"The most authoritative study ever done on the impact of 'Sesame Street,' to be released Monday, finds that the famous show on public TV has delivered lasting educational benefits to millions of American children-- benefits as powerful as the ones children get from going to preschool."
--Washington Post.com
This is Teacher Appreciation Week.
A teacher affects eternity and can never tell where the influence stops.
---Henry Adams
Sesame Street turns 45!!!
It's the birthday of John Dewey , born in Burlington, Vermont (1859). He wrote Democracy and Education (1916), and he founded the New School for Social Research.
He said, "Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results."
Lakewood High a standout in student protests.
Instead of an early-morning mass exodus with no specific end time, students are being encouraged to rally for about 20 minutes during their homeroom at 9:20 a.m., be back for class at 9:40 a.m., and only return to the demonstration if they have a free period.

To prepare, student leaders have met with school staff and Lakewood police department. And 650 students met with the county's superintendent Dan McMinimee earlier in the week
To clarify the intent of this is not to walk out in the sense that other schools have done, Lakewood High organizers posted on Facebook. We will in no way promote kids walking out of classes. This will be classier and show that we value our education.


In the face of mass protests from students, members of the Jefferson County school board majority Wednesday defended a proposed curriculum committee and called it misunderstood, while signaling the most criticized elements are likely to be cut. The proposed panel has emerged as the largest point of disagreement yet in the state's second-largest school district, a perennially high academic achiever that saw a conservative, reform-minded board majority voted in 10 months ago.

Jeffco school board curriculum committee idea latest divisive issue


[Tuesday's] student walkout at at least five Jefferson County high schools, in protest of the new conservative Jeffco school board majority's proposed "curriculum review committee" to undertake a politically suspect review of revised AP history materials, has exploded into national headlines. The New York Times, along with major online sources like Talking Points Memo and Raw Story, have elevated this controversy and linked it to the larger right-wing struggle against updating education standards throughout the country.

The Madness of Julie Williams

Dont send your kid to the Ivy League, said former Yale professor William Deresiewicz in The New Republic.
Yes, elite universities like Harvard, Princeton, and Yale manufacture young people who are smart and talented and driven, engineered to attain status and wealth. But they also produce graduates with little intellectual curiosity and virtually no sense of self. Admission standards are now so extreme that to get into Ivy League colleges, kids have to compile records of astonishing achievement. That leaves them with a violent aversion to risk.

Rather than use their college years to explore books, ideas, works of art, and thought, these superstudents are obsessed with getting straight A's in classes that will prepare them for getting to the top.

Nearly a third of Ivy League graduates go into finance or consulting. But the primary goal of higher education is, or should be, learning how to think. Thats why youre better off sending your kids to a state university or a small liberal arts college, where students tend to be more truly diverse in background and interests and far less entitled and competitive.

"Occupy Wadsworth"

Teachers, parents and students lined several intersections along Wadsworth Boulevard, to show support for Jefferson County teachers and students, while also voicing frustration with the conservative, 3-2 school board majority. "There is miscommunication happening and there is not transparency," said Sarah Freza, a Jeffco parent and middle school teacher. Many said there was not transparency when negotiations with teachers stalled, the long-time superintendent resigned, and a nationwide search for a replacement led to one finalist.

Jeffco Teachers, Students "Occupy Wadsworth"

Learn more at standupforallstudents.org

It feels like a dark time.

On Thursday morning, thousands of children who attend public school in New York City will be sitting down for the second of three days of standardized math tests. Among them will be the offspring of Louis C.K., the comedian. Earlier this week, he took to social media to express his frustration at his daughters math homework, tweeting the questions she was required to solve to his more than three million followers. My kids used to love math! Now it makes them cry, he wrote ... [T]he issue identified by Louis C.K., and by other less well-known but equally furious parents, is not that the material children are expected to learn is too hard ... nn emphasis on a certain kind of testing has become a blight upon the citys [ed. and the nation's] classrooms.

The New Yorker Blog: Louis C.K. Against The Common Core

Learning takes a back seat to testing

Susan Sluyter: "When I first began teaching more than 25 years ago, hands-on exploration, investigation, joy and love of learning characterized the early childhood classroom. Id describe our current period as a time of testing, data collection, competition and punishment. One would be hard put these days to find joy present in classrooms."

Kindergarten teacher: My job is now about tests and data -- not children. I quit.

When we don’t get the results we want in our military endeavors, we don’t blame the soldiers. We don’t say, “It’s these lazy soldiers and their bloated benefits plans! That’s why we haven’t done better in Afghanistan!” No, if the results aren’t there, we blame the planners. We blame the generals, the secretary of defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff. No one contemplates blaming the men and women fighting every day in the trenches for little pay and scant recognition. And yet in education we do just that. When we don’t like the way our students score on international standardized tests, we blame the teachers. When we don’t like the way particular schools perform, we blame the teachers and restrict their resources.

New York Times Op-Ed: The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries

Labs will eat anything

A Colorado schoolgirl was able to give her teacher the oldest excuse in the book when her dog actually ate her homework. Payton Moody, 13, had just finished building her science class project—a candy-covered volcano held together by 50 metal pins—when her yellow Lab, Reggie, found it and scarfed down the whole thing. The dog had to undergo surgery to have the pins removed from his stomach. Moody remade her science project, using glue this time. “I got an A,” she said.

Unfortunately a common misperception

Gifted and Talented

by Krista Lukas

For my teaching license, I am required
to take a class called "Mainstreaming,"
in which we learn about every kind
of kid who could walk or be wheeled
through our future classroom doors.

Not the blind, the deaf, and the handicapped,
but students with
blindness, deafness, developmental delays,
autism, moderate to severe
learning disabilities, hyperactivity,
attention deficit, oppositional defiance
disorder, and so on.

The instructor, an elementary
principal by day, who outlines
each chapter and reads to us
these outlines each Wednesday
from six to nine, devotes
one hour one night to the subject
of students with
gifts and talents, who might also
come through our future.

Regarding special programs
for such students, one teacher-candidate asks,
"Do you have to be gifted to teach them?"
"No." The principal-instructor
shakes her head, as if
such a thing would be impossible.
"Not many gifted people
go into education."

"Gifted and Talented" by Krista Lukas, from Fans of My Unconscious. © The Black Rock Press, 2013.

Amendment 66 Fails

“As Coloradans, we have a history of going after what we believe is the best, right thing, based upon facts, and we go after that goal with hard work and heart. That’s the Western spirit alive in each of us.

For some people Amendment 66 was only about taxes. For others it was about investing in and sacrificing for our most valuable resource: our children. We are committed to common sense solutions and remain committed to collaborating with everyone to make Colorado’s education system the best it can be.”

Gov. Hickenlooper statement about Amendment 66

The hills are alive...

Julie Andrew was the CU commencement speaker this year.
"Be a part of all that is decent and be an ambassador for the kind of world that you want to live in."

he index score is the number of college-level tests given at a school in 2012 divided by the number of graduates that year. Also noted are the percentage of students who come from families that qualify for lunch subsidies (Subs. lunch) and the percentage of graduates who passed at least one college-level test during their high school career, called equity and excellence, (E&E). A (P) next to the school's name denotes a private school.

The Washington Post: America's Most Challenging High School #460 - Lakewood High School

Taking a test to become a teacher.
A new nation-wide exam to certify teachers is recommended by the National Federation of Teachers.


All children deserve access to a world-class education and the chance to pursue their dreams. Our schools are a gateway to those opportunities and the key to our Nation's economic prosperity and civic life. This week, we reaffirm our national mission of educating our students and training our workers better than any other country on earth.

AMERICAN EDUCATION WEEK, 2012 (Presidential Proclamation, PDF)

How about "Missing"?

CU Denver (I got a degree from there.) has a new mascot, a lynx.
Now they are running a survey looking for a name for the critter.
"I think it is important that students have an identity for their school that they can connect with. It is something that creates a sense of pride and a connection to the school that should last over the years."
---SGA president Gordon Hamby

I'd vote for him

School days, school days
Dear old Golden Rule days
'Reading and 'riting and 'rithmetic
Taught to the tune of the hick'ry stick ...

Ben begins his Junior year of High School today!

(x2 + y2)2=(x2-y2)2 + (2xy)2

The case against Algebra
In many states, testing shows that more than a third of students fail to rate as "proficient" in algebra; teachers tell me that math classes make some students feel stupid, and are a major reason why as many as 30% of kids drop out--especially among minorities. How about teaching statistics, budgeting skills, and math used in public and personal life instead?

Remember when?

The magazine that brought us all kinds of kid-appropriate stories, from presidential elections to fuzzy animals, is ceasing independent publication after more than a century in classrooms.
The Weekly Reader magazine will no longer be published.

A Day for Family

No matter what struggles or setbacks you face in your life, focus on what you have, not on what you are missing ... the true measure of success will be what you do when life knocks you to the ground.

Michelle Obama pays tribute to dads and grads: 143Rd Annual OSU Commencement

In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less, because passing civilization along from one generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and the highest responsibility anyone could have.

--Lee Iacocca, automobile executive (b. 1924)
Today is NATIONAL TEACHER DAY as part of Teacher Appreciation Week.

Math is Easy!

Life is my college. May I graduate well, and earn some honors!
- ~Louisa May Alcott

The Boulder Valley School District's next superintendent will be Bruce Messinger, now the chief of Helena Public Schools in Montana.

School board President Ken Roberge said:

Messinger is a visionary who's also "patient, methodical, yet never lets up on the pressure."

It's National Teacher Day.
If you can read this, thank a teacher!

Deaf Broomfield students "recite" the Pledge of Allegiance at the State Legislature.

The 26th Amendment gave 18-year olds the right to vote.

March 23rd, 2011 is the 1st Annual Democracy Day

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 26th Amendment, Rock the Vote, in partnership with the National Education Association, brings you the first annual Democracy Day. We are kicking off Democracy Day on March 23, 2011, asking educators, principals, school support staff and community organizations nationwide to commit to teaching Rock the Vote’s Democracy Class lesson to students before the end of the school year.

Deep cuts for Jeffco Public Schools

The president of the Jefferson County Board of Education announced today that because of the state’s escalating budget crisis, the district will be cutting nearly $40 million from its 2011-12 budget. The cuts include the proposed closure of two schools, a three percent loss of compensation for all employees and the suspension of outdoor lab for sixth graders.

Jeffco Public Schools announce nearly $40 million in cuts.

Metro State becomes Denver State University.

An assessment commissioned by Metro State last year found that the current name doesn't reflect the school's size or complexity of its offerings. With 24,000 students, Metro has been growing and recently added master's-level programs.

The assessment also found some confusion about whether the school, located on the Auraria campus, is a community college or a four-year institution.

How writing by hand makes kids smarter.

For Sarah...

From President's Obama's State of the Union Message:

In fact, to every young person listening tonight who's contemplating their career choice: If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation; if you want to make a difference in the life of a child - become a teacher. Your country needs you.

Way to make a statement!

CU student pays tuition bill a dollar at a time.
Using dollar bills, a 50-cent piece and a penny, Nic Ramos paid his entire spring semester out-of-state tuition, $14,309.51.
It took three people nearly an hour to count the money.

Blues Clues Loving Clones from Mars?

Are you smarter than a 9th grader? Are 9th graders smarter than everyone else? 9News wants to know...


How To Make a Puppet

It has always seemed strange to me that in our endless discussions about education so little stress is laid on the pleasure of becoming an educated person, the enormous interest it adds to life. To be able to be caught up into the world of thought -- that is to be educated.

---Edith Hamilton, educator and writer (1867-1963)

But...they cost more

Adjustable desks help fidgety kids.

It's National Teacher Day

A teacher affects eternity; s/he can never know where her/his influence stops.
---Henry Brooks Adams

Boulder Valley School District is considering offering an on-line school for grades 6-12. It will be called Boulder Universal.

It's never too early...

Boulder Valley Schools offer Elementary College Nights so even the youngest can start planning their futures.

Girls may learn math anxiety from female teachers.

Protesters and supporters attend the dedication of the Cheney International Center at the University of Wyoming.

Some quoteable quotes from President's Obama speech to schoolchildren today:

Where you are right now doesn't have to determine where you'll end up. No one's written your destiny for you, because here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.

No one's born being good at all things. You become good at things through hard work. You're not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don't hit every note the first time you sing a song. You've got to practice. The same principle applies to your schoolwork.

But whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.
Here is a link to the full speech.

The T-Rex is safe

The giant copper-plated Tyrannosaurus rex statue outside the geological museum and the treasures it protects have a future at the University of Wyoming.

The S.H. Knight Geological Museum, which was closed earlier this summer, will be supported by an endowment started by a $570,000 donation from longtime UW professor Brainerd Mears and his wife, Anne, UW announced Thursday.

Casper Star-Tribune: Donation fuels plans to maintain, upgrade UW geology museum

It's the birthday of Maria Montessori, born on this day in Chiaravalle, Italy (1870). She was a bright student, and she wanted to study engineering, so when she was 13, against her father's wishes she entered a technical school, where all her classmates were boys. After a few years, she decided to pursue medicine, and she became the first woman in Italy to earn a medical degree. It was so unheard of for a woman to go to medical school that she had to get the approval of the pope in order to study there.

As a doctor, she worked with children with special needs, and through her work with them she became increasingly interested in education. She believed that children were not blank slates, but that they each had inherent, individual gifts. It was a teacher's job to help children find these gifts, rather than dictating what a child should know. She emphasized independence, self-directed learning, and learning from peers. Children were encouraged to make decisions. She was one of the first to use child-sized tables and chairs in the classroom.

During World War II, Montessori was exiled from Italy because she was opposed to Mussolini's fascism and his desire to make her a figurehead for the Italian government. She lived and worked in India for many years, and then in Holland. She died in 1952 at the age of 81.

Remember 1959?

Amazing! Horrifying!
This past week my High School graduating class held its 50th reunion (yes, FIFTIETH)
Natrona County High School, Casper, Wyoming

School's Out!

Today is Sarah and Ben's last day of school. Summer vacation is here!

Even with social barriers eroding every day, it can still prove difficult for young girls to get a start in art and science. That's where "Cool Girls" comes in. The group of third- and fourth-graders meet once a week at Crest View Elementary School in Boulder to talk about science, make art, and find ways to combine the two.
"Cool Girls" show off their work: Club combines science and art; work displayed at Old Firehouse Art Center. (Visit the Cool Girls Science/Art website directly)

The Curse of Cursive

Keyboarding has replaced cursive as the priority in most schools, and most kids don't use it when they have the chance; in 2006, just 15% of SAT takers used cursive on the written test.

Students petition to rename Boulder High School Barack Obama High.

Home of the Dragons

Last Friday my old elementary school, Emerald Elem. in Broomfield, celebrated its 50th anniversary.

iTunes U

Recently we got an Apple TV and I've been looking for content to play on it. Poking around, I found iTunes U a set of free educational resources available through the iTunes store. So far I've pulled down programs on Nanotechnology and lectures on Infinity. It turnes a consumer product into a great learning tool!

Long distance educating

Asians turn to Ten Sleep, Wyoming, for English tutoring.

It's International Walk-to-School Day

What does it cost for 4 years of college these days (including books, food, rent, etc.)?

$80,000, at least at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

In March, Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, testified before the House Committee on Science and Technology about the abject failure of American schools, colleges, and universities to prepare students for advanced study in the sciences
How Our Culture Keeps Students Out of Science

Every year Newsweek magazine does a survey and posts a list of the top high schools in the nation. Sarah's new school, Lakewood High, ranked 105th. It came out ahead of Boulder High and Fairview High, which means something in this neck of the woods!

May 6 is National Teacher Day.

The Payoff=knowledge???

Manual High School in Denver paid students $5 per test to take the CSAP exams this past week. They had perfect attendance!

Go, Turtle, Go!

A group of fifth grade students from Westminster are urging the Colorado State Legislature to name the western painted turtle as the official state reptile.

#2 Pencil

Ben and Sarah begin their Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) testing today. They both have test this week and next week. They've done well in the past and should perform the same this year. Good Luck!

Get out your Cat Hat

Today is Read Across America Day. The theme this year centers around the Seuss book "Horton Hears a Who", which is also being made into a movie.


Need to brush up on your math skills? Check out this list of Free Math Courses Online - everything from the introductory to the complex!

Diane Hewlett-Lowrie, has worked for 20 years in a variety of environmental education positions in Scotland and the U.S. and she currently lives in New Jersey. She has a special interest in how children learn and believes in nurturing the development of the whole child. She and her husband have one son, age 6, and their experience with homework to date has been that it is pointless, causes stress, has no real merit and takes time away from much more valuable activities at home.
Stop Homework presents: "We don't have time to do that; You've got Homework!"

Record number of teachers set to retire.

She's a Tiger

After applying for, taking tests, and completing interviews, Sarah has been invited to join the Lakewood High School International Baccalaureate Program.

And after much thought and deliberation, Sarah has decided to accept the invitation. She'll start as a 9th grader in the fall. Congratulations!

Choices, Choices

Last night Cameo, Sarah, and I attended the Wheat Ridge High School information night for prospective students. We know the principal there, so Sarah was warmly welcomed. The event went well and gave her a good idea about what the school is like. Right now WRHS is #2 on Sarah's choice list, behind the International Baccalaureate Program at Lakewood High.

November 11-17 is American Education Week.

Mind your p's and q's

The teaching of penmanship fell out of favor some years ago (Why would you need to learn good handwriting with computers around?). Now the educational pendulum has swung back, and new research indicates that, developmentally, writing by hand is "a key part of learning".

Not the reason you would expect...

Local Broomfield elementary school bans Halloween this year. Why? Some kids feel left out.

You're it!

An elementary school in Colorado Springs has banned tag on the playground.

150 years of working for education

From June 30th to July 5th the National Education Association will be holding it's annual convention in Philadelphia. It was there, in 1857, that 43 educators first met to discuss the needs of teachers, and formed the Association. View the century and

Hooray for Teachers!

Today, May 8, is National Teacher Day.

Vote for ED!

ED in 08 is a new campaign funded by the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation aimed at making the improvement of education a top priority in the U.S. Former Colorado Governor Roy Romer is heading up our state's push.

Pondering the 21st Century

This information came from an article in the Colorado Education Association magazine "The Journal""

**A week's worth of New York Times has more information than someone learned in a lifetime in the 18th Century.
**In the next few years the l

33 Reasons Why Libraries and Librarians are Still Extremely Important
I like number 5: School Libraries and Librarians Improve Student Test Scores and 1

The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn.
John Lubbock

Smartest City

Forbes.com looked at data from Sperling's Best Places and chose Boulder as the country's "smartest city" from a field of 200 metropolitan U.S. areas. Fort Collins-Loveland came in seventh. <

I touch the future, I teach.

You are the author of your own life story.
This message is painted in purple across the wall of Susan Ryder's seventh grade language arts classroom. She is the Colorado Teacher of the Year for 2007.

Outdoor Lab - Summer Style

This week Sarah is participating in the Outdoor Lab Summer Session (this time at Windy Peak). All 6th graders attend Outdoor Lab during the schoo

Rescue Recess!

Due to pressures from No Child Left Behind and the increased amount of testing required, many schools are eliminating recess to put more "teaching time" in the day. Operation Rescue Recess , sponsored by the
It's National Teachers Day.

The sad state of education...

A man named Dave Anton posted this on the Wordsmith daily quote which I receive:
I love this quotation:
Books are the compasses and telescopes and sextants and charts which other men have prepared to help us navigate the dangerous


A local teacher, Don Perl, paid to have signs placed on bus benches in Greeley urging parents to keep their kids out of school during statewide achieve
Happy National Teacher Day!
It's fun to laugh at stupid people, and the Naval Safety Center serves up a bunch of examples with pictures and commentary. From Posted by Jason to Education 
The year 2005 has been designated as The Year of Languages in the US: . There are numerous material reasons to learn a new language. But the one I believe most crucial is this: once we speak the language of a
When we came out of the church that night, it was cold and clear, with crunchy snow underfoot and bright, bright stars overhead. And I thought about the Angel of the Lord-- Gladys, with her skinny legs and her dirty sneakers sticking out from under h
According to NEA Today, November 2004, "Students who study the arts (music, art, dance, theater) score, on average, 40 to 60 points higher on the verbal portion of the SAT and 15 to 40 points higher on the math portion." If this is so, why then do "more t
The new Iowa state quarter is out and I send kudos to that state for choosing an education theme. The design shows a one-room schoolhouse, and a teacher and her stude
"Did you know that the worldwide food shortage that threatens up to five hundred million children could be alleviated at the cost of only one day, only ONE day, of modern warfare. "
Peter Ustinov, actor, writer and director
Einstein in Old Age - the diaries of Johanna Fantova, Einstein's "last" girlfriend.
"It seems to me that the earth may be borrowed but not bought. It may be used but not owned....We are tenants and not possessors."
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of "The Yearling"
Author Neil Gaiman explains the difference between British and US large-number names:
I finally figured out (with the help of the mammoth OED) the difference between British and US
FactMonster - Online research tool, dictionary, encyclopedia, atlas, and homework help. This site will come in handy for the kids!
Tour VW's transparent factory with Car & Driver.
Marginalia and Other Crimes
We've wired the schools - now what? Teach Media Literacy.
Why Johnny Can't Read: Censorship in American Libraries
Have a word and don't know what it means? Dictionary.com no help? Then turn to the Compendium of Lost Words and search its 400+ rare modern English words.
European history textbooks are being rewritten with a more politally-correct slant, elminiating nationalism in favor of a unified EU picture.
Arizona is toying with the idea of paying teachers what they're worth. A noble goal, and I like that they want to raise starting teacher salary to $40K, but the state is also f
NPR ran a feature lasat night on the nation-wide teacher shortage. I only heard the last half, but the entire segment is archived on NPR's site<
Maybe I need a 'STUPID' category?
A student in Florida has been charged with wiretapping. Her crime? Taping a chemistry lecture at her high school.
A student at Mesa Elementary, in Boulder, Co, entered an interesting project to the school science fair, and got in a bit of trouble.
nandotimes.com is reporting that most public school science textbooks are filled with errors.