Education Policy & Practice

Archive for the ‘Parents’ Category

According to the District Dossier, an Education Week blog, the Menifee Union School District in California recently removed all Merriam-Webster dictionaries from its classrooms.

Why?

Let’s see what the news media has to report.

Menifee school officials remove dictionary over term “oral sex.”

Read the article, here.

Dictionaries removed from Menifee classroom: books are being reviewed after parent finds offensive words

Read the article, here.

I hope you noticed the difference in reporting.

So, it is likely that the real issue here is the “seven dirty words” and not the inclusion of the entry “oral sex,” which the first article’s title would lead you to believe.  But I don’t have the dictionary in question at my disposal to check for myself.

Does the difference in reporting make a difference, however, in whether the dictionaries should have been pulled?

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President Obama speaks to students

Tags:
crossing-the-street

The dean of students helps students safely cross the street

In response to concerns over the growing number of serious traffic accidents involving students in Los Angeles, officials at Florence Nightengale Middle School are stepping up to ensure their students’ safety, according to the Los Angeles Journal.

The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office will soon begin to train parents for traffic control and safety duty. The Office cites lack of resources — money for crossing guards and a decline in applicants — as a major challenge. Apparently, many children cross in the middle of the block, but according to a district official, that is caused in part because there are not enough crosswalks. I’ll pause here to toss out a few basic question: Why aren’t there enough crosswalks? What constitutes “enough?” Didn’t parents teach their children how to cross the street? Now, there is an entirely different line if questioning that needs to be explored: Why aren’t drivers slowing down in a school zone? Are there clear signs and flashing lights and other indicators visible? Is this a problem due to (not to be insensitive) students just not paying attention and darting out into the street, negligent and/or reckless drivers, or a combination of both?

So what’s the nature of the problem?

– Not enough crosswalks
– Not enough crossing guards
– Driver error
– Student absentminded-ness
– Parents not teaching their kids how to safely cross the street
– Poor school and safety official coordination (to ensure orderly dismissal)
– Lack of financial resources
– Increased traffic volume
– Poor civil engineering
and the list could continue

Even if consensus is not reached concerning the nature of the problem, most would agree that students’ physical safety is important — it is something we care about. So, when data shows an increase in the number of serious injuryamong students as a result of traffic accidents, we will want to do something about it. But what is an appropriate response? Is it a policy problem? I think the argument could made to support an affirmative response, but it depends on how the problem is framed. If it is determined that the problem originates with drivers and driver safety, a policy response could be developed. If, however, we think that parents just aren’t doing a good enough job teaching their students common sense safety, then a policy rseponse is not as appropriate. Perhaps a programmatic response of education and training would suffice.

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Education Policy & Practice

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