Archive for January 2015

On Writing…My Encore Career

I took one of those online quizzes (ever so accurate) that asked, “What career were you meant for” and guess what? I got writer. That confirms the choice I made to start blogging shortly after I retired from a long career in early childhood education. I was meant to be a writer all along. I... Read more »

How Comments from Teachers can Ruin Art for Kids

My 8-year-old granddaughter loves to act the role of teacher. As someone who was also an older sister to two little brothers, I totally empathize. But when she wrote, “Good job,” and signed her name Ms. “Teacher” on her younger brother’s drawing, WWIII erupted. You see, artists like to sign their own work but hate... Read more »

Evanston, just say no to PARCC

Evanston follows the lead of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) about school closings when the weather is cold. So why not stand with CPS on an issue that actually impacts the learning and welfare of children throughout our state? Evanston, let’s join Chicago in refusing to give the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and... Read more »
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I Want to Meet my Lost Old Friends

I was reflecting back on the women who were my bridesmaids 46 years ago. At the time, I was young and a recent college graduate. I remember telling my mother and mother-in-law I wanted to include my BFFs as well as the relatives they thought were more appropriate choices. They told me friends come and... Read more »

Why Many Folks Don’t Take Tamiflu

I’m sure you’ve seen all of the commercials for Tamiflu. You know, the ones that tell you the flu is no fun (really?) and you should ask your doctor for a prescription if you get it. Despite dutifully getting flu shots, several members of my family came down with a suspicious flu-like illness recently. And... Read more »

Civil Disobedience, Martin Luther King Day, and the PARCC Test

On January 19, we honor the birthday of Martin Luther King. We can do this by going shopping, or we can find an injustice and figure out how to right it through peaceful protest or civil disobedience. Of course, there are many greater injustices in our country and the world than forcing children to take... Read more »
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Comcast, we need to break up

I know, old habits die hard and breaking up is hard to do. But Comcast is like a bad friend I keep because I know her so well, even though our relationship is based more on inertia and familiarity than anything else. I just opened my latest bill from Comcast and discovered that, once again,... Read more »

PARCC Standardized Test Divides Evanston – Part II

Back in 1969 when I was teaching high school English, a colleague questioned how I gave a student an “A.” She noted that his standardized test score indicated he was at best a “B” student. I was shocked to learn that those numbers next to the names on my class roster were scores on some... Read more »

Come on Schools -- More Polar Vortex School Closings?

Evanston elementary schools are closed again today. Like lemmings, suburban districts seem to feel obliged to follow the decisions of the Chicago Public School system, even if their issues are not comparable. I have to wonder if the deciders really think kids will be safer left home alone, some without the meals they count on... Read more »
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PARCC Standardized Test Divides Evanston – Part I

It doesn’t take much to stir up a controversy in Evanston. At a Strategic Planning Focus Group meeting in November for Evanston/Skokie District 65, there were so many constituencies represented that it was impossible to reach consensus on any issue, including the Partnership in Assessment and Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test to be... Read more »