Tag: common core

Why Parents Need a New Kind of Kindergarten Tea

I have given many talks to parents of children about to enter kindergarten, but the one I am giving on Wednesday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Creative Coworking, 922 Davis in Evanston will definitely be different. I have promised to talk about Everything You Wanted to Know About Kindergarten (but were afraid to ask). Part... 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 »

Common Core Testing for Dogs and Cats

I’m not making this up. In the print version of Scientifics Direct, a very nice catalog of science-related activities for kids, it describes kits for creating interactive pet toys as being “like common core testing.” Among the things these kits claim they can do is teaching obedience commands and training both dogs and cats to... Read more »

PARCC – A Test No One Wants to Give but Everyone has to Take

Suppose a new children’s cereal came on the market. Its manufacturer claims it is great for kids. It will make them smarter and more prepared for college and career. The cereal has no label of ingredients and the has never been tested to see if its safe. You only have the manufacturer’s claim that it’s... Read more »

How Student Essay Writing has Changed Since 1969

Yes, you read that correctly. 45 years ago, I was teaching high school English at Niles East High School in Skokie, Illinois. In case you are wondering, I snagged that job right out of college. Nevertheless, if you do the math, you know you are reading the opinion of a former English teacher of a... Read more »

Soon There Will be no More Cursive Writers to Buy Fountain Pens

I have a cousin who makes fountain pens with inkwells. When I asked his sister why, she explained that they were beautiful, collectible, and made letter writing fun. And he loved creating a unique thing of beauty. My first association to pens and cursive writing was the fountain pen with a turquoise ink cartridge I... Read more »

Reading Incomprehension – Common Core Standards in Action

You would think a former teacher and English major with a master’s degree in early childhood education could help her 7-year-old granddaughter do her first grade reading homework packet. Think again. Last week I spent a few days taking care of my grandkids in Indiana and was really stumped by a first grade assignment. My... Read more »

Why I am Mad at Arne Duncan Today

Today, on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, I am sad enough and angry enough to tell Arne Duncan why I am so mad. Those of us old enough to remember are sharing where we were that fateful day. Physically, I can see it so clearly.  I was a freshman at the... Read more »