Monthly Archives: March 2019

Princess Diana

OK, here is a reading on Princess Diana and the vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet that accompanies it. I have been surprised at how many of the girls I teach took an interest in this.

But then, I guess I’ve never understand the appeal or allure of the British royal family. I know it’s harsh, but I have always generally concurred with Elvis Costello’s assessment of the royals, uttered in a 1989 interview with Rolling Stone magazine. When asked about playing at a  Prince’s Trust benefit concert at Buckingham Palace, Costello replied: “No. I wouldn’t do anything with the royal family. They’re scum. Why do we subsidize this family of buffoons? What makes them so damn important? I just don’t understand why we subsidize people who seem to just go on holiday all the time. So now you won’t be seeing Elvis Costello live at Buckingham Palace.”

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

A Student in Kansas Writes about How Standardized Testing Makes Her Feel

Diane Ravitch's blog

Kevin Bosworth, a teacherat Olathe East High School in Olathe, Kansas, wrote to tell me about a class discussion of grades and tests. A student sharedher poem with the class, and Kevin shared it with me. The reformers and disrupters now say they are intrigued with social and emotional learning. Let them read this and see what they have learned.

Hello my name is worthless

Name number and date

State your class and hour

Let the rubric pick your fate

Your value as a human

Can be measured by percent

All that matters is the value

That the numbers represent

We promise that you matter

You’re more than just a grade

But you better score one hundred

Or else you won’t get paid

They require our attendance

We’re brain dead taking notes

So we can barf back up the knowledge

That they shove down our throats

Each human life is…

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Jessye Norman

“(b. 1945) U.S. soprano. Born in Augusta, Ga., she won the Munich International Music Competition in 1968, and debuted in in Berlin as Elisabeth in Tannhauser (1969), She appeared at La Scala in 1972 and made recital debuts in London and New York the next year. Having garnered extraordinary praise for year, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Le Troyens in 1983, confirming her reputation as perhaps the greatest soprano of her generation. An imposing stage presence, her operatic and concert repertoire ranges with equal conviction and musicality across an exceptionally wide range.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Public Schools Week Starts Today! Support Our Public Schools!

Diane Ravitch's blog

Public Schools Week is March 25-29.

Download the toolkit of the Network for Public Education and do your part to support public schools! 

The forces of privatization are rising up, making promises and failing to keep any of those promises.

Public schools are the bedrock of democracy, doors open to all. Certified teachers in every classroom. Public schools strive for equality of educational opportunity, not privilege for the few.

Get involved. Do yourpart as a citizen.

Whose schools? Our schools!

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The Trenchant Louisa May Alcott

“Women have been called queens for a long time, but the kingdom given them isn’t worth ruling.”

Louisa May Alcott

An Old-Fashioned Girl ch. 13 (1870)

Excerpted from: Shapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

Everyday Edit: Dolley Madison

After a pleasant weekend in Vermont, I’m back at it. Let’s start the final week of Women’s History Month 2019 at Mark’s Text Terminal with this Everyday Edit worksheet on Dolley Madison.

Incidentally (if I haven’t previously clouted this point into tedium), if you like these Everyday Edit worksheets, you can find a year’s supply them at Education World, where the proprietors of that site give them away for free.

Cultural Literacy: Pocahontas

Alright, it’s Tuesday again. Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Pocahontas. I expect this is probably relatively high interest material for certain kids, and certainly those kids who are familiar with the Disney movie about this extraordinary woman.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.