Archive for August 2016

PARCC Fails More Than 60 Percent of Kids -- Why Keep Giving It?

When I was teaching high school English back in the day, if 60 percent of my students failed a test, there was only one logical conclusion. I had given a bad test. The questions were too tricky or not relevant to the material I had taught. And I would have apologized for wasting my students’... Read more »

War Paint: Why I’m Afraid of my Dresser Drawer

After seeing the musical War Paint, it felt like it was time to tackle my own collection of war paint (AKA no-longer-used makeup and magic creams) cluttering my dresser drawer. War Paint depicts the rivalry between Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden, both of whom founded cosmetics empires following World War I that lasted for decades.... Read more »

Summer for a Child with Special Needs – So Glad it’s Almost Over

Of the many challenges that families of children with significant special needs confront, summer may be one of the most difficult. Like mine, these families are now counting the days until school resumes and life becomes more predictable and productive for their kids. Predictability is so important for the happiness of children with significant special... Read more »
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Teaching Body Shaming to Young Girls: School Dress Codes

My nine-year-old granddaughter violated the dress code at her school that serves children in grades kindergarten through fourth. That means kids aged five through ten. Her violation was wearing what was deemed a tank top on a 99 degree day. I can assure you there was nothing suggestive about the top she wore and nothing... Read more »

Back to School: Why a Seven-Year-Old Boy is Sad to Return

This is a journey into the mind of my seven-year-old grandson who is interested in many things. Just not what he’s learning in school. In fact, when I asked him if he was looking forward to starting second grade next week, his response was a resounding NO. School is so boring, he claims. My husband... Read more »

Grief, Loss, and Queen Anne's Lace

As I see my mother’s favorite wildflower, Queen Anne’s Lace, popping up in fields, I find it hard to believe she’s been gone for over a year. Grief is indeed a process, and time does help to heal the raw wound of loss. Yet, as this excerpt from my book Terribly Strange and Wonderfully Real... Read more »
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Donald Trump: Please Don't Equate Presidential Debates and Football

Come on, Mr. Trump. Now you are claiming the Presidential debate schedule, set up 18 months ago by the bi-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates, is unfair because it conflicts with NFL football? Are you kidding? Sadly, I think you are not. This is how you play the game. You are actually claiming the debate on... Read more »