School Breakfast

Coming to school and sitting in class with an empty stomach makes learning difficult. Many school districts around the country serve breakfast, and often it is free or at a reduced price for students who already receive free or reduced lunch. So why are many students not partaking of this offer and still going hungry in class? Notoriously bad cafeteria food may have something to do with it, but some recent reports and this recent NY Times article may also shed some light on the issue. Today’s post looks at some of the reasons this may be happening and also introduces the beginnings of a plan to correct the problem. Read the rest of this entry »

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You Can Bring a Student to the School…

…but can you give him equal access to education? Instead of fixing schools in poor neighborhoods former North Carolina Senator and 2008 Presidential Candidate John Edwards’ idea to increase the level of economic diversity in schools is to help families move elsewhere, along with busing inner-city students to the suburbs and creating inner-city magnet schools to attract suburban students into the city. The Supreme Court has repeatedly shot down districts who try to use race as the only factor in integrating schools. Due to the economic climate of the nation, they are now able to use economic status in its place and accomplish the same goal – but what does that mean for education system? Today’s post looks at some “solutions” to the lack of diversity in America’s schools and whether or not they are being fair to give all students equal access to education.

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How Hard Can It Be?

David Herszenhorn has been covering the Education beat for the New York Times for over four years. He has spoken to many veteran teachers, and many administrators that can all attest to the fact that teaching is difficult work. In an article appearing on July 11, Herszenhorn recounts an event in which mayor Bloomberg gave a group of 7-year-olds a set of four directions all at once, and out of sequence. TeacherJay chuckled at the way a man who built himself a multi-billionaire dollar empire and speaks about how important education is to our children did not recognize how to give age-appropriate directions. The reason for the story was not to embarrass the mayor, but rather to point out that a teacher’s job is more than just going through the motions of a lesson and keeping a classroom orderly. Read the rest of this entry »

Is NCLB Helping or Hijacking?

Following TeacherJay’s comments that while the No Child Left Behind Act is certainly not the magic cure for America’s ailing schools, from a previous post, some of his comments appeared on fellow blogger Rick Branscomb’s site. Branscomb is the author of Deducation and seems to believe that a major goal of NCLB legislation is to prove that the public schools in this country are failing in order to turn school funding over to private enterprise. An excerpt from an earlier entry includes, “Our educational system is being killed: it’s almost dead. Deducation, I call it. Mind-numbing, teaching to invalid tests, memorization of facts that won’t be facts tomorrow, stifling all ability to think critically, taking all teaching decisions out of the hands of teachers” in his plea to have NCLB repealed. Read the rest of this entry »

The Shame of the Nation

Jonathan Kozol‘s 2005 book, The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America, looks at the issue of racial integration in the nation’s schools. Over 50 years after the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal” and forcing the immediate integration of America’s schools, we have not yet achieved that goal. Kozol uses the passionate voices of teachers and students, mostly from urban New York City schools and the suburban areas of Long Island, to tell how the nation has been failing a large portion of its children and, in fact, creating a system of apartheid by withholding a proper education from so many children. Read the rest of this entry »