Articles

No need for remedial college courses

As a response to a June 17th, 2012 “Speaking Out” column in the Gainesville Sun in favor of standardized testing, this article argues against the use, or overuse of testing used as the primary measure of student progress and the effectiveness of teachers and schools in Florida.

http://www.gainesville.com/article/20130623/OPINION03/130629951

Welcome Back! Not much of a welcome

Inspired by a full page in the August 19th, 2012 Gainesville Sun, announcing the start of the 2012-13 school year with a “Welcome Back” that was nothing more than a list of rules and regulations that included sections on conduct, FCAT percentages, laws relating to public schools, Sarah’s McIntoshes, Welcome Back provides ideas for a more welcoming welcome.

http://www.gainesville.com/article/20120824/OPINION/120829751

The case against standardized testing

The passage of Florida’s SB1720 which allows a large portion of students to skip remedial classes brings in the question of why remedial courses have become an “unavoidable reality” according to an editorial in the June 16th Gainesville Sun. Responding to this editorial and a couple other pieces that also appeared in June 2013, this article asks why remedial courses are unavoidable and asserts that Florida educational policies have created this very avoidable situation.

http://www.gainesville.com/article/20120701/OPINION03/120639996

Make Reading a Priority

Too much reading intrudes on students’ activities, and parents at one school complain about the kids having so much homework that the parents have to do it for them! The basic premise of this article is Tough S***. Let ’em read books!

http://www.gainesville.com/article/20131117/OPINION03/131119706/-1/opinion03?Title=Sarah-McIntosh-Make-reading-a-priority

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  1. Actually, I was one of those kids who refused to do any homework (late 50s/early 60s), but I read just about EVERY book in our school library, including many encyclopedias (yes, I KNOW that’s strange!) When FLA HS test time came, I outscored my classmates by 42 points (highest score was 499). The school counselor could NOT have been more disdainful, indicating that I though I was quite the person who wanted to fool them (while rebellious to the max, I WAS a QUIET rebel!)! The score, plus a solid B average, gave me the right to be a Hillsborough County Honor Student from our school. Scores on the SAT also made me a National Merit Scholar finalist (yep, all that NOT doing my homework got me the recognition and high test scores, but NO scholarship!). I was so curious about the world, I would read novels, then look up the details that interested me in the encyclopedias, from geography to history to chemistry and physics. I daydreamed about those noveI situations and places on the school bus, while trying to go to sleep at night, etc. I also read my sister’s (who was a year ahead of me in school) textbooks before I reached that grade. I repeated THAT behavior when my first husband was in Aerospace Engineering College at UF, and in Optometry College at SCO in Memphis, even though by then I was going to college myself, AND had a job and 2 children. I think my reading has added enormously to my quality of life, and if it didn’t get me a scholarship, it certainly helped me succeed in college. I was also always a rebel in thought, and refused to believe many of the accepted ideas that I was brought up with regarding religion, race, economics, and philosophy. I am SO glad that my life was opened by acquiring an open mind through all that reading! At 69, I STILL have a fairly mild form (at times) of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and am old enough and, I think, smart enough – at times – to enjoy it.

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