Outlook for the future of education? It looks just… Pee Chee

Education Secretary Arnie Duncan promises no child's will get left behind when it comes to getting a Pee Chee folder.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan promises no child will get left behind when it comes to getting a Pee Chee folder.

When I was a kid, our school supply list consisted of a Star Wars notebook and a Pee Chee folder. The notebook helped us organize our assignments; the Pee-Chee folder was used for entertaining ourselves during class by drawing thought balloons for the athletes on the cover.

Football Guy: (Getting tackled) “Oh sure — run the old L-42 play, THAT always works…”
Tennis Girl: “If my skirt gets any shorter, I’ll be playing Olympic volleyball…”

You get the idea.

Just about everyone remembers this folder because, like Al Sharpton’s hair gel, it has remained virtually unchanged since 1964. What has changed, however, is the growing list of items parents must provide throughout the school year. This comes in addition to rudimentary things, such as clothing, snacks and a recent urine sample. The reason is simple: The government is tired of wasteful spending, particularly in the educational system, where a special task force has discovered that schools routinely get bilked into spending thousands of dollars on paper alone.

“And, shockingly, most of this paper has turned out to be blank,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Continue reading

School has started and my kids have become pod people

Honey, I don't think the kids' alarms were set for school...

“Hey, Honey? I don’t think the kids’ alarms went off for school!”

Now that school is back in session, we have settled into our normal routine here at the Hickson household. This routine is based on a strict time schedule that my wife and I have developed over the years to ensure that, each morning at precisely 7 a.m., all hell breaks loose. This includes — but isn’t limited to — at least one person (or family pet) running through the house in boxer shorts, and my daughter locking the bathroom door for some “quiet time” while heating a Pop-Tart with her hair dryer.

Though we know this pandemonium could be avoided by just getting up a little earlier, the fact is, my wife and I are the only morning people in our family. As anyone in this situation already knows, this is sort of like being the only lambs at a coyote picnic. Continue reading