Is it 10% absent or 10 days that makes the difference?

I have twice in as many days seen information that if students miss 10 days of school, their likelihood of graduation drops in half. Seems hard to believe. The best information I have found that it’s 10% — 18 days, which is almost double — not 10 days. 10 days is one day a month, on average. Take a week off for a trip and you’ve used half of it. I would want to see more detail, like number of consecutive days or how distributed the absences were, if there were any patterns. 

Update: Looks like it has more to do with funding than graduation rates, from this story. I can see the need for an accurate count of students but turning it into a scare story and worse, getting the facts wrong, is not what I want to see from schools. 

A Potential Source of K-12 Science and Math Teachers

So I suggested the following to the College of Education.  Let us establish a program whereby STEM majors would take education courses and do student teaching in their senior year (or distribute this over the last two years if possible).  STEM departments might have to make some adjustments (perhaps reducing our requirements a bit), but this is completely doable.  Students would receive both their STEM degree and teaching credentials after four years.  Let me be a bit controversial here…if the UW and other Ed Schools are ok with Teach for America, where students are given FIVE WEEKS of ed training before thrown into a classroom, surely they could work something out if they have an undergrad STEM major for a whole year.

One of those ideas that makes you wonder why it isn’t being done already. In fact, I would do away with Colleges of Education (as credentialing checkpoints for teachers: let them be academic/research focused) and offer an intensive teacher training program to seniors and recent grads to get them into the classroom. 

childrens' verse considered "inappropriate"

This poem — not the struck out bits — was recited at kindergarten/first grade lunch today by a staff member. 

One bright morning in the middle of the night,
Two dead boys got up to fight.
Back-to-back they faced one another,
Drew their swords and shot each other.
One was blind and the other couldn’t see,
So they chose a dummy for a referee.
A blind man went to see fair play,
A dumb man went to shout “hooray!”

A deaf policeman heard the noise,
And came and killed those two dead boys.
A paralyzed donkey walking by,
Kicked the copper in the eye,
Sent him through a nine inch wall,
Into a dry ditch and drowned them all.

(If you don’t believe this lie is true,
Ask the blind man – he saw it too!)

A parent in the room said it was “completely inappropriate.” They never said why, but during the next seating, the kids told their own jokes and the first three were about shooting animals. Not a word of protest or disapproval was uttered. 

I’m at a loss as to what was inappropriate: the thing is so absurd on its face, it makes the Roadrunner/Coyote cartoons look like Shakespeare. The article at Wikipedia has other examples of nonsense verse that challenge the listener on the meanings of what they hear. Is that not a good thing to teach kids, that language can be intentionally meaningless? 

Among writers in English noted for nonsense verse are Edward LearLewis CarrollOgden NashMervyn PeakeColin WestRoald DahlDr. Seuss and Spike Milligan

A pretty good list there: I wonder if the humorless drudge has ever let her kids read Dr Seuss?