Saturday, December 17, 2011

Minn. High School Apologizes for ‘Incest’ Prank Involving Blindfolded Kids Kissing Their Parents‏

What perverted mind came up with this idea?

When we watched this video in the Blaze newsroom, several audible gasps rang out and numerous hands covered mouths. The video shows several Minnesota high school students at a pep rally standing blindfolded. The students are then presented with a kissing partner. What ensues is some passionate lip-locking. It was meant to be a prank. The prank part? The kids didn’t know it, but they were actually kissing their parents.

Yes, you read that right. explains more about what happened at Rosemount High School:

These poor kids reasonably assumed they were about make out with their classmates. But the assembly organizers had something else in mind: their parents.

Footage of the assembly shows a scene that would make even Sigmund Freud cringe. Dads kissing daughters. Mothers kissing sons.
And these are not just innocent pecks on the lips. The parents are intimately lip-locking their children for several seconds. One even progresses to rolling around on the gym floor. In another instance, a mother moves her son‘s hand south so he’s grasping her butt.

After the make-out session comes to an end, the still-blindfolded kids are asked to guess who kissed them.

Now, the school is apologizing. “As principal I am responsible for everything that happens in the school so, ultimately, I am the person that needs to answer for this,” school principal John Wollersheim told KARE-TV on Wednesday.

“I know there are people who are upset about what they have seen and as principal I am responsible for what happens here. For all the people who are offended, they are genuinely offended, and I owe them an apology,” Wollersheim said.

Still, he says the video is only a snippet of what went on and doesn’t tell the whole story


Betrayed by schools, the bright British seven-year-olds who fail to shine at 11

The devastating extent to which primary schools are failing bright pupils was revealed yesterday. Up to 51,000 11-year-olds who achieved top grades at age seven have effectively gone backwards after being left to coast in maths and English. Four in ten youngsters who were above average in the three Rs at seven are failing to fulfil their early promise, official league tables show.

Around half of primary schools – more than 7,500 – have failed to get each of their brightest pupils up to the highest grades in Key Stage Two tests at 11.

Among these schools, more than 800 could not get all their young high achievers even up to the national average.

This left around 1,300 pupils at a disadvantage when they started secondary school in September. Despite their flying start, they were still struggling to grasp the point of a story, write sentences using commas or add, subtract, multiply and divide in their heads.

The Department for Education has identified a hard core of 15 schools where more than 20 per cent of pupils who were high attainers at seven sank to the ranks of the lowest achievers at 11.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said the Government was ‘shining a light’ on these schools.

Critics claim the figures are a damning indictment of a league table culture which has encouraged schools to concentrate on youngsters of low to middle ability at the expense of the brightest.

Schools are judged on how well they do in getting pupils to level four, the expected standard, in the basics and many teachers focus their efforts on borderline pupils to improve their league table positions.

The Department for Education yesterday published school-by-school data for around 15,000 state primaries in England, based on national curriculum test results in English and maths.

The tables reveal for the first time how low, middle and high achieving pupils at seven go on to perform in the Key Stage Two tests four years later. The statistics show that more than 2,000 primary schools are serving their middle achievers better than their brightest pupils in English lessons.

There is at least a 20 percentage point gap in the levels of progress made by middle versus high achievers in the subject in 2,160 schools.

This emphasis has also contributed to 11 per cent of children – around 32,000 – who were ‘middle’ achievers at seven rising to join the ranks of the highest achievers at the age of 11.

The figures show that 74 per cent of pupils achieved level four in both English and maths this year, up one percentage point in 12 months.

The proportion of bright boys and girls exceeding the standard expected – level five – fell by four percentage points to 29 per cent in English and increased by one percentage point in maths to 35 per cent.

Professor Alan Smithers of Buckingham University said children in the top ability range are ‘perhaps too often left to their own devices’. He said: ‘The way schools are judged has a massive effect on their behaviour. If they are asked to account for how many children are getting to level four, that’s where their effort is going to go. ‘We don’t do enough for the really able in our education system.’

Nearly one in ten state primary schools face possible closure or takeover after failing to hit Coalition targets in the three Rs. Nationally, 1,310 are falling short of Government benchmarks in English and maths.

Ministers have already identified the 200 worst primaries which will be pulled out of local authority control and turned into academies under new leadership teams as early as next September. Hundreds more will now be ordered to improve or face similar intervention.

The head of one of the country’s best primary schools has attacked the Coalition’s education reforms. Paul Fisher, of Oakridge Primary School in Stafford, claimed yesterday that the changes would focus on facts instead of skills, and said: ‘Do we want a society that’s great at pub quizzes or one that’s great at thinking and problem solving?’

Nearly all the 34 children at his school taking English and maths tests exceeded the standard expected of their age to gain the higher level five.


Australia: Private schools all but vanquished from top 10 list

Select your pupils on academic ability and then find that those students outperform students who are not selected that way? Not much of a surprise!

THE stellar performance of students at NSW selective high schools continues apace with only one private school, Moriah College, making the top 10 of the Herald's annual list of top-performing schools as judged by HSC results. Sydney Grammar (ninth last year, now 12th) and SCEGGS Darlinghurst (13th) both dropped from the top 10 this year.

James Ruse again topped the rankings, based on HSC subject scores of more than 90 compared with number of students. Among the elite academic schools, North Sydney Boys produced particularly outstanding results, moving from eighth to second place.

Yesterday 71,415 students began accessing their HSC results from 6am; this morning from 9am those who hope to enter university will learn their ATAR university entrance rank.

There were 31 non-government schools in the Herald's top 50, including Wenona, with its results helped by Madeleine Pulver, the Sydney schoolgirl who had a fake collar bomb chained to her neck at her home in August. Madeleine scored more than 90 in advanced English.

A slim majority (52.3 per cent) of the 16,420 students on the Distinguished Achievers List - those with a result of more than 90 in a subject - are from non-government schools. Some 36.7 per cent are from independent schools and 15.6 per cent from Catholic systemic schools.

The principal at North Sydney Boys', Robyn Hughes, said selective schools would "share the love". "The selective school principals are an incredibly collaborative network," she said. "We meet on a regular basis through the year and we share in each other's successes."

But Ms Hughes rejected any suggestion her school was an "academic hothouse". "It's not about that coaching culture; it's about the holistic development of these young men, really getting them engaged in a wider world and seeing beyond themselves.

"This group of young men have done a lot outside of just pursuing academic excellence and that's what I think is the secret of their success. It's a balancing act, but that's where they get joy and engagement and, ironically, the busier they are the more organised they have to be with their study."

Julie Greenhalgh, the principal of Meriden, which rose from 53rd to 18th, said the improvement was the result of strong departmental leadership and changes at the school. "I think we're seeing the fruit of some very, very good programs in our junior school and our junior secondary years, really focusing on the quality of teaching and learning," she said.

Hunter Valley Grammar School leapt from 199 to 51. The principal, Paul Teys, said it was the school's best result on record. "We've been on a journey the last few years to lift our performance so these kids have been part of that strategy and they are the beneficiaries of the whole school effort in lifting the HSC performance," he said.

That strategy included a focus on individual or small tutorials, examination technique and information days, but he said the most effective was the relationship between the staff and students and students' involvement in their school. "We've got a young group of people who are really committed to their school and that's the most significant feature of these results," Mr Teys said.


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