EducationPolitics

DeVos: Expanding Disaster for Public Education

There are so many terrifying things happening in our federal government right now that it’s easy to miss a cabinet post confirmation vote that could destroy public education. The president nominated Michigan’s Betsy DeVos, a wealthy advocate for dismantling public schools who has no actual education experience for Secretary of Education. As someone who attended Michigan …

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EducationPolitics

We Don’t Live in North Korea and Other Reasons Why I Don’t Make My Kids Say the Pledge or Stand for the National Anthem

The elementary school auditorium is full of five to 12 year-old children and their families. An American flag is carried out and proudly placed center stage. Everyone stands, places their right hand over their heart, and begins to recite familiar words in creepy unison: I pledge allegiance to the Flag of …

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Ages 6-9EducationMedia & Technology

Robots in the Classroom

Welcome to the “This Week in Parenting Research” a bimonthly column where we explore new and interesting research about kids or parenting. This week I saw an interesting study out of NYU about the use of technology, specifically robots, in elementary school classrooms. The findings were actually presented as a …

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EducationHistory

Endless Summer (2) From Massachusetts to Rural New York: Latin Grammar Schools, Dame Schools, and the Two-Term School Year

  According to one popular narrative, the public school year in the United States includes a disproportionately long summer vacation because this was the pattern set by schools in rural agricultural regions during the formative years of the nation. In the first two posts of this series we observed that …

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EducationPolitics

Internet Meme Demolition Derby: Free tuition for some?

I’ve seen several friends posting memes such as this on Facebook recently. The idea seems to be that university students should stop seeking scholarships, debt relief, or debt forgiveness and instead consider joining the Armed Forces in exchange for advanced education. On the surface, the idea might seem interesting. Trade …

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a kid holding lots of money
Adult ChildrenEducationParenting Fails

Starbucks is a Luxury: Teach Your Kid Financial Responsibility Before They Go College

I was listening to NPR one morning last week and they were discussing the hidden costs of college. Unfortunately, in the US, college is prohibitively expensive. Well, except for the whole “don’t worry, you can pay for everything in loans!” thing, which sounds much better when you’re a freshman than …

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EducationSex and Sexuality

Let’s Talk About Sex In Ontario’s Schools

Next week it’s back to school here in Ontario, which means it’s time for the parental protests about the new sex-ed curriculum to increase in volume. They kicked off yesterday with a planned series of protests outside the offices of Liberal members of the provincial parliament. I have a particular …

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ActivismEducationFoodScience

Marin School District Goes GMO-Free, Fails Basic Science

Last week, Sausalito Marin City School District became the first in the country to serve 100% GMO-free school lunches. All school lunches will now be fresh, local, organic, seasonal and non-GMO, otherwise known as FLOSN. FLOSN. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? For the past two years, Conscious Kitchen has been serving GMO-free food …

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caution tape
EducationGrief and Loss

Trigger Warnings Will Destroy Us ALL! (or not)

Trigger Warning: infant death, graphic description of fetal tissue There is this man who stands a block from the entrance to my workplace. He props up two four-foot signs emblazoned with photographs of bloody, dead, micro-preemie babies, and another with the words “Stop Abortion Now!” I say “babies” despite knowing that these are fetuses, despite knowing …

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EducationFeminism

The Perennial Problem of Gendered Dress Codes

Recently I was chatting about dress codes with a friend whose husband is a high school principal. They were lamenting that he had been caught in the crossfire between (a) being required to write a dress code and (b) resentment that the resulting dress code treats male and female gendered …

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