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National tragedy teaches local lessons

By | Feb. 9, 2011, 11:59 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. On Jan. 8, our nation was struck by violent, devastating tragedy. A young man entered a supermarket in Tucson, Ariz., where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was speaking to her constituents, and he opened fire on those gathered. The suspected shooter, Jared Loughner, shot at least 18 people, including Ms. Giffords, killing six. In light of this terrible crime, many are re-examining the country's political atmosphere, questioning whether the recent emphasis on fiery rhetoric and harsh criticism is to blame.

Vexed by the Capital Curse

By Gardi Royce | Feb. 9, 2011, 10:09 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

To truly understand and recognize the widespread significance of sports, you need only look at Cleveland, Ohio, deemed the "most miserable city” in America by a 2010 Reuters poll. What was once home to National Basketball Association (NBA) stardom and "King” LeBron James has now become a ghost town, a shadow of a time long ago. Yet while James left Cleveland for the beaches in Miami, along the way he had to pass through yet another sports purgatory: Washington, D.C.

Struggling to maintain Chips' diversity

By Gardi Royce | Feb. 9, 2011, 2:57 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

The Silver Chips ombudsman is the liaison between the paper and the Blair community. In a school that boasts one of the most diverse student populations in the area, it's always tough as a newspaper to know what will provoke readers' attention. With so many different cultures, races and traditions, it's always a challenge to write stories that attract everyone.

Changing education standards without lowering the bar

By Claire Koenig | Feb. 9, 2011, 2:33 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

One of the greatest educators of all time is a high school dropout. Temple University awarded him his bachelor's degree based on "life experience” after he had started working toward his master's degree, and his PhD dissertation was titled "An Integration of the Visual Media via ‘Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids' Into the Elementary School Curriculum.”

From note-pads to iPads, teaching goes high-tech

By Simrin Gupta | Feb. 9, 2011, 12:20 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

Few students remember the last time they hauled out a dictionary to look up a word. Even fewer remember an instance where they had a question that Google couldn't answer. Gone are the days when the twenty-pound textbook was the best resource. Thanks to the emerging technology of e-readers and tablets, anyone can be privy to a plethora of information with just the click of a button or the tap of a screen. Teachers across the nation have finally begun to capitalize on that concept within our classrooms. It's high time that MCPS do the same.

Take one for the team: Linebackers sacrifice health for glory

By NoahGrace Bauman | Feb. 9, 2011, 12:10 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

After four years of rigorous training and encouraged weight gain, only 3.4 percent of college football players will make it into the NFL, according to the National Football League Players Association. When their glory days fade away, the rest of these athletes graduate from football and move on to suffer from a disease that, according to the Center for Disease Control they share with 26.5 percent of Americans -- obesity.

When snow sticks, lessons don't

By Jewel Galbraith | Feb. 9, 2011, 11:39 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

If American boards of education are known for anything, it's their winning ideas. Maryland alone has come up with countless dazzling concepts in recent years: yearly MSA testing, mandatory tornado drills and of course Edline, alerting our parents to our every academic failure since 2006. But this year, our nation's school boards have outdone themselves. Eight inches of snow forecast for tomorrow morning? Well, set your alarms for 6 a.m., kids, because it's time for online school on a snow day.

Plugging national security leaks

By Larisa Antonisse | Feb. 9, 2011, 11:27 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

During their childhood days of playing games like capture-the-flag or touch football in the neighborhood park, most kids learn to work as a team to reach a common goal. But despite the enormity of the organized U.S. foreign policy effort, it seems that the country still needs to learn a basic rule of competition that any third-grader could tell you: Don't reveal your team's strategy to the opponent.

Pro/Con: Should Blair Freshmen be permitted to take Advanced Placement Classes?

By Maggie Shi, Claire Sleigh | Feb. 9, 2011, 11:24 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

The Advanced Placement (AP) program is a nationally recognized curriculum in which high school students can take college level classes. Because of the rigor of the course content, AP classes are typically offered only to upperclassmen. However freshmen in some Montgomery County schools can now take certain APs. Blair's current policy does not allow students to take any AP classes during freshman year.

Advertising for a moral standard

By Gardi Royce | Dec. 16, 2010, 2:51 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

The Silver Chips ombudsman is the liaison between the paper and the Blair community. To have a successful newspaper, there needs to be a competent staff, visionary leadership and a dedicated reader base. Just as important, but often overlooked is the business end of newspaper.

The leading question

By | Dec. 16, 2010, 2:44 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. The hallmark of a legitimate, functioning democracy is generally considered to be a fair, enduring voting process, in which the people's wishes translate directly to electoral results. Consecutive peaceful transfers of power are often a good indicator that stability is reigning and that the citizens can breathe a little easier.

Subtracting math acceleration adds to learning

By Claire Koenig | Dec. 16, 2010, 2:40 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

I've got a problem for you. No need to take out scratch paper, it shouldn't be too hard. If 50 elementary school students are placed in an accelerated math class, and 10 of them learn none of the basic concepts they need to succeed in higher levels of math, how many of these students should not have been in the course in the first place?

Rise up against rising tuition rates

By Stella Bartholet | Dec. 16, 2010, 2:28 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

Throwing eggs, setting off flares and breaking windows: This is how England reacted to a recent jump in college tuition. The cost of attending an American college has been rising for decades, yet few people have protested.

Let it snow: Montgomery County is ready

By Larisa Antonisse | Dec. 16, 2010, 12:14 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

As soon as the weatherman predicts snow, children, teens and even some teachers start their snow-inducing rituals. In order to make the fluffy stuff come faster, they wear their pajamas inside out, flush ice cubes down the toilet and sleep with spoons under their pillows. But this winter, snow-loving residents of Montgomery County are going to have to step up their game if they really want a day off, because the new snow removal plan is going to get the streets clear and the school buses on their way faster than ever.

Teach for America heads the class

By Natalie Rutsch | Dec. 16, 2010, 12:02 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

When an educator brings up school reform, the words "achievement gap" are never far behind. In a time when a dismal half of low-income students graduate high school, the need for dramatic educational reform has never been more urgent.

Pro/con: Should military recruiters be allowed to promote enlistment in high schools?

By Claire Boston, NoahGrace Bauman | Dec. 16, 2010, 11:56 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

Section 9528 of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires public schools to allow military recruiters in schools where college recruiters are also permitted. Opponents of the provision argue that recruiting in high school unethically takes advantage of students, while others claim that military recruiters simply inform interested students of possible career options.

Undemocratic championship system threatens America's iconic sport

By Maggie Shi | Dec. 16, 2010, 11:30 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

On New Year's Day, millions of college football fans around the country will tune in to the Rose Bowl, the first of five bowls in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS). But even as spectators cheer on their favorite teams, a glaring issue remains in the backs of their minds. Football is uniquely American, and the national championships should reflect the values of the nation — equality, fairness and the opportunity of success. Ironically, however, exclusivity and inequality in the BCS make it simply impossible for "America's new pastime” to reflect these American values.

In protecting athletes, colleges can't be fickle with sickle

By Gardi Royce | Nov. 11, 2010, 12:21 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

With every fallen leaf and degree drop in temperature, the weather is telling us that it's that time of season again. That season in which boys become men and proven players lead their teams to victory. It's time for football playoffs. From Montgomery County divisions to the Bowl Championship Series, teams will gear up for what they've been waiting for all year: the heralded football playoffs. Yet the road to the post season is one of intense dedication and practices, something for which not every athlete's body is prepared.

Surviving the Anacostia: a feat for fish and environmentalists alike

By Claire Sleigh | Nov. 11, 2010, 11:57 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

A glance out at the river makes it clear there was a storm the night before. The water is coffee colored and moving swiftly, carrying tree trunks, soda bottles and soccer balls, basically any trash you can think of – it's all there.

Every voice deserves a vote

By | Nov. 11, 2010, 11:57 a.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. Every year on the first Tuesday in November, a small number of Blazers have the opportunity to contribute to their local governments for the first time. While some of the students at Blair who are 18 or older could have voted in the Nov. 2 elections, another sizable portion of them could not. These students have all of the same responsibilities as their voting peers. They reside in this country and this county legally, attend the same schools with the same teachers, and learn the same information about the United States' political system in government class. The only difference: They are non-citizen residents of Montgomery County.

Helping students to make the cut for Blair sports teams

By Larisa Antonisse | Nov. 11, 2010, 11:46 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

For the select students who have the privilege of representing Blair on one of its sports teams, athletics are a major highlight of the high school experience. But for many other students, devoting weeks to grueling tryouts only to be told that they aren't good enough to make the team can be a serious blow to their self-confidence and willingness to participate in physical activity in the future.

A tale of two Chips: Silver edition

By Gardi Royce | Nov. 11, 2010, 11:42 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

The Silver Chips ombudsman is the liaison between the paper and the Blair community. Ask around Blair, and students will tell you they want more sports and photos in Silver Chips. Many are bored by all the news stories and overload of opinion pieces. They want more comics, more fashion and more entertainment. Each cycle, the Silver Chips writers and editors struggle to strike the balance of creating a serious newspaper while also appealing to a teenage audience.

From international terrorism's twisted web, a solution unspools

By Eli Okun | Nov. 11, 2010, 11:41 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

The little green signs that flutter on many a lawn around here seem to be multiplying weekly. Their simple message, however, reflects a much more complex reality half a world away. The signs that protest U.S. involvement in Afghanistan show a loss of hope in western efforts to rebuild democracy there.

It's not murder anymore

By Philipa Friedman | Nov. 11, 2010, 11:27 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

"How does the chicken's leg get from the chicken to my plate?" "Do fish like being killed?" "How do you make steak?" That is what I asked my mother one evening at the dinner table when I was four years old. She gave me honest answers. I never ate meat again.

Pro/Con: Should students be required to meet academic standards to play on Blair sports teams?

By Sebastian Medina-Tayac, Eliza Wapner | Nov. 11, 2010, 11:06 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

Students participating in MCPS athletics must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 and no more than one failing grade at the end of the marking period. Athletes failing to meet this requirement are removed from the team. Views on the effectiveness of the policy differ when it comes to concerns about overall student achievement.

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