Utterly Meaningless » 2002 » June
  • Wielding Broom, Teacher Attacks

    Filed on June 14, 2002 at 9:21 am under by dcobranchi

    Wielding Broom, Teacher Attacks Class The teacher sent 20 1st-graders to the hospital!

    Homeschool.com has a nice

    Filed on at 9:03 am under by dcobranchi

    Homeschool.com has a nice interview with 2002 physics Nobel Laureate, Carl Weiman

    EDITOR: Please give us an example of one thing your parents did to encourage your interest and passion for learning that you feel contributed the most to your success.

    WEIMAN: Probably the most important thing my parents did to encourage me was to NOT get a television.

    If you can’t pass,

    Filed on at 8:58 am under by dcobranchi

    If you can’t pass, CHEAT! Unfortunately, we’re talking about the principal and dean of instruction at Bush HS in Fort Bend, TX. Evidently the (former) principal and (former) dean manipulated the TX accountability tests in order to achieve the highest rating for their school. The principal

    “intentionally manipulated the grade level status of at least 45 students at mid-year as a means to improve Bush High School’s chances for obtaining an exemplary accountability rating.”

    Sex education, including abstinence

    Filed on June 13, 2002 at 8:05 pm under by dcobranchi

    Sex education, including abstinence programs, did not cut teenage pregnancies, according to this BBC story.

    In five of the trials examined – four abstinence programmes and one school-based sex education programme – an increase in pregnancies among the partners of young men involved was observed.

    In the positive spin department, Ananova (a UK site) has this to say about the same report:

    A study in Canada showed they did not make teenagers delay having intercourse or improve their use of birth control. But a study in Scotland showed better teaching had a positive effect on young people’s sexual relationships.

    I feel much better now.

    Now this is one

    Filed on at 7:57 pm under by dcobranchi

    Now this is one school that sounds fun. I’d be more than willing to “assist” with any homework. Yum!

    You’re it! Well, not

    Filed on at 7:46 pm under by dcobranchi

    You’re it! Well, not in this CA school which has banned the game “tag” because, at least in part, of political correctness.

    “The running part of this activity is healthy and encouraged; however, in this game, there is a ‘victim’ or ‘It,’ which creates a self-esteem issue. The oldest or biggest child usually dominates.”

    The Jewish World Review

    Filed on at 5:10 pm under by dcobranchi

    The Jewish World Review posted some pretty good pro-HS Mallard Fillmore comic strips. Look quick- I’m not sure this is a static link.

    Blogging will likely be

    Filed on at 7:30 am under by dcobranchi

    Blogging will likely be light to non-existent until this evening. I’m in an all day meeting. See you tonight!

    Hope y’all like the

    Filed on June 12, 2002 at 10:25 pm under by dcobranchi

    Hope y’all like the new layout. The previous one was taking way too long to load on my dial-up connection. If you had the same problem, I hope this “all text” version loads faster.

    Another “why we HS”

    Filed on at 10:42 am under by dcobranchi

    Another “why we HS” story. Note the ages of the kids involved. Sigh.

    Read this and then

    Filed on at 10:36 am under by dcobranchi

    Read this and then you tell me: is PE important or not?

    I give the NEA

    Filed on June 11, 2002 at 11:51 am under by dcobranchi

    I give the NEA about an hour to denounce this report.

    States across the country should revamp their teacher certification requirements by deemphasizing traditional education courses and requiring prospective teachers to pass rigorous exams in the subjects they plan to teach, according to a new federal report.

    The inaugural report to Congress on teacher quality, scheduled to be released today by the Education Department, also says that states should do more to deepen the pool of potential teachers by clearing alternative routes to the classroom for mid-career professionals who have strong content knowledge but lack “education theory” classes.

    Home-Schooling’s Popularity Is Rising

    Filed on at 10:37 am under by dcobranchi

    Home-Schooling’s Popularity Is Rising in UT as a result of 9/11, according to the UHEA.

    Newsday.com (Long Island, NY)

    Filed on at 10:34 am under by dcobranchi

    Newsday.com (Long Island, NY) has a nice editorial about private schools abandoning the NY state accountability tests. A couple of great quotes in here that are equally applicable to HSing:

    Given that parents, not the state, have the primary responsibility for educating their children, you would think a certain diversity of standards and educational philosophies would develop anyway.

    Yet, many parents, attracted to an allegedly “free” public education, have surrendered their power of choice to a large government bureaucracy, which imposes its own view of knowledge.

    Experience in both the public and private schools recently has shown that the Regents exams require too much time to drill, simply to raise scores on these tests. The underlying message: The tests detract from real education, according to differing standards of value.

    These schools seem to

    Filed on at 10:28 am under by dcobranchi

    These schools seem to be handling “zero tolerance” with some intelligence.

    For instance, several weeks ago at the J.D. Parker School of Science, Math and Technology in Stuart, a fifth-grade student accidentally left a knife in his backpack after a weekend camping trip.
    Althoug the knife is a weapon, and possession of a weapon is supposed to mean expulsion from school for at least a year, school district officials decided not to expel the student.

    In Boston it’s apparently

    Filed on at 10:24 am under by dcobranchi

    In Boston it’s apparently ok for teachers to provide alcohol to their underage students.

    Business Week Online laments

    Filed on June 10, 2002 at 12:17 pm under by dcobranchi

    Business Week Online laments that female teachers’ pay lags other college-educated females by 10%. But they forget that teachers get 3 months off per year! I’d consider taking a 10% pay cut for 2 weeks at Christmas and 2 1/2 months during the summer.

    OT Google can come

    Filed on at 12:07 pm under by dcobranchi

    OT Google can come up with some good ones. This just popped to the top of a Google News search for “teachers”

    US Arrests Alleged Terrorist – Miami Herald – 1 hour ago
    Now a ninth-grader at Coral Reef High in southwest Miami-Dade, she is catching up
    — finally — with the help of tutoring and extra attention from teachers.

    How would you like

    Filed on June 9, 2002 at 7:11 pm under by dcobranchi

    How would you like to beg for permission to go to the restroom? When you have an upset stomach? This teacher is being sued and should probably be fired. Another one to file.

    God (and I write

    Filed on at 7:05 pm under by dcobranchi

    God (and I write that with all reverence), what are we doing? File this one under why we HS. Warning! Graphic sexual references throughout.

    Original DHEA Yankee, Joey

    Filed on at 6:32 pm under by dcobranchi

    Original DHEA Yankee, Joey A pointed out this: The Wilminton News-Journal today recycled an August, 1999 Pat Oliphant cartoon that was very anti-HS. Here’s Ann Zeiss’ transcription (the original cartoon is NLA). “My mom thinks schools are dangerous so we school at home. At recess I go outside (shows a boy standing) then I go back in. Other recesses I just stand at the window. My mother says I can have a childhood later.”

    Why would someone recycle this now? It’s not some of Oliphant’s best work nor is it particularly timely.

    Phyllis Schlafly thinks HSing

    Filed on June 8, 2002 at 9:32 am under by dcobranchi

    Phyllis Schlafly thinks HSing has come a long way. She has a long list of what courses HSers won’t have to take. My favorite:

    “Homeschoolers don’t have to study fuzzy math, whole math, new math, new new math, or rainforest math.”

    The middle class is

    Filed on at 9:21 am under by dcobranchi

    The middle class is abandoning PS in England, claims the leader of the UK’s version of the NEA. The move to non-public schools there is really tiny, only 500k kids. The union leader stated “What both David Miliband and I want to see is that the state sector – which is infinitely capable of providing for the most able children in this country – is given the resources and the opportunity to do so.

    “We want the movement to be all the other way – from the private to the state sector.”

    What a shock- the teacher’s union wants more money and is opposed to private education. Whodathunkit?

    This article about teaching

    Filed on at 9:09 am under by dcobranchi

    This article about teaching homosexuality in the PS is sure to stir up a bit of controversy. The author is a 13-year-old HSer. I wish I could write as well at my current age (don’t ask) as this youngster does. Amazing!

    I now have comments.

    Filed on at 6:18 am under by dcobranchi

    I now have comments. Thanks to Kath @ “Live Out Loud!” for pointing me in the direction of YACCS who provide the comment support.

    Isabel Lyman has a

    Filed on June 7, 2002 at 12:43 pm under by dcobranchi

    Isabel Lyman has a link to a newbie teacher’s blog (look for Apple A Day). Meanwhile, here’s a different first-year teacher’s rules for survival. Most of them would be useful for HSers (especially the “chocolate” rule)

    This article out of

    Filed on at 12:25 pm under by dcobranchi

    This article out of San Francisco paints a really poor (and misleading) picture of “unschooling”.


    Filed on June 6, 2002 at 7:46 pm under by dcobranchi

    A NOTE TO OTHER BLOGGERS: I’ve got perma-links up & running (I think). If you want to link to a post here, click on the post time (right next to the “dpc”). It should pull up the archive URL like this one from the other day.

    OTOH the NRO has

    Filed on at 7:07 pm under by dcobranchi

    OTOH the NRO has a piece that lumps HSing in with school choice. James Edwards misses the mark in a couple of places, particularly when he laments that the PS don’t provide uniform outcomes:

    “They can’t guarantee similar product outcomes. They place too much emphasis on teacher ‘creativity.’ If Chrysler put as much emphasis on ‘assembly line employee creativity,’ they couldn’t sell any cars because you wouldn’t know what you were getting in any given model. McDonald’s couldn’t sell hamburgers because consumers would never know if one Big Mac were going to be the same as another.

    I think one of the major problems with the PS is that they do try to treat/teach all students the same. They’re not- they have different abilities, interests, and learning styles. Why should we expect them to accept a Big Mac education?

    I was half-way through

    Filed on at 9:29 am under by dcobranchi

    I was half-way through this article before I realized the author is pro-HS. Cathy Henderson makes an excellent point here: HSing is all about personal freedom- in this particular case, the freedom to raise our children as we best see fit. UPDATE: Cathy Henderson has a pretty funny bio posted here I just wish she had included a photo of her home. 🙂

    Just so y’all don’t

    Filed on June 5, 2002 at 10:51 am under by dcobranchi

    Just so y’all don’t get the idea that I’m some extreme right-wing fanatic, I think this is a good thing.

    OK, so everyone who

    Filed on at 10:44 am under by dcobranchi

    OK, so everyone who homeschools isn’t necessarily sane. This OT story out of Canada is all about a short-film festival in Toronto. The HS angle?

    “Jason Wishnow, founder of the Internet film site New Venue, will be showing his 1999 short documentary Star Wars or Bust, about fans waiting in line for The Phantom Menace.

    From L.A., he recalls, ‘We met a girl whose mother had named her Leah and pulled her into home-schooling. Her entire education was reading Star Wars-inspired novels. It was really disturbing.’ “

    Giving credit where credit

    Filed on at 9:22 am under by dcobranchi

    Giving credit where credit is due. I’ve been meaning to point out that I find many (most?) of these articles through EducationNews.org The site is updated daily with relevant articles. It is much more focused than Google News (beta) for education issues.

    Uh-oh! NC officials are

    Filed on at 9:17 am under by dcobranchi

    Uh-oh! NC officials are apparently trying to blame homeschooling as a contributing factor in a murder-suicide last July. An HSLDA lawyer and the president of North Carolinians for Home Education attempt to counter the state’s argument here.

    The power of the

    Filed on at 9:02 am under by dcobranchi

    The power of the web. Two days after bloggers and other netizens excoriated the New York Board of Regents for this political correctness, the state has backed down.

    Last one of the

    Filed on June 4, 2002 at 9:48 pm under by dcobranchi

    Last one of the night I promise. A good blog here that monitors one of my pet peeves- zero tolerance.

    Here’s a new edublog.

    Filed on at 9:26 pm under by dcobranchi

    Here’s a new edublog. The author is Lisa Snell, Education Director for the Reason Foundation. I love the name of this blog- “Education Weak”. UPDATE: I’ve been reading through more of Lisa Snell’s blog. If you haven’t yet visited, you should; she’s an excellent writer.

    They’re after the babies.

    Filed on at 2:52 pm under by dcobranchi

    They’re after the babies. This report is being used by the Wash., D.C. City Council in their quest for compulsory pre-school for all children 2-years-9-months and up. The report is long so I’ve only started to skim it. At least they recognize that some parents might not “want them to enroll”.

    “Children age 3 and up whose parents want them to enroll should have access to center-based preschool programs that meet recognized standards for fostering education and school readiness along with social and physical development in a safe environment. We believe a minimum goal should be free part-day (4-6 hours), schoolyear long prekindergarten programs for all such children…”

    I’m surprised. Actually, almost

    Filed on at 2:29 pm under by dcobranchi

    I’m surprised. Actually, almost shocked. Edison managed to obtain an additional $40M in venture capital so it appears that they will not go bankrupt anytime soon. This means that they will be managing 20 Philly schools come September.

    Nestle’ is running a

    Filed on at 11:23 am under by dcobranchi

    Nestle’ is running a contest to determine the “Very Best Teacher” in the USA. I wonder- are HSers eligible? If so, I’m nominating my wife who just finished her first year HSing!

    A really good article

    Filed on at 11:13 am under by dcobranchi

    A really good article on the lessons of homeschooling. The author, Michael Geer, is a PA HS dad.

    Kimberly Swygert, a fellow(?)

    Filed on at 8:52 am under by dcobranchi

    Kimberly Swygert, a fellow(?) former South Carolinian, has another education blog here. Her emphasis is on high stakes testing. Good stuff!

    This article is mostly

    Filed on June 3, 2002 at 2:36 pm under by dcobranchi

    This article is mostly OT but a hot-button issue for me as the father of two girls (ages 8 and 5). The “fashions” that are aimed at young girls are just horrible. My girls (especially the 8 yo) know that anything they wear outside the house MUST get the Dad seal of approval.

    Edison loses another school

    Filed on at 11:03 am under by dcobranchi

    Edison loses another school Some good spin here. Two quotes:

    “But ACES Executive Director Peter Young said Edison’s highly publicized financial woes were not the reason behind the decision to end the contract. He said Edison’s services and training has diminished over the past four years, leaving ACES to pick up the slack.”

    “Edison spokesman Adam Tucker said the company fulfilled the terms of the contract and does not consider the non-renewal a failure. ‘We’re proud of Wintergreen. It’s a very successful school academically,’ he said. ‘They just want to manage the school themselves, and that’s their right to do.’ “

    , another blogger, sees

    Filed on June 2, 2002 at 6:54 pm under by dcobranchi

    Comments Off on , another blogger, sees

    And here the CA

    Filed on at 6:25 pm under by dcobranchi

    And here the CA teacher’s union responds to the defeat of its bill. The union is considering going directly to CA voters in their effort to expand collective bargaining to all education matters. The union claims 70% of polled voters support their position. Hmm, I wonder if the voters were those who visited the union website.

    Here’s some good news.

    Filed on June 1, 2002 at 3:42 pm under by dcobranchi

    Here’s some good news. A bill pushed by the CA teachers’ union died a timely death. The union had sought to include textbooks among issues that would have to be bargained collectively.

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