Archive for the ‘kids’ Category

10 Years of No Child Left Behind

February 13, 2012

10 Years of No Child Left Behind

Ten years ago, President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act into law. Mr. Bush, a legacy student at Yale, the Harvard MBA who crashed the world economy, is a great belever in education.

NCLB has been one of the most effective “blame-the-victim” excercises in the history of federal intervention. Schools that face the biggest challenges are wiped off the face of the earth, as if this eliminates their problems. States compete with each other to lower standards so more schools can be judged “adequate.”  At ten years old, NCLB enters the 5th Grade. Almost anything is smarter than this 5th grader.

President Obama is allowing some states the chance to get out from under NCLB, but that won’t help. What’s really needed: government coordination at all levels to advance the education of America’s children.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Congress Reaps Pizza Harvest

November 16, 2011

Congress Reaps Pizza Harvest

Tuesday, by act of Congress, pizza was declared a vegetable. The Spending Bill before our elected officials contained an Agriculture Department provision recognizing that school kids are dangerously obese, and that subsidizing school lunches of frozen pizza and french fries is unwise and unhealthy. The Congressional response: a slice of pizza = a serving of vegetables.

The American Frozen Food Institute spent over $5 million convincing Congress to protect their juicy $11 billion annual school lunch harvest from the pestilence of nutritional common sense, and they prevailed. Result: kids will still eat government-subsidized carbs, fat, and salt, and Big Food will get fatter, too.

In other farm news, Monsanto announced that Roundup-Ready Pizza Seeds will be available in time for spring planting, and February pizza crop futures rose at the Chicago Board of Trade after predictions of  increased Super Bowl party demand.

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Tattooed Barbie

October 24, 2011

Tattooed Barbie

Barbara Millicent Roberts (aka “Barbie Doll“) is sporting a new look: pink hair, leopard-skin tights and fresh tattoos. While the hair and tights seem questionable choices for a 52-year-old, it’s the tats that have caused consternation:

“Tattooed Barbie Sparks Controversy, Media Frenzy,” Christina Cheddar Berk, CNBC

“Barbie dons new ‘punk’ look: Mattel defends doll as parents take aim at tattoos and bad-girl image,” Daniel Prendergast and Tracy Connor, New York Daily News

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This Is Why They Hate Us

July 5, 2011

The French don’t hate Americans because of boorish Yank tourists. They don’t hate us because we’re sexual prudes or because we forced them into NATO. They hate us because we let Mattel Toys corrupt their petits garçons and make them slaves to la malbouffe (junk food).

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This Just In: Sugar Water is Bad for Kids

May 31, 2011

This Just In: Sugar Water is Bad for Kids

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) wants America’s kids and teens to stop chugging the sugary sports drinks and caffeinated energy drinks that make youngsters edgy and obese. This should not be news, since no one benefits from sports swill. Doctors agree that the best product for hydration is water.

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Kids and Dog Parks

May 26, 2011

Kids and Dog Parks

Virginia’s Arlington County may ban children under the age of eight from its dog parks.

While it is true that young children might damage valuable canines, perhaps there is room for compromise. We suggest allowing children in dog parks if they weigh under 80 pounds and are well-supervised, adequately socialized, and on leashes.

Related: Rules and Regulations for Arlington’s Community Canine Areas (CCA).

Image (“Two Bloggers, after Norman Rockwell”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Kids and iPads

May 11, 2011

Kids and iPads

“Letting kids use or own iPads is controversial. Parents, teachers and others aren’t so sure about letting kids get sucked into yet another electronic diversion. Pilot programs at a few schools around the country to experiment with iPad-based learning tools are often met with criticism by parents and teachers alike.

 Everybody’s asking: Are iPads healthy for children?

 I’m here to tell you: That’s the wrong question.

 The right question is this: Is the iPad a healthy ‘replacement’ for TV? And I believe the answer is a resounding yes.”

– “Why Every Child in America Needs an iPad,” Mike Elgan, Cult of Mac

Image (“Schulknabe mit iPad, after Albert Anker”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Teaching Kids to Consume

May 7, 2011

Teaching Kids to Consume

PNC Bank and public TV’s Sesame Street say they are teaming up to teach kids about money. David Sirota explains it another way:  “A bailed-out financial institution teams up with PBS to teach our kids how to spend money on useless crap.”

“‘Sesame Street’: Brought to you by PNC Bank,” David Sirota, Salon

“PNC” logo and the Sesame Street logo element and creature are property of their respective trademark owners and used here under the “Parody” provisions of the “Fair Use” doctrine.  Hey, if PNC hasn’t paid back all that Federal bailout money, taxpayers probably own some rights in their stuff anyway.

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Peter Bug Way

December 20, 2010

Peter Bug Way

The 400 block of 13th Street SE in the Nation’s Capital became “Peterbug Matthews Way” last Saturday. It’s named after the community leader who founded and runs the Peter Bug Shoe and Leather Repair Academy in a small building on the corner of 13th and E Streets, SE.

John “Peter Bug” Matthews, a fifth-generation Washingtonian, has been training young men as cobblers since 1977. He became known as “Peter Bug” because of an old VW he fixed up and drove years ago. Members of his Academy, some as young as 8 years old, commit to learning a trade, keeping up their grades, and performing public service. Leather repairs and other part-time jobs help them earn money without getting into trouble. Some of the shoes young apprentices learn to fix are donated, and well-repaired shoes are given to families unable to afford new footwear.

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Boo! No Trick or Treat for Sex Offenders.

October 29, 2010

Boo! No Trick or Treat for Sex Offenders

Lights out for registered sex offenders this weekend. They’re forbidden from displaying Halloween decorations, keeping the porch light on, or handing out candy to neighborhood trick-or-treaters.

Police in Maryland, California, Texas, Long IslandLouisiana,  Georgia,  Indiana, and elsewhere will spend Halloween night ignoring the riotous hordes of drunks careening down streets and sidewalks, the gangs of teenage arsonists, and other seasonal threats in order to babysit former offenders. Of course, it’s worth it if it keeps our children out of danger.

But it doesn’t. Why? Because there is no evidence of a threat.

 A comprehensive study released last year shows that when it comes to nonfamilial sex crimes against children, Halloween is just another day. “These findings raise questions about the wisdom of diverting law enforcement resources to attend to a problem that does not appear to exist,” conclude the researchers.

The real Halloween threat to kids? Getting hit by cars.

 

 

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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