Utterly Meaningless » 2005 » May

EAT ME

Filed on May 31, 2005 at 5:13 pm under by dcobranchi

This is just too weird.

NOT AN HEK, FOR SURE

Filed on at 4:27 am under by dcobranchi

From a column of “facts” about home education:

The National Household Education Surveys Program estimated about 1.1 million students were being home-schooled in the country in 2003, a rate that has doubled over the past decade. It is still a small percentage (0.05) of the total school-aged children.

Wow! I didn’t realize that there were 2.2B school-age kids in the country. Of course, the accurate figure is closer to 50M and HEKs comprise somewhere around 2 percent.

NEWS TO ME

Filed on at 4:12 am under by dcobranchi

I almost fell out of my chair. Click here.

THE LARGEST LOBBY EVER

Filed on at 4:07 am under by dcobranchi

OK, this is only tangentially related to home education, but the idea seemed so silly that I couldn’t resist. First a couple of quotes:

The PTA and other organizations are hoping to make it so with unprecedented efforts to turn parents into lobbyists.

About 65 million parents live in homes with children younger than 18 — enough to rival the clout of the 35-million-member AARP if they can be activated on a large scale. Several non-partisan groups, in an effort to do that, are highlighting issues with broad appeal. Such issues include childhood obesity, Internet safety and school funding.

…”We’ve never mobilized parents just as parents before,” she says

Parents as a lobbying group. Brilliant! The sheer bulk will dominate politics forever.

I’ve got a better idea. How’ bout a lobbying group comprised of people with a heartbeat? That’d be 300 million Americans. The membership t-shirt is even already designed. I was going to suggest people with a brain, but then I didn’t want to exclude PR flacks.

Seriously, this group will never fly. Even a subset of g-school parents can’t agree on what the important issues are. Obesity? Prayer in schools? Diversity in the same? How ’bout the 3Rs? Now include the home educators and private school parents. Increased funding for schools? No way! Way! The group would implode in a day.

LETTER OF THE DAY

Filed on May 30, 2005 at 7:11 am under by dcobranchi

LARGE FAMILIES RUUUUUULE!

From the Wilmington News-Journal:

Teenagers too immature to vote in national elections

At the age of 18, a person is still too easily influenced and will usually vote according to what his parents and/or friends believe. Most teenagers do not delve deeply enough into the political world during an election period, and as a result could never truly know what candidate is actually the best for our country.

This is not to say that there aren’t adults who are the same, but this problem is more prevalent among teenagers.

I am a senior in high school, and although I am only 17 and did not have the opportunity to vote in this past election, still I would not want the rest of the seniors I know to vote, either. A person usually gains the ability to truly think for himself once he has been out in the real world, on his own, for at least a couple of years.

If every young adult votes according to their parents’ beliefs, then it is as if parents with more children get more votes than those with fewer children, and that is plainly unfair.

Jessica Zapata, Middletown

Well, with logical processes such as demonstrated here, I’m glad she didn’t get to vote, too. Perhaps Jessica Zapata ought to read up a bit on the Vietnam era and how 18-year-olds got the vote. If there’s ever another draft, you can bet that the youth vote will be more than well-informed.

WHY I HATE CALIFORNIA

Filed on at 6:22 am under by dcobranchi

Because their insanely complicated education laws lead to quotes like this:

Conejo Valley school officials plan to start a program for home-schoolers this fall if enough families sign up.

The proposed program, for students in kindergarten through fifth grade, would allow parents to home-school their children but still have some ties with the Conejo Valley Unified School District. Those ties would provide them with a teacher to oversee their children’s work, as well as textbooks, supplies and lesson plans.

That can be helpful for families who want the independence of home schooling but also welcome district support, said Diane Hawkins, a Thousand Oaks mother who home-schools her two sons.

“You have the best of both (worlds) without the limitations of the classroom schedule and curriculum,” she said.

Yes. The best of both worlds. If one of those worlds is Hell, that is.

How do these home educators not understand that they are selling out?

LETTER OF THE DAY

Filed on May 29, 2005 at 11:30 am under by dcobranchi

I can’t do this one justice with a mere excerpt. Sadly, you’re going to have to click over and read the whole thing. Just make sure you do it on an empty stomach.

BEST SICILIAN PIE EVER

Filed on at 11:15 am under by dcobranchi

We fix this pizza at least twice a week. The recipe is mine.

2 c. warm water
1 t. sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
1 T. instant yeast (We buy yeast by the pound. I have no idea how many little envelopes would make one tablespoon)
4 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 14 oz. jar pizza sauce (Ragu pizza sauce works well but not the Pizza Quik sauce)
8 oz (2 c.) mozzarella (whole milk or part skim)
Extra flour

Place water, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir for a few seconds and then allow the yeast to proof for 10 minutes– the top of the water should be completely covered in foam at the end. Add the flour and knead in the stand mixer at the lowest speed for ~10 minutes. You’ll probably want to scrape down the sides of the bowl during the kneading. While the dough is kneading, set the oven to as low as possible (ours is 150 ‘F). As soon as the oven is pre-heated, TURN IT OFF. Spread the olive oil on the bottom and up the sides of an 11″ x 17″ x 1″ pan. Turn out the dough onto the pan. The dough will be VERY soft (almost a batter). Dredge the top of the dough with the extra flour and spread the dough evenly across the pan. Place in the still warm oven and let it rise until the dough is at the top of the pan (~20-30 minutes). Remove the pan from the oven and start pre-heating it to 400 ‘F. Gently pour the sauce over the top of the dough. Spread and then cover with the grated mozzarella. Bake at 400 ‘F for 20 minutes or until cheese just starts to brown. Let pizza set up 5 minutes before cutting into 12 pieces. Enjoy!

And, yes, I’m fixing it right now for lunch.

PLACE YOUR BETS

Filed on at 10:20 am under by dcobranchi

Anyone care to hazard a guess on when the first home educating family will be featured on this new reality series? (HT: Annette)

HOUSEKEEPING

Filed on at 7:32 am under by dcobranchi

Glancing through the referrer logs I noticed several new blogs linking to HE&OS. I haven’t had time yet to check them out (and won’t before the log resets 6/1/2005). So if you’re a regular here and desire the dubious distinction of being linked back in the blogroll, drop me a comment.

JUST SAY NO

Filed on at 6:45 am under by dcobranchi

It’s evidently bad parenting day here at HE&OS. In the latest installment, “Parents Who Channel Ado Annie.”

GET THEM SOME HELP

Filed on at 6:24 am under by dcobranchi

And I mean the kind where someone sits them down and beats some sense into their addled brains.

I feel for the kid in this story. His parents don’t really want him, and now he’s been kicked out of 2-year-old daycare for biting. Yeah, I feel for him. The parents, OTOH…

Anyway, read the Salon article and then click over to Rebecca Hartong’s blog, where the comments are quite interesting, if a bit “salty.”

JUST A BIT PAROCHIAL

Filed on May 28, 2005 at 6:05 pm under by dcobranchi

From the current issue of NCHE’s newsletter (not available online):

The liberty that the current statute allows covers equally the family whose educational decisions reflect their religious beliefs and the non-traditional household seeking a deeper, broader, or simply freer educational experience for their children.

Non-traditional? What the hell is that supposed to mean? And when did religious home educators claim the mantle of being the “norm”?

Come on, Hal– you can do better than this.

“LETTER” OF THE DAY

Filed on at 6:59 am under by dcobranchi

OK, it’s an Op/Ed. Sue me.

About 13 years ago, our son and his wife informed us that they were going to home school their children. Even though we were aware that our daughter-in-law, Kim, who has a master’s degree in special education from Clemson University, was well qualified to teach their children, Billie and I were disappointed in their plans. However, seeing how well these three grands have done, we are happy about the situation.

There’s more, of course. Just a couple of quick comments– Mr. Chewning sounds like a nice man, and SC still has crappy home education laws. That SCAIHS pseudo-monopoly is nearly as bad as the g-school’s. What right (other than the State’s might) do they have telling other home educators how to do it “properly”? And in case you’re wondering, this pseudo-monopoly is not secular. Another flavor of home educrats.

CAN WE TAKE IT OUT OF YOUR PAYCHECK?

Filed on at 5:53 am under by dcobranchi

Matt Miller, writing in the NYT, must be an NEA plant. How else to explain this modest proposal?

In many big districts, salaries start around $40,000 and top out, after 25 years, around $75,000. Under this plan, starting teachers would earn $60,000. The top performing half of teachers (and the shortage specialties) would average $90,000. The best teachers would earn up to $150,000. With the amount they could save, the best teachers of poor children could retire with $1 million in the bank.

This is for working a 180 day school year. I have a feeling that taxpayers might just not be too keen on paying a teacher that kind of money. And if housing really is in a bubble and prices decrease dramatically (taking real estate taxes with them), you might see teachers facing the prospect of salary cuts.

LOTS OF HUMMINGBIRDS

Filed on May 27, 2005 at 5:42 pm under by dcobranchi

Hummingbird.jpg
We put the feeder up just a few minutes ago and this guy immediately showed up. I shot this through our kitchen window with the zoom at 307 mm and a shutter speed of 1/650 sec and an F of 4.0.

CA ALERT: R-4 UNDER ATTACK IN SANTA CLARA

Filed on at 5:22 pm under by dcobranchi

CA parents who want to home educate completely independently of the government schools routinely file an R-4 exemption for private schools. From what I understand, filing has been mostly a formality. Until now:

Dear Editor,

The following is a response to a recent column regarding home schooling:

Interestingly, there is no exemption in the California Education Code for “home schools.” In other words, education code does not recognize the term “home school” and therefore does not exempt students from compulsory attendance if they are, in layperson’s terms, being home schooled.

However, many home schooling parents consider their homes to be “private schools” and have submitted private school affidavits to the state superintendent of public instruction. The filing of a private school affidavit does not mean that the state superintendent of public instruction has evaluated, recognized, approved, or endorsed any private school (Ed. Code 33190). The exemption from California’s compulsory education for private school students is only valid after the verification by the attendance supervisor, or other person designated by the board of education (Ed. Code 48222). In the Gilroy Unified School District that person is the district attendance officer.

The steps below should be followed by GUSD parents wanting to request an exemption from compulsory attendance for their minor child:

1. Complete the private school affidavit form on line by going to the California Department of Education Web site. Submission of the affidavit does not authorize a parent to exempt their child from compulsory education. Any exemption must be granted by the GUSD. (Parents may call the Attendance Improvement Office at 848-7137 for additional information.)

2. Arrange for an appointment with the GUSD attendance officer by calling 848-7137 to request an exemption.

3. If the request for exemption is approved, the district attendance officer will authorize the child’s school of attendance to disenroll the child.

4. If the request for exemption cannot be approved, the parent will be scheduled for a hearing before the school attendance review board for a final decision.

5. If an exemption is granted by the SARB, the child’s school of attendance will be directed to honor the parent’s request to drop the child from its rolls.

6. If the SARB rules that the child would not be receiving an adequate education, as prescribed by law, the exemption will not be granted and the child will be expected to continue in his/her current placement or placement in an alternative public or private day school.

7. If the parent does not abide by the ruling of the SARB and withdraws the minor from school, the child will be considered truant and truancy procedures, including a referral to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, will be imposed.

8. Parents who are currently home schooling their children but have not received authorization from GUSD for an exemption, are subject to review and should contact the school attendance improvement office prior to or during but no later than the annual state filing period for private schools between Oct. 1 and 15 each year.

Frank Valadez, GUSD attendance officer

This is only one officer in one county. Not panic time but something to watch.

OVERREACHING

Filed on at 11:17 am under by dcobranchi

No, not the Republican majority.

The National Education Association Representative Assembly will open July 3 in Los Angeles and the union will use the occasion to launch its latest initiative: a campaign to establish a minimum teacher salary of $40,000 nationwide and a “living wage” for education support employees.

…All told, conservatively figure a 33 percent hike in education spending nationwide should do the trick. That’s roughly $150 billion, give or take, or an additional $2,000 from every family of four in the United States.

WHEN KNIVES ARE OUTLAWED

Filed on at 4:50 am under by dcobranchi

only outlaws will cook dinner.

Does the Second Amendment protect our right to cooking implements?

The authors of an editorial in the latest issue of the British Medical Journal have called for knife reform. The editorial, “Reducing knife crime: We need to ban the sale of long, pointed kitchen knives,” notes that the knives are being used to stab people as well as roasts and the odd tin of Spam.

And, of course, we’ll also need to ban long carving forks, scissors, and screwdrivers. As Bugs would say– What a maroon!

JAB, JAB, RIGHT CROSS

Filed on at 4:38 am under by dcobranchi

Gary North pulls no punches in his column today at Lew Rockwell.

Nevertheless, family by family, there are individual boycotts. These are not organized. There is no national plan. There are merely individual decisions by parents, family by family. Parents conclude that it is time to stop whining. It is time to pull their children out. They are responsible for their children. They are not responsible for anyone else’s children. They do not imagine that the opinion of other parents regarding the public schools has any bearing on their moral decision. Most important, they really do regard it as a moral decision.

There’s lots more. Worth a read.

AN ALLY IN THE WAR

Filed on May 26, 2005 at 6:11 pm under by dcobranchi

Natalie at RR&R has been blogging about one of our favorite topics here– cyber charters:

We’ve established that cyber schools are not home schools. Why does it matter? Is this practice of discrimination and elimination an elitist practice? Isn’ t this mean or illegal or unethical or something?

Thanks for the tip, Jeanne.

THE LAW IS A ASS

Filed on at 4:29 pm under by dcobranchi

Or at least the judge is.

This one really is a no-brainer. An IN judge, presiding over a divorce, has ruled that the parents of a 9-year-old cannot teach him their Wiccan beliefs. Why? Becasue he has attended a Catholic school:

“There is a discrepancy between Ms. Jones and Mr. Jones’ lifestyle and the belief system adhered to by the parochial school. . . . Ms. Jones and Mr. Jones display little insight into the confusion these divergent belief systems will have upon (the boy) as he ages,” the bureau said in its report.

So the school’s practices take precedence over the parents’? Or, more likely, the judge is just prejudiced against Wicca. What a dumb ruling. It will be overturned just as soon as the Indiana branch of the ACLU can file its brief.

FLASH!!!

Filed on at 6:34 am under by dcobranchi

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to present this breaking news–

HEKs are well socialized!

We now return to Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer, already in progress.

UGGGH!

Filed on at 6:30 am under by dcobranchi

This one is really sad. A 14-year-old girl, claimed by the paper to be an HEK, helped her father kill himself.

ANOTHER TOWN AND ONE MORE SHOW

Filed on at 6:26 am under by dcobranchi

Scooped by Izzy.

An HEK won the National Geo Bee yesterday, despite a rules change that may have been implemented to handicap HEKs.

The National Spelling Bee starts next week. One in eight (12.45 percent to be precise) of the competitors are HEKs. I think I like those odds.

I’M IT

Filed on May 25, 2005 at 7:44 am under by dcobranchi

Per Daryl’s request:

If I could be a world famous blogger … I’d cluck my tongue at the devaluation of the phrase “world famous”.

If I could be an architect … I’d design neoclassical temples that would be condemned in the press as “ludicrous echoes of a lost imperium”.

If I could be a lawyer … I’d hang out my shingle in a little Vermont town and keep old ladies from being swindled by silver-tongued Lotharios.

If I could be married to any current famous political figure … I’d arrange to have her die in an “accident” and then take her place in a dangerously misguided sympathy appointment, setting into motion a chain of events that would culminate in the Apocalypse.

If I could be a professor … I’d be able to smoke a pipe unself-consciously.

LETTER OF THE DAY

Filed on at 5:56 am under by dcobranchi

All I’ve got to say to this is “Why not?”

My daughter wasn’t there to be poked

Editor:

I noticed the problems at Memorial Middle School with senseless-needle prodding by a few kids.

My child was not poked by a needle and I can tell you why. From the day I registered her at Memorial, the “tuck-in-your-shirt” police rudely introduced themselves to her. This was followed by teachers strictly enforcing trivial rules; one teacher even told my daughter that no parent was going to tell her how to carry out school policy or she would “tell them off.” Very professional!

So the shirts are tucked in and the school was safe … except for the rampant sexual contact that my daughter witnessed in the stairwells and hallways, or the profanities issued by students, teachers and coaches.

Like I mentioned above, these troublemakers did not assault my daughter because I am educating her at home, away from a school district that has its priorities all mixed up.

Now, this isn’t the only reason for my decision and I am in no way advocating home schooling. However, these types of situations played a large role in my decision, as I am sure they will to the growing number of parents who are fed up with schools using Band-Aids for a broken leg.

Anyone remember the gentleman who had to cut his hair, even if it was for cancer survivors? That was handled swiftly.

The physical assaults continue, even as I write this letter. Why not tackle the major issues, HCISD, or are you afraid to fail that test?

Jon Pullin
Harlingen

1/3 VICTORY IN OREGON

Filed on at 5:50 am under by dcobranchi

Oregon home educators have been fighting to get rid of state-mandated testing for a fair while. They got close last year only to face a veto by the governor. Well, maybe second time’s the charm:

Home-schooled students would not have to take periodic achievement tests unless they participate in sports or other interscholastic activities under a bill passed by the House Tuesday.

The measure, sent to the Senate on a 37-22 vote, would do away with a requirement that students taught at home by or under the direction of their parents take state-approved exams in grades 3, 5, 8 and 10.

MOSTLY GOOD NEWS

Filed on at 5:44 am under by dcobranchi

Finally, something relatively good out of PA:

The duty of child protective agencies to rescue abused children doesn’t exempt them from the type of standards police must meet to search homes for evidence of crimes, a state appeals court has ruled.

A three-judge panel of state Superior Court decided last week that caseworkers can’t ignore parents’ Fourth Amendment freedom from unreasonable searches.

…Superior Court said caseworkers requesting court orders to enter homes must show probable cause, the type of standard required of police seeking search warrants.

The court did not say what constitutes probable cause but presumably an unsubstantiated anonymous tip won’t be good enough. Parents can sleep just a bit easier in PA tonight.

BTW, this was a Superior Court ruling. I have no idea if it has any effect outside of western PA.

GOOD LORD!

Filed on at 5:36 am under by dcobranchi

I’m in the wrong business. Blogging nets me maybe $10 per week on ad sales. I should have opened a co-op school instead.

Vicki Daly and Kelly Traldi were moms looking for more.

Both were mothers of five who home-schooled their children. Both were in the same predicament — they liked the at-home format but wanted to blend it with a traditional classroom setting.

The women, who met at a home-school support group, searched for a school that would allow them to mix the two methods but found the selection was limited. So last year, Daly and Traldi formed a hybrid school of their own, St. Hilary’s Home School, where parents teach on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays and students report to the classroom — located at Catholic Church of St. Monica in Duluth — on Mondays and Thursdays.

…Parents who pay the $16,000 tuition and enroll in the school receive a curriculum designed by the two moms.

Sixteen grand?! For a part-time private school where the parents still have to give some of the tests? How do I get in on some of this action? Franchise opportunity, anyone? Maybe someone else needs to read Ex. 20.

THOU SHALT NOT STEAL

Filed on at 5:29 am under by dcobranchi

A bunch of gullible folks (including at least two home educators) were taken in by a con man running a Ponzi scheme. Some of the marks still don’t get it:

Karen Colebrook, who met Warren and his wife through a home schooling association, said that after they learned about Warren’s arrest, she and her husband wrote him a letter at Roanoke City Jail.

Warren responded in another letter that he could not talk about the case, on the advice of his attorney, but that he’d really like to talk to them about it, Karen Colebrook recalled. Warren also said he was giving Bible classes to other inmates at the jail, she said.

Good idea. I suggest he start here.

STICKER SHOCK

Filed on at 5:08 am under by dcobranchi

The GA case of ID/anti-evolution stickers has taken another turn;a judge has ordered all of the stickers removed:

The evolution disclaimers read: ”This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.”

Of the many ID/creation issues, this is among the sillier. Of course that won’t stop Cobb county schools from appealing and spending more tax dollars. (Tip credit: Jeanne)

LATE BLOGGAGE TODAY

Filed on May 24, 2005 at 6:40 am under by dcobranchi

I’m in a meeting from 7 a.m. until late tonight.

SI

Filed on May 23, 2005 at 5:23 pm under by dcobranchi

Just cruising around Sports Illustrated I spotted the following:

There are times when Carmen Bandea sounds like a typical 14-year-old girl. She was giddy, for instance, when her mother landed tickets to the new Star Wars flick.

Bandea is a rising tennis player who hopes to turn pro in the fall. She excelled at swimming almost as soon as she jumped in the water. She’s an accomplished pianist and singer. She plans to write a children’s book.

Now — what the heck? — she’d like to play golf in the U.S. Open.

The men’s Open, that is.

Care to guess how she’s educated?

WHERE’S THE PEACEMAKER?

Filed on at 4:52 pm under by dcobranchi

OK, Chris started the battle (again). Another home educator wants us all to play nice and stop trying to keep the g-schoolers-at-home out of our little club. Terrie Lynn Bittner also writes for an LDS online publication. She writes well, but I’m not impressed with the strength of her arguments. Check out the post at her blog that started it all; you might recognize a few of the commenters.

AN FYI

Filed on at 4:40 pm under by dcobranchi

HSLDA has raised their annual membership dues to $120. Just thought y’all should know.

WHAT? NO DOME?

Filed on at 7:24 am under by dcobranchi

Joanne Jacobs reports on the latest lunacy in ChrisE’s home state of Texas– multi-million dollar football stadia.

PARENT BLOGGING

Filed on at 7:17 am under by dcobranchi

The World Peace Herald (gotta love that moniker) has a puff-piece on the growing phenomenon of parents blogging their (and their kids’) lives. I’d guess that most homeschooling blogs would fall into this broad category (HE&OS mostly excepted, of course).

TAGGED

Filed on May 22, 2005 at 4:20 pm under by dcobranchi

Kimberly tagged me the other day. The premise is to complete five of the following fragments:

If I could be a scientist…If I could be a farmer…If I could be a musician…If I could be a doctor…If I could be a painter…If I could be a gardener…If I could be a missionary…If I could be a chef…If I could be an architect…If I could be a linguist…If I could be a psychologist…If I could be a librarian…If I could be an athlete…If I could be a lawyer…If I could be an inn-keeper…If I could be a professor…If I could be a writer…If I could be a llama-rider…If I could be a bonnie pirate…If I could be an astronaut…If I could be a world famous blogger…If I could be a justice on any one court in the world…If I could be married to any current famous political figure…

My answers–

If I could be a scientist…I am but I’d like to be one who had the kind of impact where an NAS appointment was a possibility.

If I could be a world-famous blogger… You mean I’m not? Oh, the shame of it.

If I could be a doctor/missionary… I’d want to work with Médecins Sans Frontières. They work in the worst/most interesting places.

If I could be a painter… That’d be terrific so maybe I wouldn’t get drips on every wall I ever painted. The other kind of painter is unimaginable for me, as I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler.

If I could be a lawyer… I’d want to specialize in 1st Amendment cases and drive the government crazy.

So, how ’bout it Tim, Chris, and Darby?

BUZZZZZZ

Filed on at 2:20 pm under by dcobranchi

KarenE (any relation to Jonathan E?) fowarded a nice profile of an HEK on his way to Washington for the National spelling bee.

BONUS: Name the film alluded to above. Should be a piece of cake for any cyber-punk/dystopian fans.

HOW TO TEACH READING

Filed on at 1:51 am under by dcobranchi

I’ve been following an interesting discussion at HEM-Networking on how to teach reading. Being home educators, we all have our own ideas about what works. IOW, the only rule is that there are no rules. Well, don’t tell this guy. Dr. Kerry Hempenstall (I always hate it when a Ph.D. or, even worse, an Ed.D puts the honorific before their name) has a really long dense article on what it means to be phonemically aware. It’s way beyond me (and my level of attention early in the morning) so I skimmed it. Perhaps a snippet may suffice:

Of course, a classroom emphasis on phonological processes assumes that teachers already have the necessary deep understanding of phonemic awareness required to teach it effectively. This assumption may not be warranted, as research has indicated that many teachers do not themselves have a solid foundation in their own phonemic awareness, and few have received the level of training that produces the supra-skill level important in awakening children’s fine-grained sensitivity to the sound structure of words (Lindamood, 1994; Mather, Bos, & Babur, 2001; Moats, 1994). For example, in one study (Mather et al.) only 2% of teachers-in-training and 19% of working teachers knew that the word box is constructed from four speech sounds. It is not easy for adults to ignore entrenched spelling patterns when confronted with phonemic tasks (Labov, 2003). Students whose teacher themselves have phonological deficiencies display lower levels of reading skills as a consequence (Lindamood, 1994). In many teacher-training facilities, pre-service instruction in these areas is not among the priorities in developing a teacher education curriculum on literacy. Hence, many teachers are likely to need retraining if the results of phonemic awareness research into beginning reading are to be put into practice successfully.

Any gluttons for punishment willing to read the whole thing to see if there’s any meat there?

WHAT YOU GONNA DO?

Filed on at 1:36 am under by dcobranchi

Austin area schools and pre-schools have noticed an increase in bad behavior among the youngest students. No one seems to know why. A tidbit that caught my eye:

For many students, pre-kindergarten is their first experience interacting with other children their age. Nearly three of four Austin students, for example, have never been in a child caresetting before entering pre-K, administrators said.

I find that stat hard to believe. Unless even the percentage of SAHM is bigger in Texas, that is.

WWHE

Filed on at 1:17 am under by dcobranchi

No links here– just anecdotes.

I had a very interesting conversation with a 14 12-year-old neighbor yesterday. She told me what the “girly-girls” were wearing in the local middle school. In addition to all sorts of suggestive stuff written across their asses, one girl has been wearing a tight t-shirt with “They’re real” scrawled across her chest. Shorts the size of girl’s panties are apparently de rigueur, too. For the boys, the trend is to wear clothes multiple sizes too large and then to walk around like they just got off a horse in order to keep their pants from falling down to their knees. This sweet girl also claims that there are lots of behaviorial problems at her school. No wonder.

When did parents go extinct?

WHY I’M UP BLOGGING AT 1:02 A.M.

Filed on at 1:05 am under by dcobranchi

Coffee and home education– a match made in heaven.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN?

Filed on May 21, 2005 at 8:55 am under by dcobranchi

You’ll never know, will you?

OT: FUZZY MATH

Filed on at 8:05 am under by dcobranchi

I still try to keep up with the News-Journal, for its entertainment value if nothing else. Well, the editor hit a home run today– producing two glaring errors in consecutive sentences:

To end a filibuster now requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate — 60 votes. But the rules themselves can be changed with a simple majority of 51.

Unless the Congress has passed a law mandating the use of new math, I’m pretty sure that 60/100 is three-fifths. The second error is a bit more forgivable. Under Senate rules it takes 67 votes (that pesky two-thirds majority) to change the rules. It will take 51 votes to break the rules and declare the precedent of the filibuster unconstitutional.

DEAD POLITICIAN WALKING

Filed on at 7:32 am under by dcobranchi

A FL school board member is sure to draw the ire of the teachers’ unions with this Op/Ed:

Several months ago a friend invited me to attend a local meeting of an organization which advocated separation of government and schools as a method to improve education. Some of their concepts had merit, others did not, but I signed up to receive their literature as I do with every opportunity to assess and discern a diversity of concepts and research.

That’s a gutsy move (and sentence). I wish her luck in her post-political career.

HEY, TIM!

Filed on at 7:22 am under by dcobranchi

If the home educator’s description is accurate, this is blatant discrimination.

Open classes at Brookdale

It’s time Brookdale Community College enters the 21st century when it comes to home-schooled students. High school students who are sophomores and above are able to take courses at Brookdale, but my daughter, who is home-schooled, has met with nothing but obsta-cles.

Brookdale is the only New Jersey community college closed to home-schooled students. The Home School Legal Defense Association has asked Brookdale to change its policy but has not been successful.

Brookdale requires a high school transcript and approval from a high school guidance counselor for admission to these classes. As I tried to explain to both Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., and Monmouth County Freeholder Theodore Narozanick, home-schooled students should be able to supply PSAT or other standardized test scores and the parent-teacher’s signature.

My daughter is a bright, motivated student who deserves the same privileges as other Monmouth County students. I pay taxes to support Brookdale, and I have paid for the one course my daughter has completed there. I would like Brookdale to change its policy and make it easier for home-schooled students to attend classes.

Laurie Klett

TINTON FALLS

Are there any friendly legislators up North who could lean on the CC?

ON ICE

Filed on at 7:14 am under by dcobranchi

Here’s a nice profile of an HEK who aspires to be an Olympian in figure skating. A couple of notes–

Skating is ungodly expensive. And she didn’t drop out.

ONE FOR CHRIS

Filed on May 20, 2005 at 8:54 pm under by dcobranchi

Virginia educrats ought to be glad that I reside one state to the south. Otherwise their count of HEK’s would be off by at least four.

Every three years, Virginia requires all school districts to conduct the Triennial School Census, a census that aims to count all school-age residents age five to 19, including non-public, charter and home-schooled children. The census results in locating funding sources for general services such as bus transportation. Based on results, each locality receives 1 percent of state sales tax revenues for local schools, or an average of $734 per student, according to the Virginia Department of Education.

The Virginia Coalition to End Discrimination in General Services for Education (VA EDGE), a parents group working to ensure equal access to basic services for non-public school children, is urging parents with children attending non-public or special needs schools, or with home-schooled children, to complete the census by the June 1 deadline.

Actually, knowing how ornery we all are, I suspect the count of HEKs is way low.

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