Even without knowing the intricate details of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), many have come across a teacher or two who says that their creativity and long-term effectiveness in the classroom has become limited since the implementation of NCLB. Consequently, it is honorable that the state of South Carolina has been motivated to submit a request for flexibility in NCLB requirements early next year and requests the input of the "community" of South Carolina.
Ah, a New Year.
(Columnist Kathleen Parker is on vacation. In her absence, Ruth Marcus, a columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group, is featured today.)
Only once since my foolish adolescence do I recall actually feeling fortunate to be a smoker, a truly insidious addiction that I have since kicked. It was the slightly chilly Washington evening on which I was joined during a smoke break at a friend's birthday party by Christopher Hitchens, one of the few people who can be called a journalist-intellectual without it sounding like a punch line.
Imagine a place where jobs are plentiful, and the housing market is thriving. A place where even low-playing service jobs come with signing bonuses and other benefits.
Last week, I named Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews as my 2011 Person of the Year. Inevitably, any thoughts of law enforcement bring me thoughts of crime. Sometimes reading crime reports can be the most enjoyable part of the day.
WASHINGTON -- The Republicans' final debate preceding the Iowa caucuses is suddenly uncompelling. There is nothing to do but write about Christopher Hitchens, whose death has made the world immeasurably less interesting.
Choosing a career in the media makes me a willing martyr. Although I am drawn to the glossy covers of magazines and daydream about seeing my 10-point byline in publications nationwide, making a living as a reporter means continuously living in my most vulnerable state.
A conservative Christian group has launched a boycott against "All-American Muslim." The TLC reality TV show about Muslim families in America fails to live down to the group's narrow-minded stereotypes. Their gripe, in my view, makes about as much sense as boycotting "The Cosby Show" because it doesn't mention black street gangs.
WASHINGTON -- Callista Gingrich has done something she might come to regret -- succumbed to the Twitter fairy and opened the door to unwelcome scrutiny.
WASHINGTON -- Oh, quelle gaffe.
If the Los Angeles Lakers need a shoulder to cry on after losing out on acquiring all-star guard Chris Paul, they may want to set up a long distance call with the Atlanta Hawks.
Last year at this time, my column was about my own favorite school Christmas memories. Apparently, folks actually read it, because a number of people I encountered during the holidays last year shared their own with me. So this year, I asked staff and community members to share a favorite Christmas memory in the Kershaw County schools with me. Following are ones I received that I especially enjoyed:
Like him or not, there is no doubt Sheriff Jim Matthews has made an impact here in Kershaw County.
Ah, Prince, how we've missed you. Prince Rogers Nelson has finally "Kiss"-ed and made up with Warner Bros. Records, regaining control of his original catalog of music and put out not one, but two albums worth of new music on the same day.
It's a funny thing. That's what Mama used to say when something baffled her. Like Mama, I prefer that things make common sense. Otherwise, I'll ponder, figure, study, and try to decipher that funny thing until it's somewhat sensible.
In early September, I attended a meeting of superintendents in Greenville. A major area of discussion was the development of a workforce that would attract sustainable industry to South Carolina and how K-12 education fits into this puzzle. To underscore this discussion, the meeting included a tour of the BMW plant in Spartanburg. Wow! This facility absolutely reflects what a 21st century workplace looks like and what many of our students will need to be prepared to enter. I talk a lot about preparing students for their future and not our past. The BMW tour reminded me why this is ...
On Nov. 4, Kershaw County citizens will have the opportunity to vote on the Kershaw County School District facilities referendum. Because of legislation passed by the South Carolina General Assembly in 2014, voters will be able to decide whether or not a penny sales tax that would be collected for 15 years could be imposed in the county and used by the school district to fund the projects in the referendum.
I was in Boston recently and just down from our hotel, in the heart of the Back Bay, is the Berklee College of Music.
WASHINGTON -- Now, now, let's not panic.
I obviously enjoy sharing stories from my childhood and other eras of my life in this column. I've told you about the time my pony took me on a crazy ride through a shed with a low ceiling and the time I got "lost" at the New York World's Fair. This week I'm going to tell you about a very special place that was the scene of many of my happiest childhood memories.
Hollywood's most recent spate of pirate movies, the Pirates of the Caribbean series starring Johnny Depp, illustrates the age-old stereotype of "the pirate." Depp is the perfect swaggering pirate, his full head of dreadlocks wrapped in a cloth, waistcoat belted with heavy leather, on occasion an 18th century skirted frock coat and a tricorn hat. Pistols and swords in his belt within easy reach for a fight. Soft leather boots folded down at the top. Swashbuckling at its best. Depp embodies the definitive pirate style.
ASPEN, Colo. -- One of the challenges that advocates are discussing here at an anti-poverty conference in Aspen -- yes, I realize the irony -- is getting buy-in from the private sector. How do you convince companies that social spending and government "handouts" are good for the bottom line?
My taste in music is pretty diverse. I seriously listen to every genre. However, I do have my favorites as I am sure many people do, and I have found that my preference for some genres are restricted to certain decades.
Lately, I seem to be reminded of the old adage "tough times never last but tough people do." It has me wondering: do tough people simply outlast the tough times or is it that people actually become tough as a result of surviving adversities over and over? Perhaps the answer lies in what we find on the other side of those difficult times. Perchance on the other side of these really burdensome and painful moments in our lives lay tougher people. It does make sense. Trying and practicing to be tough over and over would have to deliver a positive ...
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