- Still Learning from Kindergarten to Say “Yes” or “No” - October 4, 2019
- Toni Morrison: Spilling over the Corners of Text - August 6, 2019
- Marie Kando Your Classroom - July 24, 2019
- MCAS Whitehead Test Prompt-What Were They Thinking? - May 28, 2019
- If They Are Choosing the Family Car, They Are Going to Want Choice in the Classroom - February 27, 2019
- Teachers Pay Teachers-The Fast Food of Education - February 22, 2019
- Yes, Breaking Up (with a text) is Hard to Do - October 8, 2017
- Copying the Nation’s Founding Documents by Hand - September 24, 2017
- A Comic Book Helped to Inspire the Civil Rights Movement - August 7, 2017
- Eat Your Vocabulary– It’s Good for You! - February 8, 2017
The “Nation’s Report Card” is released by The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) every year where students are tested at ages 9, 13, and 17. In 2012, the testing results for readers at age 17 were abysmal, demonstrating only a 2% growth in reading scores over the past 41 years.
I was bemoaning this statistic to a friend who responded, “Well, they’re just seventeen…”
Almost immediately, I heard the voice of Paul McCartney, the voice of my youth, respond in my brain, “…you know what I mean….”
Seventeen is that age of great contradictions…you know what I mean? For example:
- Seventeen is the year before legal adulthood in the USA;
- Seventeen is the age at which one may watch, rent, or purchase R-rated movies without parental consent;
- Seventeen is the age at which one can enlist in the armed forces with parental permission;
- More 17-year-olds commit crimes than any other age group, according to recent studies by psychiatrists.
Nature offers an example of another seventeen year cycle. Consider that cicadas remain buried for seventeen years before coming out a breaking into their mating song. Coincidently there are no end to the number of songs, mating or otherwise, that center on the dilemma of being seventeen.
There is the infamous Paradise By the Dashboard Light by Meat Loaf:
Though it’s cold and lonely in the deep dark night
I can see paradise by the dashboard light