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At Blair, print media stays strong

By Claire Sleigh | Feb. 2, 2012, 10:32 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

Is print media dying? It's a question that professional publications have struggled with over the past decade. In 2009, the Baltimore Examiner went all-online, and newspapers like the New York Times continue to debate how much of their content should be made free to the public online.

Raising the bar for Spanish page

By Claire Sleigh | Dec. 22, 2011, 11:58 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

It is our goal as a newspaper to reach out and include as many people in our community as possible. Blair has a significant Hispanic population, including many who feel more comfortable reading in Spanish. Silver Chips has included a Spanish page in every issue since for the past ten years because we believe that it is important for Silver Chips to be accessible to everyone.

Pro/Con: Are class rankings an accurate measure of student achievement?

By | Nov. 29, 2011, 7:45 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

Despite the preference among admissions officers to use class rank, 40% of US high schools have abandoned ranking as a means to measure their students GPA.

Painting only by numbers misses half the picture

By Adam Kadir | Nov. 29, 2011, 7:42 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

No one likes to be number two. That is why Blazers are frustrated about their standings in high school rankings.

It takes two: when clubs work together, everyone benefits

By Claire Koenig | Nov. 17, 2011, 11:45 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

It's in the symbiotic give-and-take of the natural world and the mutually beneficial handshake-deals executed in thriving businesses. In the bonds of a healthy marriage and the well-tuned chords of a veteran rock band. Cooperation works - just ask a few of Blair's clubs.

Charter Schools send educational reform off-course

By Puck Bregstone | Nov. 17, 2011, 11:36 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

The United States education system is in turmoil. Other industrialized countries are outstripping the U.S. in almost every aspect of education. In a desperate move, the U.S. Department of Education has poured $4.35 billion into an unexplored, costly and unnecessary alternative: the charter school.

Accurately depicting the nuances

By Claire Sleigh | Nov. 10, 2011, 12:25 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

It takes practice and dedication to incorporate the many layers of a story into a seamless piece, and when this is not done properly some points of view are compromised. Sometimes little details or nuances slip through the crack, and even the smallest of word choices can completely spin meaning in the wrong direction.

Pro/Con: Should Montgomery County enact a night time curfew for youth under 18?

By Leah Muskin-Pierret with Ruth A. | Oct. 30, 2011, 2:08 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett drafted a youth curfew bill in July. The curfew would prevent youth under 18 from being out between midnight and 5am on weekends.

New attendance policy: recycled and unimproved

By Claire Koenig | Oct. 28, 2011, 11:31 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

False names, masked intention, danger disdained - the circular sweeping of a school system remembering the steps to a waltz they left behind.

For larger schools, one size does not fit all

By Maggie Shi | Oct. 27, 2011, 9:22 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

The term "Support” has become synonymous with "trivial” or "secondary.” But support positions are anything but trivial — without them, a school, like a building, can crumble.

Keeping autonomy and reputation

By Claire Sleigh | Oct. 27, 2011, 2:47 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

Silver Chips' autonomy could be in question because of recent leadership changes at Blair. The new administration has the power to take the school in a new direction, and with this they also have the power to take Silver Chips in a new direction.

June issue: changing of the guard

By Claire Sleigh | June 8, 2011, 11:41 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

The observant reader might notice recent updates in our staff box. Silver Chips's June issue is always entirely edited, written and managed by juniors. In the fall, we will formally begin our managing editor positions and work with a new group of junior staffers. Here is where we hope to take the paper next year.

Pro/Con: Are academy programs at Blair effective at motivating students?

By Helen Bowers, Eliza Wapner | June 7, 2011, 11:08 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

Blair has five academies: Entrepreneurship, Media Literacy, Human Services Professions, International Studies and Science and Math and Technology. Academies allow students to take classes in fields that interest them. However, the academies program has faced criticism for ineffectiveness and lack of focus.

Frequent turnover hinders learning

By | June 3, 2011, 11:49 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

This article was written by the Silver Chips Print Editorial Board and is intended to represent the official views of the newspaper. Principal Williams's "exciting and sad news" that he will leave Blair to take the position of community superintendent has largely left teachers and students disappointed and skeptical.

Representation hindered by miscommunication

By Maggie Shi | June 3, 2011, 11:39 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

Whenever someone at Blair says "student government,” it usually comes with an acknowledgment of the irony of calling it a "government.” The administration knows, the teachers know and the students know that in the end, the adults are the ones in control.

The truth behind the challenge

By Maggie Shi | April 14, 2011, 11:27 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

As students, we have certain key numbers that seem to sometimes define our lives. We spend endless hours studying obscure words to try to boost our SAT scores, taking endless practice AP tests, or trying to edge our way closer to (or at least not get farther away from) that golden 4.0.

Unfair testing fees hinder education across the board

By Claire Boston | March 10, 2011, 2:50 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

By most students' junior year, the bills begin to pile up. It usually starts with $13 for the PSAT. A couple months later, it might be $47 for the SAT, then another $18 to see a score report that's more than just three numbers out of 800. Factor in $21 for SAT Subject Tests, and in May, throw in a couple of Advanced Placement (AP) exams at $87 each. In a single school year, a student may shell out over $500 to the College Board, all in the name of college preparedness.

Power to the people

By Maggie Shi | March 10, 2011, 2:41 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

Pepco. It's remarkable how a single word, especially mentioned at a time of particularly tumultuous weather in Maryland, can spark fits of rage from citizens all across the county. Mention Pepco at a social gathering, and you will surely be bombarded with complaints and horror stories – power going out for no apparent reason, fallen trees that leave entire neighborhoods in the dark for days and dreadfully slow response times.

A zero-sum game of zero tolerance

By | March 10, 2011, 2:33 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

This article was written by the Silver Chips Print Editorial Board and is intended to represent the official views of the newspaper. Schools throughout the country base drug discipline policies on the idea that all drug-using teens are unmotivated and lazy people who consistently break rules. But this was not true for Nick Stuban, a 15-year-old student from Fairfax County who was caught buying JWH-018, a legal drug with marijuana-like effects. Before the incident, Stuban was a model student in academics, athletics and attendance. But all this changed when his school suspended him and later transferred him to a different school under their strict discipline policy. After months of emotional stress, Stuban committed suicide on Jan. 20.

Supporting the speech, opposing the message

By | March 10, 2011, 2:29 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

This article was written by the Silver Chips Print Editorial Board and is intended to represent the official views of the newspaper. As the dark train of cars inched along the rural Maryland road, the gloomy atmosphere belied the family's pride. The son they were burying had died honorably in combat. But one thousand feet away, dogged protesters screamed obscenities and defamed the fallen soldier.

Keeping choice in abortion universal

By Larisa Antonisse | March 10, 2011, 12:18 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

Babies are cute with their smiling faces, soft skin and tiny toes. But motherhood is not always so easy; it can be tiring, expensive and requires serious dedication. The U.S. Supreme Court decided in the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that all women have the right to choose whether to enter the life-long commitment that begins with childbirth. Legislation introduced in Congress in January would threaten this right, especially for low-income women, and would damage our nation's progress toward universal health insurance.

Maintenance of Effort promotes maintenance of mediocrity

By Sebastian Medina-Tayac | March 10, 2011, 11:52 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

The I.D. policy, blue Pepsi, Nickelback: Good intentions do not always produce good results. On the contrary, misguided or irrelevant decisions can harm the very people they were meant to serve.

Pro/Con: Should student service learning hours be mandatory for high school graduation?

By Simrin Gupta, Claire Koenig | March 10, 2011, 11:33 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

As of the 2010-2011 school year, MCPS requires all students to complete 75 hours of community service to graduate, instead of the 60 hours necessary in past years. Though some students find the requirement relatively easy to complete, others with more rigorous schedules question its necessity.

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