Entries by admin

Emily’s World — how fear of the truth can destroy our children

I worked with many teens in my 30 years of psychological practice. The parents would bring their teen to my office, believing the youngster needed counseling for behavior or attitudinal problems. Invariably, the parents wondered what they had done wrong, but in many cases the difficulties and heartbreak stemmed from the school environment rather than […]

Hispanic fourth graders in Florida do better

Sometimes ideas that make sense are not scientifically valid. Here is an example: Hispanic fourth graders did better on fourth grade reading tests than Hispanics in any other state. Does this mean Florida’s high-stakes testing and no child left behind programs are working? Politifact pointed out in theTampa Bay Times on February 16, 2015, that another […]

Your child: college or career?

What if your child has the academic ability, self-control and motivation necessary for college, but is tempted to pursue career training? Which way to go? Your child may be able to do both, regardless of where he/she begins, but students with very high academic ability will probably benefit the most and contribute more to society […]

Is college where the money is?

Research shows that with the exception of vocational type college majors such as engineering, accounting and finance, career students probably do as well or better than average college grads — those majoring in the humanities and other liberal arts areas such as sociology. And engineering is not for everyone. Only the top 5% or 10% […]

Your child needs help in college

Does your child need special help in college? If so, there could be many reasons, including poor high school preparation, learning disabilities, etc. Research, and my personal experience working with children for 30 years, puts poor preparation at the top of the list. Why would this be? College-bound high school students are often “creamed off” […]

Is I.Q. for real? Ask the Elephant

Several groups have challenged the stability of intellectual ability over time, or believe IQ can be changed. Malcolm Gladwell popularized the 10 year or 10,000 hour rule. He believes you don’t have to be a genius to succeed; you just have to spend 10 years working at something for 20 hours each week. This is […]

20 reforms, no. 20: business support

If the Elephant-in-the-Classroom approach is to work, it will need unprecedented support from private industry. Companies need to contribute monies to the local school system, ear-marked for career training and apprenticeships. They will also need to coordinate with schools to develop working models. I suspect that even the conservative business community will not object to […]

20 reforms, no. 19: Compete with other countries

I would like to take this opportunity to say something in defense of our teachers and our public school system today. Comparing our kids with kids in Norway, China, or other foreign countries is ludicrous, in my humble opinion. This is truly comparing apples and oranges. America is an immigrant society that accepts and works […]

Just learn the darn thing!

Mastery. A national movement to base grades on mastery of the subject and not homework or behavior has gained some traction. Educators went to this approach when they discovered that nationally only 26% of high school seniors met college benchmarks in four important subjects. With the mastery approach, homework is not graded and student’s can retake […]

20 reforms: no. 17: Common Core

Common Core. This popular new approach is a set of K – 12 academic benchmarks that have been adopted by 45 states. Some folks had the impression that Common Core would demand college prep work for all students in high school. Therefore, my objection is that only 25% to 30% of students are capable and […]