Talking With Kids About Trump, The Case For Hooky, Ed Trust On Higher Ed, Tisch on NY, Kingsland On Listening, Hettleman On Baltimore, Whitman And Ostriches, Plus More!

The Times looks at how to talk to kids about Trump. It’s a real issue. One of my daughters asked me last night if a Trump win meant some of her friends would be forced to leave the country – and she’s right to worry if you take what he’s said at face value. The Times looks at some of the rhetoric and the inappropriate tenor of the debate but there is another issue: I don’t want my kids to be scared of their president.

In a lot of circles (but be careful of over-generalizations or assumptions about who Trump voters are) people can’t stop talking about the awfulness of Trump etc…and kids are hearing that at social events, various conversations, and at school.  Trump’s surely not my cup of tea but, should he win, I also don’t want my kids to be scared of their president. Yes, I think a Trump win would be the wrong direction for the country, but maybe check some of the stronger rhetoric in the presence of little people? It’s a balancing act if you don’t want to countenance what he’s saying but also don’t want young kids stressed about who might be their next president. Operative word is “their,” that’s what you sign up for in our system of government. I’d also like for them to have some reasonableness and lack of stridency in how they think about politics. Not an easy balancing act for parents…

Also today I wrote about absenteeism for USN.  I get the importance of getting kids into school but am not sure getting them out of school isn’t actually more important:

So rather than just fret over absenteeism, let’s encourage it. But in a more structured way that works for all kids and changes rather than buttresses our current educational arrangements. All the kids missing school – whatever the reason and whatever they’re doing – they’re telling us something if we stop to listen.

Education Trust launching a new network to improve minority college graduation rates. Pushing and shoving on online tests. Tisch reflects on New York education.  Kalman Hettleman on the elected/appointed board debate in Baltimore. Neerav Kingsland on the importance of listeningEsquire with a parent’s eye view of a troubled teen.  Employer sponsored quality assurance in higher education? Is AP American education’s biggest success story? This Chicago news seems like a problem. Censorship in Virginia.

Heather Wilhelm:

Unfortunately, in its earnest quest for female empowerment, America—never quite good at moderation, and always quite good at fighting the last battle—is quietly and methodically marginalizing boys.

“I always encourage the men to write, and promptly write for them,”  And ostrich chases cyclists.

5 Replies to “Talking With Kids About Trump, The Case For Hooky, Ed Trust On Higher Ed, Tisch on NY, Kingsland On Listening, Hettleman On Baltimore, Whitman And Ostriches, Plus More!”

  1. Ramesh Ponnuru does a good job of defining conservatives to fit his need to distance himself and NR from the base. Republicans have been playing their base with Voodoo economics, dog whistle politics and fear for three or more decades and it has finally come home to roost. Bruce Bartlett, an economist with impeccable conservative credentials, put it this way when he spoke of Trump voters and Repuclican base being made up of,
    “…Christian religious fanatics, gun nuts, anti-gay bigots, nativists opposed to all nonwhite immigrants, secessionists, conspiracy theorists and, of course, racists. What binds them together is hatred. Hatred of government, yes, but also hatred of liberals, minorities, homosexuals, non-fundamentalist Christians, environmentalists, feminists, and many other groups.” Read the whole thing at

  2. Andrew,
    I am not sure you understand how elitist your piece on playing hooky sounds. Your kids are in a “Ski School” in Sun Valley. Where would an inner city kid play hooky to? Who would pay them to go to Ski school? Early in my teacher career in LAUSD I had students write about what they did over the summer. None of them went out of town at all. Some never even went to the beach which was only ten miles away. The one I remember the best was the students who went to Seven Eleven. Each day they had do stay in the house and at a certain time they had to call their mom at work and tell them they were going the store, buy a Slurrpy and call her again as soon as they returned so she could be sure they were safe. That was their entire summer!
    My own African American son was under pressure to never miss school for any reason. When I tried to take him out of school for a week in Yosemite, I though the school would have a fit. They said it would prevent him from being prepared for the “test.” I was quite sure he would learn more in Yosemite than in school so we went anyway, and this was in Beverly Hills Unified School District. I am sure KIPP or Success would have kicked us out.

  3. David –

    Again, for the most part we don’t disagree here but I get a sense that you just want to. There are three points: First, out of classroom/school time is valuable. Second, there are big double standards that exist but different students do also need different thing and that creates a balancing act. But, third, if we want to keep a variety of parents in public schools we should figure out how to accommodate that *and* if we want to do a better job leveling the playing field schools have to do more and be more creative about use of out-of-classroom time than we are today. Schools that do that are held up as interesting outliers rather than something we should probably figure out how to broaden.

  4. I disagree not merely because I want to, but because as a public school student, parent and teacher I see a different reality. When I was growing up in the 50’s and 60’s in California there were numerous opportunities for students to go away for a week in the wilderness paid for by the school district. When my oldest son was in grammar school, middle school and high school I had to pay for all of the wilderness expeiences and now, in th districts I have worked in, they either do not exist or are reliant on fund raising that is beyond the reach of most students so only a select few can go. Plus, what really made me want to disagree was when you said your kids were in ski school. Sounded so elitist. Great for your kids, but when I think of so many of my great students who never had the cultural and social benefits of the things upper middle class kids take for granted. Such a huge advantage socially and economically. It is something we need to provide for all schools charter or otherwise. The playing field is so uneven. A college degree is worth much less if you are raised poor. You are right, many of the things one learns outside of school are more valuable than the curriculum. See these articles:

  5. There are literally (more than one) specific grafs in that column that get at what you’re talking about here, so either you’re not reading or don’t want to. In either case, we’re mostly in violent agreement regardless.

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