Posts in category "education"

Rethinking the School Calendar

A recent posting on the Evanston, Illinois Parent Facebook page exclaimed, “According to weather report, -4 at 8AM with -19 wind-chill. ACK!!!!! I’m not sure we can take another snow day!” Others responded like folks suffering from PTSD. The consensus was that they and their kids could not handle more days off of school, and... Read more »

Kindergarten Homework is Absurd

My grandson has kindergarten homework.  Starting in January, he receives a weekly homework packet that is due every Monday. I guess that’s a good due day because, like 64% of mothers with young kids, my daughter works.  At least she has the weekend to force him to complete it. Because my grandson can’t do this... Read more »

Special Education, the PARCC Test, and Opting Out

Just how should a student with special needs that include significant communication and anxiety disorders express his desire to opt out of the Partnership in Assessment for College and Careers (PARCC) exam? Will throwing his laptop across the room count? How about banging his head on his desk? Does he need to scream or cry... Read more »

Valentine’s Day is a Good Time to Celebrate Friendship and Inclusion

There are lots of aspects of middle school that create PTSD in highly successful and competent adults. Let’s just say it’s not the happiest time in most people’s lives. So in honor of a week that includes Make a Friend Day on February 11, No One Eats Alone Day on February 13, and Valentine’s Day... Read more »

Looking at Diversity Through a Different Lens

My youngest daughter was part of the last cohort of half-day kindergarteners in my community of Evanston, Illinois. To put this in the context of the times, it was 1983 and very few schools offered full-day kindergarten. So when full-day kindergarten was first proposed, my friends and I fought it. And we won – for... Read more »

How Teachers Impact the Lives of Children with Special Needs

My granddaughter, who has so much trouble with her expressive language, has no trouble letting me know who her true heroes are. She can make a list on her iPad of every teacher she has had since age two.  When I ask her what she wants to be when she grows up, that’s one question... Read more »

How School Closings and Snow Days Hurt our Kids

Today it makes sense to close school. Roads are unsafe and side streets are not cleared. Sidewalks are impassible. Despite the inconvenience, most parents would agree that their kids should not be on buses or trudging through mountains of unshoveled snow to get to school. Too bad most school districts wasted two days last month... 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 »

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 »