Frank McCourt died over the weekend at the age of 78. As the millions of readers of his memoir know, just surviving a childhood of poverty, constant hunger, illness, indifferent institutions, and criminally irresponsible adults was his first remarkable accomplishment. That he told his story with humor and forgiveness is truly astonishing. We should also take a
The Associated Press last week ran a story called “Too much homework: Parents, schools seek balance.” Broward County, Fla., they reported, has approved the 10-minute rule (10 minutes of homework a night per grade). In Glenrock, Wyo., a no-homework policy was put in place. And the Colchester School District in Vermont enacted a policy whereby
Good news! Achievement gaps are closing, according to a new report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Nationwide, since the early 1990s the achievement gap between black and white public school students has narrowed at both the 4th and 8th grades in math, and at the 4th grade in reading. Of course an
The Star-Ledger, a New Jersey newspaper, reports that low-income New Jersey children who attended preschool performed better in school. “The percentage of kids who had to repeat kindergarten or first grade was twice as high for those who did not attend preschool, as it was for those who started at age 3,” the paper reported.
Test results came out for some of our local schools recently. Washington, D.C. public school scores were up, especially in the elementary grades. Preliminary results showed an eight-percentage point and a four-percentage point gain for elementary students who were deemed “proficient” in math and reading, respectively. So are these gains good news? Always! But school board members