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Cursive Writing Controversy
Cursive writing is just one style of handwriting, but many people seem to think that it is the only kind. North Carolina legislators have passed a law requiring that all fifth graders must be able to write in cursive.
What is Liberal Arts Education and Who Needs It?
The term Liberal Arts refers to the academic subjects that include language, literature, science, math, and history. In the past, an acquaintance with all these subjects was considered the mark of an educated person. Today's idea of "an educated person" seems to have changed.
What is STEM?
STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It has become a kind of mantra for business leaders and politicians who want more children to pursue careers in those subjects. A danger is that STEM is seen by some as being of more value than subjects in the Liberal Arts.
Same Sex Education
Same-sex classrooms were long the norm. U.S. public education adopted the coeducational model at the end of the 19th century. Thanks to changes in American culture, it's probably time to return to the single-sex model, at least from grades 7-12.
Public School and Religious Belief
Public education is like public transportation. Passengers have to go where the bus goes. Travelers who want to go where the bus doesn’t go must make other arrangements.
Is College for Everyone?
A college degree has become a status symbol in American culture--like a BMW or an 8,500-square-foot house. The reality is that most Americans cannot afford the luxury of sending their children to a four-year university with some vague idea that it will insure their financial future.
Common Core Misinterpretation
Workshops about the new Standards are being held for classroom teachers around the country. Unfortunately, some of the administrators conducting them have little understanding of what they mean. Parents and teachers who don't want to be misled will have to study them for themselves.
Beware Critical Thinking
Everyone agrees that children should learn to think critically, but not everyone agrees how they are supposed to do this. Critical thinking is not a subject that can be taught separately from a body of knowledge. To think critically, you have to have something to think about.
What Exactly is ALEC?
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) seems to be dedicated to the goal of diverting public money to private pockets. When it comes to education, parents must question the motives of reformers.
Third Grade Reading Law
Thirteen states have passed Third Grade retention laws. Children who fail to learn to read well enough to do fourth grade work will repeat the third grade.
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