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- Stirling and Elizabeth Vance
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High-stakes tests lead to stress, not learning

The following article is a 5th grader’s essay ... Eventhough it is written about the education system in the US, it certainly applies to the Canadian education system as well. The intro is written by Valerie Strauss.  Valerie is a journalist for the Washington Post. Click on the link to follow her.

One voice given short shrift in the loud (and unfortunately increasingly shrill) education debate is that of kids. You know, the people who actually have to take all the standardized tests that are (again, unfortunately) at the center of modern school reform.

With the blogosphere screaming with claims by adults that standardized test-based reform is improving student achievement, here is the work of a child who tells a different story. It’s important to listen.

This was written by Julia Skinner-Grant, 11, a fifth grader at Chevy Chase Elementary School in Montgomery County. Julia, a special education student in the highly gifted center, wrote this persuasive essay for a school assignment.

She’s far more persuasive than a lot of adults on the subject.


Summer Reading by Valerie Strauss

Summer is unofficially here and that means it's time (at least for some of us) to consider what we want to read over the next few months.

To help with some suggestions, Scholastic, a global children's publishing, education and media company, is conducting an ongoing on-line survey on its www.YouAreWhatYouRead.com Web site. With some 15,000 responses to date, it has assembled lists of the most influential books, as reported by adults and kids.

Participants were asked this question: Which five books shaped your life??


Making Kids Smarter

We live in a knowledge based economy and literacy skills are our basic currency.  That fact alone should make parents sit up and take notice.  We live in times where job availability is based on what you know, how fast you can learn new skills and the knowledge train is picking up speed. 

What are the fundamental skills parents should focus on before, during and after their children enter school?


The Challenge of Time

Everyone has the same 1440 minutes in a day to get things accomplished.  So why is it that some individuals seem to get much more done in a day than others?  The answer is really quite simple:  Some individuals are more disciplined in their approach to time thus allowing them to be far more effective and efficient.


Is a Reading Difficulty Hauling Your Kid Away in Handcuffs? 

“Only the educated are free.”
Epictetus 55 AD – 135 AD

Did you know that there are Justice Departments in North America that predict the future need of prison space based on grade three reading scores?

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