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Private vs. Public: The Great Debate

Private vs. Public: The Great DebateParents have more choices in schools now than ever before. And choosing one for your child can be intimidating. But a new report out from the U. S. Department of Education shows that there’s not as big a difference between public and private school performance as many believe – at least when it comes to reading and math.

The study, “Comparing Private Schools and Public Schools (more…)

Breaking Out of the Classroom: Creative Ways to Learn a Language

Breaking Out of the Classroom: Creative Ways to Learn a LanguageDoes learning a language solely require you sitting in a classroom doing vocabulary drills for hours? Colleges may like you to think so, but the answer is no. There are many creative ways to pick up another tongue without having to sit in a classroom at all. Here are some alternate methods of learning a language and a few myths about learning a new language.

Immerse Yourself

Travel (more…)

AIMSweb Assessment Issues in an Urban / Suburban School District in Northeastern Kansas

AIMSweb Assessment Issues in an Urban / Suburban School District in Northeastern KansasAny time you begin a new assessment system, there will be “growing pains”. In the district I teach in we had our share, but by the end of the second AIMSweb assessment session (Winter, 2012), we felt like we had a pretty good handle on it for the next session (Spring, 2012). Following, I will discuss some of the issues we had and the solutions – or attempted solutions – we implemented.

First (more…)

Seasons Change

Seasons ChangeOne key argument has been raised against the movement for school choice: that schools of choice, whether created through charter alternatives or through voucher programs, will undermine the common culture. One central aim of the public schools, once called the common schools, is indeed to create a common culture, a common loyalty, a coherent nation. It is understandable that many feel this aim would (more…)

Student Loan Reform: What it Means

Student Loan Reform: What it MeansAmid news coverage and commentary on the passing of the health care reform bill, it was all too easy to miss. But an important overhaul to the way student loans are administered was approved by the Senate and Congress as part of its passage of the health care legislation, spelling major reforms for the student loan industry.

If you’re still writing (more…)

Courtroom Alchemy

Courtroom AlchemyBeginning in the late 1960s, and accelerating unabated through to the present, plaintiffs have filed more than 125 court cases questioning the constitutionality of school district and school spending levels. In 2005 alone, high-court decisions were handed down in eight states, including Kansas and Texas, with a decision rendered in South Carolina that has national (more…)

Just Back: Yvette Uy Tan

Just Back: Yvette Uy Tan“It’s always good to go home,” says Yvette Uy Tan, who returned to her native Philippines to work on the Education Quality and Access for Learning and Livelihood Skills Project (EQuALLS2), a USAID-funded initiative in the southern island of Mindanao, home to a large Muslim population.

“I grew up during an interesting time in Philippine history. The People (more…)

Online Learning Is On the Upswing—In the Public Mind At Least

Online Learning Is On the Upswing—In the Public Mind At LeastOf all the innovations and policy reform proposals in education, it is online learning that is gathering public support most rapidly. In just one year—from 2009 to 2010—the percentage of Americans who think that high school students should be given credit for courses taken online has jumped from 42 percent to 52 percent. Opposition has dropped from 29 percent to 23 percent, with the balance taking (more…)

Learning on the Go: Games for the Grocery Store

Learning on the Go: Games for the Grocery StoreMilk’s all gone, bananas are reeking, and that fat bread loaf is down to crumbs. It’s time to drag the kids to the grocery store, and you can already hear them whining. Isn’t there some way to make this more fun?

Well, if you’ve got an emerging reader, you may be in luck. In addition to stocking more food than you can shake a stick at, grocery stores also happen (more…)