Of all the functions schools are charged with fulfilling, teaching reading might be the most fundamental, other than keeping students safe. It is also one that schools fail at spectacularly, according to results of the National Assessment of Education Progress, particularly for low-income students and black and Hispanic youngsters. The resultant finger-pointing has identified reading instruction as the culprit — but according to contributor Andrew Rotherham, that is a misdiagnosis. In a provocative essay, he explains why, digging into thorny issues of phonics versus whole language, conservatives' preferred teaching methods versus those of progressives, ideology versus evidence, science versus belief, and craft versus politics. view article arw

Learning how to reverse an overdose

February 2408:30 AM
 

Carter County, Tenn., is one of many American communities hit hard by the opioid crisis. In an effort to save lives, county health officials have embraced a practical — if radical — strategy: teaching children as young as 6 how to reverse an overdose, using a nasal spray called Narcan. Above, after a training session at a library, each child received a blue bag containing two doses of Narcan to take home. view article arw

‘A very exceptional young lady’

February 2408:30 AM
 

FORT WORTH Ruhani Ahluwalia, 16, traveled to a Hong Kong science fair this past summer while pandemonium gripped the region.  But Ruhani and her mother said that after they arrived they barely noticed the unrest that had been reported in the news.  Students in charge of the science fair at the Hong Kong central library shielded the pair from the dissonance, said Parmeet Jodhka, Ruhani’s mother. Jodhka said that initially, she was concerned for Ruhani’s safety. The protests, the reaction of the government to the protests, the news of widespread unrest and destruction were troubling. view article arw

AUSTIN, TX (February 18, 2020) — A new statewide poll on Texans’ attitudes toward public education found they appreciate teachers, but have concerns about testing and the lack of funding for schools.  The poll, commissioned by the non-profit Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation, found that 77 percent of Texans express trust and confidence in their teachers, much higher than the 61 percent of Americans polled on the same question.  The Foundation modeled the poll after the longstanding national PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. Langer Research Associates, PDK’s polling firm and the producer of the ongoing ABC News/Washington Post poll for ABC, conducted the research.  view article arw

TEA:  Texas RISE to the Challenge

January 2908:30 AM
 

“Human trafficking is a despicable crime that is poorly understood and rarely spoken of. But as education professionals, we are in a position to help identify and combat this very troubling issue in our state.”  view article arw

Today, 75 years to the date since Auschwitz was liberated, the world once again recognizes International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Yet, tragically, three-quarters of a century after the horrors of the Holocaust, what the political philosopher Hannah Arendt called “the banality of evil” is still very much alive. view article arw

In their own Field of Dreams moment, Palo Alto College administrators envisioned a future for an empty field adjacent to a community garden on their South Side campus. They saw what could be: grapevines springing from the ground, wrapped around trellises, organized neatly in rows.   By day, the vineyard would be a classroom for a new program in viticulture and enology, or winemaking. Community members could wander through the vineyard during campus events and learn more about where food and drink originate. If all went to plan, Palo Alto College could even produce its own wine label, Palo Vino, inspired by the school’s palomino mascot. view article arw

Imagine a taxpayer funded school that denies enrollment to certain students and has the goal of maintaining a “solid wait list”. Imagine a taxpayer funded school that will only serve students in areas that are willing to provide substantial “private financial incentives”. Imagine a school with a growth strategy to serve enough students to create a core of community leaders to change the local public-school system. view article arw

Vivienne St. John, Artistic Director of Main Street Theater's Theater For Youth, was — like many people — sadly surprised by the recent anti-Semitic attacks in New York City. She had hoped, thought, that kind of prejudice and violence against Jews was a thing of the past.  Totally coincidentally, because it was planned more than a year ago, her theater will be presenting The Diary of Anne Frank which, as she puts it, "Especially right now I think it is very important." view article arw

TEXAS CITY, Texas -- The Texas City Disaster on April 16, 1947 was the deadliest industrial accident in U.S. history.  The death toll was about 640 leaving over 5,000 injured and 63 unaccounted for.  The disaster involved the explosion of 2,200 tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer on a French ship which was docked in the Port of Texas City. view article arw

At first, 49-year-old Tammy Daybell’s death was chalked up to natural causes. The popular school librarian had married her college boyfriend and helped him found Spring Creek Book Co., where they self-published apocalyptic novels aimed at a Mormon audience. The fantasies that Chad Daybell spun up featured Chinese bioterrorism attacks, devastating pandemics and hurricanes, and rising civil unrest. Tammy’s family described her as “the true backbone” of the operation, designing book covers while also managing the company’s finances. view article arw

Read! It all began 90 years ago with teachers and concern for their health care needs. In December 1929, Justin Ford Kimball was in a new job overseeing operations at the Baylor University Hospital in Dallas. It was just weeks after the historic stock market crash and Texas was in the grips of an icy winter with extraordinary amounts of snow. As he studied the books, Kimball spotted a troubling trend: Many of the bills owed to the hospital belonged to educators. view article arw

When the virus arrived on its shores, the Pacific island nation was grievously unprepared. It had left the door to contagion wide open, and thousands of children have suffered.    From the beginning, Nuu Lameko’s baby daughter radiated happiness. She clapped and danced to the songs of praise at church. Often, Ms. Lameko would roll a coconut across the floor of their home to hear her giggle.  “Whenever I’m having a bad day, she would have that smile to cheer me up,” Ms. Lameko said.  Late last month, that joy turned to despair. The baby girl, Lemina — called Mina for short — contracted measles as a calamitous epidemic swept the Pacific island nation of Samoa. Days later, Mina, just 10 months old, died in her mother’s arms. view article arw