McKeesport Area School District’s Reopening Plan is Based on Dubious Facts, Bad Reasoning & Takes Unnecessary Risks: An Open Letter to the Superintendent – Education Article

 Dr. Mark Holtzman:   I am extremely concerned about the reopening plan for the McKeesport Area School District you offered on video Tuesday.   As a parent of a child in the district and a teacher in a neighboring district, I find the plan you put forward to be absolutely terrifying. It is badly reasoned, based on unproven facts, and takes unnecessary risks with students and staff.   In short, you propose reducing social distancing by half, requiring students to wear…

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Something every parent should do, all the time – Education Article

Quarterback Drew Brees, of the New Orleans Saints, walks off the field at halftime during the NFL Pro Bowl football game in January, 2020. Brees has recently come under fire for his comment, about players who take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, that he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America.” The statement, says Hechinger columnist Andre Perry, demonstrates the deliberate blindness of many in the white community…

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U.S. wants to reopen its economy. It won’t happen without work support – Education Article

Sharlotte Stapleton, pictured with her husband, Cleveland, and son, Kvian, has been out of work since mid-March, when she was laid off from her job at a Natchez, Mississippi hotel. For families like the Stapletons, child care challenges during the coronavirus pandemic can make it hard to return to work, especially if their jobs are outside the home. Credit: Sharlotte Stapleton Before she was laid off in March, Sharlotte Stapleton’s 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift at the Magnolia Bluffs…

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Pennsylvania Wants YOU to Give Standardized Tests to Your Kids at Home – Education Article

    A multi-million dollar corporation wants to make sure Pennsylvania’s children keep getting standardized tests.  Data Recognition Corporation (DRC) and the state Department of Education are providing the optional Classroom Diagnostic Tools (CDT) assessments for use in students’ homes.     Students are not required to take the CDT in the Commonwealth unless their district decides to give it. The test is encouraged by the state as a way of telling how students will do on the required tests.…

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How To Increase Student Online Participation By 50 Percent – Education Article

It’s been a tough go, this online learning. Many students are checked out. A few of which have been entirely off the grid for the past two months, whereabouts unknown. A few others are up to their ears in responsibilities—cooking, cleaning, taking care of siblings. But most just can’t seem to get it together. Eat, sleep, video games. Repeat. As educators, it’s hard for us to understand. What of the importance of education? What could possibly be a better use…

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Why High Stakes Testing Was Cancelled This Year (and Probably Will Be Next Year, Too) – Education Article

 There are at least two silver linings to the current Coronavirus catastrophe for education.   One – with nearly all public schools closed, March was the first month since 2002 without a school shooting.   Two – districts nationwide cancelled high stakes standardized tests in April and May.   Taken together, these are two victories that no one could have predicted before November.   Gun safety restrictions remain laughably lax in the US compared to the rest of the world.…

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The Internet is NOT the Best Place for Kids to Learn After the Coronavirus Pandemic – Education Article

 If the Coronavirus quarantine has taught educators one thing, it’s this.   Online learning is not better than in-person schooling.   After all these years of corporations throwing apps at us and well-meaning administrators providing us with devices and philanthrocapitalists pumping billions of dollars into ed tech first academic schemes, we can all see now that the emperor has no clothes.   When schools nationwide are closed to stop the spread of a global pandemic and learning is restricted to…

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Mike Turzai is Willing to Sacrifice Pennsylvania’s Students and Families to the Economy – Education Article

 Mike Turzai says he’s furious with Pedro Rivera.   Why is the highest ranking Republican in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives so angry with the state Secretary of Education?   Rivera said the Commonwealth’s public schools, which have been closed since mid March due to the Coronavirus pandemic, would not reopen until it was safe to do so.   If that means schools don’t reopen on time in the Fall, so be it.   Specifically, on Wednesday, Rivera said:   “At…

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‘Ghostwriter’ trailer and interactive reading challenge – Education Article

All-New Episodes of Parents’ Choice Gold Award-Winning Series,Written and Directed By Academy Award-Winning and DGA Nominated, Luke Matheny,Now Streaming Globally on Apple TV+ Read the ‘Ghostwriter’ Books for Free HERE Timed to today’s debut of six all-new episodes, Apple TV+ announced the new official trailer from the Parents’ Choice Gold Award-winning series “Ghostwriter” and shared details about the “Ghostwriter” Reading Challenge, an initiative launching this week which encourages children and parents to read along together with the series during…

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4 Security Issues for Schools During Covid19 Distance Education – Education Article

Schools spend time, resources, and focus on security. Now, that security is moving online. What was once relegated to the IT department is now everybody’s business. In today’s show, I share four security issues that are on my mind. First, video conferencing security. Second, encouraging parents to conduct a security audit in the content management or learning management system you are using. Third, I talk about increasing awareness of social media manipulation by countries. Finally, I share what I think…

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HBO’s “Bad Education” Aims at Public School Theft While Ignoring More Frequent Fraud at Charter Schools & Testing Companies – Education Article

 “Bad Education” is a frustrating movie to watch as a public school teacher.   It does a fine job telling the true story of a wealthy New York district where administrators stole millions of dollars for themselves.   But it ignores the far more frequent waste and malfeasance caused by school privatization, high stakes testing and runaway ed tech.   Maybe I’m being too sensitive, but there is no subject more political than public schools.   During the current Coronavirus…

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Adventures in Online Teaching: Reinventing the Wheel for a Handful of Students – Education Article

 Today in our ZOOM meeting, one of my students tried to get one over on me.   I sat at the bureau in my guest bedroom, surveying a gallery of 7th grade faces lined up in little boxes on my laptop like the opening scene of the Brady Bunch.   Lilly was lying on her bed face up, almost definitely scrolling on her cell phone.   Pha’rrel was eating a cookie as he tried to fit his overgrown curls under…

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Trumpsters are Furious Over My Refusal to Sacrifice Students to the Economy – Education Article

  You can’t make this stuff up!   I published an article yesterday on my blog with the title “You Can’t Have My Students’ Lives to Restart Your Economy.”    In it, I criticized Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil and a Walton Family Foundation advisor who lambasted social distancing efforts as a response to the Coronavirus global pandemic, especially here in the United States. To varying degrees, they each thought it was acceptable to sacrifice children’s safety by reopening schools early…

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You Can’t Have My Students’ Lives to Restart Your Economy – Education Article

    It’s okay if a few children die to start up the economy.   That is literally the opinion being offered by media influencers and policymakers as Coronavirus social distancing efforts continue passed the 30-day mark.   In the midst of a global pandemic, we’ve closed down all nonessential businesses while people self quarantine at home waiting for the curve of infection to plateau and then drop off. Medical experts tell us this is the only way to ensure…

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The ULTIMATE Trivia List For Kids – Education Article

Trivia questions for kids is a fun activity for the entire family. It keeps kids occupied on road trips, holidays, and on cold, winter days, especially if it is fun quiz questions that are entertaining too. Quizzes for kids are interactive ways to test kids’ knowledge in the classroom in an engaging manner.  Even the shy students may be challenged to a friendly competition to show their knowledge and understanding of a topic. Here is a list of questions, some…

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