Commentary on K-12 Parental Rights and legacy Governance; “we have the children”

Darlene Click: As the saying goes, you catch flack when you’re over target. Disney execs boast about secret queer agendas, teachers boast on social media how they will defy parents and, now, that bastion of inane Leftwing propaganda, Salon states parental rights are harming kids. Across the country, students are struggling to regain a sense of normalcy as they cope with the … Continue reading Commentary on K-12 Parental Rights and legacy Governance; “we have the children”

“We have the children”, redux

Under this bill, faculty and staff will be punished if they don’t comply with the preferred pronouns of students as early as kindergarten. However, they ARE permitted to hide a child’s gender dysmorphia from their own parents. pic.twitter.com/Jsw8IHmcvr — Justine Brooke Murray (@Justine_Brooke) August 10, 2021

From sleeping in separate beds to their children to transporting them in prams, Western parents have some unusual ideas about how to raise them.

Kelly Oakes: “Is he in his own room yet?” is a question new parents often field once they emerge from the haze of life with a newborn. But sleeping apart from our babies is a relatively recent development – and not one that extends around the globe. In other cultures sharing a room, and sometimes … Continue reading From sleeping in separate beds to their children to transporting them in prams, Western parents have some unusual ideas about how to raise them.

A thought-provoking experiment showed what happens when children don’t have the internet for a whole day

brightside Child psychologist Yekaterina Murashova describes an unusual experiment in her book showing what happened when a group of teenagers were deprived of access to the internet and modern technology for a single day. We think it’s well worth checking out — you can consider the implications for yourself. Children and teenagers aged between 12 … Continue reading A thought-provoking experiment showed what happens when children don’t have the internet for a whole day

Over my 25 years as a teacher turned university professor and administrator, I have watched countless numbers of students enter and leave college – most are well prepared to harness the realities of life after leaving the college cocoon while others are less well equipped. Freshmen arrive on college campuses with different levels of academic preparation; different aptitudes and proclivities; and different goals and agendas for their first substantial attempt at making it on their own. Parents, while you still have some modicum of influence over your children’s decision-making, please: Do all you can to ensure that they do not pursue fields of study that offer very few prospects for gainful employment after graduation. Even if your children decide during their college matriculation to apply to graduate school, they need to pursue undergraduate majors that will yield solid prospects for employment. Graduate school plans change, and you want to avoid their boomeranging back to your house. I have seen, for example, a scant few nursing, engineering, mathematics or science education, accounting, and finance majors without multiple job offers after graduation. I have seen tons of psychology, sociology, English (and I was one!), and political science majors end their university matriculation jobless. The goal must not be singularly focused on getting accepted into college; the goal is graduating from college prepared for the next stage of life. Therefore, post-graduation planning must start with the admissions process, not as an afterthought while sending out graduation invitations.

Dr Joyce Stallworth: Over my 25 years as a teacher turned university professor and administrator, I have watched countless numbers of students enter and leave college – most are well prepared to harness the realities of life after leaving the college cocoon while others are less well equipped. Freshmen arrive on college campuses with different … Continue reading Over my 25 years as a teacher turned university professor and administrator, I have watched countless numbers of students enter and leave college – most are well prepared to harness the realities of life after leaving the college cocoon while others are less well equipped. Freshmen arrive on college campuses with different levels of academic preparation; different aptitudes and proclivities; and different goals and agendas for their first substantial attempt at making it on their own. Parents, while you still have some modicum of influence over your children’s decision-making, please: Do all you can to ensure that they do not pursue fields of study that offer very few prospects for gainful employment after graduation. Even if your children decide during their college matriculation to apply to graduate school, they need to pursue undergraduate majors that will yield solid prospects for employment. Graduate school plans change, and you want to avoid their boomeranging back to your house. I have seen, for example, a scant few nursing, engineering, mathematics or science education, accounting, and finance majors without multiple job offers after graduation. I have seen tons of psychology, sociology, English (and I was one!), and political science majors end their university matriculation jobless. The goal must not be singularly focused on getting accepted into college; the goal is graduating from college prepared for the next stage of life. Therefore, post-graduation planning must start with the admissions process, not as an afterthought while sending out graduation invitations.

Give childhood back to children: if we want our offspring to have happy, productive and moral lives, we must allow more time for play, not less

Peter Gray:

I’m a research bio-psychologist with a PhD, so I’ve done lots of school. I’m a pretty good problem-solver, in my work and in the rest of my life, but that has little to do with the schooling I’ve had. I studied algebra, trig, calculus and various other maths in school, but I can’t recall ever facing a problem – even in my scientific research – that required those skills. What maths I’ve used was highly specialised and, as with most scientists, I learnt it on the job.
The real problems I’ve faced in life include physical ones (such as how to operate a newfangled machine at work or unblock the toilet at home), social ones (how to get that perfect woman to be interested in me), moral ones (whether to give a passing grade to a student, for effort, though he failed all the tests), and emotional ones (coping with grief when my first wife died or keeping my head when I fell through the ice while pond skating). Most problems in life cannot be solved with formulae or memorised answers of the type learnt in school. They require the judgement, wisdom and creative ability that come from life experiences. For children, those experiences are embedded in play.

So why haven’t we ensured that all children get a rigorous, supportive education? Fear Factor: Teaching Without Training

Lisa Hansel, via a kind reader’s email:

So why haven’t we ensured that all children get a rigorous, supportive education?
This is a question I ask myself and others all the time. I think it’s more productive than merely asking “How can we?” Those who ask how without also asking why haven’t tend to waste significant amounts of time and resources “discovering” things that some already knew.
Okay, so I’ve partly answer the why question right there. Much better answers can be found in Diane Ravitch’s Left Back: A Century of Failed School Reforms, E. D. Hirsch’s The Schools We Need and Why We Don’t Have Them, and Richard Hofstadter’s Anti-Intellectualism in American Life.
But still, those answers are not complete.
Right now, Kate Walsh and her team with the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) are adding to our collective wisdom–and potentially to our collective ability to act.
NCTQ is just a couple months away from releasing its review of teacher preparation programs. The results may not be shocking, but they are terrifying. Walsh provides a preview in the current issue of Education Next. In that preview, she reminds us of a study from several years ago that offers an insiders’ look at teacher preparation:

The most revealing insight into what teacher educators believe to be wrong or right about the field is a lengthy 2006 volume published by the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Studying Teacher Education. It contains contributions from 15 prominent deans and education professors and was intended to provide “balanced, thorough, and unapologetically honest descriptions of the state of research on particular topics in teacher education.” It lives up to that billing. First, the volume demonstrates the paucity of credible research that would support the current practices of traditional teacher education, across all of its many functions, including foundations courses, arts and sciences courses, field experiences, and pedagogical approaches, as well as how current practice prepares candidates to teach diverse populations and special education students. More intriguing, however, is the contributors’ examination of the dramatic evolution of the mission of teacher education over the last 50 years, in ways that have certainly been poorly understood by anyone outside the profession.
Studying Teacher Education explains the disconnect between what teacher educators believe is the right way to prepare a new teacher and the unhappy K-12 schools on the receiving end of that effort. It happens that the job of teacher educators is not to train the next generation of teachers but to prepare them.

Huh? Really? How exactly does one prepare without training? Walsh goes on to explain that. But the only way to prepare yourself to comprehend the teacher educators’ reasoning is to pretend like “prepare them” actually means “brainwash them into believing that in order to be a good teacher, you have to make everything up yourself.” Back to Walsh:

Harking back perhaps to teacher education’s 19th-century ecclesiastical origins, its mission has shifted away from the medical model of training doctors to professional formation. The function of teacher education is to launch the candidate on a lifelong path of learning, distinct from knowing, as actual knowledge is perceived as too fluid to be achievable. In the course of a teacher’s preparation, prejudices and errant assumptions must be confronted and expunged, with particular emphasis on those related to race, class, language, and culture. This improbable feat, not unlike the transformation of Pinocchio from puppet to real boy, is accomplished as candidates reveal their feelings and attitudes through abundant in-class dialogue and by keeping a journal. From these activities is born each teacher’s unique philosophy of teaching and learning.
There is also a strong social-justice component to teacher education, with teachers cast as “activists committed to diminishing the inequities of American society.” That vision of a teacher is seen by a considerable fraction of teacher educators (although not all) as more important than preparing a teacher to be an effective instructor.

Kate Walsh:

Nowhere is the chasm between the two visions of teacher education–training versus formation–clearer than in the demise of the traditional methods course. The public, and policymakers who require such courses in regulations governing teacher education, may assume that when a teacher takes a methods course, it is to learn the best methods for teaching certain subject matter. That view, we are told in the AERA volume, is for the most part an anachronism. The current view, state professors Renee T. Clift and Patricia Brady, is that “A methods course is seldom defined as a class that transmits information about methods of instruction and ends with a final exam. [They] are seen as complex sites in which instructors work simultaneously with prospective teachers on beliefs, teaching practices and creation of identities–their students’ and their own.”
The statement reveals just how far afield teacher education has traveled from its training purposes. It is hard not to suspect that the ambiguity in such language as the “creation of identities” is purposeful, because if a class fails to meet such objectives, no one would be the wiser.
The shift away from training to formation has had one immediate and indisputable outcome: the onus of a teacher’s training has shifted from the teacher educators to the teacher candidates. What remains of the teacher educator’s purpose is only to build the “capacity” of the candidate to be able to make seasoned professional judgments. Figuring out what actually to do falls entirely on the candidate.
Here is the guidance provided to student teachers at a large public university in New York:
In addition to establishing the norm for your level, you must, after determining your year-end goals, break down all that you will teach into manageable lessons. While so much of this is something you learn on the job, a great measure of it must be inside you, or you must be able to find it in a resource. This means that if you do not know the content of a grade level, or if you do not know how to prepare a lesson plan, or if you do not know how to do whatever is expected of you, it is your responsibility to find out how to do these things. Your university preparation is not intended to address every conceivable aspect of teaching.
Do not be surprised if your Cooperating Teacher is helpful but suggests you find out the “how to” on your own. Your Cooperating Teacher knows the value of owning your way into your teaching style.

Related: When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?.
Wisconsin has recently taken a first baby step toward teacher content knowledge requirements (something Massachusetts and Minnesota have done for years) via the adoption of MTEL-90. Much more on teacher content knowledge requirements, here.
Content knowledge requirements for teachers past & present.

Has Liz Truss tried looking after six toddlers? I have I scored myself six kids to test-drive the minister’s theory that adults should be allowed to look after more children

Zoe Williams:

The Conservative MP Liz Truss, like so many in public policy, has noticed that childcare is unaffordable – families in the UK spend nearly a third of their income on it; more than anyone else in the world.
Truss is unique, I think, in identifying the problem as over-regulation – specifically, she thinks the current adult-to-child ratios are too stringent. In her plan, one adult would be able to care for six two-year-olds (at the moment it’s four). This would force up wages (apparently), and professionalise the role of childcare – which process, incidentally, would be shored up by new requirements, including C grades in maths and English GCSEs.
Opinion gathered along party lines – rightwing thinktanks and blogs hailed this as Truss’s “moment”; lefties said she was barking. Ah, the smell of Napisan in the morning, I love it. But did anybody test-drive her theory for her, even in its planning stage? I do not think they did.

If Schools Were Like ‘American Idol’ . . . Unless we measure success by how children perform, we’ll have higher standards for pop stars than public schools.

Rupert Murdoch:

Over the past few years, I have often complained about a hidebound culture that prevents many newspapers from responding to the challenges of new technology. There is, however, another hidebound American institution that is also finding it difficult to respond to new challenges: our big-city schools.
Today, for example, the United States is home to more than 2,000 dysfunctional high schools. They represent less than 15% of American high schools yet account for about half of our dropouts. When you break this down, you find that these institutions produce 81% of all Native American dropouts, 73% of all African-American dropouts, and 66% of all Hispanic dropouts.
At our grade schools, two-thirds of all eighth-graders score below proficient in math and reading. The average African-American or Latino 9-year-old is three grades behind in these subjects. Behind the grim statistics is the real story: lost opportunities, crushed dreams, and shattered lives. In plain English, we trap the children who need an education most in failure factories.

Our School Board Needs a Budget: No Budget Yet We Have a Cut List that Harms Underprivileged Children’s Education and Divides Parent Groups

The inside, unsigned cover page of MMSD’s non-budget cut list that tells the public that the administration is protecting math and reading for young children. For $12,000+ per student, the administration will teach our kids to read and to do math – what happened to science and social studies? What happened to educating the whole … Continue reading Our School Board Needs a Budget: No Budget Yet We Have a Cut List that Harms Underprivileged Children’s Education and Divides Parent Groups

“What we know for certain is that schools have been lousy at teaching kids how to read”

Dale Chu: In the 1840s, Horace Mann, known as the “father of American education,” argued that children should be taught to read whole words instead of individual letters, which he described as “skeleton-shaped, bloodless, ghostly apparitions” that make children feel “death-like, when compelled to face them.” This malformed opinion morphed into the broader whole-language theory, … Continue reading “What we know for certain is that schools have been lousy at teaching kids how to read”

The anxious generation — what’s bothering Britain’s schoolchildren?

Lucy Kellaway: In less than two weeks, 250,000 18-year-olds in England will turn up at school for one last time to collect a piece of paper on which three letters of the alphabet will be printed. These grades will sum up their academic achievement so far, will affect the rest of their education — and … Continue reading The anxious generation — what’s bothering Britain’s schoolchildren?

“but the rate drops to 60 percent among Black children in this age range”

Perry Stein: D.C. students who are 12 and older must be vaccinated against the coronavirus to attend school this upcoming academic year. The youth vaccine mandate in D.C. is among the strictest in the nation, according to health experts, and is being enacted in a city with wide disparities in vaccination rates between its White … Continue reading “but the rate drops to 60 percent among Black children in this age range”

‘People are getting bad advice and we can’t say anything.’

Marty Makary: At the NIH, doctors and scientists complain to us about low morale and lower staffing: The NIH’s Vaccine Research Center has had many of its senior scientists leave over the last year, including the director, deputy director and chief medical officer. “They have no leadership right now. Suddenly there’s an enormous number of … Continue reading ‘People are getting bad advice and we can’t say anything.’

Association between School Mask Mandates and SARS-CoV-2 Student Infections:

Neeraj Sood, Shannon Heick, Josh Stevenson, Tracy Høeg; There is still considerable debate about whether mask mandates in the K-12 schools limit transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in children attending school. Randomized data about the effectiveness of mask mandates in children is still entirely lacking. Our study took advantage of a unique natural experiment of two adjacent … Continue reading Association between School Mask Mandates and SARS-CoV-2 Student Infections:

Civics: Police sweep Google searches to find suspects. The tactic is facing its first legal challenge.

John Schuppe: In documents filed Thursday in Denver District Court, lawyers for the 17-year-old argue that the police violated the Constitution when they got a judge to order Google to check its vast database of internet searches for users who typed in the address of a home before it was set ablaze on Aug. 5, … Continue reading Civics: Police sweep Google searches to find suspects. The tactic is facing its first legal challenge.

the masking of young children is “the most bizarre public health policy ever:”

Ian Miller: But a new study out provides some important new evidence with regards to the efficacy of mask mandates. The Study Design The study authors included several credentialed experts like Tracy Høeg and USC’s Neeraj Sood, along with one extremely qualified data analyst, Josh Stevenson.  You may know Josh from his fantastic work on Twitter as well as Substack, … Continue reading the masking of young children is “the most bizarre public health policy ever:”

We can’t solve problems if our children can’t read

Kaleem Caire: I have grave concern for our children in Dane County and Wisconsin. We face no greater long-term crisis in America than the widespread underperformance, diminishing motivation and poor preparation of children and young people in our nation’s K-12 schools, and the rapidly declining number of educators available to teach our children. Student performance … Continue reading We can’t solve problems if our children can’t read

Swedish study: open schools likely protected emotional well-being of middle school students

Anthony LaMesa: Findings highlight importance of “normalcy” for children A recently published journal article concluding Swedish primary school children suffered no learning loss drew international attention, but foreign observers of Sweden’s responsible decision to keep most schools open may have missed a journal article published in December 2021 with good news about the emotional well-being … Continue reading Swedish study: open schools likely protected emotional well-being of middle school students

Whether We Say It or Not, Our Culture Provides Cover for Groomers

Pedro Gonzalez: Last week, Hawaii high school teacher Alden Bunag was arrestedand made his initial court appearance on June 16. Among other things, he admitted to prosecutors that he made a sex video with a 13-year-old boy who was a former student and sent it to others, including another teacher in Philadelphia. This sordid case has … Continue reading Whether We Say It or Not, Our Culture Provides Cover for Groomers

Sweden’s open school policy: , “not a single child died, and teachers were not at elevated risk for severe COVID-19.”

Alex Gutentag: The collapse of educational pathways and structures has had a particularly brutal effect on the poorest students, who can least afford to have their schooling disrupted. High-poverty schools had the lowest levels of in-person instruction, causing low-income students to fall even further behind their more affluent peers. The entirely foreseeable ways in which bad COVID-19 … Continue reading Sweden’s open school policy: , “not a single child died, and teachers were not at elevated risk for severe COVID-19.”

362 School Counselors on the Pandemic’s Effect on Children: ‘Anxiety Is Filling Our Kids’

Claire Cain Miller and Bianca Pallaro American schoolchildren’s learning loss in the pandemic isn’t just in reading and math. It’s also in social and emotional skills — those needed to make and keep friends; participate in group projects; and cope with frustration and other emotions. In a survey of 362 school counselors nationwide by The New … Continue reading 362 School Counselors on the Pandemic’s Effect on Children: ‘Anxiety Is Filling Our Kids’

“We believe Pennsylvania has a lot to learn from Wisconsin’s example”

Charles Mitchell and Scott Walker: The goal of Act 10 was to remove unfair powers wielded by government union executives over state budgets, education policy, and politics. A recent study from the Commonwealth Foundation found that Act 10 saved Wisconsin taxpayers nearly $7 billion in 2018. Other analyses from a free-market think tank in Wisconsin suggested … Continue reading “We believe Pennsylvania has a lot to learn from Wisconsin’s example”

Minneapolis Teacher Strike Lasted 3 Weeks. The Fallout Will Be Felt for Years

Beth Hawkins: As four-fifths of the district’s federal COVID recovery funds are taken up by the new teacher contract and to keep educators on the payroll despite dramatic enrollment losses, Graff’s successor will have to find a bare-bones solution to dire learning losses.  In some populations, more than 90% of children are now behind, but … Continue reading Minneapolis Teacher Strike Lasted 3 Weeks. The Fallout Will Be Felt for Years

Mandates and closed schools: yet another experiment on our children

David Leonhardt Across much of the Northeast, Midwest and West Coast, school buildings stayed closed and classes remained online for months. These differences created a huge experiment, testing how well remote learning worked during the pandemic. Academic researchers have since been studying the subject, and they have come to a consistent conclusion: Remote learning was … Continue reading Mandates and closed schools: yet another experiment on our children

Madison’s literacy disaster, continued: reading recovery’s negative impact on children

Emily Hanford and Christopher Peak The new, federally funded study found that children who received Reading Recovery had scores on state reading tests in third and fourth grade that were below the test scores of similar children who did not receive Reading Recovery.  “It’s not what we expected, and it’s concerning,” said lead author Henry May, director … Continue reading Madison’s literacy disaster, continued: reading recovery’s negative impact on children

Is Our Children Learning Too Much?

Christopher Hooks: The problem is not what information kids get. That cat’s out of the bag. It’s how we strengthen kids’ ability to sort through and contextualize the avalanche of information—good, bad, and weird—that they’re getting, not only about sex but about history and politics and culture. Right now, the debate we’re having is whether schools should … Continue reading Is Our Children Learning Too Much?

Why Successful Children Don’t Innovate: an Evolutionary Perspective

Christopher Buckley The first point is that human children face a monumental learning task, which has resulted in the evolution of a much longer childhood than that exhibited by other animals. They must acquire and reproduce a very large amount of cultural information and skills related to language, human society (kin and non-kin relationships), subsistence activities (hunting, … Continue reading Why Successful Children Don’t Innovate: an Evolutionary Perspective

We’ve turned schools into battlefields, and our kids are the casualties.

George Packer: What is school for? This is the kind of foundational question that arises when a crisis shakes the public’s faith in an essential institution. “The original thinkers about public education were concerned almost to a point of paranoia about creating self-governing citizens,” Robert Pondiscio, a former fifth-grade teacher in the South Bronx and … Continue reading We’ve turned schools into battlefields, and our kids are the casualties.

The fallout from the pandemic is just being felt. “We’re in new territory,” educators say.

Dana Goldstein: The kindergarten crisis of last year, when millions of 5-year-olds spent months outside of classrooms, has become this year’s reading emergency. As the pandemic enters its third year, a cluster of new studies now show that about a third of children in the youngest grades are missing reading benchmarks, up significantly from before the pandemic. In Virginia, one study found that early … Continue reading The fallout from the pandemic is just being felt. “We’re in new territory,” educators say.

Parents are overcome by worry despite reassuring medical data that tell us children are very unlikely to be harmed by this virus

Martha Fulford, J. Edward Les and Pooya Kazemi This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.  Throughout North America, it is not uncommon to encounter parents who are absolutely terrified of their children contracting COVID. This is because many parents significantly overestimate the potential harms of COVID to their children. These parents … Continue reading Parents are overcome by worry despite reassuring medical data that tell us children are very unlikely to be harmed by this virus

An Open Call to Restore Normalcy for U.S. Children

Urgency of Normal: In much of the United States, adults have the option of returning to life essentially as we knew it in 2019. However, children continue to experience disproportionate restrictions, and the costs are mounting.  Youth depression, suspected suicide attempts, drug overdose deaths, and obesity have all risen dramatically during the pandemic. The unintended … Continue reading An Open Call to Restore Normalcy for U.S. Children

The Case Against Masks at School: Districts should rethink imposing on millions of children an intervention that provides little discernible benefit.

Margery Smelkinson, Leslie Bienen, and Jeanne Noble But in America about half of the country’s 53 million children remain compulsorily masked in school for the indefinite future. Sixteen U.S. states and the District of Columbia follow the CDC guidance closely and require masks for students of all ages, regardless of vaccination status; other states rely on a patchwork of policies, usually … Continue reading The Case Against Masks at School: Districts should rethink imposing on millions of children an intervention that provides little discernible benefit.

School closures have been made with politics in mind — not science

Corey DeAngelis and Christos Makridis: The long-term closing of schools, and the harm it did to children nationwide, was a decision based not on health, but on politics — thanks to teachers unions and the Democratic politicians they fund. A study by researchers at Michigan State University found that when governors left it up to districts whether to have in-person … Continue reading School closures have been made with politics in mind — not science

Children’s Rights Defined and Defended

C Bradley Thompson: The fundamental question of our time is: who is responsible for educating children, parents or the government? And only after we answer this question can we address two related questions: what should children learn and how should they learn it? The “who” determines the “what” and the “how.” But the “who” question is partly dependent on how we … Continue reading Children’s Rights Defined and Defended

School Closures Were a Catastrophic Error. Progressives Still Haven’t Reckoned With It.

Jonathan Chait: Within blue America, transparently irrational ideas like this were able to carry the day for a disturbingly long period of time. In recent days, Angie Schmitt and Rebecca Bodenheimer have both written essays recounting the disorienting and lonely experience they had watching their friends and putative political allies denounce them for supporting a return to in-person learning. … Continue reading School Closures Were a Catastrophic Error. Progressives Still Haven’t Reckoned With It.

The K-12 cartel is holding children hostage

Max Edén: History never quite repeats itself. But if we don’t learn from it, then it can quickly rhyme in hideous couplets. First, tragedy. Then, farce. Last year’s coronavirus school closures were an unspeakable tragedy for schoolchildren. After the first viral panic, these closures were not driven by the prevalence or danger of the disease, … Continue reading The K-12 cartel is holding children hostage

Forcing children to wear masks is dystopian, says Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson

Nicola Woolcock: Forcing pupils to wear masks in the classroom is dystopian and critics should not be smeared as Trumpian Covid-deniers, the children’s author Julia Donaldson has said. The creator of The Gruffalo said that she feared that the use of face coverings in schools was becoming normalised and was concerned that children’s education should … Continue reading Forcing children to wear masks is dystopian, says Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson

Teachers’ unions have ignored encouraging findings from other countries, such as research suggesting that teachers in schools that had opened faced no greater risk of severe sickness than other professionals.

The Economist: Over the past two years America’s children have missed more time in the classroom than those in most of the rich world. School closures that began there in early 2020 dragged on until the summer of 2021. During that time the districts that stayed closed longest forced all or some of their children … Continue reading Teachers’ unions have ignored encouraging findings from other countries, such as research suggesting that teachers in schools that had opened faced no greater risk of severe sickness than other professionals.

Did any of these people tell the truth back when it could have saved the generation that comprises the world’s future? Nope.

Joy Pullman: Americans are starting to feel the increasing collateral damage from our unprecedented, ineffective, and ill-advised Covid lockdowns. It was known before March 2020 that lockdowns would cause lifelong and avoidable damage to billions, yet the world’s ruling classes who claim to have earned their place atop a “meritocracy” strenuously demanded such damage be inflicted especially on children and … Continue reading Did any of these people tell the truth back when it could have saved the generation that comprises the world’s future? Nope.

Teacher Unions vs Parents and Children: political commentary

Dana Goldstein and Noam Scheiber: Few American cities have labor politics as fraught as Chicago’s, where the nation’s third-largest school system shut down this week after teachers’ union members refused to work in person, arguing that classrooms were unsafe amid the Omicron surge. But in a number of other places, the tenuous labor peace that … Continue reading Teacher Unions vs Parents and Children: political commentary

$5M in Grants to save Chicago Public School Children

STOP Award More than 340,000 Chicago Public School students have been forced to stay home by self-interests who dominate the Chicago Public School system. The failure of Chicago’s leadership to open school even after receiving more than $1.5 billion from the federal government in the past year to ensure they are always open safely to … Continue reading $5M in Grants to save Chicago Public School Children

Challenging ‘rule breakers’ – children will confront their peers, but how they do so varies across cultures

Amy King: From how we say ‘hello’ to the side of the road we drive on, all societies have norms – or ‘rules’ – that shape people’s everyday lives.  Now a new study – the first of its kind – has shown that children worldwide will challenge peers if they break the ‘rules’, but how … Continue reading Challenging ‘rule breakers’ – children will confront their peers, but how they do so varies across cultures

“Why all of a sudden are we teaching our 5-year-olds to be divided by color?” she said. “They don’t care what color your skin is until you tell them that that 5-year-old’s grandpa was mean 200 years ago.”

Sabrina Tavernise: Demographics are changing too. Growing numbers of Hispanic people and Asian people from the Marshall Islands call Enid home. The county of Garfield, in which Enid is the seat, was 94 percent white in 1980. Last year, that figure was about 68 percent. The county experienced one of the largest increases in racial … Continue reading “Why all of a sudden are we teaching our 5-year-olds to be divided by color?” she said. “They don’t care what color your skin is until you tell them that that 5-year-old’s grandpa was mean 200 years ago.”

Mandates, adult employment and children’s mental health

School closings and “remote learning” have caused a massive mental health crisis among teenagers. This, and the disruption to their intellectual development, will be enduring and severe.https://t.co/Q3mtWJ9MnR pic.twitter.com/ONrnYIWBPI — Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 26, 2021 I think about whenever I (frequently) see children running around outside, masked. Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public … Continue reading Mandates, adult employment and children’s mental health

The CDC’s Flawed Case for Wearing Masks in School

David Zweig: The debate over child masking in schools boiled over again this fall, even above its ongoing high simmer. The approval in late October of COVID-19 vaccines for 5-to-11-year-olds was for many public-health experts an indication that mask mandates could finally be lifted. Yet with cases on the rise in much of the country, along with anxiety regarding the Omicron … Continue reading The CDC’s Flawed Case for Wearing Masks in School

We’ve Been Teaching Reading Wrong for Decades. How a Massachusetts School’s Switch to Evidence-Based Instruction Changed Everything

VICTORIA THOMPSON, ELIZABETH WOLFSON, AND MANDY HOLLISTER: “Teaching reading is rocket science,” Louisa Moats is well known for saying. It is something we frequently referenced during our guided reading professional development for teachers. Sadly, until we started on our Science of Reading journey two-plus years ago, we had no idea how bereft our instruction was of the … Continue reading We’ve Been Teaching Reading Wrong for Decades. How a Massachusetts School’s Switch to Evidence-Based Instruction Changed Everything

Controlling the narrative: Parental choice, Black empowerment and lessons from Florida

Denisha Merriweather, Dava Hankerson, Nathaniel Cunneen and Ron Matus: The shift to an increasingly choice-driven education landscape for Black students in Florida has been driven by Black parents, who have enrolled their children in choice programs in growing numbers and made it so they cannot be ignored politically. “Options make it so that I can … Continue reading Controlling the narrative: Parental choice, Black empowerment and lessons from Florida

Next Step for the Parents’ Movement: Curriculum Transparency
Parents have a right to know what’s being taught to their children.

James R. Copland John Ketcham Christopher F. Rufo: In 2021, public school parents vaulted to the forefront of America’s fractured political landscape. Around the country, parents objected both to Covid-related school closures and to racially divisive curricula. Parental frustration helped secure sweeping GOP wins last month in Virginia, highlighted by Glenn Youngkin’s victory over former … Continue reading Next Step for the Parents’ Movement: Curriculum Transparency
Parents have a right to know what’s being taught to their children.

We Opened the Schools and … It Was Fine: Many parents feared the worst, but so far, no widespread COVID crisis has come to America’s classrooms.

Schools aren’t the problem. They never have been. One of the frustrating things about the pandemic has been our inability, even at this late date, to understand why surges occur. They hit communities with mask mandates, and communities without. Last year, we believed that the surge from October through February was caused by seasonal changes. … Continue reading We Opened the Schools and … It Was Fine: Many parents feared the worst, but so far, no widespread COVID crisis has come to America’s classrooms.

K-12 Governance Climate: Politicians Have Earned Your Distrust

Andy Kessler California government becomes less trustworthy by the minute. It lifted most Covid restrictions in June based on 70% of adult Californians receiving at least one vaccine dose, meaning you could go maskless in Trader Joe’s. By August, however, health officials, blaming the Delta variant, reimposed mask mandates in California’s big cities. Then in … Continue reading K-12 Governance Climate: Politicians Have Earned Your Distrust

The COVID Crisis Cracked Our Education System. A New Reform Coalition Must Come Together to Fix It in the Interest of Children

Robin Lake: What happened during the past 20 months should have been entirely predictable for anyone who was advocating for students and families before the pandemic struck. A rigid system designed for sameness cracked under the pressure of a crisis. Despite the exhaustive work of many well-meaning people, schools and school systems were largely unable … Continue reading The COVID Crisis Cracked Our Education System. A New Reform Coalition Must Come Together to Fix It in the Interest of Children

“You will be retaliated against. Embrace dissent…Get a good rest because tomorrow, you all have work to do.”

Joe Setyon: Rhode Island mom Nicole Solas found this out the hard way. When Solas emailed the principal of her daughter’s public school earlier this year, asking for the kindergarten curriculum, she was stonewalled. Then, she got hit with a bill from the school district for $74,000. Solas, who the Goldwater Institute is defending in … Continue reading “You will be retaliated against. Embrace dissent…Get a good rest because tomorrow, you all have work to do.”

Proposed guidelines in California would de-emphasize calculus, reject the idea that some children are naturally gifted and build a connection to social justice. Critics say math shouldn’t be political.

Jacey Fortin: If everything had gone according to plan, California would have approved new guidelines this month for math education in public schools. But ever since a draft was opened for public comment in February, the recommendations have set off a fierce debate over not only how to teach math, but also how to solve … Continue reading Proposed guidelines in California would de-emphasize calculus, reject the idea that some children are naturally gifted and build a connection to social justice. Critics say math shouldn’t be political.

“Our children are going to get a good education”

Oh my God she’s amazing. No wonder the Media Party ignored her. pic.twitter.com/DHpDLv38Mb — Ezra Levant 🍁 (@ezralevant) November 3, 2021 about 5:30: Our children are going to get a good education, because education lifted my father out of poverty, education lifted me out of poverty, education will lift us all out of poverty. We … Continue reading “Our children are going to get a good education”

Contemplation: If You Attended College, Thank a Jesus Follower

Hillfaith: This will undoubtedly come as a shock to a lot of folks reading this post, but an examination at the history of college and university education reveals that Christianity played the key role in the history and development of higher education in the Western world, according to J. Warner Wallace in his latest book, … Continue reading Contemplation: If You Attended College, Thank a Jesus Follower

We Shouldn’t Let the Education Crisis Go to Waste

James Hankins: In 2020 the American educational system was attacked by two viruses: Covid-19 and an unusually virulent strain of hyper-progressive ideology. Many parents and educators have been shocked and disoriented to find that institutions they trusted appear to have been taken over by zombie Marxists, filled with self-righteous anger. Unless they are from “URMs” … Continue reading We Shouldn’t Let the Education Crisis Go to Waste

Critical race theory and Covid restrictions have turned education into a wedge issue for voters.

Jason Riley: During a recent appearance on “The View,” former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice weighed in on the national debate over teaching racial propaganda to schoolchildren. In the process, she made a broader point about the mindset of a previous generation of black people when it came to dealing with racial adversity. “My parents … Continue reading Critical race theory and Covid restrictions have turned education into a wedge issue for voters.

I have been through this before

Ann Bauer: Since Bettelheim took his life, the Orthogenic School has undergone major changes. Their own Family Handbook makes glancing reference to Bettelheim’s “highly controversial” theories and credits him (briefly) for drawing attention to the problem of autism. In 2014, the school moved from the somber brick buildings where it had been housed for almost 100 years … Continue reading I have been through this before

Black Children Were Jailed for a Crime That Doesn’t Exist. Almost Nothing Happened to the Adults in Charge.

Maribah Knight & Ken Armstrong: The police were at Hobgood because of that video. But they hadn’t come for the boys who threw punches. They were here for the children who looked on. The police in Murfreesboro, a fast-growing city about 30 miles southeast of Nashville, had secured juvenile petitions for 10 children in all … Continue reading Black Children Were Jailed for a Crime That Doesn’t Exist. Almost Nothing Happened to the Adults in Charge.

How Baylor Steered Lower-Income Parents to Debt They Couldn’t Afford

Tawnell D. Hobbs and Andrea Fuller: Some of the wealthiest U.S. colleges are steering parents into no-limit federal loans to cover rising tuition, leaving many poor and middle-class families with debt they can’t repay. Parents at Baylor University had the worst repayment rate for a type of federal loan called Parent Plus among private schools … Continue reading How Baylor Steered Lower-Income Parents to Debt They Couldn’t Afford

Amherst College Drops Admissions Advantage for Children of Alumni

Melissa Korn: Amherst College is abandoning its policy of giving preference to applicants whose parents attended the Massachusetts liberal-arts school, placing it among the first elite private colleges to ditch legacy admissions. Selective schools like Amherst have been under intense scrutiny in recent years for putting a thumb on the scale for legacy applicants, with … Continue reading Amherst College Drops Admissions Advantage for Children of Alumni

AAP, AACAP, CHA declare national emergency in children’s mental health

AAP: The AAP, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and Children’s Hospital Association have declared a national emergency in children’s mental health, citing the serious toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on top of existing challenges. They are urging policymakers to take action swiftly to address the crisis. “Young people have endured so much throughout … Continue reading AAP, AACAP, CHA declare national emergency in children’s mental health

A Research-Based Explanation of How Children Learn to Read Words

Stephen Parker: Sight Words Ehri distinguishes 4 ways to read words:“The first three ways help us read unfamiliar words. The fourth way explains how we read words we have read before. One way is by decoding, also called phonological recoding. We can either sound out and blend graphemes into phonemes, or we can work with … Continue reading A Research-Based Explanation of How Children Learn to Read Words

Does state pre-K improve children’s achievement?

Grover J. “Russ” Whitehurst: There is a strong and politically bipartisan push to increase access to government-funded pre-K. This is based on a premise that free and available pre-K is the surest way to provide the opportunity for all children to succeed in school and life, and that it has predictable and cost-effective positive impacts … Continue reading Does state pre-K improve children’s achievement?

America is substantially reducing poverty among children

The Economist: It seemed like a blustery overpromise when President Joe Biden pledged in July to oversee “the largest ever one-year decrease in child poverty in the history of the United States”. By the end of the year, however, he will probably turn out to have been correct. Recent modelling by scholars at Columbia University … Continue reading America is substantially reducing poverty among children

Opinion: I’m a doctor. Here’s why we should avoid COVID-19 mandates of any kind.

Garrick Stride: I am an emergency physician and father of three young children. Last month, public health authorities suddenly imposed a two-week at-home quarantine order on two dozen kids from my son’s preschool class due to a COVID-19 exposure. Like all parents of those kids, I lost over $800 in unreimbursed preschool tuition and was … Continue reading Opinion: I’m a doctor. Here’s why we should avoid COVID-19 mandates of any kind.

A new study suggests that almost half of those hospitalized with COVID-19 have mild or asymptomatic cases.

David Zweig: At least 12,000 Americans have already died from COVID-19 this month, as the country inches through its latest surge in cases. But another worrying statistic is often cited to depict the dangers of this moment: The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the United States right now is as high as it has been since the beginning of February. It’s even … Continue reading A new study suggests that almost half of those hospitalized with COVID-19 have mild or asymptomatic cases.

“the governor’s appointees are lowering educational standards for all children”

Michael Shellenbergersschsh Rather than address racial disparities the governor’s appointees are lowering educational standards for all children. Most nations, including developing ones like Zimbabwe, require students to have three or more years of algebra, and require students seeking science and technology careers to have five. But the governor’s appointees on the State Board of Education’s … Continue reading “the governor’s appointees are lowering educational standards for all children”

“the governor’s appointees are lowering educational standards for all children”

Michael Shellenberger: Rather than address racial disparities the governor’s appointees are lowering educational standards for all children. Most nations, including developing ones like Zimbabwe, require students to have three or more years of algebra, and require students seeking science and technology careers to have five. But the governor’s appointees on the State Board of Education’s … Continue reading “the governor’s appointees are lowering educational standards for all children”

It is likely that no more powerful tool for surveillance authoritarianism has ever been conceived by humans.

Max Hodak: The last 30 years have been an unprecedented time of peace and prosperity for much of the world. It’s easy to miss just how anomalous this is historically. There is absolutely no guarantee that the future will be so bright, and on the contrary, there are now many plausible scenarios in which we … Continue reading It is likely that no more powerful tool for surveillance authoritarianism has ever been conceived by humans.

Hong Kong police arrest speech therapists over children’s books with China depicted as a wolf

DiDi Tang: The gesture of defiance came after a crackdown on dissent and free speech in the territory under Beijing’s new security law. Hong Kong’s protest movement has been shut down by the threat of jail and independent media outlets have been hounded into closure. The suspects, two men and three women aged between 25 … Continue reading Hong Kong police arrest speech therapists over children’s books with China depicted as a wolf

Some children have found a devious method to get out of school – using cola to create false positive Covid tests. How does it work?

Mark Lorch: Children are always going to find cunning ways to bunk off school, and the latest trick is to fake a positive Covid-19 lateral flow test (LFT) using soft drinks. [Videos of the trick have been circulating on TikTok since December and a school in Liverpool, UK, recently wrote to parents to warn them about it.] … Continue reading Some children have found a devious method to get out of school – using cola to create false positive Covid tests. How does it work?

Finding Children with Dyslexia in a Sea of Struggling Readers: The Struggles are Real

Tim Odegard As a result, a push to transform reading instruction is underway in classrooms across the nation. A transformation motivated by an honest acknowledgment of reality – most children in the United States struggle to read. These struggles are not the exception reserved for the minority of kids with a disability – such as … Continue reading Finding Children with Dyslexia in a Sea of Struggling Readers: The Struggles are Real

A parent’s account of how the relatively well-staffed education team at the Seattle Times failed to hold the school district accountable.

Alexandra Olins: On March 11, 2020, a few months after the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the United States, Seattle Public Schools (SPS) was the first large school district in the country to close. First, we were told there would be no school during the closure because the district couldn’t distribute laptops to everyone — despite … Continue reading A parent’s account of how the relatively well-staffed education team at the Seattle Times failed to hold the school district accountable.

WILL Demands Elmbrook Schools Remove Sexually Explicit Books Accessible to Children

Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty: The News: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) issued a demand letter, on behalf of a group of concerned parents, to Elmbrook Schools urging immediate action to remove sexually explicit materials available through the district’s online library that violate state law and parents’ constitutional rights. At least … Continue reading WILL Demands Elmbrook Schools Remove Sexually Explicit Books Accessible to Children

“There have been huge success’s in putting ‘butts in seats’. Unfortunately, this has not, by and large, been accompanied by increases in the levels of education.”

Lant Pritchett in conversation with Ann Bernstein: Ann Bernstein: Let’s move to education now. You’ve made a controversial statement, which forms part of the title of your book, that ‘schooling ain’t learning’. And more recently, you’ve followed that up with ‘spending ain’t investment’. What do you mean by these phrases and why are they so … Continue reading “There have been huge success’s in putting ‘butts in seats’. Unfortunately, this has not, by and large, been accompanied by increases in the levels of education.”

Closing the world’s schools caused children great harm; Governments are going shockingly little to help

The Economist: The immense harm this has done to children’s prospects might be justified if closing classrooms were one of the best ways of preventing lethal infections among adults. But few governments have weighed the costs and risks carefully. Many have kept schools shut even as bars and restaurants open, either to appease teachers’ unions, … Continue reading Closing the world’s schools caused children great harm; Governments are going shockingly little to help

The pandemic has been a catastrophe for school children. But it could inspire reforms to make schools more efficient

The Economist: n the first three months of the pandemic Shawnie Bennett, a single mother from Oakland in California, lost her job and her brother, who died of covid-19. Grief made the trials of lockdown more difficult—including that of helping her eight-year-old daughter, Xa’viar, continue her schooling online. In November Ms Bennett signed her daughter … Continue reading The pandemic has been a catastrophe for school children. But it could inspire reforms to make schools more efficient

Millions of children worldwide have been forced into poverty, with devastating effects

Collateral Global: The COVID-19 pandemic and restrictive mitigation policies have forced millions of children worldwide into poverty, with devastating effects on their access to education, nutrition, shelter, sanitation, and overall likelihood of survival. Before the pandemic, children were already disproportionately affected by poverty. Despite comprising only 1/3 of the world’s population, over half of those … Continue reading Millions of children worldwide have been forced into poverty, with devastating effects

Remains of 215 children found at former residential school in British Columbia

The Canadian Press: The remains of 215 children have been found buried on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C. Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation said in a news release Thursday that the remains were confirmed last weekend with the help of a ground-penetrating radar specialist. Casimir … Continue reading Remains of 215 children found at former residential school in British Columbia

“Our children are experiencing unprecedented levels of pediatric mental health issues,”

Carina Julig: He teared up while discussing a conversation he had with the father of a high school boy who had attempted suicide. “Our kids have run out of resilience,” he said. “Their tank is empty.” Chief nursing officer Pat Givens said that the hospital system does not have enough capacity for the number of … Continue reading “Our children are experiencing unprecedented levels of pediatric mental health issues,”

China’s ageing population is the least of concerns for young people who can barely afford to make ends meet, much less have children

He Huifeng: China’s young people are not surprised that their homeland has one of the world’s lowest fertility rates. In fact, most seem to empathise with the growing reluctance to have kids in China. Many believe that there is a general consensus among China’s millennials and Generation Z that having children will impose a strong … Continue reading China’s ageing population is the least of concerns for young people who can barely afford to make ends meet, much less have children

Doctor says there’s no legitimate medical reason to mask children

Patrick Richardson: One Kansas City-area mom had to fight tooth and nail to get a mask exemption for her children, despite having paperwork showing disturbing changes in their vital signs after just one minute of putting on a mask. USD 229 Blue Valley officials rejected the results on a technicality, but a doctor says the … Continue reading Doctor says there’s no legitimate medical reason to mask children

Facebook allows advertisers to target children interested in smoking, alcohol and weight loss

Josh Taylor: Facebook is allowing businesses to advertise to children as young as 13 who express an interest in smoking, extreme weight loss and gambling for as little as $3, research by the lobby group Reset Australia has found. The organisation, which is critical of digital platforms, set up a Facebook page and advertising account … Continue reading Facebook allows advertisers to target children interested in smoking, alcohol and weight loss

Children of Chernobyl cleanup crew don’t have excess mutations

John Timmer: The study did genome sequencing for both those exposed and their children, which allowed the researchers to detect how many new mutations had been inherited from those exposed. A number of new mutations appear with each generation, so the team was looking at a higher rate than found in controls born after the … Continue reading Children of Chernobyl cleanup crew don’t have excess mutations

“No matter what, we have a bold vision for every kid for every kid to succeed in Madison”

Robert Chappell : Muldrow and Castro both said the moment reflects a new commitment in the school district. “Our community is coming together to prioritize Black children and to reconcile a history in which black children have been harmed by this district and this community and this country, and then denied education effectively,” she said. … Continue reading “No matter what, we have a bold vision for every kid for every kid to succeed in Madison”

In the early 20th century, a pioneering partnership between a Black educator and a white businessman brought new opportunity to the American South.

Andrew Feiler: The building, now a community center, is a surviving testament of one of the most dramatic and effective philanthropic initiatives the U.S. has ever seen. From 1912 to 1937, a collaboration between Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Institute built 4,978 schools for Black children across 15 Southern and border states. … Continue reading In the early 20th century, a pioneering partnership between a Black educator and a white businessman brought new opportunity to the American South.