NBCDFW.com is reporting that a second-grade teacher at J.O. Davis Elementary in Irving, Texas, had a system in which her students were awarded extra bathroom breaks for good behavior, Yahoo! News reports. The system is causing a controversy because of an “accident.” According to NBCDFW.com, the teacher, who is in her first year, would award her students something called “Boyd Bucks” for good behavior which could be redeemed for privileges such as extra bathroom breaks beyond the three allowed during the school day. The system was meant to provide some positive reinforcement to instill discipline in the classroom. The system went sideways, according to the NBCDFW.com story, when one of her charges, an honor roll student, had an overwhelming call of nature and a lack of Boyd Bucks, suffered an “accident” when he was denied a bathroom break by his teacher. This led to the student’s humiliation and a very angry mother……Read More
The U.S. Department of Education has $400 million in grant funds available to what will be 20 or so finalists from around the nation to improve education in innovative and ambitious ways. Neither Oklahoma nor West Virginia will be seeing any of those grant dollars, says Yahoo! News. Race to the Top grants first became available in 2009, through an initiative spearheaded by President Obama to improve academic standards throughout the country. A total of $4.35 billion of federal government funds were allocated for this program. In his speech announcing the new program, Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan emphasized that states applying for grant funds will need to show plans to meet four core, interconnected educational reforms……Read More
Whether you’re buying, gifting, or expecting an eReader this holiday season, the market’s changed a lot from last year and the year before that. Here’s a complete buyer’s guide, starting with the basics and working through the latest trends, says Yahoo! News. Kindle, Nook, or … ? What exactly an “eReader” is, to you, might depend on where you first saw them. Barnes and Noble is pushing its Nook line pretty hard through its retail stores, while the Kindle takes over the front page of Amazon.com every time a new model comes out. There are other eReader devices, though. Kobo sells a line of basic but dependable black-and-white eReaders, which have tons of fans of their own, and a color version’s on its way. Other companies, like Sony, have their own lines; and there are eReader apps for PCs, smartphones, and tablets, which tie into your Kindle, Nook or Kobo device and can even save your place in a book……Read More
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has unveiled a plan that would emphasize the arts in the city in a new way, Yahoo! News reports. The arts would become a “core subject” in Chicago Public Schools and classes in drama, dance, visual art, and music would be offered at every grade level. In addition, the plan outlines having at least one teacher qualified to teach these subjects at each school. Here are some facts and details about the plan, including what it would mean for the city and CPS students……Read More
During my years as a teacher, I witnessed more harm than good as a result of the stranglehold my union had on the district where I worked. This is why I became a supporter of Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisc.). Most of my former colleagues cringe at the mention of Walker’s name, but I admire him for taking a stand against public sector unions, says Kristie Farnham for Yahoo! News. First of all, unions protect incompetent teachers. Under the protection of a union, it is nearly impossible for teachers to be fired simply because they aren’t very good at doing what they’re paid to do. I’ve also seen ineffective teachers keep their jobs while highly effective teachers with less seniority have been laid off. Under union guidelines, if cuts need to be made, it isn’t the lowest performing teachers who lose their positions; instead, it’s the ones with the least amount of seniority……Read More
Fall in high school means one thing perhaps more than others: football. And with football comes the ritual homecoming king and queen selections. In Linden, Michigan, a small rural community located between Flint, Michigan, and Detroit, it’s no different, Yahoo! News reports. Linden is just an average small town, but in quality of life and paying it forward, it’s a world leader, particularly at the local high school. Students at Linden High School elected a special needs boy, Danny Leideker, as their homecoming king……Read More
Families and students throughout Pennsylvania got their first glimpse of the news list of failing schools in the Keystone State, Yahoo! News reports. The Pennsylvania Department of Education published the list of the bottom 15 percent of schools based on combined scores in reading and math from the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) test. This year’s list is significant because an additional $50 million will be available to students that reside in a failing school’s geographical boundary for a scholarship to another public school or a private school, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Where are the majority of the failing schools and how many are on the list? This year’s list includes 414 schools throughout 74 Pennsylvania school districts, and according to the Associated Press, nearly 40 percent of the schools were in the Philadelphia City School District, which is the largest district in Pennsylvania. However, schools from several counties populate the list……Read More
Mitt Romney, contender for the office of President of the United States, seems determined to prove repeatedly that he cares about as much for American citizens as he does for foot fungus, says Andrew Riggio for Yahoo! News. His recent comments about America needing fewer cops, firefighters and teachers just reinforce his stance that the average American is worthless — just look at what Romney says in this FOX News video. Saying we need fewer cops is saying Americans deserve less protection from criminals. It’s not like the crime rate in the United States as dropped to zero. It’s not like people stopped selling drugs, robbing people, or committing murder. All you need to do is watch any television news broadcast to know crime is a problem. Saying we need fewer firefighters is saying it’s just fine for Americans to burn to death. It’s saying we don’t need people to fight raging wildfires. It’s saying we don’t need as many rescue professionals. Who does Romney think is going to stop thousands of acres of Colorado from going up in flames — schoolchildren with water pistols?…Read More
Does a smaller classroom really translate to a better education for public school students? In late May, Mitt Romney said fewer students aren’t really the key, citing research that indicated some smaller classrooms performed worse, Yahoo! News reports.
“The schools in the district with the smallest classroom sizes had students performing in the bottom 10 percent. Just getting smaller classrooms didn’t seem to be the key,” Romney said.
But some teachers will tell you (perhaps not surprisingly) that their students, the parents and the schools do benefit from more one-on-one attention. Yahoo! News asked teachers for their takes……Read More
The final test version of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system is available for download Yahoo! News reports. The Release Preview build of Windows 8 features new apps, richer experiences, tens of thousands of refinements and a touch-friendly Adobe Flash Player in Internet Explorer 10.
“We’re thrilled to be at this milestone with the Windows 8 Release Preview,” said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft, marking the operating system’s final stage of development before being rolled out to PC and tablet manufacturers.
Microsoft released the previous Windows 8 Consumer Preview build of the operating system (OS) back in February. The OS was downloaded more than 1 million times in the first 24 hours and has since become the company’s most tested operating system of all time. Since then, Microsoft has made a number of improvements to refine the Windows 8 experience…
The debate over America’s love-hate relationship with higher education has increased a notch with news that an expensive full-ride scholarship to UCLA has been awarded to a teenager who hardly needs the cash: Justin Combs, Calvin Wolf for Yahoo! News reports. Combs is the son of hip-hop mogul Sean Combs (Diddy, P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, etc.), and received a $54,000 per annum football scholarship, reported the day after his high school graduation on May 24 by Britain’s Daily Mail. The editorial staff of The Week are all over the debate, with proponents and critics of wealthy kids receiving merit scholarships arguing over various issues, including whether or not the funds come from taxpayer sources or private donors. While Justin Combs certainly put in lots of hard work to land his scholarship and may well be deserving of it, his lack of financial need does highlight an important issue that has been gnawing at the financial efficiency of higher education: Should rich kids get scholarships at all and instead follow the mantra success is its own reward? Basically, is it right to reward poor, working-class and lower-middle-class teens for their efforts while expecting their wealthier peers to labor simply on the merits?…Read More
When Christina Valdez’s daughter came home from school with an award certificate for presenting the most homework excuses, Desert Springs Academy tried to pass off the teacher’s in-class announcement of the child’s “award” as joking, she told KGUN TV. Valdez quite rightfully was not amused, says Carol Bengle Gilbert for Yahoo! News. Jokes at the expense of 8-year-olds aren’t funny to mature adults and are developmentally detrimental to kids. The dual message the teacher, Ms. Plowman, delivered was powerful: to Valdez’s daughter, the message was be fearful of mistakes; to the class, Plowman endorsed making fun of others for their perceived deficiencies. This is no message for teacher and role model to deliver. Mocking a child- and encouraging other children to join in- is wrong and harmful. Slapping the label “humor” on it doesn’t change that. The immaturity and ignorance inherent in Plowman’s creation and presentation of a humiliating award to a captive and defenseless 8-year-old unfortunately is shared by too many teachers……Read More