Monthly Archives: February 2011

Playtime – Not Early Academics – Puts Kids Ahead

For the nation to produce great thinkers like Thomas Edison, “We need to preserve play,” said Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D., an educator and psychologist in the area of multiple intelligences. “Preserving innovation is not just good for children, but for society as a whole.”

Interviewed by phone recently, Armstrong said the current emphasis on early student achievement has displaced a lot of developmentally appropriate activities, like dress-up, clay and puppets. “They’re actually important to being able to relate to each other,” he said. Continue reading

Schools’ Zero Tolerance Policies Make Zero Sense

Andrew Mikel II made a mistake, and it’s costing him. The problem is a “zero tolerance” disciplinary policy that turns schoolboy pranks into crimes; crimes that can impact a knucklehead kid for the rest of his life.

According to news reports, the Spotsylvania, VA, high school freshman used a pen-casing to blow plastic pellets at three classmates in the cafeteria.  School officials said they had no choice but to suspend Andrew for the remainder of the school year. He was also charged with three counts of criminal assault. Continue reading

Doppler Radar is Ruining Our Kids

Now they know a week-and-a-half ahead of time when a blizzard or hurricane will hit — and when school might be canceled. But once upon a time, before Justin Bieber, kids used to wake up surprised.

The TV weatherman might have predicted precipitation the night before, but people didn’t rush out and empty store shelves like they were preparing for the Apocalypse.  Continue reading

Like kids in their Sunday clothes, lawmakers should wear their State of the Union behavior more often.

For the first time in recent memory, Democrat and Republican lawmakers sat together in the House chambers during a State of the Union address, at least some of them, in an act of solidarity championed by Senator Mark Udall, a Democrat from Col0rado.

But a commentator I heard on NPR said he thought Obama’s address was boring. Actually, it wasn’t his speech that made him yawn. It was the lack of riotous applause from members of Obama’s own party, due in large part to the absence of factionism in the House chambers. Continue reading