Thanks so much for visiting me here on my newly revised website. Along with an altogether new look, the changes allow me to more readily offer you timely, informative articles, websites to visit, and even quotes to use in your teaching. There’s also, of course, my free, monthly The School-Wise Newsletter, keeping readers up-to-date on all that’s happening in education.

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America’s Locked-Up Schools

12/03/2018   |   No Comments »

As USA Today‘s Greg Toppo recently noted, most of our public schools are locked up and require a keycard or for visitors to be buzzed in by someone in the main office–but only after they’ve identified themselves and stated their purpose. They may very well be videotaped at some point, too.

As he indicates, at the time of the Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1997, just 19% of our public schools even used security cameras; by the 2013-14 school year, 75% did.

Moreover, from 1999 to 2015, 78% of students said their schools’ doors were locked, up from 38% in 1999, while an earlier survey of responding administrators put that number at 93%.

At the same time, according to the Center for Education Statistics, “the number of crimes against students has actually plummeted more than 80% since 1992,” with 3% of them reported feeling “afraid of attack or harm,” vs. 12% in 1995.

Click the link to read Toppo’s full report.

News Worth Noting

01/03/2018   |   1 Comment

This in-like-a-lion and out-like-a-lamb month of March starts off on the 2nd with Read Across America Day, followed happily by Daylight Saving Time on the 12th, St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th, and the Spring Equinox on the 20th.

Meanwhile, however:

  • America reels from the shooting of 17 students and teachers in Florida at the hands of Nikolaus Cruz. In response, the President is calling for the arming of teachers, while the National Youth Day of Action Against Gun Violence is set for April 20.
  • The Supreme Court will be deciding the fate of unions’ “fair share” dues collection from non-members who benefit from their bargaining efforts.
  • Every state is federally mandated to collect and track students’ personal information from birth or preschool onwards. Be advised: These Student Longitudinal Data Systems are easily shared with vendors, government agencies across states, and so on, all without parental knowledge or consent.
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird have been removed from Duluth, MN high schools to protect “the dignity of students” and prevent them from feeling uncomfortable with racial epithets. Duluth is not alone in thinking high schoolers can’t handle such language.
  • Philadelphia is considering establishing set-aside places where users can shoot up in public with no repercussions; drugs will be on hand to counteract overdoses.
  • U.S. life expectancy has slipped yet again thanks to drug and alcohol use. In 1960, we enjoyed the highest life expectancy in the world, we’re now 1.5 years lower than the 35 OECD countries.
  • Scientists have now successfully cloned monkeys, begging the question, “Can humans be far behind?”
  • A proposed California bill would make plastic straws illegal unless requested.

And so it goes; well or not? You decide…