Posts Tagged ‘ trends ’

New No Child Left Behind Rules

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

For years, the Obama Administration has tried to reform the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. The law holds schools directly accountable for student progress in reading and math and leads them to face sanctions, including potential closure, if they don’t meet set standards. NCLB’s criticisms have been manifold: that it forces schools to teach to the test and deemphasize (if not outright ignore) other subjects; that it is a negative, punitive approach; that it doesn’t truly reform the educational system; and that the standards are unrealistic (48 percent of the nation’s 100,000 public schools were labeled as failing under the law last year).

With no consensus in Congress on how to fix the problem, the President has taken matters into his own hands. In a press conference this afternoon, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that 10 states—Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee—have agreed to work within the Administration’s reform guidelines and will thus receive a waiver from the potential sanctions slated to go into effect in 2014. These states will continue to set a higher bar for achievement—including college- and career-ready standards—but now have more freedom in how they implement it. More important, they can focus on tailoring solutions to the individual needs of poor-performing schools and students. They’ve also agreed to reward schools ranked at the top and that display clear gains (something NCLB didn’t do), and to implement meaningful teacher and principal evaluation systems.

This NCLB bypass effectively puts more control of education back in the hands of individual states. Assuming the states follow through as promised and look at long-term structural fixes, granting them waivers should be a good thing for public students in these states. But it is also a clear acknowledgment that that the United States is nowhere near to achieving the law’s goal of getting kids up to grade level in reading and math within the next two years. No wonder 28 other states have indicated that they, too, plan to seek waivers.

What do you think: Are the NCLB waivers a good thing or merely an admission that our system remains broken with few signs of improvement?

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Project Nursery on Ohdeedoh!

Friday, May 20th, 2011

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Everyday, I’m a proud mom to my son Oliver, but today, I’m a proud, crafty mama. Ohdeedoh, the ultimate blog for all things fabulous in kids’ design and craft, wrote up a flattering (I’m blushing) piece on the June 2011 story Project Nursery about my son’s bedroom.

Visit Ohdeedoh to read their post and take a peak at Parents for all of the craft how-tos!

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Tags: , , , , , | Categories: Babies, Crafts

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Fun Bracelets Inspired By Braces

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Screen shot 2011-05-18 at 12.29.10 PM

Watch out Silly Bandz—there’s a new bracelet in town. When I stumbled upon the website for Braced-Lets—colorful, collectible bracelets made with actual orthodontic braces—I knew I had to blog about them. Not only are they great for stacking and trading, they’re the perfect present for kids and preteens sporting braces (as well as those who simply worship a metal-mouthed babysitter or older sib).

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Happy New Year from Parents

Friday, December 31st, 2010

New Year 2011 babyWith 2011 starting tomorrow, what resolutions are you and your family making?  Look no further than our guide to helping kids make and keep New Year’s Resolutions.  We at Parents resolve to keep bringing you the best and most beneficial parenting news, personal stories, and product reviews.  As you wave good-bye to 2010, take a few moments to look at the highlights of the year–the top news, toy recalls, trends, and more:

And as you welcome the advent of 2011, look to see what we predict for the year and what we have in store for January:

We at Parents also want to take a few moments to say: Thank you for continuing to be such avid readers of our magazine and our site.  Because of you, dear readers, Parents had several amazing milestones this year.  We reached over 100,000 Twitter followers, received over 150,000 “Likes” on Facebook, and we won a MIN Award in the “Editorial Series or Special Section” category. 

We hope your new year will be bursting with brightness.  Happy 2011!

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DIY Social Networking

Friday, January 8th, 2010

screen-capture-1Online moms unite! We recently featured ten “Power Moms” of the blogosphere and beyond in our Mom.com story (the February issue of Parents is on newsstands next week). But one of the great things about the Internet is that it’s a true democracy–we can all have a voice. The trick is figuring out how to get your voice to stand out in all the noise. And whether you want to get into blogging, tweeting, or facebooking, the methods are surprisingly the same. Check out five pointers to get you started.

  • Do your research. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Mommy blogs and Twitter “tweeters” out there. Read a few of them…if you’re not already (see Goody Reads to the left and our Twitter/Facebook feeds to the right for some suggestions). For blogs, you should also compare blog-hosting sites, such as WordPress and TypePad, to decide which one is right for you.
  • Find your niche. Have a passion for kids’ shoes? Great! Check if there’s a similar blog, FB page, or tweeter out there for this subject. If so, brainstorm how to make yours different. If not, congrats! You’ve got the market cornered, so to speak.

(more…)

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Ultra-Hip Ultrasound

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Screen-capture-11 As if seeing your baby in utero isn't thrilling enough, now there's a way to trick out your ultrasound.

Yes, it's true you can download the iPhone app called Pimp My Ultrasound to give your unborn child stylish headgear like bows, football helmets or santa hats, accessories such as sunglasses, a guitar, or a credit card, and then embellish with text bubbles and picture frames.

No, this should not be your first priority when viewing your ultrasound, but it makes for a good giggle. And it not all just fun and games, they donate 5% of their profits to charities that work with babies in need.

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Tags: , , , , , | Categories: Pregnancy

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Spankin’ New Headlines

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

News Image NEW Check your medicine cabinets: You might want to hold off on this popular cold remedy—and read up on homeopathic solutions. Yahoo! News

Families are spending less time together, a new poll finds, and it looks like technology may be partly to blame. Chicago Sun-Times

The challenge: Getting girls to sign up for sports. New York Times

Are you scaling back on your kids’ summer plans? Many families are. CNN

Lice! What camps are doing to keep them at bay. USA Today

Heading to the pool this weekend? You’ll want to read these water-safety tips. Health Day

Original photo via

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How’d You Pick That Name?

Friday, June 5th, 2009

12188813 A few weeks back I posted about a contest to guess the top baby names of 2008. Well, I'm a little late with this update, but the Social Security Administration's list is now available. Looking at last year's "winners" (Jacob, Emma, Michael, and Isabella topped the lists) got me thinking about how people pick their baby names. People look to all different sources of inspiration—family names, the bible, movie stars, sports legends, cities they've lived in, etc. (I know my mom named my sister and me after characters in her favorite books—Little Women and Jane Eyre.) So tell us—how did you pick out your little one's name?

Image via

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Tags: , | Categories: News

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