4 Key Benefits of Full Day Kindergarten
Making Their Voices Heard
The East Penn School Board will vote soon on whether to offer full day kindergarten to all families in the district. I’m strongly in favor of doing so. Here are four key benefits of full day kindergarten to our community: 1. Improves Readiness for Elementary School (and Beyond) Any good house requires a strong foundation. […]
Don’t Ban It!
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 […]
Columbus Day Book Review
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 […]
Want to Think Better? Learn an Instrument.
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 […]
Do You Read Banned Books?
I attended the band and orchestra concert at LMMS last week. I was very impressed with how well all the kids did, many of whom have only been learning their instrument for a year or two. The value of a music education came through not only in their performance but also in the smiles and […]
An End to Half-Day Wednesdays?
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 […]
Some Good News about Our Schools
photo credit: photosteve101 via photopin cc When we moved to East Penn a number of years ago, my wife and I were shocked to learn that all elementary students are dismissed early every Wednesday of the school year. Both of us work outside the home, so this quirk of the district calendar sent us scrambling […]
Censorship in Our School District
photo credit: garryknight via photopin cc The news media tends to focus on problems in our community, or on issues that are controversial. Little room is left for good news. In the case of the East Penn School District, however, there has been a string of recent good news in recent weeks that is worth […]
3 Myths about Common Core
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 […]
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, […]