Growing Up Surrounded by Books Increases Adult Literacy

How many books are in your home? A study found that immersing children in book-oriented environments benefits their later educational achievement, attainment, and occupational standing. Do your children have access to plenty of books at home? The study is titled: “Scholarly culture: How books in adolescence enhance adult literacy, numeracy and technology skills in 31 societies.” It was published in Social Science Research. It was led by Joanna Sikora of the Australian National University. The findings of the study indicate that the size of a home library equips youth with life-long tastes, skills, and knowledge. Whey these youths grow up to … Continue reading

Have Some Mountain Dew Before a Test?

How do you feel about standardized testing? Chances are you aren’t an incredibly big fan of it. Children tend to strongly dislike taking standardized tests because it is stressful, confusing, frustrating, and very different from how their typical school day goes. Perhaps this is why a school in Florida found a controversial way to motivate students to take their standardized tests. Someone at Creel Elementary School in Florida came up with an unusual way to get students excited about taking the FCAT. The FCAT stands for “Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test”. A grandmother who learned about it contacted the local media. … Continue reading

Ethics Classes

In NSW, Australia, we have been very fortunate in being able to go into the schools and teach SRE, Special Religious Education over many years. Parents who do not want their children taught SRE, have the option to send a note saying they do not wish them to participate in the class. In this case many will spend the time in the library, on computers, or involved in some other activity. Now another alternative is being proposed. The alternative is ethics classes. In these ethics classes children will apparently be exposed to the ideas of people like John Stuart Mill … Continue reading

School Food Fight Leads to Jail Time

When you pack your child’s lunch in the morning the last place you consider it will end up is on the wall of the school cafeteria. Unfortunately, that’s exactly where dozens of lunch items stuck after a huge food fight broke out earlier this month at a Chicago middle school. In the end, tuna sandwiches, which were made into torpedoes and apples used as attack weapons, were spattered all over the cafeteria at the Calumet middle-school campus of Perspectives Charter Schools, in the Gresham neighborhood on the South Side. Even more disconcerting was the fact that police were called in … Continue reading

Sexual Innuendo Gets Teacher Fired

I don’t know about you, but when I look at the state of Florida on a map, the last thing I see is a phallic symbol. Of course, I haven’t seen science teacher Ryan Haraughty’s recent depiction of the “Sunshine State.” If I did, I might have a better understanding of why Shawnee Mission school district administrators gave Haraughty the boot a couple of weeks ago. According, to the former Mission Valley Middle School teacher his firing was instigated by a drawing and comment he made about the state of Florida. The Kansas teacher says as part of a lesson … Continue reading

Bad Report Card Blues

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to hide a bad report card from your parents? Say the dog ate it? Claim it “accidentally” flew out of the school bus window? How about telling your mom that you were kidnapped after school by a man with a gun, who forced you into a car and drove you to the outskirts of town, but somehow you managed to escape through a car window, but in the ensuing chaos (namely the fact that you were running for your life) you forgot your backpack—-which housed your report card–in the kidnapper’s car. Ever use … Continue reading

A New Twist on School Dress Codes

And here I thought my former parochial school’s dress code was stringent. Sister Stephen Marie made sure the only skin that girls revealed during the school day (besides the flesh on our faces) was the inch of body tissue located near the knee cap where our skirts ended and the top of our long socks began. Who knew that my ultra conservative plaid skirt, white shirt, blue tie combo would one day be the envy of public school kids in Indiana? Last month school administrators in Richmond, Indiana imposed a new dress code for all students, which bans any apparel … Continue reading

How Far Would You Go To Pay For Your Kid’s Education?

Some parents would consider taking out a second mortgage on their homes or picking up a part-time job to help fund their child’s education, but a mom in Washington State has turned to another means to help raise cash for her son’s schooling—-begging. As in standing near a busy off-ramp near her Bellevue home and panhandling for cash. “Tuition help needed! Donate a few dollars!” Shelle Curley yells at drivers in an effort to raise nearly $47,000 so her son can attend one of the most prestigious dance schools in the country. According to reports, Curley’s 17-year-old son D.J. scored … Continue reading

Are You a Teacher’s Worst Nightmare?

In Japan, they’re called “monster parents,” and now teachers there have a new way of dealing with them. You might know a few monster parents yourself. They’re hard not to notice. Typically, they are the moms and dads who are constantly complaining and making unreasonable demands on schools and teachers. Most of them are overbearing, pushy, and some of them go as far as threatening educators. But, instead of fighting back with their fists, teachers in Japan are taking a new training course to learn how to deal with these pushy parents without resorting to physical violence. Japan’s Ministry of … Continue reading

A School By Any Other Name

What’s a six letter word for the place your children go each day to learn important life lessons? It’s not a trick question. The answer is SCHOOL. Unless, of course, you live in the United Kingdom. Students attending Watercliffe Meadow Primary in Sheffield, UK no longer attend “school.” Rather, educational leaders there have decided to refer to their building as a “place of learning.” According to news reports, the head teacher of Watercliffe Meadow Primary recently confirmed that administrators dropped the word “school” from the place of learning’s name. Watercliffe Meadow leaders explained the decision this way: “We decided from … Continue reading