What Does This Say to You?

by Robert Pondiscio
May 23rd, 2008

Here’s an education Rorschach Test: Read this story from the San Francisco Chronicle about Oakland’s Monarch Academy, and watch this multimedia slide show.

Principal Tatiana Epanchin demands more testing than other schools do, believing it’s the key to success – a controversial view to some. They test during recess. They give practice tests. They hold pep rallies before tests. She uses the tests to frequently assess every child, determining who needs help. No child is left behind or left alone.

What do you see? A high-standards, no excuses elementary school that prizes excellence? Or something less than that?

Way Smarter Than a 5th Grader

by Robert Pondiscio
May 23rd, 2008

Pop Quiz (answers below):

  1. What is the westernmost Asian national capital?
  2. In which country is Makossa is a popular type of music?
  3. Where is Tillya Tepe?

If you don’t know, then you too would have lost the National Geographic Bee. The winner, 11-year-old Akshay Rajagopal from Lincoln, Nebraska won the contest by knowing that Cochabamba is the third-largest conurbation in Bolivia.

A conurbation, needless to say, is an extensive urban area resulting from the expansion of several cities or towns so that they coalesce but usually retain their separate identities. But you knew that.

There’s a terrific, if humbling, ten-question daily Geo Bee online. Start boning up for next year.

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