Posts in category "education"

Why My Granddaughter’s Sixth Grade Graduation Made Me Cry

I’m sure the family members and guests attending The Cove School graduation and recognition ceremony for students moving from sixth grade to middle school watched with an array of emotions. Joy. Pride. Gratitude. Love. And a bit of trepidation mixed in. Would their child be the one to make a mistake and ruin the ceremony?... Read more »

My Community Still Struggles to Close the Achievement Gap and Educate All of its Children

I adore Evanston. I’ve lived here for over 40 years. My kids received great educations in the public schools. Back in the day, I was an active school volunteer and even served on a couple of school district committees. And I was founding director of Cherry Preschool, located in the heart of Evanston. So I was... Read more »

How to Really Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week. Parents all over the country are scrambling to buy flower, mugs, and apple-themed paraphernalia. As a former teacher and early childhood administrator, I know how important it is to let teachers know their hard work is appreciated. Especially these days when the profession is so maligned and judged. My ten-year-old granddaughter... Read more »

Cherry Preschool: Innovation in Latino Community Outreach

Cherry Preschool has a history of innovation. Over its 24 years, the school has often looked at an issue and, inspired by Robert Kennedy’s often used variation of a quote by George Bernard Shaw, has asked itself to “dream things that never were and say, why not.” Once again, the Evanston early childhood program is... Read more »

Why Some School Kids Can’t Compete in Fitness Week

My granddaughter came home last Monday with a Fitness Week worksheet from her gym teacher. It proclaimed each child should get 60 minutes of exercise a day. The kids were asked to chart this for a week, and those who accomplished the goal would get a reward.  Here’s how this daily total could be accomplished:... Read more »

Inclusion: It’s Not Enough to Decorate a Buddy Bench

Watching kids play on school playgrounds can break my heart. There are always some who stand alone, unsure of how to enter play. When they try, they are told they may not join the game. After a while, they just stop trying. It doesn’t have to be this way. There are some fairly simple ways... Read more »

Scientific Proof That Kids Need Recess

At her elementary school science fair, my granddaughter explained her poster and experiment with the great fervor an almost ten-year-old can muster. She and her friend, who is in California on a family sabbatical, decided to prove once and for all that recess improves learning, or at least puts students in a receptive mood so... Read more »

Opt Out of PARCC: Eight Reasons My Family Decided Skip this Test

In our cash-strapped state that has no money for actually educating our children, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is launching an investigation into the reason families and children opted out of taking last year’s Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test. Perhaps if I share the reasons why my... Read more »

Standardized Testing: March Madness Returns to our Schools

March madness is almost upon us. I’m not talking about the basketball tournament, but rather the intense game of high stakes standardized testing played in our schools. Illinois remains just one of seven states, along with Washington, D.C., still participating in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing consortium. But... Read more »

Learning Through Play: Another Visit to Cherry Preschool

I walked into a classroom at Cherry Preschool in Evanston, Illinois to check out the recent activities and get my fix of watching preschoolers doing what they do best – learning through play. A brief disclaimer: This is the school I founded and directed until my retirement, so it is definitely my happy place. The... Read more »