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Three Wishes for Education

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As I begin my 27th year in education, I would like to look ahead and think about the three biggest things that I would like to see in education in the United States.  These things may happen before I retire (still a long way off), they may happen before I die (hopefully a longer way off [!] ); but I hope they happen.  So rub the lamp; here are my three wishes.

#1) Poor students learn just as much and just as well as rich students

     We are constantly bombarded with data that shows poor students having lower achievement than their richer peers.  We (in education) know why this happens.  It's not just that they lack money for adequate, nourishing food.  Students from poor families come to school in kindergarten already behind their richer peers.  They have less books in their home.  They have a higher percentage of parents who didn't finish high school and/or never went to college.  They live in more dangerous neighborhoods compared to rich kids.  They don't always hav…

Hot Dogs and High Jump

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Take a look at this data from the Famous Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest:


YearWinning Amount 1990                           16 1991                          21.5 1992                           19 1993                           17 1994                           20 1995                          19.5 1996                           22 1997                          24.5 1998                           19 1999                           20 2000                           25 2001                           50 2002                          50.5 2003                           44 2004                          53.5 2005                           49 2006                           54 2007                           66 2008                           59 2009                           68
     Look at the amount of hot dogs eaten by the winners in the 1990's.  Now look at the winning data from the 2000's.  Specifically, look at the difference in the winning numbers from 2000 to 2001.  Yipes!…