Children, Guns, and the Bear of Toxic Stress

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Within days of Donald Trump’s victory, I issued the following call to action:

As we go forward, holding our children close, we must be vigilant, and relentless. We must be creative and steadfast in our resistance. We must harness the energy in our communities for social progress and educational equity—and for a society that is kind, and caring to all.

Kind and caring? I was hallucinating, a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The zeitgeist continues to challenge. Just keeping informed is torturous. I lurk in the media jungle, an addict looking for an angry fix. Then I cloister . . . Read full article →

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New York’s Young Children are Thrown under the Bus

Bianca School Bus

On September 11th, the education committee of the New York Board of Regents approved the “Next Generation” standards for English Language Arts and mathematics.

Our youngest children have been thrown under the bus.

We are violating everything that is known, which is considerable, about how children develop and learn best. We are stealing their childhood, robbing them of play, the primary engine of human development.

We have empirical evidence that kindergarten has become the new first grade, and preschool the new kindergarten. Across the country, and in New York, we have relegated play to an hour a day . . . Read full article →

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Paul Tough’s Hard Work of Helping Children Succeed

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In the acknowledgments of Helping Children Succeed, Paul Tough’s latest ruminations on same, the best-selling author concedes that he had originally thought of the slim 125-page book as nothing more than an online report. His literary agent disabused him of that notion, visions of new readers dancing in his head.

Tough’s earlier book, How Children Succeed, a prequel to his latest tome, hit the zeitgeist in 2012, its subtitle “Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character” ever so tantalizing. A contributing writer to the New York Times magazine and This American Life, he set forth . . . Read full article →

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