"Voyaging through strange seas of thought, alone ..." William Wordsworth

27 February 2020

An excellent book ...



Not that parents are alone in their extreme behavior. They have more than enough company among school boards and high-ranking politicians who think if you "fix the schools, they'll fix the kids." So, in Gadsden, Alabama, school officials eliminated kindergarten nap time in 2003 so the children would have more test-prep time. Two hours away in Atlanta, school officials figured that if you eliminated recess, the kids will study more. And just in case those shifty teachers try to sneak it in, Atlanta started building schools without playgrounds. "We are intent on improving academic performance," said the superintendent. "You don't do that by having kids hanging on the monkey bars." Meanwhile, Georgia's governor wanted the state to give Mozart CDs to newborns because research showed Mozart improved babies' IQs (which later proved to be mythical research). Right behind him is Lincoln, Rhode Island, where they canceled the district spelling bee because only one child would win, leaving all others behind, thus violating the intent of No Child Left Behind--or, as they might say in Lincoln, no child gets ahead.

Instead of educating the I.Q., we need to educate the H.Q., the heart quotient, the matters of truth, love, justice, and compassion. There are two ways to do this. One is through the read life experiences and the other is through literature. Literature has the power to take us outside ourselves and returns to ourselves a changed self.


Jim Trelease

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