Monthly Archives: June 2012

National PTA Convention: dedication in action

Harry Cox & Peter de Vries

As a “first timer” attendee of the National PTA Convention, I had four heart-opening days with the most dedicated and committed group of people:  parent volunteers from all over the nation. These are the people who work tirelessly with our teachers, schools, local, state and national legislators to improve the quality of education across the country. The convention speeches, the workshops and the networking were all exceptional. Kudos to Betsy Landers, National PTA President, the national staff,  and all the volunteers from California (the convention was in San Jose). In coming posts I’ll comment on the Convention. Right now, a special “shout out” to two Convention visitors, from the Netherlands: Harry Cox and Peter de Vries.  They are from CPS, a Dutch company that works with schools.   Peter and Harry are fully engaged in learning about parent involvement and leadership and were at the convention to observe, learn and make connections. An international family is growing!

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The wrong way to raise test scores

The unfortunate choice

A recent front page article in the New York Times tells multiple stories of students who take non-prescribed drugs to give them extra energy to study longer hours and boost test scores. To quote the article:   At high schools across the United States, pressure over grades and competition for college admissions are encouraging students to abuse prescription stimulants, according to interviews with students, parents and doctors. Pills that have been a staple in some college and graduate school circles are going from rare to routine in many academically competitive high schools, where teenagers say they get them from friends, buy them from student dealers or fake symptoms to their parents and doctors to get prescriptions.

Taking illegal drugs to enhance performance is not new. Pressure and competition have certainly led Read more ›

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