Late Start

For a few years now – ever since the release of the 2009 PISA scores – Finland has been heralded as the new model for Western education, except for the fact that our modeling has been more after South Korea (intense pressure on students) than Finland. What has come out of Finland recently is that…

Problems in Education Run Deep

Maybe there’s something wrong with how we see the world, and ourselves. In a recent Huffington Post article by Karin Chenoweth, three examples are paraded that illustrate the differences between the current US educational environment, and those of Finland, Poland and South Korea, as seen through the eyes of foreign exchange students from the US.…

What’s Best for Your Child?

The vast majority of parents want to do right by their children. One Early Childhood and Family Education (ECFE) educator I once met put it this way, “In the literally thousands of parents I’ve come to know in my career, I only know of one who truly did not care about her child.” Seeing that…

Parenting: The Grand Experiment

Last night, for the first time…maybe ever (and I’m not proud of that)…I shed my arrogant façade and was open to hearing what someone else had to say about a topic I feel like I know something about: parenting. The occasion was a parenting workshop entitled “Goldilocks Parenting.” Of course I was intrigued by the…

Supplemental Education

Just when I was about to come down hard on my oldest son for his slipping grades, we got to the root of the problem, which I wonder if it is a problem at all. Except for the first quarter of the school year, his grades have somewhat ping-ponged. The final grades for each quarter…

I still love you

Mornings I drive our oldest to school. There is a school bus he can take, but when he asked for a ride instead, because he found the ride on the bus terribly annoying, I jumped at the chance to drive him. I saw it as an opportunity for us to have a daily check-in, to…

Education Reform for Business or Learning?

In a recent Diane Ravitch blog post she casts a doubtful eye upon the newly ubiquitous national education standards known as Common Core Standards. While the article is a very interesting critique on how the Standards came to being, and what the process of their creation means to the course of education reform, what is,…

Yes, We ARE Guinea Pigs

“We are a nation of guinea pigs, almost all trying an unknown new program at the same time.” This is a quote from a recent article by Diane Ravitch on her blog, dianeravitch.net. I – and many others – have considered Diane a guru of education reform. The rest of her article is classic Ravitch,…

The right fit

We had a recent struggle with our youngest not doing so well on a spelling test. Came to pass that he’s finally bumped up against something in school in which he’s going to have to finally exert some effort. We knew this day would come, and hoped it would happen sooner, as it had with…

On the way to school

An interesting conversation with my oldest unfolded the other morning in the car as I was driving him to Middle School. “What would make school more interesting?” I asked. “Not having school.” was his terse reply. I took this with a  grain of salt since he was in the middle of making up for 10…