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Showing posts with label education news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label education news. Show all posts

Thursday, May 08, 2014

3 degrees of Separation - Bring Back Our Girls

IMAGE: TWITTER/@FLOTUS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
I have been spending the better part of a month trying to digest the gravity of the girls stolen in from a Nigerian High School. It saddens me greatly, and also disturbs me that it took 2 weeks before the news even got onto the world's radar.

Meanwhile, my homeschool daughter, attends an all women's college. In my mind, I have imagined that schools like hers, that educate and empower girls to be leaders would really tick off the "Boko Haram", and that if we were not in a free country girls like my daughter, and a dozen other girls I have grown to love this past year would be in constant danger, or even worse, left unable to get an education.

I spoke to my daughter today, who is finishing her freshman year at college and asked her how many nigerian girls were at her college right now. You see, not only is her school a woman's college, but it is also a college with a student body that is largely international. While 68% of the student body are Southern US girls, 20% represent 25 other countries, and the remaining 12 percent from from other US states. There are girls from China, Japan, UK, Jamaica, India, and several African countries including Nigeria. So when I asked my daughter that question today, she rattled off a few names, and

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Give Jaden Smith a little Credit

The internet is all abuzz because Jaden Smith, son of Will and Jada Smith, made tweeted that people would be more intelligent if they didn't go to school.  In usual adult fashion, he is being dismissed as a moody teen who doesn't like school.

I have a different take on the issue, I think he is actually advocating for homeschooling or unschooling.



Saturday, May 25, 2013

Just because it's news doesn't make it true

A local TV news reporter did a hard-hitting expose on a program a lot of homeschoolers use to help them homeschool their kids.  The program gives accredited  diplomas and it also does dual enrollment for public school students.  It is the dual enrollment part that has gotten them in hot water.

I wrote about the story here:


WSBTV news reporter vilifies alternative education program

I personally used this program to review my daughter's work and provide her with a diploma.  While I didn't NEED to use the program, I did to give my kid a boost with the state's HOPE program, and to certify her grades to make her more competitive for scholarships.

I dare ask, instead of questioning how rigorous credit recovery programs are, perhaps they should be asking why so many students need credit recovery?

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Be on time people!

Spelman parents are upset that the college closed the doors 30 minutes prior to graduation start time.  They missed their child's graduation.  They blame distance- living as far away as California or Canada (from Georgia).  They blame the fact that President Obama's motorcade slowed things down as he was speaking next door at Morehouse.  They are fighting mad that they were late, and not allowed in.

But here's the thing.

They knew all year when graduation was.
They knew all year that the college closed the doors 30 minutes before commencement started.
They knew, at least for a couple of weeks that President Obama was in town.

They should have planned ahead.

Maybe I am a bit unfeeling, but my daughter also graduated this weekend from her high school homeschool program.  It was a really big deal as she was starting off the festivities with a 20 minute show she designed herself.  I said repeatedly "be on time, she starts at 1pm sharp".  I went as far as to provide breakfast foods at my house so people could come over together-on time... and guess what.  I have enough breakfast foods left at my house to last 2 weeks, and people showed up late and were upset that they missed her perform.  They wanted to know what I was going to do about it as if I could turn back time, or make the school have her perform it again.  They wanted to know where the recording of the performance was.  MAN.  That kind of steams me up.  Only 2 people/families deserve a recording because they didn't have all the information.  The rest will get a little something put on a disc if I get the chance.

But I digress.

If I were a Spelman parent, I certainly would not have flown in the morning of my daughter's graduation.  Haven't these people ever heard of plane delays?  They are to be expected.  This is Atlanta people... we have one of the busiest airports in the nation!

So, fly in a day or two early, and pay for a hotel... don't be cheap and lazy.  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and the school does not owe it to you to break the rules and accommodate for your lack of planning.

Personally, I would have rather arrived at the butt-crack of dawn and spent the morning sitting around on my behind waiting than to miss my kid walk the college graduation line.

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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Best argument for homeschooling to date.

As I watch young nieces, nephews, and extended family struggle with high school, I would try to compare their struggle to my own personal experience as a public school student over 20 years ago. I knew things had changed, but because I chose to homeschool my own, I have remained pretty ignorant of just how much things have changed. Here an excerpt from a a retirement letter recently written by Mr. Conti, who has taught for 40 years:
“For the last decade or so, I have had two signs hanging above the blackboard at the front of my classroom, they read, ‘Words Matter’ and ‘Ideas Matter.’ While I still believe these simple statements to be true, I don’t feel that those currently driving public education have any inkling of what they mean... My profession is being demeaned by a pervasive atmosphere of distrust, dictating that teachers cannot be permitted to develop and administer their own quizzes and tests (now titled as generic “assessments”) or grade their own students’ examinations. The development of plans, choice of lessons and the materials to be employed are increasingly expected to be common to all teachers in a given subject. This approach not only strangles creativity, it smothers the development of critical thinking in our students and assumes a one-size-fits-all mentality more appropriate to the assembly line than to the classroom."
Read the full letter here Based on this information, I have to say I am really glad that have homeschooled my kids, and I only have one piece of advice... one that I have surprisingly never given before. If you want your child to be successful in education and in life.. you will want to homeschool them. FREE HOME EDUCATION WEBSITE ahermitt.com

Friday, December 14, 2012

Over two dozen dead in Connecticut School Shooting?

Someone explain to me how you go into a school and kill children.  Here is my summary of the devastation in Newtown Connecticut. 

As of right how, there are still a lot of rumors abound.  The most disturbing of these rumors is that the gunman was the father of a Kindergartener whose intention was to kill his own child (and many others) in retaliation against the other parent.  I don't know if this is true or not.

The consensus is that there were two gunmen, one who killed himself and was about 24.  The  other person may have escaped.

Hug your kids a little tighter today.  I for one am very glad my very, very big son is home from college today, and my daughter is down the hall from me, safely sprawled across her bed reading.  As for me, my heart is sick and hurting for these innocent souls and their parents.


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Monday, October 15, 2012

If we would just let them learn

If we know that "knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave" (Frederick Douglas),then we understand why a little girl with a book is a threat to the Taliban.





The way I see it, those terrorists know that if girls became more educated that they could not control

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Music from mars could be inspiration for science

Did you know that when the latest unmanned vessel was sent to Mars that a recording also went with it to be broadcast back to earth.  Will I Am of the Black Eyed Peas penned this song and recorded it with an instrumental orchestra and an orchestra of school children.  I found it fascinating.




I love how the guy in the black shirt (most likely a scientist) can't clap on beat.  But I am sure his other brain abilities outweigh his lack of rhythm.

While this fascinated my pants off, the reasoning behind the song and the movement that has started is of important note to educators.  Please listen to the intent behind the project and the movement that this talented musician his spearheading.




It's interesting how music is taken out of schools but yet, we worship performers. It might be because there is something in those performers and their work that inspire us to be more... to do more.  They set the example of an insane work ethic, in most cases, that I hope will rub off to people in other industries... in the sciences, in math, in psychology, etc.  If only people in the other industries would be compensated nearly as well.

I am looking forward to see what happens with the SYSTEM initiative.


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ahermitt.com

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Their Homework Said What? Makes me glad we homeschool


Brief synopsis:

I just wanted to talk about an item in local/national news.

A school near me sent home math worksheets with references to slavery.  For example, If Fred got two beatings a day....  or Each tree had 56 oranges, if 8 slaves picked them equally, how much would each slave pick?

Ok this is kinda sickening.

I am not saying homeschooling will protect your child from what other people stupidly thinks are good ideas, because you can't escape dumb... but it does illustrate why it is important to be in charge of your child's curriculum.  Hence... homeschooling is a really good idea.


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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Kids are what you feed them.

I'm not talking about food.



Transcript:

So, crime is running rampant in Atlanta Schools lately, but it's not the kids.  A former bookkeeper, at Jefferson High School, Stone Mountain, agreed to a 10 year sentence after being convicted of using a school card to buy more than $10,000 in products for her personal use. ...And this money was meant for school activities.  And before that Chyrokessia Rucks was sentenced to 15 years probation after

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Atlanta Parents, need to look at their child's education

This is so sad.  

"The morning of Sept. 30, 2009, half a dozen such students — Chantel Cox among them — showed up in Milton Mack’s classroom at Carver. None was assigned to Mack’s special education classes. All, Mack would later tell investigators assigned to an internal inquiry by the school district, said they had been pulled out of their 11th-grade homerooms while their peers took the high school writing test.
“The students were upset and trying to walk out,” Mack told investigators. “They said they were told they weren’t juniors [but] they were told by somebody that they were juniors until that morning.”
Shortly, according to Mack’s account, principal Rodney Ray arrived to try to calm the students. Ray didn’t say so, but Mack told investigators he assumed the principal had pulled out the students so they wouldn’t hurt the school’s overall test score."

This article really makes me think about some thing that I have seen in my suburb of Atlanta.  I have seen students who were previously moderately successful, suddenly feel unwanted in the classroom.  I have seen special ed students suddenly mainstreamed at Grade 9 and promptly flunked. the goal, I can only guess was to encourage dropping out.  I know of several people homeschooling right now, not because they wanted to, but because they felt they had no other choice... the schools were not interested in helping them.

Read more here http://www.examiner.com/homeschooling-in-atlanta/atlanta-parents-may-want-to-consider-homeschooling


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Friday, October 14, 2011

Why are blacks still getting an inferior education?


This is very disheartening news, but I am not surprised.  It was apparent to me by my daughters first grade year that her chances at a good education were slim to none in our Atlanta suburb.  While my son was doing well at the time (in 3rd grade) or so it seemed, I would find out later that he too was getting shafted on his education.

Some of the things that happened.

Someone stole someone else's food and my daughter was pointed out as the thief because the accuser was afraid of the person who actually did it.  My child was a reluctant eater at the time, so that was just crazy.  When the truth came out, my daughter never received an apology.

My son was denied even testing into the gifted program because his grades were "inconsistent".  They would not take into account that those very few low scores happened on days he was suffering from migraines (which he has thankfully outgrown).  Interestingly enough, when I unenrolled him from public school the teacher asked me why I would try to homeschool such a gifted child.  My response, "NOW HE'S A GIFTED CHILD?".

I am not one to bring up race or use it as an excuse.  I don't believe in surrounding myself with only people that look like me. However, the statistics do not lie.  In my kids cases, they stood out for one major reason, and it was not socioeconomic. It was a melanin issue. Assumptions were often made, like everyone assumed I was a single parent.

 I am so glad we decided to homeschool so my kids would have no reason to feel inferior because of their race.  They now, like me, have friends of many races and nationalities, and are on equal footing academically.  Meanwhile...
LOS ANGELES — A 19-month civil rights investigation of the Los Angeles Unified School District found that the district failed to provide an equal education to English-learners and black students, resulting in wide academic disparities, the U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday.

The investigation also found black students are underrepresented in gifted and talented programs but overrepresented in suspensions and disciplinary actions. Schools with predominantly black populations also lack technology and library resources.
READ:
Can Homeschooling Help Me Graduate on Time?
Many people who were failing in public school have used public school to get back on track and finish their high school years strong. It does however that an great deal of determination and hard work.

Think like a Homeschooler

Homeschooling families take a different approach to education and have a different way of thinking than public school families. Taking on a homeschool way of thinking could be valuable to the families of public school children.

How to Learn About Different Cultures like a Homeschooler
A part of social studies for the typical child in traditional school is to learn about different cultures. The same goes for homeschoolers, but the approach is quite different.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

What Should the Punishment be for Cheating on the SAT

Seven students were arrested for an SAT cheating scam. It seems they were busted sometime back, when rumours of cheating surfaced and the very high SAT scores were compared to their mediocre GPAs. 

In the past, the punishment for cheating was to retake the test free of charge. Now, students may find themselves in jail for four years.

Some feel that the school should handle such cheating incidents, others feel that arrests and prosecution are well justified.  I am leaning more toward the arrest option.  Considering Atlanta public schools are now a joke because teachers caused cheating to occur on elementary students state tests, a message must be sent. 

As usual, this scandal will very likely result in changes that assumes everyone is a liar and a cheat.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice "called on the Educational Testing Service, the nonprofit entity that administers the SAT nationwide, to establish procedures to combat cheating, including photographing students as they take the test and attaching the picture to the answer sheet."

GREAT!

No wonder many colleges are rethinking the SAT and ACT.  In the meantime, these tests are the main way that colleges assess whether or not a homeschooler is college material.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Flipping the classroom... another homeschool method brought to the classroom

No matter how you phrase it, in a flipped classroom, teachers record lectures in advance and assign them as homework. In the classroom, they work through the problems together. This is opposite of how math is typically done in the classroom, and teachers usually introduce the subject matter and have them struggle through it at home. The video explains it all. Interestingly enough, this is a lot like how my homeschooled kids have always worked. They watch math, science, and history videos... as many times as it takes to get it. Then they work through the problems requesting help when necessary.


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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dear undocumented alien students:

I feel bad for you, the undocumented alien students who want to go to college, but is it really fair to demand entry into colleges without first taking steps to becoming legal residents?  

About 200 protesters rallied inside the Capitol to protest the state's new immigration reform law scheduled to go into effect on Friday. Many of the demonstrators said they were undocumented students at metro Atlanta high schools... "It is not OK for all these students to sit at home with all this talent and not be able to go to college," Guerrero said. "I'm not OK with knowing there are 74,000 undocumented students in the state of Georgia."   


Full story here 

My problem is not with these kids wanting a college education, but that they are undocumented.

Yes, your parents brought you into the country when you were young and you could not do anything about it.
Yes, you finished high school, and want to go to college.
Yes, recent rules are preventing you to do so.

But... why not take a year or two and go through the process of getting legal?  You are an adult now.   Make it right.  As the wife of a documented alien who became an American Citizen a couple of years ago, I know that there are many issues dealing with being an alien resident... and that's even for the people who are legal.  I can't imagine the stress that an undocumented alien goes through.

However, to demand entry into colleges and using public money to do so without becoming legal is unfair to all of the kids who were born in the country or whose families took the legal route and had them documented.  There are only so many spaces.  There is only so much financial aid.

If anything needs to be changed, there needs to be an easy process for 18 year old's who have been in the country for 4 or more years to go through the process of becoming a citizen.  It may take a year off of your education timeline while becoming legal resident aliens, and possibly citizens, but it is better than looking over your shoulder for the rest of your life.

The cost of educating legal and illegal aliens
Financial aid Ok'd for illegal students in Califorina



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Friday, September 24, 2010

Oprah: Looking for Superman (video)

I missed the first episode where problems with education was discussed.  But I don't really have to watch Oprah to understand the problems with our schools.  They are plentiful and farspread from the teacher's unions that keep poor teachers, to the politics that drive out new teachers with potential. 

(I am watching part two of this episide, and just 10 minutes in I am distressed.  I feel like the solutions about to be offered are still band-aids.  The first guest, a star teacher in Harlem requested 1 extra hour a day... an hour of what?  More crap?  Ugh!.  )  She presents her own Supermen who she thinks can effect change, and they are calling for mothers, fathers, teachers, adminstrators to join them...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Good idea that Michael Jackson's Kids will stop homeschooling

 It has recently been announced that Micheal Jackson's oldest two children will no longer be homeschooling.  ... and I think it is probably a good idea. If you think this is a strange thing for a homeschooler to say, consider the facts.

They were homeschooled due to the fact that their father was one of the most famous human beings in the world.  He was afraid that others would use his kids to get through to him, or that their friends would likely be false friends.  Since his death, their situation has changed dramatically.  While they are still wealthy, they are much less of a target.

To homeschool a child, you must truly understand homeschooling and be dedicated to the home education of the child.  The Jackson family only continued to homeschool the Jackson children in order to keep a sense of familiarity... not because they feel

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

HSLDA Finally gives Comment on California Ruling against Homeschoolers

This is an update from my accusation yesterday that HSLDA has remained mum on the new rulings in California against a homeschooling family.

Well HSLDA finally did give a comment and called it an Unfortunate Court Decision in California and said that they are "looking at the background of the case to determine the implications of this particular decision by the Second Appellate District for the homeschool community in California."

As someone at homeschool hackers suggested, the problem likely comes in the fact that there are abuse accuations against the parents... Still, if there is abuse, homeschooling still should not be vilified.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

School Integration

If I hadn't lived there myself, I might not believe that in this day and age, this kind of nonsense is still going on in schools.




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