Making Their Voices Heard

A group of 5th grade students from Lincoln Elementary spoke at the school board meeting this past Monday.  They had worked with their teacher Mrs. Blose to write essays urging the superintendent and the board to allow for early dismissal for elementary students taking the PSSAs, just like the current practice for high school students […]

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Don’t Ban It!

The most frequent target of censorship attempts in 2015 was John Green’s Looking for Alaska.  The year before it was another young adult novel, Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Censoring books, whether in the form of keeping them off library shelves, off reading lists, or outright bans, does not help […]

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Columbus Day Book Review

photo credit: Simon & Schuster I saw a lot of pithy slogans and clever picture quotes on my social networks yesterday pointing out that the voyages of Christopher Columbus, which we celebrate with a national holiday, also brought with them evils like racism and genocide. Fair enough, and true enough.  But one of the things […]

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Do You Read Banned Books?

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association This week is Banned Book Week, sponsored by The American Library Association along with the Library of Congress, the National Council of Teachers of English, and almost a dozen other organizations.  The event is designed both to raise awareness of continued censorship threats and celebrate the contributions to […]

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Censorship in Our School District

photo credit: svenwerk via photopin cc The Diary of Anne Frank is a brilliant, harrowing, and ultimately heart-wrenching account of a Jewish girl’s attempt to escape the Nazis and the Holocaust during WWII.    Last May, a parent in Michigan asked her district to eliminate this famous book from the curriculum, arguing that one short passage in […]

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3 Myths about Common Core

photo credit: ATENCION: via photopin cc As I go door to door, concern over the new Common Core standards is one of the most frequent issues raised by the people I meet.   I’ve learned a great deal these last few months about Common Core by talking to community members, asking questions of educational professionals, […]

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