Raising Kids

The War on Public Schools

The Atlantic

Public schools have always occupied prime space in the excitable American imagination. For decades, if not centuries, politicians have made hay of their supposed failures and extortions. In 2004, Rod Paige, then George W. Bush’s secretary of education, called the country’s leading teachers union a “terrorist organization.”

In his first education speech as president, in 2009, Barack Obama lamented the fact that “despite resources that are unmatched anywhere in the world, we’ve let our grades slip, our schools crumble, our teacher quality fall short, and other nations outpace us.” 

President Donald Trump used the occasion of his inaugural address to bemoan the way “beautiful” students had been “deprived of all knowledge” by our nation’s cash-guzzling schools. Educators have since recoiled at the Trump administration’s budget proposal detailing more than $9 billion in education cuts, including to after-school programs that serve mostly poor children......

Continue Reading,  ERIKA CHRISTAKIS The Atlantic 

Governor Scott is “reviewing” HB7069

Gov. Scott says he will veto student funding portion of budget.  In a surprise press conference with House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced he will veto the education funding portion (FEFP) of the Legislature’s recently adopted budget.  Scott said he would ask lawmakers in a special session, scheduled for June 7-9, to increase per-student funding by $100 — a major increase over the $24.49 in the current version. That level had caused concern among school district leaders.  Negron said he appreciated the House leadership’s willingness to move in the Senate and governor’s direction on education funding. The House was unwilling to consider leaving local property tax rates alone and letting districts reap the benefits of increasing values, as the Senate and Scott proposed…. Continue Reading

Betsy DeVos hits hard reset on student loan servicing contracts

The Education Department said Friday that it will select one company to collect student debt payments on its behalf, rather than the nine contractors that currently handle the federal government’s $1.2 trillion …

“Brain hacking” and why you should care?

What is “brain hacking”? Tech insiders on why you should care

Watching this report all I could think about was the “one-to-one” iPad program our school district boasts about. It’s time to rethink technology in the classrooms.

The one-to-one computing plan puts enormous focus on the device itself, the enhancement of the network, and training teachers to use the technology. Then, teachers are instructed to go! But go where? That’s the critical question that must be addressed first.

Scientific research studies have proven that:

  • Digital devices lead to sleep disruption and deprivation, which impacts on learning, and is associated with obesity, and other physical disorders, such as computer vision syndrome;
  • Computer use in class disrupts the learning process and impairs learning outcomes for users and non-users alike;
  • Learning with books and paper is superior to learning with e-books. Practical proof for this finding is that Waterstones is abandoning the Kindle Reader as sales of e-books have fallen dramatically. Furthermore, Nielsen Book Research found that 75% of readers prefer printed books, while 35% refuse to read e-books;
  • Taking notes with pen and paper, as opposed to touch typing notes in class, leads to better learning outcomes;
  • Smartphone, iPad, and laptop use in class results in student distraction and multitasking, which, impair learning and lead to neural addiction problems, such as internet addiction disorder and other psychological maladies;
  • There are islands of success in an ocean of failure when it comes toinformation and communications technology and educational technologies, with researchers arguing that there is little evidence to support the proposition that digital devices and/or EdTech improve pedagogy or learning outcomes.

See the  American Academy of Pediatrics Announces New Recommendations for Children’s Media Use


Romano: Eliminating political interference would be a real teacher bonus

Two years later, we’re still talking about teacher bonuses. As if this is the magical elixir that will suddenly lead to better schools, well-rounded students and happier lives. If you …

The Education Department Faces Dramatic Cuts under Trump Administration

The Trump administration is contemplating dramatic cuts to K-12 spending, including a possible $6 billion reduction to existing programs in the U.S. Department of Education, according to multiple education policy sources who have gleaned details about budget documents still being finalized. The department currently has a budget of about $70 billion. 

The possible cuts would be included in the Trump administration’s initial spending plan for fiscal year 2018, which begins Oct. 1 and generally impacts the 2018-19 school year. Such cuts in a budget proposal expected this week could mean a staffing reduction at the department in the range of 25 to 30 percent, sources said, although it’s not clear how the cuts would be applied. The department currently has about 4,000 employees….Click to continue

What happened when one school banned homework — and asked kids to read and play instead

As the homework conversation continues in Flagler Schools, it’s worth reading the recent article about what happens when schools stop giving homework. Continue Reading 

Education Bills 2017

The Florida Legislature officially begins session on March 7th. Here’s the Senate calendar for the first week, and the House schedule.  Lawmakers continue to file bills related to education. Here are some of    the latest ones:

HB 989 / SB 1210, Instructional Materials Challenges

HB 15, Educational Options (voucher-like programs)

SB 1064, Student Discipline / School Resource Officer Qualifications

HM 7027, Federal Education Funding

HB 931, Advertising on School Buses