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Children from Military Families Perform Better on Progress Exams

filled out test formAccording to the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress testing program, children who attend school on military bases do better academically than students who attend public schools. The test assess fourth and eighth graders in math and reading.

Thirty-two percent of fourth grade students who attend public schools had scores that show them as being proficient in reading. At the military schools, seven percent more (39 percent) students scored the same.

Another impressive finding showed that there is a smaller achievement gap between white and African American students in the military schools, and this gap is shrinking faster than the gaps at public schools.

So how are these military schools preparing their students so well? Is it extra test preparation?

“No,” said Leigh Anne Kapiko, the principal of Tarawa Terrace Elementary, a military school in Jacksonville, North Carolina. “That’s not done in Department of Defense schools. We don’t even have test prep materials.”

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Dean Koontz Education Background

dean koontzBest-selling author Dean Koontz was born July 9, 1945 in Everett, Pennsylvania. He was the only child born to Ray and Florence Koontz, and grew up in abject poverty in the rural town of Bedford, Pennsylvania in the south central part of the state.

After graduation from high school, Dean left home and attended Shippensburg State College, which is now Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. While at Shippensburg, Dean majored in English and had a minor in communications. He also won a coveted award from Atlantic Monthly for Creative Writing while a student; no other student from Shippensburg had ever earned that honor. Also during his college years, he kept up his relationship with his high school sweetheart, Gerda Ann Cerra, and they married upon his college graduation in 1967. Read the rest of this entry »



How to Bust Through Writer’s Block

writers-blockMost students have encountered writer’s block while working on a paper. Sometimes stress or our fears about writing can leave us immobilized. But you don’t need to feel paralyzed by a white screen and a blinking cursor. Here are ten tips to help you cure writer’s block.

1. Identify the problem.

If you don’t know how to proceed while working on a paper, it’s good to pin-point the problem. Are you having difficulties starting? Is your paper too short? Are you having trouble organizing your thoughts? Are you worried about how your paper will be received? Figuring out your stumbling block will help you know how to proceed.

2. Is it really writers block or is it procrastination?

Sometimes students label avoidance “writer block” when they really just don’t feel like working on a paper. Just sitting down to start can be enough to get over this problem. Even if you don’t think your ideas are fully formed or polished, start to type them out.

3. Get scratch paper.

Fear can be a cause of writer’s block, particularly when the paper is for an important grade. One way to get over this fear is to start writing in a format that your professor or peers will never see, like on scrap paper or in a notebook. Writing out notes can also help you organize your thoughts.

4. Talk it out.

Sometimes we know what we want to write, but not how to write it. For some people, a verbal discussion can clarify your thoughts. Talk about your paper topic with a classmate, professor, or even a parent. They may even be able to suggest something you haven’t considered.

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