It's Time to Tell the Truth About Standardized Testing

Yesterday, the news broke that eleven teachers in Atlanta were convicted of racketeering in a cheating scandal. The teachers and administrators had changed test answers on state standardized testing to improve the outcomes of district test results in order to boost the district's overall rating, to keep their jobs and also for personal gain (as some performance based bonuses were tied to test results).  ...more

School: Our Multi-Generational Struggle

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” -Margaret Mead...more

Fair or Homogenized Holidays?

I cannot be the only one...who wonders if removing any real discussions of religious holidays from our children's public schools, in an attempt to not push religion and/or not create an uncomfortable learning environment (I'm not really sure that either of these are the reasons), is limiting our children's cultural awareness of this great melting pot of a country....more

Let them {All} Sing - In Support of "Holiday" Programs

photo credit: Rice and D via <...more

Our Education Options: Public vs Private

Schooling Options and Choices In Chicago, this is a tricky subject. If you've read any of my blogs in the past you know that the schooling options in the city are varied and that it takes a good deal of time not only figuring it out but also navigating your way through the school options maze....more

My Son "Swore" at School: What Makes a Word a Swear Word?

On Friday, I received a voicemail and an email that H ”was drawing a red thing with horns and then was telling another student that it was hell.” He was sent to the planning room at school and because the planning room para wasn’t available, he had to meet with the dean of students about saying “hell.” He had to fill out a planning sheet which included what his poor choice was {saying hell} and how it made others feel {sad, bad} and what he will do in the future {not say hell}....more
dude hell is not a swear word its a slang word lots of others say itmore

Being the Only Jewish Kid in Your Class

I grew up going to public school, but where I lived, there was a large enough Jewish population that we didn't feel totally excluded. People knew what Jews were and what we believed (roughly), and we got the first day of Rosh Hashanah and the day of Yom Kippur as official school holidays, and Hannukah and Passover were included in the school curriculum alongside Christmas and Easter. Roughly. I grew up assuming that that was my lot in life, to be the "other" religion that has holidays around the same time, and isn't it great that everyone gets a day off while I sit in synagogue?...more
@BlogHerMoms having just moved from Hollywood to a suburb we are in a bit of culture shock. I ...more

Today, My Firstborn Started First Grade

It was by no means his first ever first day of school. My oldest, N, has been in some form of daycare or preschool since he was a baby. But, somehow, his first day of first grade feels incredibly significant....more

It's About Choice, and We're Choosing Public School Over Private School

Last summer, a neighbor and I were having a pleasant chat at the park while our kids were playing. She has two girls ages 8 and 10 who attend our neighborhood private school. She waxed eloquently about the benefits of said school (which I do not dispute), and assumed I was going to send my kids there too. When I casually replied that I was planning on sending my son and my daughter to the local public school, she went red in the face and started sputtering. She informed me that everyone in our part of the neighborhood sends their kids to the private school. I quite nicely said that I understand, but it’s important to us that we support the public school system....more
I love being able to jump on this dogpile. We decided to give our church's school a try when my ...more

School Stereotypes

We've all heard stereotypes about schooling.Homeschoolers don't know how to socialize.Public schools are failing.Private schools are full of rich snobs.Homeschoolers are religious zealots.Public schools are bastions of liberalism.Private schools are religious zealots.My children have gone all three routes. At different points in our lives, we've realized the need for all three methods of schooling. I'd be the first to admit that there is sometimes truth behind stereotypes. Sometimes, it's a total misconception. ...more