27 August 2006

News from the Front

Did you see the conclusions drawn by Thomas Dee that "having a teacher of the opposite sex hurts a student's academic progress." I'm not sure how many grains of salt to ingest with this study based upon one massive data collection in 1988. I don't think it's enough (and to be fair, neither does Dr. Dee), and yet it does raise an interesting question or two. Could the current and ever-growing achievement gap between the sexes be due in part to the disparity between the numbers of male and female educators?

Perhaps you saw that a high school principal in Indiana suspended more than 10% of the students on their first day of school for wearing inappropriate clothing or cell phone use. You gotta like someone willing to take a stand like this (and with school board support, to boot). I wonder how many parents complained because they spent good money on those clothes and now their kids are going to have to wear things that aren't revealing and/or pants that stay up around the waist.

What about providing tutoring for students in need under the provisions of NCLB? Schools might have an obligation---and shouldn't stand in the way as described in a couple of cases in this article. But shouldn't the Dep't. of Ed. be obligated to provide some research demonstrating that tutoring makes a difference?

My personal favourite from today is a story out of NM, where a school was shut down because someone mistook a giant burrito as a weapon. Don't they know those things are only explosive after they've been consumed?

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