The list of things you can’t do at school just keeps getting longer. In Boulder, Colorado, they’ve ruled against having valedictorians. How can you ban being smart and working hard?
To end complaints about the sometimes fierce competition among overachieving high school students, the Boulder Valley School District is getting rid of the practice of crowning a single valedictorian.
Those darn overachievers. They just keep ruining it for the rest of the crowd, don’t they?
Boulder Valley had previously abolished class rankings to reduce “unhealthy competition” and without class rank, the valedictorian committee agreed that it didn’t make sense to continue the valedictorian system.
We certainly don’t want anyone to feel bad. That is why many teachers use purple pens now for grading. Red pens are just too harsh. Christina Hoff Sommers noted in a USA Today op-ed piece some hilarious examples of how schools are making sure there is no competition left at school. Instead of competive team sports, some schools teach juggling and unicycling. And in case juggling is too dangerous, kids can learn to juggle scarves so they won’t get hurt by falling balls.
As for those red pens?
It seems that educators worry that emphatic red corrections on a homework assignment or test can be stressful, demeaning — even “frightening” for a young person.
Apparently, if the corrections are made in purple pen–a calming color, you know–the kids are so numbed by the gentle effects of lavender that they feel much better about failing.
Some kids, though, seem to be learning about economics in light of governmental school bans on candy in vending machines at schools. When a district in Texas banned candy in vending machines, the Austin American-Statesman reported that after a ban, students started selling candy brought in to school.
During the prohibition, one student, who asked not to be identified, said that he sold candy at the school and made as much as $50 in a day.
The school had replaced candy with yummy little snacks like tuna. Hmmmm……. chocolate or tuna? Chocolate or tuna? The school eventually relented and put some candy back in the machines and enterprising students lost their side businesses.
Candy and soft drinks aren’t the only items getting banned. It is even getting hard to find cupcakes at a school party says the Syracuse Post-Standard. What can anyone have against a perfectly good cupcake?
Schools around the country are cracking down on cupcakes in the classroom, even though some parents say the policies go too far. The cupcake ban is just one of many steps schools are taking to help curb childhood obesity.
I admit, I much prefer a homemade-from-scratch cupcake to the sugar-laden junk that passess as food in some stores, but I don’t think cutting out a cupcake at a party is going to do away with childhood obesity.
If schools are really serious about helping in the fight against childhood obesity, maybe they should rethink banning tag at recess.
At some schools, even pushing another child on a swing has too much potential for violence to be tolerated.
What should kids do? You might think that they would be encouraged to read a good book, but if you have a child in Riverside Unified School District, the school might not even want you to do that! Andy Hilbert at Horse Sense and Nonsense reports on the RUSD position on novels in class and policies that say students should not be allowed to read “too much” in class, even if it is an independent reading period.
And people wonder why we homeschool.
We read books and eat cupcakes, sometimes simultaneously. We play tag, climb trees, and sometimes we even eat candy bars.