Fifth grade is underway and middle school is the main topic of conversation among parents. Worrying seems to be an Olympic sport but I'm trying not to compete. I tell myself, "My kid is a good student, he'll be fine."
Consider the virtuous circle aspect: If teaching in public schools were to become prestigious (again), a higher caliber of college graduates would be drawn to the profession. More intellectual rigor all around would bring up everybody's game.
Although we can (and must) draw lines to ensure that schools do not teach religion, endorse religion, permit collective prayer while school is in session, we can no more kick prayer out of schools than we can evict God.
If the mayor permits Dennis Walcott to put to good use lessons he learned teaching kindergarten and as a black student in NYC schools, Walcott could wind up deserving an "A" in the class Cathie Black flunked.
The iSchool, a new high school in SoHo that incorporates technology into everyday learning, encourages students to take an active role in their own education and go beyond what they find in a textbook.