Sunday, April 20, 2008


The NY Times has a great expose today about how the Pentagon controlled TV news analysis of the Iraq war by using retired military officers with ties to government contractors:
Records and interviews show how the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform the analysts into a kind of media Trojan horse — an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks.
I'd love to use this somehow in a critical thinking skills lesson. Any ideas?

On a similar note, I want to do a lesson tomorrow where kids learn how to think critically about textbooks -- who writes textbooks and why, what biases they might have, etc. One of the essential questions in my Contemporary U.S. history class is "is there one 'true' version of history?" And a lot of kids have been saying, "sure, the version that's in the textbook." So I want to disabuse them of that notion.

Has anyone done a lesson like this before?

A few more years of the Bush administration and we'd all be studying this ...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ladies' Night

Chris is off in Boston presenting a paper at the American Association of Geographers conference, so this weekend it's just me, myself, and an APARTMENT FULL OF LADYBUGS.

Massage circle

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ladybug exoskeleton shards on my sheets

My apartment is infested with ladybugs.

It is not the cutest infestation ever.

Apparently this is:


Yesterday I had so many occasions to be proud of my students. Wish I'd told them at the time, but I will tell them today.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Where's Chris Rock when you need him ...

I was just perusing the unsolicited emails I've gotten recently at theschoolofblog AT gmail DOT com, and one in particular stood out: an advertisement for a character ed program marketed toward homeschoolers. The spokesperson for this program is a little being named Cracker the Crab.

Something tells me that there weren't too many kids in the homeschool focus group who knew the other meaning of the crab's name.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

NY Times: "U.S. to Require States to Use a Single School Dropout Formula"

Boring as it may sound, this is actually really good news (and it's about time). As someone who's had to deal with a lot of graduation and dropout data, I know there are a lot of schools and families who are going to benefit from this.
From the article: The requirement would be one of the most far-reaching regulatory actions taken by any education secretary, experts said, because it would affect the official statistics issued by all 50 states and each of the nation’s 14,000 public high schools.
Margaret Spellings: Much Better than Rod Paige.