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New York City Students Must Now Take Sex Ed Classes

When I was in middle school and high school, I dreaded the one week each year that was devoted to sex education. We were taught a very strict abstinence-only form of sex ed, but I do remember one year when a teacher actually told us about condoms and other forms of protection. I always thought this form of sex ed was pretty common. However, if I were currently a student in New York City’s public schools, I could be expecting a very different curriculum, which will be starting this year.

The newly instated sex ed curriculum in these public schools will be much more advanced than what has been taught for the past 20 years. This curriculum will include traditional sex ed lessons, while also teaching students how to use a condom and discussing the appropriate age for sexual activity to begin.

The new curriculum is being instated in order to help black and Latino teens improve their lives. According to the Bloomberg administration, these teens are much more likely to have unplanned pregnancies or contract a STD.

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Schools Fine Students $500 for Skipping Class

In a San Francisco suburb, too many students are skipping class. The Concord school system is out to trump truancy by fining students up to $500 if they miss a class unexcused.

“There are a lot of students that are not getting to school regularly,” Vice Mayor Ron Leone said. “We need to make sure they get to school.”

The new daytime curfew ordinance was approved on Tuesday, July 12, 2011. Public school students could be given a hefty fine during school hours if they are in a public place when they are supposed to be in school. Private school students and home school students would be exempt from the law.

Concord police Lt. David Hughes said that burglaries, fights and loitering have been linked to truancy.

“It’s the deterrence factor here where we see the importance,” Hughes said.

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Raising Teachers’ Salaries to Improve Children’s Education

It’s no secret: teachers in the USA are not given the respect they deserve. These are the people who are shaping America’s future, but in many states, they are underpaid for their invaluable services to today’s youth. Now, with President Obama’s desire to improve the quality of education that children in our nation receive, it’s time to step back and take a look at the important role that teachers have in this process.

“Teaching in the U.S. is unfortunately no longer a high-status occupation,” said Andreas Schleicher, who monitors an international achievement test known as Pisa. “Despite the characterization of some that teaching is an easy job, with short hours and summers off, the fact is that successful, dedicated teachers in the U.S. work long hours for little pay and, in many cases, insufficient support from their leadership.”

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Numerous Detroit Public Schools to Close

lockedAs a result of a $219 million dollar budget cut, 25 percent of the 172 Detroit, Michigan public schools will close starting in June of this year.

The loss comes from a plan to “create a leaner, smarter [Detroit Public School District] by taking into account city-wide demographic trends,” according to Robert Bobb, the emergency financial manager for Detroit’s public schools.

From 2000 to the beginning of 2008, the metropolitan Detroit area lost 150,000 jobs due to decline of the auto industry. According to The Detroit News, the number of Michigan residents leaving the state rose 25 percent between 2001 and 2007, while the number of new residents moving in fell by nearly one-third.

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President Obama and the State of Education in the U.S.

classroomThere is a certain level of disconnect with reality in the citizenry of the United States. We pat ourselves on the back, proudly boasting that we are “the best country in the world.” And while that may be true to some extent – people have amazing opportunities and freedoms here – an inability to see that it might be possible that we aren’t always the best in everything we do may be holding us back. Nowhere is that more true than the United States’ lagging educational system.

According to a 2006 investigation by the ABC program 20/20, a Gallup Poll survey showed that 76 percent of Americans were completely or somewhat satisfied with their kids’ public school.

Now, here comes the disconnect:

In 2002, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) issued a report on the state of education in 24 industrialized nations. The United States ranked 18th out of 24 nations. The report was based on results from three surveys that tested 14- and 15-year-old’s literacy and their abilities in essential mathematics and science.

“A child starting school in Canada, Finland, or South Korea has both a higher probability of reaching a given level of educational achievement and a lower probability of falling well below the average,” UNICEF said in a written statement.

Let that sink in for a moment. We’re in the bottom 25th percentile for education. Read the rest of this entry »



President Obama to End Summer Vacation

obama at schoolPresident Obama’s health care program may not be popular among certain Americans, but his desire to eliminate summer vacation will render him an easy target among all American school children.

Earlier this year we reported that President Obama proposed longer school days, and recent buzz indicates he’s still at it. The President wants American children to be better prepared to compete with children worldwide who spend on average 30 percent more time in school than American kids. Along with his Education Secretary Arne Duncan, President Obama believes that the current American academic calendar year is antiquated and was created when the country was primarily an agrarian culture; but since very few families toil in the fields all day, the Obama Administration is on a quest to develop the minds of American children by extending their time in school in order to keep them on par with the minds of millions of children around the globe. Read the rest of this entry »



Sonic’s Limeades for Learning Supports Public School Teachers

limeades for learningSonic, America’s Favorite Drive-In, has launched a new campaign aimed at benefiting public school teachers and their students around the country. The “Limeades for Learning” program allows any customer the opportunity to vote for their favorite teacher’s project and secure a chance to win $200 to $400 towards a grant to complete the proposed idea.

In partnership with DonorsChoose.org, Sonic is donating more than half a million dollars towards projects that receive the most votes. All you have to do is head over to your nearest Sonic restaurant, order a beverage (Sonic premium roast coffee-based drinks and Whacky Pack meal drinks are excluded) and vote on your favorite teacher’s project. Read the rest of this entry »



Top Five Public Universities for Ivy League Alternatives

ivy-leagueJust like Blair on Gossip Girl has dreamed of going to Yale since childhood, many students simply won’t be happy unless they are accepted to an Ivy League school. Some are driven since birth to maintain a perfect educational reputation, and some will do whatever it takes to attend the school of their dreams. In the end, is it worth the extreme hard work and dedication? After all, what’s in a name, as long as you get a top education and don’t owe more than what your parent’s house is worth when it is all said and done.

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New York’s Equity Project Revolutionizing Education

male teacherThe New York school system is going to experiment within the education system. Now, when I say experiment, I don’t mean testing on the students, but rather they are testing the age-old question of teacher quality versus small class sizes and cutting age technologies.

A school in NYC, which has been dubbed the Equity Project, is being comprised of eight super-star teachers. This eight person educational force will consist of teachers that truly excel at inspiring their students. When interviewing possible teachers, the creators of the school looked for teachers that were able to get the students excited about their schoolwork.  Read the rest of this entry »



The Value of Friendship Throughout School

Give your friends a big hug today!

My dad sent me this email the other day about friends. It really makes you think about how important your friends have been and always will be, even if you are graduating and moving to different states or won’t see each other for a few months over summer.

In kindergarten your idea of a good friend was the person who let you have the red crayon when all that was left was the ugly black one.

In first grade your idea of a good friend was the person who went to the bathroom with you and held your hand as you walked through the scary halls. Read the rest of this entry »





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