I saw a recent news story  that I found interesting.  I’m not going to claim that every urban school can take this approach, but I would like to emphasize two points.  First,   having a massive, visible security system does not necessarily make the school safer, nor does it make students feel safer.  Second,  encouraging kids to take part in fine arts, music, theatre, etc. is a really good thing.  We tend to forget about past successes, such as chess clubs in Philadelphia and choirs in NYC and Chicago,  which is a shame.   (Schools should also make a commitment to inclusive phys ed / exercise programs too; I’m not proposing an either/or situation here.)

One other comment about elementary education: take a look at this xkcd  .  Encourage your children and your children’s teachers to be open to questions.

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