Posts Tagged ‘public schools’

Grading on a Curve — for Schools

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

A young girl, studying in schoolGenerally speaking, in order to get an “A” grade, you have to demonstrate that not only did you learn the material but that you demonstrated an understanding far beyond what was expected for the course.  You could say that someone deserving of an “A” would know the material so well that they wouldn’t even make careless mistakes on a test — the material would be far too simple to provide any wrong answers.  In the case of a school, an “A” would mean that the school is turning out students who not only meet the standards but go well beyond them.  But what do you do if your schools aren’t performing so well and you still want to say they get an “A”?  Well, if you’re the Public Education Department in New Mexico, you redefine what it means to get an “A”.


School Board Member Wants Students To Die

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

According to the Center for Public Education, school boards have one primary purpose: “first and foremost school boards look out for students.”  They do this, in part, by determining policies, selecting curriculum, and providing oversight and accountability for the schools in their districts.  So the last thing you’d expect from a member of a school board is to publicly and openly encourage people — including students from Midland School District which he represents — to kill themselves.  And yet, that’s what Clint McCance did.


Religion In Schools, Fingers In Ears

Monday, October 25th, 2010

A Facebook Friend posted just the other day that he was shocked that his daughter’s teacher had given the class a list of the five pillars of Islam as part of a unit on the Middle East.  He felt that not only was this teaching the students about Islam but it was also teaching them how to convert.  He believed this was an inappropriate violation of the doctrine of separation of church and state.  To further complicate matters, the teacher had informed the students that she was a Muslim.  So a call was made to the school principal and a meeting has been scheduled to discuss the matter.

Well, Rhonda Thurman, a member of the Hamilton County Board of Education in Tennessee, has a solution.  If the teacher begins teaching the students about Islam or praying with them, my friend’s daughter and any other offended students can simply “put their fingers in their ears.”  Yep, she actually said that.


Talking To Kids — Does It Work?

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

It seems that radio stations play the “talk to your kids about drugs” ads almost as much as they do music these days.  Aside from the fact that they aren’t music, that’s not a bad thing.  After all, I don’t think anyone would argue that parents shouldn’t talk to their kids about drugs or that doing so would lead to increased abuse.  Mind you, it’s certainly not foolproof prevention, but it also certainly can’t hurt.  So why is it that parents don’t feel the same way about sex?


Suspended for a T-Shirt

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

The junior high and high school years are a time when kids are figuring out who they are and who they will become.  It’s important that we support them in that endeavor and make sure they know they are loved and accepted no matter what path they choose for themselves.  It’s also important that their school — teachers, administrators, and fellow students — take an active role in that support.  That’s why it’s especially heinous when a school does something like what happened in the Fort Smith School District in Arkansas.


Sex Ed: Classroom or Playground?

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Where would you have your kids learn about sex?  For some, the answer is definitely not “in school”.  Some parents want to either take on the job of teaching their kids about sex-related topics themselves or shield their children from the subject matter entirely.  In California, and most other states, I suspect, a parent can opt to have their child skip the lessons but, as one Southern California mom discovered, missing the classroom discussions doesn’t mean your son or daughter won’t be hearing all about it


Teaching The Bible In School

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

There’s no doubt that the bible has had a significant impact on human history.  The bible has inspired artists such as Michelangelo and Botticelli, composers like Bach and Vivaldi, and even authors like C.S. Lewis.  Although not strictly Christian concepts, we have the bible to thank for the popularity of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.  Of course, we also have the bible and related works to thank for the atrocities of the crusades, the Middle East conflicts and even, yes, the holocaust.  But should the bible be something taught in schools or is it best left for parents and priests to discuss?  One California school district thinks the bible’s influence is substantial enough to warrant teaching about it.