Wednesday, February 03, 2016

UK: Is this the ultimate in molly-coddling? Primary school send letter home with test results telling children scores don't matter and 'you must celebrate you'

Not very good for their social development.  Nobody likes an egotist

A primary school in Northern Ireland has sent a heart-warming message to its pupils on transfer exam results day telling them that scores do not matter and 'you must celebrate you'.

The lovely letter, which was sent to students at the Harmony Hill Primary School in Lisburn, encourages them not to feel disappointed if they did not get the results they were hoping for.

The headteacher Mr H. Greer warned the pupils that 'in life things don't always work out the way we want them to' and urged them not to give up easily 'when the going gets tough'.

The letter reads: 'Before you open the envelope with your score in it, we want you to read tips first.'

'Inside the envelope is a score. It's a score you've been waiting for but it might not be the score you've been hoping for. If that's the case, it's only natural that you will feel disappointed.'

'We will be very sorry about that and will feel disappointed 'for you' too - but we won't feel disappointed 'in you'.'

'Unfortunately, in life, things don't always work out the way we want them to and it can take a little time to sort out the feelings and thoughts we can have when that happens. '

'We know that each one of you has worked very hard and with a great attitude.'

'No score can ever take that away from you. In fact, we believe that your attitude and who you are as a person is much more important that any mark on a test.'

'Who you are and the attitudes you have will travel with you to whatever school is fortunate enough to have you as one of their new pupils in September. That is so important.'

'You are quite simply 'unique' and we are very proud of you.'

'Make us proud whatever school you go to. Don't give up easily when the going gets tough.'

'Grow up to be kind, caring, generous, loving adults who make a positive difference to this world by how you live your life.'

'Remember the score in the envelope is just a mark for some tests. It cannot measure how amazing you are. So , no matter what happens in the next few minutes, today you must celebrate YOU.' 


Detroit Teachers Sue to Remove Leadership

After working under Emergency Manager Darnell Earley since 2013, teachers in Detroit Public Schools had enough. Their union, the Detroit Federation of Teachers, filed suit, calling for removing Earley and placing the district that educates 46,000 students once again under local control.

The suit also requires the district create an “appropriately funded capital plan,” because, as the teachers union implied, the emergency manager put in place to pull the district out of its $515 million in debt was essentially making it up as he went along.

Commentator John C. Goodman painted a dire picture of the school, where buildings rot, cockroaches roam and test scores show students are not getting the education they need. For example, only 27% of Detroit’s fourth graders were proficient in reading in 2012, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress exam.

As we’ve said in the past, if Obama ran a city, it would look like Detroit. Michigan has managed Detroit Public Schools' finances since 2009. Big, central government came to the public schools' aid, and didn’t do the students any favors.


Australia: New figures show one in five children starting school don’t have the skills to learn properly

LITERACY levels of Australian children are worsening in a "slow motion disaster", with new analysis revealing one in five children who started school this year already don’t have the skills to learn properly.

The shock finding is contained in yet-to-be-released work by the Centre for Independent Studies that cements the fact a young child’s vocabulary is one of the most powerful predictors of later school success.

But 20 per cent of students, and 30 per cent from disadvantaged areas, don’t understand enough words when they enter school to be able to learn how to read or follow other subjects properly.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham has seized on the new findings to call on parents to make reading a priority, saying they have to be part of the solution to Australia’s lagging literacy levels that have fallen behind other countries since 2000.

"We’re absolutely at a critical point where we do need to ensure that Australian parents recognise that they all have responsibilities that sit alongside what happens in an early learning context and in a school environment," Senator Birmingham said.

Centre for Independent Studies research fellow Dr Jennifer Buckingham dubbed the slide in literacy as a "slow motion disaster rolling on" and is working on new analysis for a "Five from Five" launch in March of reading resources for parents, schools and governments.

She said children being read to learnt vocabulary; concepts like "under" and "over"; word sounds and exposed them to new words and meanings that spoken language didn’t.

"They have built up this store of knowledge so that then when they learn to read ... it really is just unlocking the codes to words they already know," she said.

"In the same way you immunise your child against infectious disease, the best way to immunise your child against future reading failure is to read to them every day from a very young age," Professor Oberklaid said.

Professor Oberklaid said it was not about "hot housing" or creating "baby Einsteins", but feeding the developing brain.


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