Starting this year, elementary school students will bring home report cards with more details than a NASA operation manual. In a time when education success is determined by test scores and GPAs, MCPS has gone too far with these new report cards. Though the cards were meant to help parents, they end up not delivering the important information and establish an emphasis on grades rather than learning.
At the end of September, President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan voiced their support for year-round schooling. They are advocating for schools nationwide to join the approximately 2,800 others who are already on this schedule. Instead of one three-month summer vacation and a few shorter breaks throughout the year, year-round schooling has school throughout the year with several shorter vacations.
Imagine, for a moment, that you are a professional soccer star. Your team does well throughout the season, but you end up with the fifth-best record in your division. The top four teams are guaranteed the top four playoff spots, but everyone else is randomly seeded. So you draw last place, you play the best team in the first round of the playoffs and your season ends there. It seems unfair because it is. And that is the problem with the state's current playoff seeding system for high school teams.
As much as we Blazers love to hear from our principal, Silver Chips needs to find new sources of information. In the last issue of Silver Chips, both MCPS public information representative Chris Cram and Principal Darryl Williams were quoted in multiple news stories. And they're not alone - various issues of Chips have had their share of repeated sources in their news sections.
Takoma Park Folk Festival, Magical Montgomery, Takoma Park Street Festival, Silver Spring Jazz Festival, Hispanic Heritage Festival, World of Montgomery Festival. This is but a smattering of the fairs, festivals and other types of gatherings that deluge the greater Blair area every autumn. Most of us shrug them off as just more silly Montgomery County festivities for which we don't have time. But before you crumple that event flyer into the recycling, take a second look - and maybe even consider showing up.
The world without Holden Caulfield, Atticus Finch or Frodo would be an empty place indeed. For those of us who grew up with Harriet the Spy as a partner in crime or Harry Potter as our nightly bedside read, a life of reading without these companions is almost unimaginable.
Envision stimulating classroom discussion, thought-provoking literature and appropriately challenging curriculum tailored to each student. Now scrap all thoughts of MCPS as an enriching learning environment in favor of Superintendent Jerry Weast's new plan for MCPS as an intensive 12-year college prep course.
This summer, after a decade of enhancing outfits, preventing abductions and inducing controversy, IDs were let go. No longer were we mandated to wear the pieces of plastic visibly-above-the-waist. For a few days, the announcement dominated Facebook statuses and casual conversation within Blair social networks. Then, we proceeded to...not wear our IDs.
Sonia Sotomayor is a high school valedictorian, a Princeton and Yale graduate, a veteran of 30 years in the courtroom and the "savior" of baseball who ended the 1994 Major League Baseball strike. And on Aug. 6, Sotomayor took on her most important role yet: the first Latina Supreme Court justice.
In May of last year, the school administration implemented a new lunchtime policy that restricted students to the Student Activity Center, courtyards and Blair Boulevard up to the media center during 5A and 5B lunches. Students can only go to other locations in the school if they have a pass signed by a teacher or administrator that they can show to members of the security staff.
Student editors and writers are the only contributors to Chips stories; we write stories ourselves. However, the Silver Chips adviser also accomplishes several monumental tasks that are essential to the continued success of Silver Chips, and for that, we must recognize the hard work these individuals put forth in the name of student expression.
Recycling ideas is easy. It's coming up with new ones that can be tricky. Unfortunately, it appears that Blair's recycling program is neither new nor recycled; it's just in need of improvement.
This summer, the Montgomery County Department of Parks and Planning will install artificial infilled turf in Blazer stadium to replace the natural grass field. The turf will be made of a mix of recycled rubber and other chemicals and will be installed at Blair because the natural grass field was deemed overused. Detractors protest its environmental impact while athletes welcome its even surface.
Here's the choice: abstinence or your life is ruined. Such is the ultimatum teens hear in many different forms - a polarity that sums up society's judgmental attitude toward sex. With nationwide ideological disputes between activists and bureaucrats over issues such as the appropriateness of teaching teenagers about methods of contraception, not to mention the prevalence of abstinence-only education, it's a relief to see the passage of legislation that acknowledges teen sexuality and takes a positive step toward making teen lives safer and healthier.
I am concerned because I can no longer make jokes about zero tolerance policies. For example, the other day I quipped to a friend about these policies, "At this rate, they'll strip-search you for Advil!" And then I realized it had already happened.
One room, 20 high-school boys and one teacher made all the difference. It's a story that could easily be a based-on-a-true-story movie, and it's happening right next door at Einstein, where an all-male class has made great strides in improving the education and lives of several students.
When the Montgomery County budget was approved earlier this month, it made the county's dwindling concern for the maintenance of teen programs clear - after just one year of extreme budget shortfall, the county cut its recreation department's budget by 57 percent, effectively ending one of the county's valuable Teen Club programs. Montgomery County's Teen Clubs are known for offering organized trips and activities for teenagers in many middle and high schools, similar to other constructive teen programs.
Education is getting boring. Not the classes and the teachers, but the stuff that goes on outside of the school building - the constant partisan bickering about how best to fix the country's ailing schools, the squabbling over funding and budgets, the unending talk of reforms that always fail to happen. To be sure, a handful of people have made some headway into the bureaucracy, but for the most part, the system has remained relatively stagnant.
Think of as many uses as you can for a paperclip. The request may seem basic - much easier than, say, a logic- or analysis-based question on the SAT. But creative, open-ended questions like this one reveal information just as telling as whether a college applicant can decipher questions like, "There are 75 more women than men enrolled in Linden College. If there are n men enrolled, then, in terms of n, what percent of those enrolled are men?"
We found 145 results.