"The importance of rules"

A few education-related items that caught my eye:

Andy Stedman links to an article detailing the non-excellence of New York City educrats, with a stern response from their leader, monopolist Joel Klein.

A Seattle Times editorial relates a potential boycott by parents of high achieving children in the Seattle school district of the state's standardized tests due to a potential termination of a special program ("Spectrum") for advanced students.

APP students, who score among the top 2 percent on cognitive tests, are unquestionably gifted and need a special learning environment. But Spectrum includes a wider range of student abilities ? about the top 8 percent nationally. Creating separate programs for such students ? who happen to be mostly white in a mostly minority district ? does smack of tracking.

In an ideal world, a program like Spectrum wouldn't be necessary. Every school would be high-quality, all students would achieve at or above grade level and every teacher would be trained to reach all of them. But that day is still far off in Seattle's schools.

Is this really an ideal world? Shouldn't education be more personalized and tailor-made to the unique needs of the individual, rather than a one-size-fits-all curriculum?

Finally, Brian Micklethwait writes about something very close to my heart - the educational benefits of blogging.
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Update:

The NY Times has a series of Letters to the Editor on the topic of homeschooling. One of these follows:

To the Editor:

Re "Unhappy in Class, More Are Learning at Home" (front page, Nov. 10):

Your article makes a fair case for some home schooling, but when it comes to socialization, these children fail to experience diversity in the classroom in terms of race, religion and ethnicity.

Depriving them of this exposure is bound to lead to even more insularity, to behavior that should not be condoned.

MARIA ARREAZA
Fairfield, Calif., Nov. 10, 2003
The writer is a teacher.

I wonder what kind of socialization she is talking about.

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I love this: "...students

I love this: "...students would achieve at or above grade level...".

Might as well say: "In a perfect world nobody would be below average."

"Some" homeschooling? Is

"Some" homeschooling? Is that like a "little bit" of pregnancy? Sheesh.