Tag: School

School’s Out and So Am I … Some Thoughts

 

My school finishes officially on Thursday. This will be my last year; I gave notice in March that I would be leaving at the end of the school year. I leave with my professional relationships in a good place, which I think is always preferable.

It’s been a long year. Some of you might remember the post I wrote after the first day of school when I was overwhelmed by the demands of the new hybrid year. The prospect of nine months surrounded by those cables and machines was intimidating. It got better, as all things do in time, but it remained exhausting to teach remote and in-person students simultaneously. Students and their parents took advantage of the school’s generous remote option. A doctor’s appointment at 3 pm became an excuse not to come to school at all that day and to attend classes remotely, turning what might have been a pleasant and traditional “in-person” class into a dreadful experience with the Teams video (the student always had their camera off, protesting, “my computer is broken, it’ll be fixed soon”). Any exercise planned for in-person had to be scrapped in favor of something that could be done with the remote student. These changes were often discovered last minute, 5-10 minutes before class. Some students simply didn’t come to school at all, even if they hadn’t applied for the remote option; they were just remote every day without an excuse because they “didn’t feel well.” Other students were discovered to be working in public-facing jobs after school at retail stores even though they had applied to be remote students for the year, which made teachers incredulous (to say the least). They went to great lengths to prepare their virtual lessons using new technology they had adopted this year to accommodate the remote students and yet from 3:30 pm, those remote students were working the cash register at The Gap in busy suburban malls, surrounded by people. The administration took note of low teacher morale and tried to take a stand in the 4th quarter but by then it was a bit late.

Joe Selvaggi discusses a recently released survey from Pioneer Institute and Emerson Polling, “Massachusetts Residents’ Perceptions of K-12 Education During the Covid-19 Pandemic,” with Emerson’s lead analyst, Isabel Holloway, and Pioneer Institute’s Charlie Chieppo. Read the poll here.

Guests:

Parenting Postscript: Our Best and Worst Decisions

 

In 1994, my dad introduced me to a friend of his and mentioned that I was engaged. My dad’s friend, with humor and kindness, told me, “Ah, yes. Marriage.  There’s nothing like marriage to show you who you really are.  Smokes you right out.”  All these years, I’ve  retained the image of a small frenzied mammal running back and forth in his tunnel until he finally pops out of his back door–heaving, exposed, and vulnerable–to gulp the fresh air.  Except in my case, it was not marriage, but parenthood that really smoked me out.

Christian blogger and author Tim Challies expressed it best when he described some challenges of being a parent as “muddling through.”  Yes–we can read all the books, survey parents we admire, attend Love and Logic conferences, determine to be kinder and gentler, ask for help on Facebook.  Yet, few children arrive as a neat, predictable package.  Each comes as a unique little creature, a complete person, yet pre-loaded with potential to be nurtured and developed over years.

Ep. 264 – How will the Left react to a Donald Trump victory? Award-winning Filmmaker and NY Times Bestselling Author Dinesh D’Souza discusses how to ‘Beat the Socialism, Corruption and the Gangsterization that Defines the Democrat Party’, why children have not been taught about failures of communism, his latest film Trump Card, Election 2020, AOC, Ilhan Omar, Bernie Sanders and much more in this long-form interview. Watch the film VOD on your big screen at TrumpCardTheMovie.com.

Join host Joe Selvaggi as he talks with Hannah Mamuszka, expert in diagnostic science, about the state of COVID-19 testing technology and its implications for a safer return to school and work in the fall.

Hannah Mamuszka is Founder & CEO of ALVA10, a healthcare technology firm. Hannah has spent her 20+ year career in diagnostics – both in pharma and at diagnostics companies, in the lab and on the business side. She believes that the challenges of diagnostic technology fully impacting patient care are more commercial than technical, and conceived of ALVA10 to create a mechanism to pull technology into healthcare by aligning incentives through data. She regularly speaks on issues regarding advancement of technology in healthcare, is on the Board of Directors for two diagnostic companies and writes a column on the value of diagnostics for the Journal of Precision Medicine.

Teacher Encouragement Thread!

 

I am a teacher, and I went back to work this week. I just finished five days of pre-planning, and our students come back on Monday, most in person.

Some school districts are going back in person (maybe with an option for online), some are going back all online, some are waiting. I feel safe saying the vast majority of teachers are at least somewhat concerned, and some are extremely stressed. Some are even leaving the profession.

Join host Joe Selvaggi and co-host Rebekah Paxton of Pioneer Institute as they talk with Harvard Medical School Professor Benjamin Sommers on the most current scientific observations regarding the health and safety of reopening schools. The episode looks at the risks to students, teachers, administrators, and the public at large from the novel coronavirus, and offers ideas for optimizing outcomes in the fall.

Dr. Benjamin Sommers is a practicing primary care internist, and he is also Professor of Medicine at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. From 2011-2012, he served as a Senior Advisor in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and he served part-time in an advisory role from 2013-2015. His current research projects focus on barriers to health care access among low-income adults, insurance markets, and the health and economic effects of state Medicaid policies. He received a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard and an MD from Harvard Medical School.

Join Jim and Greg for three crazy martinis today! First, they wade into the battle over how schools should open, with President Trump and teacher unions unsurprisingly on opposite sides of the debate.  Jim offers a highly entertaining theory on how a recent head injury may explain some of his troubling decisions. And they have a lot of fun dissecting the new presidential campaign of Kanye West.

Join Charlotte as she discusses how we can all help non-profits that are helping people who have been hurt by the coronavirus.

Join Charlotte as she talks all about non profits and why they’re so important right now!

Send us your questions and good news to: littlesnewsbriefing@gmail.com

Check out the video on my Youtube Channel!

Join me as I make a mask at home out of one of my t-shirts!

Join Jim and Greg as they’re glad to see New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo finally changing the rule that required nursing homes to accept recovering, yet contagious, COVID-19 patients. They also cringe as Dr. Fauci confirms there will be no vaccine or treatment in time for the start of the new school year, sparking all sorts of discussion about what school might look like in the fall. And while the media focus on Trump’s clash with the media on testing and blame for China, Jim says the real story is China’s actions and it’s aggressive propaganda efforts.

States around the country are starting to re-open their businesses. What does all of this mean? Join Charlotte as she explains Phase One of the White House Coronavirus Task Force’s re-opening plan to kids! She also talks about the news of the week and answers questions from kids all over America!

It was a long night, but we’re here and we’re glad you could join us!  Today, Jim and Greg unpack disappointing election results as Democrats win control of the Virginia legislature and Kentucky GOP Gov. Matt Bevin appears headed to defeat.  But they perk up as they see conservative policy ideas like protecting taxpayers, rejecting sanctuary city status, and tapping the brakes on affirmative action winning in moderate to liberal parts of the country. And they have zero use for a Kamala Harris proposal that would keep create a 10-hour school day (8 a.m.-6 p.m.) so it lines up with the work schedule of parents.

Member Post

 

I don’t even know what to make of this story, but it seems like a 3-way collision of identity politics maybe with an icing of religion (leaving out only immigration). Two-way is spreading from the US to a lot of other places in the world…but we’re still ahead! https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46943364 Preview Open

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When $63 Million Doesn’t Buy Working Toilets

 

When 450 students arrived at Anacostia High School in the District of Columbia’s southeast neighborhood on April 4, they found that few of the sinks or toilets were functioning and the cafeteria was flooded. They were advised by the Department of General Services to use the facilities at a middle school two blocks away until repairs could be completed.

Exasperated teachers organized an impromptu, hour-long walkout to protest, which is why this particular dysfunction made the news. A casual reader might note the plumbing fiasco and chalk it up to neglect of poor students and poor neighborhoods. That is the interpretation urged by DC Council Member Trayon White, Sr. who attended the walkout and declared that “The students and teachers need support from the leaders of the city because of the constant neglect happening at Anacostia.”

But it’s far from so simple. The District of Columbia has one of the worst performing public school systems in the country. It is also one of the most generously funded. Anacostia High School itself received a $63 million renovation in 2013. According to the DC school’s website, the project included “Full modernization and renovation of the existing high school using an adaptive re-use approach. Modernization . . . included; exterior restoration, roofing, systems replacement, ADA improvements, phased occupancy, technology enhancements, and sustainable design initiatives.” But not, it seems, working toilets.

Member Post

 

Schools should be places where the attainment of knowledge and the love for it is nurtured unto no end.  Students should be seen as sponges that can soak up all that they hear and see within a classroom.  Now, one must not be naive about the difficulty of any teacher’s main objective: helping students reach […]

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Member Post

 

That is the question being debated now in Texas, where 26 districts, mainly in rural areas, have added paddling to their toolbox of disciplinary actions.  The parents must sign off on this.  The comments from parents run the gamut, as you can imagine.  From ‘you touch my kid, I’ll beat you senseless!’, to ‘studies have […]

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Member Post

 

I am not a pack rat.  The periodic purge has never been a cause of angst for me.  I prefer to travel light, and whether this is due to my upbringing in a military family or the byproduct of having my belongings strewn across barren acreage in the aftermath of a storm – “things” just […]

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