Category Archives: Education

Get SBAC off our backs

Common Core has changed public education in recent years as teachers revised practices to help students achieve greater “depth of knowledge.” But those who created a deeply flawed testing system…

Scholastic journalism rewards students, teachers

Seven of us waited pensively for the sold-out program to begin. Our meeting was supposed to take place after it ended, but then word arrived that we were wanted backstage….

If the NRA ran our schools…

During our national search for answers following the Sandy Hook massacre and the United States’ spike in mass shootings, the National Rifle Association contributed this surprising revelation: what schools need…

Supreme Court shows its value in marriage rulings

Like a starting pistol, the buzzer sounded at 10 a.m. and nine robed justices entered the chamber. Chief Justice John Roberts immediately called on his colleagues to announce the court’s…

Hayashi interview provides teachable moment

Kids love field trips and this one proved more memorable than most. Strange as it was, an interview with Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi produced interesting lessons for all involved. Four Castro…

Help win education’s STAR Wars

Forcing Carl to focus through a week of STAR testing was harder than beating Darth Vader in a light saber duel. “Do I have to take the test?” Carl moaned….

How to love your job

Noelia could always make a teacher’s day, so I was glad to do the same for her. A 17-year-old who moved to the country just recently, she told me she…

This crazy Congress shows courage

When the government bans homework, lowers the drinking age and prohibits senior citizens from driving all on the same day, there can be only one explanation: those yahoos in Congress…

Kids lose when schools cut sports

Before the big race, my teammates and I huddled together, stacked our hands and cheered like the pumped-up teenagers we were. Twenty-five years later, I still hear the echoes. Castro…

To save education, scrap BTSA

Teachers face no shortage of adversity, from high-maintenance kids and parents to high-stakes tests and false fire alarms. Sometimes the good news seems rare, so this article tacked to my…

Bring on the phone cops

Fans of the television sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati” may remember Dr. Johnny Fever’s funniest moment in the series. After he smashed a telephone to pieces in a fit of rage,…

Student election theatrics mirror national politics

Campaign posters blanket the walls each election week at the high school where I teach. This year, some posters reflected a more unscrupulous election than usual. “Bob has no friends,…

“It’s like impossible”

Anyone who spends much time with teenagers has noticed their unfortunate use of the word “like” outside the parameters of affection or comparison.

Don’t wish upon a STAR

Aaron and Travis didn’t even try to fake it. When the test started, they started bubbling in their answer forms without even reading the test questions. Choosing answer “A” for…