Category: education

Starting School: My Earliest School Memories Were Not So Happy

Do you remember the cloak room or folding your piece of paper into eight sections? If yes, maybe you started school in the fifties like I did. That was an era when parents were more ghosts than helicopters and when The Teacher’s word was respected and feared. We sat in neat rows with lots of... Read more »

Citizens Should be Literate, Not Poorly Educated

In my home town of Detroit, children do not have the right to be taught to read. Judge Stephen Murphy recently ruled in Gary B. v. Snyder that the Constitution does not guarantee kids have the right to become literate when they attend school. While the judge agreed that, “When a child who could be taught to... Read more »

Evanston Technology Decision Leaves Some Kids Behind

This is an educational tale of two tweens. My granddaughters are six months apart in age and separated by one grade level. The one who lives in Indiana uses a tablet at school, has been taught word processing, keyboarding, how to edit her writing, a bit of excel, and how to organize her homework on... Read more »

Time to Try a Different Way to Teach Reading

The only volunteer job I ever quit was being a reading fluency tutor shortly after I retired. The job was simple enough. I took fourth grade students whose reading skills were deemed below grade level, one at a time, to a quiet area in the hallway and asked them to read a passage three times.... Read more »

Schools Need Custodians Who Care, Not Outsourced Companies that Don't

Gus Lira has been Cherry Preschool’s custodian for most of its 25-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 »

In Honor of National Grammar Day: It’s Between You and Me…Not I

March 4 was National Grammar Day, so this is a belated rant about one of my pet peeves: the misuse of I when it should be me. Reading my morning paper last week (that should give you a clue as to my age), I came upon this Corey Lewandowski quote in an article about Hope... Read more »

Park School Needs a Playground its Students with Disabilities Can Use

They are so close to their goal…make a donation today The school playground is usually empty. The swing frame holds no swings. The wooden climbing structure is decaying, faded and cracked with age. The wood chip surface is thin and unusable for children whose wheelchairs can’t be pushed across it. When the Penny Park, a... Read more »

Special Education for Evanston High School Students: If You Build it, Should They Come?

Many Evanstonians were outraged by a highly insensitive comment by Alderman Ann Rainey about creating a new special education program for high school students. At a zoning committee meeting, Evanston Township High School (ETHS) officials requested a special permit to build a therapeutic day school in an area zoned for commercial use only. After an... Read more »

Frances Perkins: A Woke Woman You Should Know

The continuing education class I am taking at Northwestern University is called Notable Achievement: Focus on Women, and yet ironically only three of the nine lecturers are women. Nevertheless, let’s persist because in a lecture by Robert Coen, I learned about the life of Frances Perkins, FDR’s Secretary of Labor for all twelve years of his... Read more »

School Lunch and Recess Woes

Evanston, Illinois supports its public schools. Last spring, we even voted for a referendum to raise our property taxes so our school children would receive good educations. Is it unreasonable to expect our school district to make changes to how lunch and recess are managed so those children we treasure can be joyful, healthy, and... Read more »