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Artist Leon Ewing thinks kids should use ‘educational’ marijuana to help with creativity AAP

“IT’S probably one of the more potty ideas in recent times – giving schoolkids pot to stimulate their imaginations.But Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art thinks it’s “brave and creative”.Rather than condemning the idea from teaching artist Leon Ewing, MONA creative director Leigh Carmichael defended it saying Tasmania needed to think “big” and be open to “provocative ideas” in a bid to improve Tasmania’s education outcomes.“We don’t necessarily agree with this idea, but we love that it’s brave and creative, and in order for seismic change, we’ll need to think big and be open to provocative ideas,” Mr Carmichael said on Tuesday.”(more)

Public School Teachers More Likely to Use Private Schools for their Own Kids

Education Next – Paul E. Peterson and Samuel Barrows

“The Supreme Court, in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (CTA), is now considering whether all teachers should be required to pay union determined “agency fees” for collective bargaining services, whether or not the teacher wants them. When making their case, unions would have the public believe that public school teachers stand solidly behind them. When it come to school choice, for example, CTA insists that “Teachers do not support school voucher programs, because they hurt students and schools by draining scarce resources away from public education.” But facts on the ground tell a different story. A fifth of all public school teachers with school-age children has placed a child in a private school, and nearly three out of ten have used one or more of the main alternatives to the traditional public school— private school, charter school, and homeschooling. What is more, the teachers who exercise choice are more likely to support school choice for others, avoid union membership, and oppose agency fees.”(more)

Want a Big Family? You May Be Setting Your Kids Up to Fail

Money & Career CheatSheet – Sam Becker

“Researchers from both the University of Houston and the London School of Economics recently published a study called The Quantity-Quality Trade-off and the Formation of Cognitive and Non-cognitive Skills, which took a look at the relationship between the number of children a family has, and the resulting quality of life those children experience, in addition to comparing the cognitive abilities of children from smaller families. Basically, what they found is that the more children a family has, the lower the quality of life for those children. Or, the more siblings you have, the more difficult your life is going to be. “Increases in family size decrease parental investment, decrease childhood cognitive abilities, and increase behavioral problems,” the study found.”(more)

Overparenting: 5 Recovery Steps From a Former Stanford Dean

KQED News Mind/Shift – Linda Flanagan

“Doing too much for one’s children is mainly a middle-to-upper-middle-class affliction; children growing up in less privileged communities tend not to suffer from parental overinvolvement. Nevertheless, says former Stanford Dean Julie Lythcott-Haims, who has written a book on the ills of overparenting, the impact on children is serious and long-lasting. “There’s tremendous psychological harm that comes from overparenting,” said Lythcott-Haims. Most damaging to kids is the implied message that they’re not equipped to handle life’s bumps on their own. When parents jump in, remove obstacles, orchestrate play and direct the future, they extinguish a child’s ability to think and act for herself. At Stanford, Lythcott-Haims counseled countless undergraduates who suffered from what she calls “existential impotence” and a lack of self-efficacy. It’s true that some kids will gain a short-term advantage from parental homework help and handholding, she said. However, parents need to realize that over the long term, such interference undermines children’s self-reliance and sense of self.”(more)

The Fate of Their Schools Uncertain, Washington Charter Families Weather an Anxious Holiday

The 74 Million – Kate Stringer

“Most students with winter break homework spend as long as possible ignoring it. But during the first week of her December vacation, Victoria Johnson, a ninth-grader at Summit Sierra in Seattle, was already locked in her room crafting a stock market portfolio for class. “She loves where she is,” Victoria’s mother, Natalie Johnson, said of Summit Sierra. “Who says that? ‘God mom, I wish Christmas (break) was only one week.’” Victoria returns to the classroom Tuesday. But unlike traditional public school students, the high school freshman and her roughly 1,300 peers in Washington state charter schools don’t know how long they’ll get to stay there. During the holidays and midpoint of the school year, this uncertainty has incubated a range of reactions from families: frustration, advocacy, educational opportunities and caution. After a September state Supreme Court decision ruled Washington’s charter schools unconstitutional, students and parents have been thrown into limbo land. Some 400 young people, parents and educators met with legislators and rallied in Olympia in late November, but the court declined to reconsider the case.”(more)

Bring Science Home

Scientific American – Various

“As the old saying (almost) goes, science starts in the home. Try our fun science activities, which parents and their kids ages 6-12 can do together with household items in just a half hour or less. Teachers might like to incorporate them, too.”(more)