Policy, Politics, Statistics

March 4, 2008

One of my blog posts that got people talking was the one about our decision to enroll Anna in kindergarten as a 5 year old (rather than waiting until she turned 6). Both our girls have summer birthdays; we waited to send our older daughter, but wrestled with the same decision for our younger daughter.

A related (but...

January 23, 2008

Molly's teacher leaves this Friday for maternity leave. The long-term sub has been hired, the kids have been prepped, and they're throwing her a baby shower before she goes. Sounds good, right?

I sat down to our local paper last week to the headline: Increased use of substitute teachers has negative effect....

August 22, 2007

Anna, our "five-year-old-summer-birthday-girl-and-second-born" daughter started kindergarten today. I first wroteabout the subject of kindergarten with summer birthdays last January during preschool re-enrollment. I questioned sending her; Miss K., our preschool teacher, never had a doubt in her mind. Anna would go. Another year of...

July 3, 2007

Yesterday's New York Times included an opinion piece by Barry Schwartz titledMoney For Nothingabout a pilot program in New York City schools that offers cash rewards to students based on attendance records and test performance.

According to Schwartz, "diligent, high-achieving...

June 5, 2007

The Reading Rockets service Ask the Experts gets a lot of questions about a lot of topics. Grade retention is one of the most common question topics, particularly this time of year.

As a teacher, have you considered retaining a student? As a parent, has someone recommended your child not be promoted to the next grade?...

May 30, 2007

Oh boy. I found out today that some of the teachers at Molly's school will be changing grade levels next year. Sadly, the teacher I hoped Molly would have next year won't be teaching first grade after all. But I'm sure it will work out fine. There are several terrific teachers at our school, and I know that Molly's K teacher and the principal will find the right match for her first grade year...

March 27, 2007

"Suspicious packages" were found at Molly's elementary school Tuesday morning, just after we put her on the bus to go. All buses were diverted to the high school, and after sitting for awhile the kids unloaded into the high school gym, waiting while the schools were searched. Realizing the sweep would take hours, school was cancelled and kids were released to us anxious parents. Within an hour...

February 13, 2007

Thanks to everyone who commented online and offline to me about our kindergarten decision. It's comforting to know that other parents struggle with a similar decision. And after reading your comments and talking with friends, I'm even more convinced that it really is an "it depends on the child" decision (those kind drive new-ish moms like...

January 30, 2007

A new report came out today, authored by reading expert Louisa Moats. In it, Moats takes a hard look at reading programs that market themselves as ones based on Scientifically Based Reading Research (SBRR). The report, "Whole Language High-Jinks," examines Reading...

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