Tag Archives | school

Many Public Schools Begin Charging Students For Attending Class, Textbook Use, Teachers’ Materials

3235856104_9f5fe8f4c4This is so sad: in school districts across the country, the concept of a free public education is fading into the past. The Wall Street Journal writes:

Public schools across the country, struggling with cuts in state funding, are shifting costs to students and their parents by imposing or boosting fees for everything from enrolling in honors English to riding the bus.

At high schools in several states, it can cost more than $200 just to walk in the door, thanks to registration fees, technology fees and unspecified “instructional fees.”

Though public schools have long charged for extras such as driver’s education and field trips, many are now asking parents to pay for supplies needed to take core classes—from biology-lab safety goggles to algebra workbooks to the printer ink used to run off grammar exercises in language arts. In some schools, each class comes with a price tag, to be paid at registration.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Do Students Eat Like Prisoners?

Good Magazine looks at the similarity between prison meals and children’s school cafeteria food — both rich in starch-y/milk-y goodness, and costing around $2.65 per day to provide. It should also be pointed out that both children and prisoners are daily confined to small spaces and given little opportunity to burn off these massive calorie counts. I suppose school is intended to be practice for where the kids will eventually end up?

transparency

Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Journal Of Universal Rejection

JofURBannerRarely do ideas-put-into-action as brilliant as the Journal of Universal Rejection come along. The JofUR is a scholarly publication with an editorial board comprised of dozens of accomplished academics from across several continents. Subscriptions are available for £120 per year. The website explains every aspect of the journal in hilarious detail, but the guiding principle is as follows:

The founding principle of the Journal of Universal Rejection (JofUR) is rejection. Universal rejection. That is to say, all submissions, regardless of quality, will be rejected. Despite that apparent drawback, here are a number of reasons you may choose to submit to the JofUR:

  • You can send your manuscript here without suffering waves of anxiety regarding the eventual fate of your submission. You know with 100% certainty that it will not be accepted for publication.
  • There are no page-fees.
  • You may claim to have submitted to the most prestigious journal (judged by acceptance rate).
Read the rest
Continue Reading

11-Year-Old Arrested In Colorado Over Violent Drawing

The Daily News brings you this latest piece of police state madness:
An 11-year-old boy was arrested, fingerprinted and handcuffed by police in Colorado all because of a stick-figure drawing he made in class. Now his parents say they are out thousands of dollars as a result of the arrest, which took place in October and led to the boy being put on probation. "It was heart wrenching to see my... 11-year-old son walk out my front door in handcuffs," said the child's mother in a report Monday on Fox 31 News in Denver. The boy, identified as "Tim" because the family did not want their names used, suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder and was told by his therapist to draw pictures when he feels himself get upset or agitated...
Continue Reading

When Body Fat Affects Report Cards

If you were an elementary school student, which would upset you more: being picked on as the fat kid in class or having the teacher mention it on your report card? The Chicago Tribune reports:

Elmhurst students have long been checked on how long it takes to run a mile or whether they can do a pushup. But another physical fitness assessment tool has some parents fuming — one that aims at finding out whether their kids are too hefty.

A child’s “body mass index,” a computation of body fat based on height and weight, was one of six tests used at Hawthorne Elementary School to determine the physical fitness grade on a student’s progress report.

But that practice ended abruptly Tuesday after about 25 parents met with school officials to express their displeasure with how the BMI data were being used. One mother broke into tears as she described how it affected her fourth-grade daughter.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

South Korean Schools Introduce Egg-Shaped Robot Teachers

capt.photo_1293513487866-1-0

Each android teacher is equipped with a screen displaying the face of a human avatar, and is controlled remotely by an actual instructor in the Philippines. It’s a way of outsourcing a job (educating children) that one would have thought had to be done in person. The Daily Mail reports:

Pupils often assume their teachers don’t really exist outside the school gates, now robot classroom assistants could make this a reality. Almost 30 egg-shaped robots have started teaching English at primary schools in South Korea.

The 3.3ft high machines have a TV panel that displays a female Caucasian face and can wheel around the classroom while speaking to the students. The robots are also able to read books and dance to music moving their head and arms.

But despite appearances the robots, developed the Korea Institute of Science of Technology, are not autonomous beings. They are actually controlled remotely by English teachers living in the Philippines, who can see and hear the children via a remote control system.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

EU Challenges Britain’s Fingerprinting Of Children In Schools

finger_1785510cIt’s nice to know that the classroom is preparing kids for the future. In one out of every seven British schools, pupils are compulsorily fingerprinted, with finger scanners being used in lunch rooms and libraries, the Telegraph reports:

The European Commission has demanded Britain justifies the widespread and routine fingerprinting of children in schools because of “significant concerns” that the policy breaks EU privacy laws.

The commissioner is also concerned that parents are not allowed legal redress after one man was told he could not challenge the compulsory fingerprinting, without his permission, of his daughter for a “unique pupil number”.

In many schools, when using the canteen or library, children, as young as four, place their thumbs on a scanner and lunch money is deducted from their account or they are registered as borrowing a book.
Research carried out by Dr Emmeline Taylor, at Salford University, found earlier this year that 3,500 schools in the UK – one in seven – are using fingerprint technology.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

As More Bullying Victims Commit Suicide, Right-Wing Groups Decry Anti-Bullying Policies As ‘Gay Agenda’ Ploy

As a sort of follow up to my post yesterday, from Think Progress:

Many states across the country are taking laudable steps to enact measures that bolster administrators’ ability to protect students who face such harassment. However, despite the evidence supporting the need, right-wing lawmakers and activists insist that anti-bullying measures are nothing more than insidious tools of the “homosexual agenda”:

  • The American Family Association of Michigan has spent years decrying a proposed anti-bullying measure as “a Trojan Horse to sneak [homosexual activists’] special rights agenda into law” and to “legitimize homosexual behavior” which is “a practice scientifically proven to result in a dramatically higher incidence of domestic violence, mental illness, illegal drug use, promiscuity, life-threatening disease, and premature death.” The bill “died in 2008 in the state Senate because senators could not agree” on whether to address bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the measure.
Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Culling is Here: Is Abuse a Form of Social Control?

Amidst the recent spate of news stories about bullied youth committing suicide (at least nine in September), ScienceDaily reports:

Loners and antisocial kids who reject other children are often bullied at school — an accepted form of punishment from peers as they establish social order. Such peer victimization may be an extreme group response to control renegades, according to a new study from Concordia University published in the Journal of Early Adolescence.

“For groups to survive, they need to keep their members under control,” says author William M. Bukowski, a professor at the Concordia Department of Psychology and director of its Centre for Research in Human Development. “Withdrawn individuals threaten the strong social fabric of a group, so kids are victimized when they are too strong or too antisocial. Victimization is a reaction to anyone who threatens group harmony.”

Bukowski notes that the word victimization is related to the word for sacrifice and speculates the term remains relevant in establishing modern dynamics among kids.

Read the rest
Continue Reading