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Newswire – May 26, 2020


BEFORE MEMORIAL DAY SLIPS OUT OF MEMORY, let’s be sure to remember what it is all about — the cost paid by our fellow Americans to insure that we all had a precious commodity, one they thought worth dying for — freedom.

“WHY AMERICA”? Teaching love of country isn’t just for patriotic holidays.  Now’s a good time to share new resources with the kids in your home or who you are teaching remotely. Easy to use course outlines and material that make teaching American history a snap can be found here on Why America? at edreform.com.

SCHOOL DAZE. The biggest ed story out there daily it seems is reopening schools. As Wall Street Journal’s Tawnell Hobbs reports, “Students wearing masks, eating lunch in classrooms and attending school in person only two days a week are among the scenarios being looked at in school districts throughout the U.S. planning to reopen in the fall…Children who are academically behind or without internet access would get preference for in-person learning under some proposals. Other plans prohibit sharing school supplies and desks closer than six feet apart, and limit parents and other visitors on campuses.”Whatever your own community or schools’ solutions, it’s clear that options are essential.And when schools do reopen, who will be there? “About 20% of teachers say they don’t intend to return in the fall. And about 30% of parents say they’re very likely to continue at-home learning,” according to a new poll from USA Today.

SILVER EDUCATION LININGS. Yes, the virus has been a tragedy for the country. But behind the Covid cloud, the everyday, real life experiences of millions of Americans during the “lockdown” have opened eyes and shown the many possibilities that come with new education responsibilities…  Reporting for the New York Times, Elizabeth Harris says “one unexpected silver lining of the shutdown has been an improved learning experience for certain students, including some who struggle to pay attention in class and even some high-achieving self-starters.” Where ‘remote learning’ was a foreign concept to most parents it is now catching on

YET SOME ARE ATTACKING REMOTE ED…. And also likening it to homeschooling, where parents drive when and what their children are taught. A Harvard prof said home schooling maximizes potential for child abuse. But he and others like him were summarily rebuked and many are now becoming convinced of the value. According to John Stossel, “‘Home-schoolers score 30% higher on SAT tests.’ They also do better in college, and they are less likely to drink or do drugs.”

LEARNING CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE. Love this idea from an educators technology group (h/t to Real Clear Education) to take a tour of the world using google maps!

BLACK & BROWN v BIDEN?  “The votes of black and brown charter school parents matter. Ignore us at your own peril.” The bold and unwavering Dr. Howard Fuller cautions Vice President Joe Biden about the loss of votes he’ll encounter if he continues to toe the union line rather than what’s good for children.  As we all agree, giving parents power and ensuring all have access to education excellence for America’s kids are way too important to become just another political piñata. 

In May 1868, General John A. Logan, the commander-in-chief of the Union veterans’ group known as the Grand Army of the Republic, issued a decree that May 30 should become a nationwide day of commemoration or “Decoration Day” for the more than 620,000 soldiers killed in the recently ended Civil War. It is to be designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country…” 

Throughout the years a number of changes have been enacted to this federal holiday, a shift from May 30 to the last Monday of the month to allow for a three day weekend, the name Memorial Day being officially adopted, and since 2000, the U.S. Congress passed legislation that all Americans are encouraged to pause for a National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time.

No matter the official name or date, it’s of paramount importance we celebrate Memorial Day.  Millions have given their lives on the fields of battle to make it possible for us to enjoy the “blessings of liberty.”

It is those individuals who gave what President Lincoln called, “the last full measure of devotion…to ensure that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Pause with us to remember and reflect on the sacrifice made by these brave individuals and understand that even in the midst of today’s challenges, it pales in comparison to offering one’s life for something greater.

Enjoy your Memorial Day week.

Founded in 1993, the Center for Education Reform aims to expand educational opportunities that lead to improved economic outcomes for all Americans — particularly our youth — ensuring that conditions are ripe for innovation, freedom and flexibility throughout U.S. education. We’re always delighted to hear from our readers…suggestions, questions and even the occasional complaint!