Discourse of the Day, The Silver Bullet

The Silver Bullet – Curriculum 7

Seventh Grade: Seventh grade is a transition year. Students will solidify and expand upon things they have learned in their k-6 years, mastering key concepts before advancing to new ones. Students will adjust to changing teachers and classrooms and balancing their workload over the course of a week and a quarter. Math: Pre-Algebra: Students will be exposed to the early concepts of Algebra such as exponents, variables, and integers; while practicing and solidifying their proficiency in more complex problems of concepts they were introduced to in previous grades. Learning topics will include order of operations, place values, algebraic expressions and…

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Discourse of the Day, The Silver Bullet

The Silver Bullet – Curriculum 5-6

Fifth Grade: Fifth grade is a very important year for students to achieve big steps forward in their education. It is a year without significant upheaval and is the last year before students hormones enter the mix. It is important for educators to take advantage of the lull between big life events to push for fuller, more comprehensive responses, thoughts, and reports. Much like kindergarten planted the seeds for grades 1-4, so does fifth grade lay the groundwork for grades 6-8. Math: Topics at this level include: Ratios and rates; multiplying and dividing decimals; percentages; areas of compound and complex…

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Discourse of the Day, Meanwhile in Countries not called America

Meanwhile in Countries Not Called America-Venezuela’s Economic Crisis

It’s no secret that Venezuela has been a mess for a while now. The country’s particular brand of Strongman Socialism has discouraged foreign investment and resulted in an economy that is almost entirely reliant on the nation’s oil production. This would be a precarious economic model under even the most ideal circumstances, but under the corrupt regimes of President’s Chavez and Maduro, it has proven to be downright disastrous. Back in 2003, Chavez replaced the executives of Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA with his own corrupt cronies. Their ineptitude and graft have resulted in a steady decline in Venezuela’s oil…

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Discourse of the Day, The Silver Bullet

The Silver Bullet – Curriculum 3-4

Third Grade: Third grade is an unofficial graduation year. The lessons and methods of the students younger years are left behind as students are expected to be more independent in managing their workload. Learning topics cease to be general overviews and basic building block and are now more complete units with depth and details the students are expected to dive in to. Math: Topics will cover multiplication tables, long division, mixed operations, estimating and rounding, patterns, graphs and data, probability and statistics, fractions and decimals, area and perimeter. Science: This year students will focus on scientific investigation: lab tools, how…

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Discourse of the Day, In Theory

In Theory- Urban Renewal

Urban Renewal. It has a nice ring to it. Investing in run-down metropolitan areas in order to spur growth and prosperity while cutting down on crime and blight. As far as sales jobs go you could find yourself pitching something a lot more unpopular than “less crime, more money” to those who dwell in decaying urban neighborhoods. But this is In Theory and like any good students of economics, politics, and sociology; you, my insightful readers, know that nothing is ever that simple. The idea behind Urban Renewal has evolved over the years. In the post-war period, it was straight…

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Discourse of the Day, Meanwhile in Countries not called America

Meanwhile in Countries Not Called America: A State of Emergency in Ethiopia

Africa’s second largest nation is no stranger to political unrest but the surprise resignation of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on February 15th has the potential to escalate an already volatile situation. Mr. Desalegn’s resignation comes after his failure to stem the tide of violent anti-government protests that have plagued the East African nation for years. To understand the current state of affairs it is important that I provide you with a little context. Ethiopia is ostensibly a federal parliamentary republic with a prime minister and a bicameral parliament. However, since this form of governance was first adopted in 1994 it…

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Discourse of the Day, It's the Economy Stupid

It’s the Economy Stupid- Free Trade Agreements

The recent wave of economic nationalism to sweep across the world is a direct backlash against the forces of globalization that have been on the march since the fall of the soviet union. Nothing more epitomizes the globalization movement than negotiated Free Trade Agreements. From the Pan-Pacific Partnership to NAFTA, free trade agreements have been held up as the source of America’s economic woes by economic populists. With such a vehement contempt for these kinds of agreement saturating our national discourse I thought they warranted a closer look. First brass tacks, what exactly is a free trade agreement or FTA…

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Discourse of the Day, The Silver Bullet

The Silver Bullet: Grades 1-2 Curriculum

Having previously looked at what I believe to be the minimum requirements for a comprehensive Kindergarten curriculum, in this post I will break down what I believe are the appropriate learning goals for first and second-grade classrooms. First Grade: Much like Fourth, Seventh, and Ninth grade; First Grade is both a transitional and foundational year. Students are ecstatic to be with “the big kids” and begin “real” school. It’s important to keep students at this level engaged and focused on moving forward through the material. Math: By the end of this grade students should have mastered counting to one hundred,…

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Discourse of the Day, It's the Economy Stupid

It’s The Economy Stupid- Quantitative Easing

Do you ever wish you could just create money out of thin air? Snap your fingers and buy that new car cash? Well, then you should be a central bank because thanks to a relatively new (this century) financial technique known as Quantitative Easing the can do just that. Money out of thin air you say? How does that work? Well, loyal reader, I’m going to tell you. But like any good writer, I’m going to build up your anticipation first by stalling with an exposition dump. You see the purpose of Quantitative Easing is to stimulate economic growth. And…

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Discourse of the Day, The Silver Bullet

The Silver Bullet-Kindergarten Curriculum

As the song says “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.” When we’re talking about a comprehensive curriculum that will give America’s youth the tools they need to compete in a global economy that beginning is Kindergarten. Don’t get me wrong. Pre-K educational programs are extremely important. And if you are looking to give your child the best start possible, you should absolutely enroll them in one or more such programs. But those programs are hard to codify and have few structural similarities with the more formalized grades. For me to try and sit here…

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