Thinking of holiday gifts? Cross "Hello Barbie" off your list.
The Washington State Budget &Policy Center has a very good article on poverty and children in Washington State. What is compelling about their argument is that it's a "two-generation approach." Meaning, you need to help parents at the same time you help kids. You will often hear ed reformers say all it takes is a good teacher but that's pretty much nonsense when you talk about poverty. It's not that poor kids can't learn (another argument ed reformers love to use if you try to talk to them about issues of poverty and public education) - it's that the effects of poverty are so dire on learning.
Generally, I'm not so much a fan of NY Times writer, David Brooks, but this was a good piece on building school communities.
Researchers at the Harvard Graduate School of Education asked 10,000 middle and high school students if their parents cared more about their personal achievement or whether they were kind. Eighty percent said their parents cared more about achievement — individual over the group.
But there are some schools that nurture achievement precisely by building tight communities.
From the Eastside Education Network, an article about the crowding in Lake Washington School District that will ring familiar to many SPS parents. There are some interesting ideas for what they might do to alleviate this issue in the article. Like:
The District should move preschools from elementary schools and consolidate them in other facilities to free up classroom space.
If you think SPS has now done the best it could for sleep-deprived teens, there's a headmaster in Great Britain with another idea - "no mornings" for teens.
What's on your mind?