Welcome to Schools of Thought
November 14th, 2011
07:49 AM ET

Welcome to Schools of Thought

Welcome to CNN’s education blog!  Schools of Thought is a place to engage in a conversation on education. Here you’ll see stories and viewpoints about a wide range of topics, from No Child Left Behind to districts dealing with budget cuts to what’s hanging in your kid’s locker.  You’ll get news and perspectives from public, private and parochial schools, as well as homeschoolers.  You’ll hear from parents, teachers and students and other stakeholders in education who have stories to tell and opinions to offer.

And along the way, there will be lessons learned (no pun intended).  Have you ever thought you knew – but were afraid to ask - what AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) means? Are you wondering how to make the most of a 30-minute parent-teacher conference?  Are you a teacher who is being challenged to
meet the needs of a greater student population with fewer resources?  Are you a student who is weighing the pros and cons of a college education?  Well,
stay tuned.  These and other questions will be addressed in Schools of Thought.

In addition, a student’s educational experience often includes those life lessons that aren’t components of the curriculum. Our kids learn from participating in extracurricular activities like sports, clubs and service.  But they also learn about life from challenges that they might face daily, such as relationships, family
problems, bullying and financial concerns. There are teachable moments and opportunities for learning there as well. Our team of journalists, educators, parents and guest bloggers will address these issues, too.

And we’ll attempt to provide some insight into the bigger questions confronting education: How do we convey knowledge that the next generation needs in order to take its place in a world of new economic and social realities? How do we do our best, as educators and parents, to guide our students through their life challenges?

As a parent and former teacher, I know (and you do, too) that no one has all the answers.  We can find a lot that’s right – and wrong – with how we educate our kids.  But in our search for answers, there could be aspects of different educational experiences that offer solutions for your school, your child or you. There might be something you see here that gets you thinking, ignites an idea, nudges you to offer a comment.  We welcome your thoughts and story ideas at  SchoolsofThought@cnn.com or send us an iReport.

Which brings us full circle to what Schools of Thought is –an exchange of information, experiences and ideas. After all, isn’t that what education is all about?

- Donna Krache, editor

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Filed under: At Home • Extracurricular • Policy • Practice • Uncategorized • Voices
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. jackson

    I wonder how we can share educational links like http://www.languages4free.com... this is an important 100% Free Language Program. I can't believe these people made a Spanish, Italian, French, German, English program with full videos, and audio, games etc. and they made a website to teach people for free. I use it, I have learned from it, I believe in education. I have access to the full program. It's people like these that are helpful to the world of education. Education these days cost so much money. Another unbelievable website to learn for free, Math, Chemistry etc, is http://www.khanacademy.org. If anyone had the same idea to teach for free it's definitely Khan Academy. Amazing languages4free.com and Khan Academy, you can really educate yourselves for free.

    November 15, 2011 at 1:06 am |
  2. JD

    What are your thoughts concerning the recent New York Times article (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/education/edlife/the-china-conundrum.html?ref=china) on the prevalence of Chinese students who cheat on essays and other kinds of English-proficiency tests, in order to gain admission to American colleges? And are American schools so blinded by the allure of piles of Chinese money that they are willing to compromise standards when hoping to expand their numbers of international students?

    I have taught at American schools and in Scotland for 20 years, and am worried about the trend to reel in students - foreign students paying full tuition - who are not satisfactorily prepared.

    November 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  3. Joshua

    @A Stevenson

    This idea of American children "lagging" behind is something of a myth. It is true that we do not test as well in mathematics or science, but there is actually academic work being done on how Asian countries are actually moving more towards an American model of education that fosters creativity and individualism. They say, why can we be so great at math, but have no international best-selling authors or artists. So, we're not doing everything wrong...

    November 14, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Burt Way

      Also, most countries divide students into "tracks." For example, Japan has a 3 track system – top students middle students and the rest. In the USA we insist that everyone should become a "high school graduate." Are the students tested in Japan from all 3 tracks or are only those in the top 1 or 2 tracks tested? The test results of the top Japanese students would then be compared to all American students, making us look bad. I never hear this imporatnt issue addressed If anyone here actually knows the answer please respond and provide a refenrce for us. This is not he place to discuss whether tracking is fair, etc. Just to determine if the test resulkts are stacked.

      November 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • the truth

      Good then maybe those asian countries will have a 50% drop out rate and produce a bunch of crappy artist.

      November 15, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  4. Burt Way

    I hope this blog does not deteriorate into another drone about why we must pay more for schools. How could paying more for education make it better? 1-Assume higher teacher pay attracts more, better quality teacher candidates. 2-Take note that teachers start work in their early 20s and retire in their early 60s. A work life of 40 years. Therefore to bring the total teaching staff up to the new "higher quality levels" would take 40 years, the time to replace all the teachers now in the workplace.
    It also leaves us with real issue. How does raising the pay of the existing staff of "average teachers" make them better teachers? If Joe is an avergae teacher making $35,000 and we rasie his pay to $100,00 does he now become a great teacher? No
    Also the above does not take into account that higher pay attracts all types looking for the money, not just "Better teachers." Some of the worst instructors I have had were PhDs and no doubt had great college grades.

    November 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  5. Society for Quality Education

    The School For Thought Blog has been published for over two years by the Society for Quality Education in Canada.
    http://www.SocietyForQualityEducation.org Welcome to blogging on education!

    November 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  6. Education Failure

    Ethnocentrism, Dishonest & Failing Union teacher have created the largest societal collapse and massive unemployment in the city. It's really expensive. Massive tax loopholes. There's college drop out and college graduated unemployed can't find jobs This is what the future and city looks like. OWS, more corporate bankruptcy, banking crisis, bank runs, etc.

    Doctors don't know how to perform correct surgery. Dentist don't know how to operate healthy teeth. Healthcare Moral Hazard destroys the economy. Look at michael jackson's doctor. He doesn't have license to become doctor. It's spreading like cancer. The city will lose faith.... Soon.... Despair......Greater Depression.

    November 14, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • A Steventon

      Has anyone ever wondered why, in the fields of academia, American children consistently lag behind those of other developed countries? Discussions and comments on how to improve the standard of education in this country, are almost always centered on such entities as materials, buildings, expenses, quipment. I have yet to hear, or read, any intelligent dialogue on the system as a whole, and the methods employed within it.
      Unlike other countries, our children have to suffer the silent mediocrity of teach to test, multiple choice, and the ultimate in educational delusion, open book examinations. How can any of these possibly instill a feeling of achievement, fullfillment and self worth into any child? How can they foster understanding and mastery of a given subject matter? They serve only an unrecognized sense of ignorance and unearned success. All across this country, from kindergartens to universities, whenever a schools system fails, or a test score is not attained, the solution is to lower the bar. The real purpose being not concern for a child's future, but preservation of budget figures and meaningless statistics, beloved of todays artificial educationalists.

      November 14, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  7. martin2176

    my thought: B.S

    November 14, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  8. JOE

    My first school of though is that coach paterno's only concern seemed to be his own glory as a football coach and less with the welfare of these victims. And speaking about school of though, I just wonder how coach Paterno would have responded had the ten year old victim been his own son? Well, my first school of though is that perhaps he would have ran staright to the police and reported the incident. My second school of thought is that he might have ran straight home and retrieve his shutgun. And what if the ten year old victim was female? I just wonder how coach Paterno or the assistant coach would have responded. As a football fan I once admired the legend but I have to agree that this is the first time that I've seen coach Paterno turned his back on a W. And the sad thing here is that these innocent victims are the ones in the loss column.

    November 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  9. Nonimus

    Good subject. Looking forward to some great articles.

    November 14, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  10. The Old Grouch

    You are correct! It is regretable that these columns have become places for others to malign individuals with whom they disagree. I wonder how much learning takes place under these circumstances?

    November 14, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  11. ANN

    I can judge the Penn State Perverts.
    I reported and ex-friend and my ex-boyfriends brother to the police for pedophilia in separate incidents.
    I reported an armed gunman robbing a store and he saw me calling.
    I reported a BUM pulling out his privates to pee
    i reported a bloody bone in my back yard that turned out to be from someone's BBQ
    I reported 2 loud cats having consensual X and the cops sprayed them with water.
    I reported a crazed prairie dog that got under my house and the firemen got him out.
    and many more

    November 14, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Anne

      That's fine. However, I believe the emphasis here is to exchange ideas. In this way you might actually learn something from someone else.

      November 14, 2011 at 12:02 pm |