACHING
Homeroom Security: School Discipline in an Age of Fear : How we're teaching kids to accept fascistic government
Schooling Poor Minority Children: New Segregation in the Post-Brown Era, authored by Martha R. Bireda, Ph.D., chronicles the process of desegregation to a return to post-Brown resegregated schools. The author describes this "new" segregation as a "redesign of pre-Brown segregation" and details the devastating impact upon poor minority students - Black News
Mandatory testing is just one part of a more vexing problem facing parents: At an alarming rate, people who never have laid eyes on our kids are deciding what's best for them. And all too often, they're getting it wrong. - Bruce Kluger
A distinguishing characteristic of our nation - and a great strength - is the development of our institutions within the concept of individual worth and dignity. Our schools are among the guardians of that principle. Consequently . . . and deliberately their control and support throughout our history have been - and are - a state and local responsibility. . . . Thus was established a fundamental element of the American public school system - local direction by boards of education responsible immediately to the parents of children. Diffusion of authority among tens of thousands of school districts is a safeguard against centralized control and abuse of the educational system that must be maintained. We believe that to take away the responsibility of communities and states in educating our children is to undermine not only a basic element of our freedoms but a basic right of our citizens. - Dwight D. Eisenhower
It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. -- Albert Einstein
Never try to teach a pig how to sing. It's a waste of time and it annoys the pig -- Paul Dickson
Education is a companion which no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate, no despotism can enclave. At home a friend, abroad in introduction, in solitude a solace, and in society an ornament. -- Joseph Addison
The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives. -- Robert Maynard Hutchins
Education: a debt due from present to future generations -- George Peabody
Education is what survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten - B.F. Skinner
Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance -- Will Durant
The ink of a scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr. -- Mohammed
The secret of education is respecting the pupil -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
The things taught in schools are not an education but the means of an education -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is of interest to note what while some dolphins are reported to have learned English -- up to fifty words used in correct context -- no human being has been reported to have learned dolphinese -- Carl Sagan
Educational television should be absolutely forbidden. It can only lead to unreasonable expectations and eventual disappointment when your child discovers that the letters of the alphabet do not leap up out of books and dance around the room with royal blue chickens. - Fran Lebowitz
It was not that one did not want to possess the right qualities or feel the correct emotions, but that one could not. The good and the possible never seemed to coincide. ~~ The schoolmasters with their canes, the millionaires with their Scottish castles, the athletes with their curly hair -- these were the armies of the unalterable law. It was not easy, at that date, to realize that in fact it was alterable. And according to that law I was damned. I had no money, I was weak, I was ugly, I was unpopular. I had a chronic cough, I was cowardly, I smelt. ~~ The conviction that it was not possible for me to be a success went deep enough to influence my actions till far into adult life. ~~ But this sense of guilt and inevitable failure was balanced by something else: that is, the instinct to survive. Even a creature that is weak, ugly, cowardly, smelly and in no way justifiable still wants to stay alive and happy after its own fashion. I could not invert the existing scale of values, or turn myself into a success, but I could accept my failure and make the best of it. ~~ To survive, or at least to preserve any kind of independence, was essentially criminal, since it meant breaking rules that you yourself recognized. -- George Orwell in "Such, Such Were the Joys. . . "
The title of my speech is "The Future Lies Ahead." This pretty much sums up what people are meant to say at graduations, so I thought I would take care of it in the title and move on to some other business. It has always seemed to me that graduation was a little late to be giving advice
While it may take only a whole village to raise the average child, in my case it required three counties, two bioregions and an unincorporated territory, and I still don't have it quite straight -
BACK TO TOP
Truthout - Nelson Mandelas adage, I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends captures the profoundly inclusive nature of restorative justice. The hallmark of RJ is intentionally bringing together people with seemingly diametrically opposed viewpointsparticularly people who have harmed with people who have been harmedin a carefully prepared face-to-face encounter where everyone listens and speaks with respect and from the heart no matter their differences. The talking piece is a powerful equalizer, allowing everyones voice to be heard and honored, whether that of a police officer, a judge, or a 14-year-old youth...
Use of suspensions has almost doubled since the 1970s. Black students are disproportionately impacted. According to data from the U.S. Office of Civil Rights, black students are three times more likely to be suspended than their white counterparts for comparable offenses.
Overreliance on exclusionary school discipline that disproportionately impacts African American youth led the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education recently to announce the launch of a national initiative to help schools and districts meet their legal obligation to administer discipline without unlawfully discriminating....
According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control, a students sense of belonging to a high school community is a top protective factor against violence and incarceration. In addition to convening restorative justice circles [Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth] also uses circles proactively to deepen relationships and create a school culture of connectivity, thereby reducing the likelihood that harm will occur.
A UC Berkeley Law study found RJOYs 2007 middle school pilot eliminated violence and expulsions, while reducing school suspension rates by 87 percent. After two years of training and participation in RJ practices, whenever conflict arose, RJOY middle school students knew how to respond by coming to the RJ room to ask for a talking piece and space to facilitate a circle. Today, at one of the RJOY school sites, student suspensions decreased 74 percent after two years and referrals for violence fell 77 percent after one year. Racial disparity in discipline was eliminated. Graduation rates and test scores increased.
Washington Times - The federal governments changes to school lunch menus have been disastrous, causing problems for cafeterias trying to comply with the rules and leaving the menu so expensive or unpalatable that more than 1 million students have stopped buying lunch, according to a government audit.
One school district told federal investigators that it had to add unhealthy pudding and potato chips to its menu to meet the governments minimum calorie requirements. Other school districts removed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from their elementary school menus.
Five of the eight school districts surveyed by the Government Accountability Office, the official watchdog for Congress, said they believed students were going hungry because of smaller entree portions demanded by the rules.
Cafeterias regularly reported finding fruits and vegetables, which they are required to serve, ending up in trash cans. Although no studies have been completed, the government has found an increase in what it calls plate waste in some districts.
Despite the hiccups, school food authorities said they generally support the nutritional changes and think the menus are moving in the right direction.
Although school lunch participation has declined, it is likely that participation will improve over time as students adjust to the lunch changes, GAO investigators said.
Five of the districts we visited reported that, if the past is an indicator, participation will improve over time as students adjust to the new food items, and three noted the importance of nutrition education for students and parents to help make the transition to healthier school meals more successful, they said.
Neither the Agriculture Department, which wrote the rules, nor the office of first lady Michelle Obama, who has made school nutrition a priority, responded to messages seeking comment on the report.
Curmudgucation - One of the most recent ed-issues du jour is Pre-K. There's a great deal of political and public support for earlier childhood education these days, but I find much of it far more troubling than encouraging. While the data on the success of pre-K programs could be called mixed, there are motivations behind the current push that indicate it should be feared and resisted.
One of the appeals of Pre-K for investors is that there is no pre-existing institution that has to be bulldozed first.
Turning public education into an investment opportunity has been a long, arduous process. Discrediting public schools, buying up enough political clout to dismantle the public system, aggressive marketing to steal public ed "customers"-- it has taken a lot of time to breakdown a cherished American institution in order to create investment opportunities.
But the Pre-K landscape is only occupied by a handful of relative lightweights. It's the difference between building your new Mega-Mart on an empty lot instead of having to condemn and clear a residential neighborhood. easy pickings!
Yes, I see what you did there. We've stopped calling it Pre-School because that would indicate that it isn't going actually going to be school. But that's not where the push is going.
Instead, we have politicians deciding that since kindergartner's are having trouble meeting the developmentally inappropriate standards of CCSS, the problem must be that they aren't "ready" for kindergarten. So we have the spectacle of people seriously suggesting that what four-year-olds need is some rigorous instruction, and of course that means that we'll need to give those four-year-olds standardized tests in order to evaluate how well the program is going.
It's like some sort of unholy alliance between people who won't be happy until they're selling eduproduct to every child in this country and people who won't be happy until we've made certain that no child in this country is ever wasting time playing and enjoying life.
The Big Data machine needs more data. Right now we can only plug your child in when she reaches age five. Oh, but if we could only get our hands on those children sooner. Even a year sooner would be an improvement. Pre-K programs will allow more data collection and fatter file for each child.
Don't you want to know what career your four-year-old is best suited for? Don't you want to be certain that your four-year-old is on track for college? The let us add another link to the Big Data Pipeline.
There's no question that, done correctly, Pre-K can be a good thing. Anecdotally, I tell friends who are obsessing over it that I could never look at my eleventh grade classroom and tell you which students had pre-school and which did not. But, still, putting a small child in a rich environment to play and socialize and learn a few things couldn't hurt.
However, I'm convinced that a vast number of the people currently pushing Pre-K have no intention whatsoever of doing things right. Instead, what many politicians and thought leaders and hedgucators are supporting is an extension of CCSS/reformy stuff baloney to four-year-olds.
So support Pre-K if you wish, but be damn sure that the people you're agreeing with are people you are actually agreeing with.
Nearly one in three high students are exposed to student drug-testing programs.
Percentage of U.S. public grade-school teachers who say they buy food for hungry students every month: 63 - Harpers Index
Why you may not want to move to Manitoba
SCHOOL LUNCH RULES IN MANITOBA
Latest national reading scores are up 2% for 4th graders over the past 20 years, and 4% for 8th graders.
@Harpers - Estimated number of high school students prosecuted each year for truancy by the state of Texas: 118,000 . . .By the other forty-nine states combined: 52,000
@thomascmurray - The best schools arent factories for test scores; theyre loving communities who will do anything to support student growth and well being.
Rules of thumb: The more rules you have in the classroom, the more time you'll spend enforcing them. - Cookie Ohlson, teacher, Prospect Park Middle School, Pennsylvania
@amprog - Children attending New Jersey's preschool program are 40% less likely to fail their fourth and fifth grade
A new report released by the National Center on Education Statistics reveals that nearly one in five public schools was considered high-poverty in 2011, a 60 percent increase since 2000. Schools are considered high-poverty when 75 percent or more of enrolled students qualify for free or subsidized lunch.
The 16-year-old honor student expelled from her high school after igniting a chemical explosion receives a full scholarship to U.S. Space Academy, courtesy of a NASA vet who, as a teen, was accused of starting a forest fire during a science experiment
VOICES FOR EDUCATION
Schools That Change Communities, a one hour documentary about schools that use their communities as classrooms has begun airing on many public broadcasting system stations across the country. January 30 -- Feb 2, it will be broadcast on the large number of stations which air PBS World. This film is about how schools can--and should--be critical parts of the surrounding communities. It is about students and teachers learning they have value. It is about students and teachers getting up from their desks and doing important work.
Stupid Texas judge tricks: Jailing an overworked honor student for missing school
91 percent of kids between 2 and 17, or about 64 million people, are playing video games, up 9 percentage points compared to 2009.
T shirts for young scientists
Hundreds of students at Murry Bergtraum High School took a stand after being told they couldnt use the bathrooms at school. Fed up with what some say are strict policies, crowds of angry teens rushed the Manhattan schools halls, creating chaos. . .Students crowded the hallways, screaming at the top of their lungs and protesting what they said was the principals decision to close all the bathrooms to students.
PHOTO ALLEGEDLY TAKEN BY SCHOOL COMPUTER
FOR BRINGING 2 INCH TOY GUN TO SCHOOL