Archive for March 2015

PARCC Bullies

The headline of an Evanston Now (no connection to ChicagoNow) post screamed, “D65 Could Lose $7 Million Due to PARCC Testing.” This claim is not only misleading, but it is also terribly devise to the Evanston community. It is pitting neighbors against one another for fear they will have to come up with $7 million... Read more »

Inclusion: A Preschool that Truly Cares About Other People’s Children

Welcoming and including children with special needs has always been part of Cherry Preschool’s mission. But this Evanston preschool community not only talks the talk, it walks the walk. At its annual fundraiser on March 21, parents, teachers, and friends of the school raised their paddles to donate $35,000 to fund next year’s Inclusion Program.... Read more »

Magic Johnson, Mayor Emanuel, and School Custodians

Gus Lira has been Cherry Preschool’s custodian for most of its 23-year existence. In my years as Executive Director, he came to our rescue time after time. If something broke, we could just call him at his day job. If teachers made a huge glitter mess, they would leave him a note apologizing in advance... Read more »
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The Best Advice I Ever Received from my Dad was to Leave Home

Growing up in a suburb of Detroit in the late 50’s and early 60’s, there were only a few college options known to me. I applied to two of them, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, a good commuter school. Being an obedient daughter and a product of my times, I was pretty... Read more »

Last Weekend’s Inappropriate Kindergarten Homework

I really do not want to keep writing about this, but it is just so wrong. In the hope that schools and teachers who think kindergarten homework is the best way to prepare children for all of the homework that is coming down the road, I’m going to keep shouting STOP.  Your developmentally inappropriate homework... Read more »

Excessive Testing Removes Bulletin Boards and Children’s Imaginations

A Chicago Public School teacher, who served as a proctor for the recent Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing, lamented several aspects of the exam. I have been writing about PARCC for some time now, but one of her complains struck me as something I had not considered. Teachers were... Read more »
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I Quit my Job, and That’s the Day my Life Changed

Of course, there are so many pivotal days that change a person’s life. For me, what pops into my mind first is the day I met my spouse at a movie in college, the day 46+ years ago we married, and the days our children and grandchildren were born. These are very personal events that... Read more »

What Schools Could Learn about the Importance of Recess from a Third Grade Science Fair Project

On Tuesdays, I watch my third grade granddaughter after school. My assignment, should I choose to accept it, is to ensure that she does her homework. To any of you who caught my reference to Mission Impossible, even though I accept the assignment, sometimes the mission is next to impossible. I started to look for... Read more »

Still Rethinking the School Calendar

While watching Morning Joe yesterday, I almost fell off of my exercise bike when they happily announced that Mayor De Blasio of New York City will be closing schools two days for the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr next year. Joe Scarborough, who is hardly a proponent of political correctness, thought this... Read more »
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More Absurd Kindergarten Homework

If you thought it was crazy to expect a 5-year-old who can’t read yet to do “reading comprehension” homework in kindergarten, check out the rest of my grandson’s homework packet. The part that killed me was the requirement to “write neatly in pencil” over and over. That’s asking a lot from a little guy whose... Read more »