Category: education

What We Can Do for our Kids in a Pandemic

What We Can Do for our Kids in a Pandemic
Clearly, our kids are hurting during this pandemic. One of the most poignant reminders of the pain experienced by students locked out of their normal lives is a three-minute film, Numb – a short film, created by Liv McNeil. McNeil admits that, “I for sure haven’t been enjoying quarantine, but some have it worse. We... Read more »

The Chicago Teachers Strike, Museums, and Economic Disparity

The Chicago Teachers Strike, Museums, and Economic Disparity
On Monday and Tuesday of last week, during the Chicago Teachers Strike, we took our grandkids who were visiting from Indiana during their fall break to the Science and Industry and Field museums. My husband was worried they would be crowded due to the strike, but sadly, I knew better. Taking three kids, ages 13,... Read more »

On the 18th Anniversary of September 11: Remembering the Power of Community and Caring

On the 18th Anniversary of September 11: Remembering the Power of Community and Caring
On every anniversary of September 11, I think of the power of community and caring. My memory of that day is forever linked to the early childhood educators of Cherry Preschool, who were a caring community trying to manage their own terror to welcome young children and comfort their families on the first day of preschool. Those... Read more »
Advertisement:

Why There are Fewer School Volunteers and Why it Matters

Why There are Fewer School Volunteers and Why it Matters
The early childhood program I founded, Cherry Preschool,  relied on an army of volunteers. We thought of ourselves as the Amish barn raisers from the 1985 movie Witness, sadly minus Harrison Ford. Volunteers painted every room in the school, scrounged yard sales for toys, drove a borrowed pickup truck to bring donated furniture and appliances, built... Read more »

Quality, Not Kindergarten Redshirting, is the Problem

Quality, Not Kindergarten Redshirting, is the Problem
In my long career as an early childhood program director, I have given many talks to parents of children about to start kindergarten. While these parents were sometimes worried, over the past decade they became more anxious about how well their children would handle entry into a formal education system. Now, a proposed Illinois law... Read more »

As Parent-Teacher Conferences Vanish: When No News is Just No News

As Parent-Teacher Conferences Vanish: When No News is Just No News
There is a trend in education to dispense with the traditional biannual parent-teacher conferences. Now that every test and homework score can be accessed by parents online, the thinking goes that these conferences are meaningless and time-wasters. Parents who want conferences may request them. Otherwise, they should assume no news is good news. I would... Read more »
Advertisement:

How Cheating Hurts Those Who Really Need Help

How Cheating Hurts Those Who Really Need Help
Granted, it is very unfair that rich and famous parents could bribe college officials, cheat on their children’s test scores, and create fake sports credentials to get their kids into elite colleges. The college admissions scam, Operation Varsity Blues, has dominated the news, probably because some celebrities (Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman) were caught in its... Read more »

Really Dumb Homework

Really Dumb Homework
Here’s an algebra assignment for a twelve-year-old. Go online to find a car to buy. Explain why you selected this car. Now research insurance for the car. Get several quotes for a student driver, including one with no accidents, one with a traffic ticket, and one who had an accident. Now, figure out what your... Read more »

Concerns About Evanston High School’s New Therapeutic Special Education School

Concerns About Evanston High School’s New Therapeutic Special Education School
I was going through old photos when I made a sad discovery. In third and fourth grade, my granddaughter lost her smile. She also lost two years of her education because her school was unable to adapt materials and methods so she could learn. These were her final years in public school, as it was... Read more »
Advertisement:

Middle School: Still the Neglected Middle Child of Education

Middle School: Still the Neglected Middle Child of Education
They passed notes, threw spit balls, popped their gum, and seemed far more interested in their hair than in the hair-raising poem I was trying to teach them. It was 1967 and student teaching sixth grade English was my first encounter with middle school. Luckily for me, there was no such institution when I was... Read more »