How a Kansas High School Teaches Reading

Letter from Immaculata High School, Leavenworth, Kansas, about how a Kansas High School teaches reading

Quad-peat! Yes, we have done it again. For the fourth straight year Immaculata High School, Leavenworth, Kansas, has achieved the Kansas State Standard of Excellence in Reading. What an achievement! We have tried many different avenues to help our students become better readers.

About ten years ago we installed a 15-minute reading period into our schedule on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. During the period we do nothing but read. And for the third straight year, one of the materials read is a newspaper. The students, faculty, and staff love to read it. And obviously, it has helped us reach our Standards of Excellence. Thanks to all of you at the paper, USA TODAY, for helping us reach our goal.

The creation of relevant, effective high school electives is a challenge principals often face. We aim to provide electives that complement the existing educational program, are meaningful to the students, and reflect the overall philosophy and vision of the school.

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Relish the Valley: Life in the Low Points

What if your low point could be a high point? What if this time of desperation could be a time of spiritual growth and increased understanding unlike any you have experienced before? It certainly won’t be, not if you’re lusting for the mountaintop.

The thing is, even when you summit the mountain it won’t deliver the thrill you have longed for if you get this wrong.

My life experience has taught me to laugh at adversity, so this is my message I pass on to all dropouts I meet in my volunteer work. Yes leaving high school is not the best step, but everyone can still take online classes and pass the GED exam.

With the GED diploma in hand, they are back on track.  I’m still learning but a little personal schadenfreude goes a long way. If it’s possible to laugh at something, why give it the power of calling it a tragedy?

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A Stagnant Nation?

Recently, the campaign unveiled an original analysis and report card showing the lack of progress in the school reform movement since the release of the landmark report, A Nation at Risk, written by the National Commission on Excellence in Education 25 years ago. A Stagnant Nation?

Our schools have been underperforming for 25 years. America is slipping farther and farther behind the rest of the world academically because we have been unable to enact meaningful reforms or substantially improve student learning in the last quarter century.

We know that the American public supports education reform – the missing piece is leadership – on national and local levels. Without vigorous national leadership, states and schools cannot significantly improve their antiquated education systems. Students in our nation’s schools deserve a robust and world-class education that offers them a pathway towards the American dream.

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Corporate Universities – Their role in Canada

“To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.” — Steven Wright

It has been at least some thirty years since companies first became aware of the vast potential of universities to serve as de facto R & D units. Let’s take a closer look at Corporate Universities and their role in Canada. Rather than spending millions of dollars investing in infrastructure and personnel, pharmaceutical companies set up ‘collaborations’ with universities in order to save on development costs.

Academics would perform some of the basic research, and the company would carry the product to market. While this arrangement was not completely without benefit to the university and its researchers, the bulk of the profits were to be enjoyed by the company.

The argument has been made that it is far more efficient to do so. After all, if university laboratories are performing research (be it in biochemistry, computer science, or in genetics) along the same lines as private companies, why should the two not combine their efforts? The answer can be gleaned by examining the underlying motives of the two sectors.

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