Write it, learn it. Recent studies suggest that — surprise! — handwriting is important. Beyond the obvious advantages (your pharmacist can read your doctor’s prescription, say), research has revealed that the art of writing is an important learning tool.
Abstinence is the oldest and most effective method of controlling premarital sex, children born out of wedlock, the spread of venereal disease, and many other social problems. The federal government has intruded itself into the education of our children for decades now, without much good effect, though in recent years many conservative-minded Americans have supported abstinence being a part of federally funded sex education. But a federal government that (unconstitutionally) funds public education can not only attach strings to the funding but change the strings. And now, the for first time in more than a decade, the federal government will be paying for sex education programs that are not rooted in abstinence.
What do most Americans know about various world religions? According to a recent study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, not very much. But the questions posed by the study may raise more questions about its methodology than is revealed about the state of religious education in modern America.
A New Hampshire school district agreed to pay $2,500 to a female former student who was forced to partially undress in front of two male teachers who were searching her clothing for evidence of drug possession, the New Hampshire Union Leader reported Monday. The statewide daily obtained a copy of the agreement through a request under the state's Right to Know law.
When Edwin Newman published his phenomenal bestseller Strictly Speaking, a blurb on the back cover quoted a reviewer who described the erudite author as "a glass of chilled wine awash in a sea of tepid Tab." That is probably the greatest tribute to the surpassing virtue of verbal wheat over rhetorical chaff since Thomas Jefferson said the words of Jesus stand out from those of his commentators like so many "diamonds in a dung heap."
In New Jersey, a program called “Teach for America” is being tested as a tool for addressing the manifest failure of public schools in areas like Newark. This program purports to improve schools by providing them with leadership through this foundation, which combines teaching and administration.
The linguistic relativity principle is back in vogue, according to linguist Guy Deutscher of the University of Manchester, writing for the New York Times. This principle, often known informally as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis after the two linguists who articulated it most persuasively, states in effect that the way in which different languages encode various grammatical properties determines the way their speakers perceive the world.
For over 30 years the middle school in Nettleton, Mississippi, had classified students who wished to run in student elections by race. One year particular offices, such as class president, were reserved for white students; the next year they were opened only to blacks. This policy was implemented, said the school district, in response to a court order, likely involving a desegregation case.
This week, the New York Post exposed the religious bias found within the New York State Regents exams. According to the Post, “State testmakers played favorites when quizzing high-schoolers on world religions — giving Islam and Buddhism the kid-glove treatment while socking it to Christianity.” The bias was found in specifically global history and geography exams, proving yet again that the liberal tenet of separation of church and state applies solely to Christianity.
In what reads like a passage from George Orwell’s 1984 or Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, the government public school district for New Canaan, Connecticut, is considering a proposal from SecureRF, a local digital security company, to tag and track school property, such as textbooks, laptops — and also students — whether they are on or off campus.