March 13, 2015
I WAS A fairly intense child, passionate in my love (Bobby Sherman, white chocolate) and my hatred (the Dallas Cowboys, mayonnaise.) This intensity was transferred to my most pressing responsibility: school. While I could get B's if I did the minimal amount of work, I really needed to work to get an A. And for me, A's were my ticket to respectability, so I stretched. Unfortunately, I could have stretched to Alpha Centauri and I wouldn't have been able to avoid mediocrity in math.
October 4, 2012
By Grant Calder 'Mothers all want their sons to grow up to be president, but they don't want them to become politicians in the process. " The second part of John F. Kennedy's observation probably still holds true. But does anyone talk to kids these days about growing up to be president? Among my 11th-grade American history students, one recalled his third-grade teacher telling him that if he kept at his spelling, he might grow up to be president. Another said a grandparent had talked to him about the possibility.
August 15, 2012 |
I HAVE painstakingly entered into my Education Malfeasance Meter all the data I could unearth about the high-school testing mess that went down in June in the Philadelphia Archdiocese. So into the meter went the alleged verbal directive to adjust second-semester grades if certain finals caused students to fail courses for the year. And the memo advising teachers to lift numeric grades on those finals, for the same reason. And the screw-up with a practice algebra test that wound up being the actual exam.
September 14, 2011 |
The newest brouhaha over young women's apparel concerns retailer Forever 21's "Allergic to Algebra" T-shirt. This comes on the heels of J.C. Penney's T-shirt faux pas. The "I am too pretty for homework so my brother has to do it for me" quip so offended men and women alike that the company quickly pulled the product and issued a formal apology. I don't want to linger on the sexist nature of these messages. As the mother of two daughters, I have screened the writing on their clothing for years, looking for any one-liners that diminish them as girls.
April 14, 2011 |
Marianne "Mimi" S. Murray, 56, of Thornton, a dietitian who counseled students at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges, died of breast cancer Tuesday, April 12, at home. When she gave her annual wellness lectures to Bryn Mawr freshmen, she dressed to underscore her message. Her attire included carrot slippers, broccoli and banana earrings, and a necklace of plastic grapes and orange, lemon and lime slices. The necklace adorned a T-shirt with the logo "All Foods Can Fit. " She wanted to get the students' attention, her husband, Clem Murray, said, and routinely received ovations after she spoke.
December 6, 2010 |
No textbooks, no paper, no chalk, no desks, and no assigned seats. Instead, students in Thomas Gaffey's ninth-grade algebra class at Philadelphia's High School of the Future use laptops while sitting in rolling chairs at trapezoidal tables spaced out in hexagonal classrooms. And Gaffey, 28, encourages his students to find answers to their own questions. "Is this an obtuse triangle?" one student asks. "Well, what can you tell me about an obtuse triangle?" Gaffey replies.
August 7, 2009 |
It was a sweet run from her Roxborough apartment into the wooded trails of Fairmount Park. Mary Katherine Ladany would have been well into her workout when the bough of a leafy tulip poplar 50 feet above her cracked. In a random, deadly intersection of time and place, Ladany, a 23-year-old math teacher, crossed under the tree at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, just as the dead limb, heavy as a crossbeam, fell and knocked her to the ground. A passerby called 911, offered to perform CPR, and stayed with her until the ambulance arrived, said Dan Mercer, whose wife jogged by several minutes after the accident.
June 18, 2009 |
The New Jersey Board of Education yesterday adopted revised high school graduation standards that increase the rigor of students' math and science requirements, but not as much as some opponents had feared. "We have waited for this day with much excitement and anticipation," Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy said in a written statement after the vote. "The daunting idea of transforming our high schools to meet the demands of the 21st century has been the subject of a thorough, open process that has taken place over many months.
March 18, 2009 |
As the New Jersey Department of Education continues to redesign its high school curriculum to add more rigor, officials have moved away from one of the proposed plan's most controversial elements: requiring all students to pass Algebra II. Algebra I already is a graduation requirement for this year's freshman class, and plans are to make geometry - or a course with equivalent content - mandatory. But the proposed Algebra II requirement has been relaxed, enabling students to comply by taking a yet-to-be-designed course that builds on Algebra I and geometry.
January 27, 2009 |
New Jersey Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy argued yesterday for a proposed redesigning of the high school curriculum, saying the state had fallen behind some others in requiring students to take advanced math and science courses. "We are no longer at the forward front here," Davy said to the Assembly Education Committee. While New Jersey is regarded as a relatively high academic performer, Davy said, it is not among the states with the most demanding science and math requirements.