Tag Archives | school

Ohio School Children Participate In Surreal Bus Hijacking Drill

Contrary to some reports, the children involved had previously signed waivers for their participation. Nonetheless, it's surreal that a community of parents and teachers were complicit in this exercise in paranoid fantasy, with terrorist hijackings of their kids' bus in the middle of Ohio apparently being considered a serious possible threat:
Rossford, OH – Police staged a realistic hijacking of a school bus — with children on board — in order to allow a SWAT team to perform an explosion-packed rescue drill.
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Gates Foundation Testing Biosensors To Monitor Students’ Moods

biosensors

Because kids have no right to hide their thoughts from adults, the Chicago Tribune reports:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has poured more than $4 billion into efforts to transform public education in the U.S., is pushing to develop an “engagement pedometer.” Biometric devices wrapped around the wrists of students would identify which classroom moments excite and interest them — and which fall flat.

The foundation has given $1.4 million in grants to several university researchers to begin testing the devices in middle-school classrooms this fall.

The biometric bracelets, produced by Affectiva Inc, send a small current across the skin and then measure subtle changes in electrical charges as the sympathetic nervous system responds to stimuli. The wireless devices have been used in pilot tests to gauge consumers’ emotional response to advertising.

Gates officials hope the devices, known as Q Sensors, can become a common classroom tool, enabling teachers to see, in real time, which kids are tuned in and which are zoned out.

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Court Rules That Yoga Can Be Taught In California School

yogaDoes yoga belong in schools? Will this throw open the door to Hinduism, Buddhism, and the metaphysical infiltrating our classrooms? (I certainly hope so.) The Huffington Post reports:

In a closely watched lawsuit in the San Diego-area where a family had sued the Encinitas, Calif. school district for what it saw as government sponsorship of religion for its yoga classes, a judge ruled Monday that yoga has religious roots but is not religious the way it’s taught in the district. The family who sued in Monday’s case is Christian.

But the ruling will likely not settle the ongoing debate in over whether yoga, which has grown immensely in popularity, is most closely related to its religious roots in Hinduism, is a more general spiritual practice or is a non-religious and non-spiritual pursuit.

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This Is A Real Science Quiz From A Creationist Elementary School

Science, American style, from Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post:

The following fourth grade science quiz for a unit called “Dinosaurs: Genesis and the Gospel” has been making the rounds on Facebook and elsewhere on the Internet, and it turns out it is real. The quiz was given at a private religious school [Blue Ridge Christian Academy] in South Carolina.

Here’s one question and correct answer:

Q) The next time someone says the earth is billions (or millions) of years old, what can you say?
A) were you there

There are religious schools around the country that teach this, including some that take students who have publicly funded vouchers. Some of these schools take students on field trips to the Creation Museum in Kentucky, which has exhibits and shows that promote creationist theory.

creationist science quiz

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Alaskan Children Use Phishing To Take Control Of School Computer Network

alaskan schoolchildren use phishingBeware the children. Via the BBC:

A group of pupils at a middle school in Alaska took control of their school computers after phishing for administrator privileges.

They asked teachers at Schoenbar Middle School, for 12 to 13-year-olds, to enter admin names and passwords to accept a false software update, according to reports. The pupils used those details to access and control classmates’ PCs. Classmates then complained that their computers were not responding normally.

At least 18 pupils were involved in the phishing, which gave them control over 300 computers allocated for student use at the school in the Alaskan town of Ketchikan. Those computers have now been seized.

Casey Robinson, the principal, told community radio station Ketchikan FM: “I don’t think there was any personal information compromised. Now that we have all the machines back in our control, nothing new can happen.”

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Illinois Teacher In Trouble For Informing Students Of Fifth Amendment Rights Prior To Drug-Screening Survey

drug screening surveyThe things you learn in school aren’t supposed to be applicable in real life. Via the Chicago-area Daily Herald:

A Batavia High School teacher’s fans are rallying to support him as he faces possible discipline for advising students of their Constitutional rights before taking a school survey on their behavior.

John Dryden, a social studies teacher, told some of his students April 18 that they had a 5th Amendment right to not incriminate themselves by answering questions on the survey, which had each student’s name printed on it.

The survey is part of measuring how students meet the social-emotional learning standards set by the state. The school district bought the survey from a private company, Multi-Health Systems Inc.

The survey asked about drug, alcohol and tobacco use, and emotions, according to Brad Newkirk, chief academic officer. The results were to be reviewed by school officials, including social workers, counselors and psychologists.

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Elite Boarding School’s Exam Asks Boys To Justify The Army Killing Protesters

eton collegeEton College in England has groomed teenage boys for elite positions in society for nearly 600 years. (Recent alumni include Prime Minister David Cameron and the royal princes.) The Huffington Post UK reports that the school’s scholarship exam, presumably given to our leaders of tomorrow, has raised eyebrows:

Eton College asked 13-year-old boys competing for a scholarship to pretend to be Prime Minister and justify the army shooting dead 25 protesters as a “necessary and moral” decision, it has emerged.

Tony Little, headmaster of Eton College, said the school does not favour “any particular political viewpoint”.

The question was part of an exam to win one of 14 King’s Scholarships. The school, which Prince Harry and Prince William attended, charges more than £30,000 a year in fees.

eton

 

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Queens Elementary Becomes The Nation’s First Public School To Serve Only Vegetarian Meals

vegetarian lunch

A preview of days to come in which families will choose between regular and meat-free public schools. The New York Daily News reports:

Public School 244 in Flushing is the first public school in the nation to serve all-vegetarian meals for breakfast and lunch, according to city education officials.

Chefs at the Active Learning Elementary School have swapped chicken, turkey and ham for black beans, tofu and falafel, and kids are digging in with delight. “This is so good!” squealed 9-year-old Marian Satti, devouring her black bean and cheddar cheese quesadilla Tuesday at lunch. “I’m enjoying that it didn’t have a lot of salt in it. ”

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, who often crows about maintaining a fit lifestyle, said the launch of the vegetarian food-fest should be duplicated in schools across the city and country.

PS 244 partnered with nonprofit New York Coalition for Healthy School Food to design recipes for appetizing plant-based grub.

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West Virginia Lawmaker Proposes Requiring Science Fiction In High School

solarisThe goal is to spur interest in math and science, and encourage kids to ponder the benefits and drawbacks of emerging technologies in their own lives. Via Blastr, a fantastic antidote to the efforts of politicians to mandate religious content in classrooms:

A Republican legislator in West Virginia is proposing a bill that would require the State Board of Education to integrate science fiction literature into middle-school and high-school reading curricula. Delegate Ray Canterbury hopes that even if the bill doesn’t pass it will pressure the Board of Education to adopt science fiction on its own.

“I’m primarily interested in things where advanced technology is a key component of the storyline, both in terms of the problems that it presents and the solutions that it offers,” Canterbury said. Canterbury cites Isaac Asimov and Jules Verne as early influences in his own youth that lead him to earn a degree in mathematics.

“In Southern West Virginia, there’s a bit of a Calvinistic attitude toward life—this is how things are and they’ll never be any different,” Canterbury says.

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Texas High Schoolers Uncover Teacher’s Involvement In Sex Cult Murder

cult murderYour teachers’ lives may be more exciting than they seem. Via the Kansas City Star:

Tyler Deaton landed a job in February to teach pre-calculus at Lancaster High School near Dallas. But students Googled and found news stories from Kansas City with allegations that Deaton’s wife, Bethany, 27, was murdered as part of a coverup by a religious cult to hide a series of sexual assaults. The group’s supposed spiritual leader? Tyler Deaton.

Deaton has not been charged in his wife’s death. The person who has, Micah Moore, was part of Deaton’s religious group and lived with the couple at a house in Grandview. Other witnesses told authorities of a group who were making sex part of their religious experience and that men in the group sexually assaulted Bethany Deaton. Moore said Bethany Deaton was killed for fear she would talk, according to court documents.

When word spread through the halls of Lancaster last week, district officials suspended Deaton.

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