Daily Archives: April 4, 2008

2008 Hans Christian Andersen Awards

From PW: “The 2008 Hans Christian Andersen Awards, announced March 31 at the Bologna Book Fair, went to Swiss author Jürg Schubiger and Italian illustrator Robert Innocenti. The awards are given every two years to a living author and illustrator whose complete works have made an important contribution to children’s literature. They are the highest international distinction given to creators of children’s books.”

The Press Release

2008 Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury

2008 Nominees

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Can They Write Or Not?

“I am happy to report, paraphrasing Mark Twain, that the death of writing has been greatly exaggerated,” said Amanda P. Avallone, an eighth-grade English teacher who is a vice chairwoman of the board that oversees the federal testing program, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the nation’s report card.

Still, some experts questioned whether the test, which asks students to write brief essays in a short time, gave an accurate measurement of their writing ability.

The results were released at a news conference Thursday at the Library of Congress in Washington.

James H. Billington, the librarian of Congress, drew laughs when he expressed concern about what he called “the slow destruction of the basic unit of human thought, the sentence,” because young Americans are doing most of their writing in disjointed prose composed in Internet chat rooms or in cellphone text messages.

“The sentence is the biggest casualty,” Mr. Billington said. “To what extent is students’ writing getting clearer? Is that still being taught?”

Ms. Avallone sought to allay his concerns.

“I know that the sentence has not been put to rest as a unit of communication,” she said.

From In Test, Few Students Are Proficient Writers – New York Times

You can see a sample 8th grade test question here .

Read the whole report, “The Nation’s Report Card: Writing 2007,” here.

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Military School

“I’d like to go to a normal school,” said Anthony Pachetti, 12, a seventh grader who has been barred from activities for failing math, science and social studies. “It’s not doing anything for me except taking everything away.”

School’s New Rule for Pupils in Trouble: No Fun – New York Times

Whew. The overemphasis and negativity of the disciplinary methods in the school profiled in this New York Times article sound miserable, sad, and desperate. Taking away after school clubs, shaming children, and other harsh measures aren’t, in my opinion, going to help these children take learning seriously. Not to mention associate learning and school with fun.

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