Published Online: August 30, 2011
Published in Print: August 31, 2011, as Blogs of the Week

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| VIEWS | UNWRAPPING THE GIFTED

Go to the Office!

I’ve decided I’m going to send my gifted students to the principal’s office this year. A lot. Like at least one kid a week.

I think we’re off their radar most of the time. Well, not this year. This year, even if they don’t come to us, I’m going to send us to them.

If a student has a huge “aha” moment, he’ll be sent to the principal’s office to share his new insight.

When a student finishes writing the book she’s been working on all semester, she’ll be sent to the principal’s office to show her the manuscript.

See, I think principals get buried in the bad news. They spend a sizable chunk of their time dealing with behavior problems, upset parents, and paperwork. This year, I hope to offer them some sunlight! And the sly subversive advantage is I’m quietly advocating for my students in the process by subtly educating the principals on what we do in gifted education and how these kids really are different.

—Tamara Fisher


| NEWS | SCHOOLED IN SPORTS

Circumventing Pay-to-Play

Let’s face it: School sports aren’t cheap. Schools have to deal with equipment costs; maintenance of fields, courts, and rinks; coaches’ salaries; and all sorts of medical considerations.

So, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to find out that more than half the states have at least one school charging pay-to-play fees.

But some are finding creative ways to avoid those charges.

• In a recent survey, 57 percent of roughly 360 schools said they accepted corporate dollars to keep K-12 sports programs afloat.

• At Fraser High School in Michigan, the booster club raised $45,000 to avoid having any pay-to-play fees. The sources: concession-stand sales, a craft show, and a raffle.

• And in mid-July, news broke that the New York City public school system was negotiating a two-year, $500,000 contract with the MSG Varsity Network—a Cablevision network dedicated to high school sports.

Californians have taken it a step further by challenging the constitutionality of pay-to-play fees in public K-12 schools and pushing for new legislation to prevent them.

—Bryan Toporek

Vol. 31, Issue 02, Page 13

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