Archive for September, 2009

President Wants to Extend School year

September 30th, 2009
Stay in School...... Literally!

Stay in School...... Literally!

The economy is picking up, yet, only slightly; and new support of ideas such as extending the school year, may do more harm than help.

President Obama advocates this belief that extending school days for the academic year will help close the achievement gap, promote higher learning, and improve grades. He says that kids in our nation spent too little time in the classroom; however, the cost of keeping students and teachers in school would be increased (air conditioner, utilities, overtime salary, etc.) In addition to education facilities, leisure industries will be affected by a curtailed vacation period. Travel agencies, hotels, summer camps, and other vacationing business spots will suffer some loss of customers.

While the President has his positive intentions, this is not the time to increase expenses in our economy, yet education experts agree with the idea and believe that increasing time learning is correlated with higher grades. The details of Obama’s plan are still witheld, and educators agree they will hold their judgement until a more specific proposal is made.


Teacher Fired for asking Questions

September 21st, 2009


Fabricated teaching’ degrees and students’ standardized testing scores, oh my!

Living Wood Christian Academy, an Illinoins elementary school, instructed a credentialed teacher to teach her students the “actual SAT (Stanford Achievement Test)” test before they took it, and then fired her after she refused.

Tammy Lovell says she was fired for all the wrong reasons after she spoke about her concerns with the school’s principal having hired teachers lacking bachelor’s degrees. She also stated that the school officials helped them “make up” pseudo degrees and adjusted test scores of students with below average results.

Lovell has more than twenty years of teaching experience and teacher certification for private schools. She says she learned during a meeting that 80 percent of teachers at the private elementary school held bachelor’s degrees. She also states the Association of Christian Schools International, requires that all its teachers hold a bachelor’s degree. Lovell adds she was also made aware that principal Theresa Byrd-Smith told unqualified teachers to “‘make up’ their degrees and to display them in the classroom, and that Principal Smith has aided some staff members in creating the false degrees.” She says she reasonably believed that that violates state law.

Lovell reports that her students had unusually high scores on the Stanford Achievement Test, which was “impossible because her class had, in fact, consistently struggled with the basic concepts of math.”
Lovell says one student, who received a reading score that was “three years in advance for her grade,” scored three years behind her class level when Lovell tested her a second time.

Lovell was convinced that the scores had been “altered,” though Smith denied all allegations.
“In February of 2009, Principal Smith instructed me to teach my class that actual SAT that the students would take later in the school year,” Lovell says. She says she refused to do that, and on Feb. 20, was fired without cause.
SAT tests are rewritten every year and are closely held, but schools can receive them ahead of the test date.

Lovell says that since she was fired near the end of the school year, she was unable to get another job teaching, lost $10,000 in lost wages, and suffered emotional stress. She now seeks at least $50,000 in damages for wrongful firing, retaliation, among other charges.

Parents Struggle with Letting Go

September 14th, 2009
No Mom you can not move into the dorm with me

No Mom you can not move into the dorm with me

It’s September, also known as the end of summer. More widely known as back-to-school season. Kids are moving up in grade school, some entering high school, Juniors are becoming Seniors, and many teens worldwide are leaving the nest and moving into college dorms away from home. While this is an important decision made by students who are ready for the change, some parents struggle with letting go. » Read more: Parents Struggle with Letting Go

10 Steps to Avoid The Freshman 15

September 9th, 2009

That scale must be wrong it says I gained 30 pounds instead of 15
That scale must be wrong it says I gained 30 pounds instead of 15

Students mention it on campus. Friends of yours give you warnings. You’ve heard the stories about it. There’s no doubt that college students everywhere are following the “Beware the Freshman 15” message that is floating around campus.

What is it?

The “Freshman 15” is a term used to describe the weight gain many college students experience (usually in their Freshman year). Dormitory food is usually high in fat and calories, and you may not have the free time you once had for exercise.  Before you know it WAM! you have just gained 15 pounds. You don’t notice it but, when you come home for thanksgiving your friends and family sure will.  Follow this simple guide to steer clear of the infamous threat. » Read more: 10 Steps to Avoid The Freshman 15

Massive Debt Changes Student Plans

September 9th, 2009
Don't worry everyone is doing it!

Don't worry everyone is doing it!

In a recession, is college worth it? The risk of debt may change some students’ plans.

Danielle Claussen, 18, acknowledges she didn’t give much thought to the ultimate cost of college when she enrolled at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Morris County, NJ.

“My plan is to attend for four years, like my sister did,” says Claussen, who grew up in Tuckerton, a small suburb town in South New Jersey. Because she didn’t qualify for financial aid, she took out student loans. Set to  graduate in 2012 with a major in nursing and an estimate of  more than $70,000 in debt. Claussen adds, “With my brother and sister currently in college before me, it’s hard to pay for me and taking out loans is really the only way.” » Read more: Massive Debt Changes Student Plans

Kids Grades are too High in NY!

September 9th, 2009

More students appear to be earning A’s and B’s on their progress reports in New York.  State Education officials reported Thursday that they plan to make changes to the grading system used throughout the schools.

Shael Polakow-Suransky, the department’s chief accountability officer stated “We are going to raise the bar,” adding that eventhough he wishes there to be more of an assortment of grades, “At the same time, when we set clear goals and schools meet them, they need to be recognized and rewarded for that.”

Read more here.