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Articles written by Duane Pitts

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 By Duane Pitts    Opinion

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

For the past 16 years, former Odessa High School English teacher Dr. Duane Pitts, now semi-retired and living in Moses Lake, has written a special piece honoring the late Dr. King on the occasion of this national holiday. We can... — Updated 1/18/2020

 
 By Duane Pitts    Opinion

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Guest editorial:

Homelessness, like poverty, is not a choice. Society creates the circumstances for both to exist, sometimes side by side. In other words, the misery experienced by the homeless and the poor is cruel and needless except to those... — Updated 1/19/2019 Full story

 
 By Duane Pitts    Opinion

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Will a minimum wage of $15 an hour lift a full-time worker of a family of four out of poverty? Yes and No. Yes, it will; $15 an hour equals $25,923 yearly income. The poverty threshold for 2017 was $24,257. No, it won’t, because... — Updated 1/22/2018

 
 By Duane Pitts    Opinion

Guest editorial

It’s that time of year again to make a New Year’s resolution. Like the Roman god Janus, we look to our past to see what didn’t work as we hoped and then to the future with a new promise, which we probably will not keep. But... — Updated 1/12/2017

 

On MLK, Jr. Day

Dissatisfaction with government has a long history in this country. Henry David Thoreau noted this in his 1849 essay “Civil Disobedience,” where he claimed that to achieve “at once a better government,” individuals first... — Updated 1/15/2016

 
 By DUANE PITTS    Opinion

Honoring King for efforts on behalf of working poor

In 1967, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. proposed his vision for America in his book Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? He challenged those in political and religious power to eliminate poverty once and for all. That... — Updated 1/17/2015

 
 By DUANE PITTS    Opinion

Remembering our service men and women

As Veterans’ Day approaches, I begin reminiscing. When I was about eight or nine years old, my father introduced me to Sgt. Wilburn Ross at Fort Lewis. All the non-coms and officers looked up to Sgt. Ross in total awe and reveren... — Updated 11/5/2014

 
 By Duane Pitts    Opinion

Guest Editorial

“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar….it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.” – Martin Luther King Jr. Today’s TV commentaries about economic justice may seem new... — Updated 1/15/2014

 
 By DUANE PITTS    Opinion

Common Core, Part 11

Decades of research indicate that poverty has a huge impact on student learning. According to professor emeritus Stephen Krashen of the University of Southern California, studies show that “more poverty means lower scores on all... — Updated 9/12/2013

 
 By DUANE PITTS    Opinion

Common Core, Part 12

Ever since Sputnik ascended the heavens in 1957, education reforms have consistently failed to improve schools. Why has there been no improvement? David Berliner offers an answer: Failure does not reside inside the schools. He... — Updated 9/12/2013

 
 By DUANE PITTS    Opinion

Common Core, Part 10

In 1943, Professor Abraham Maslow of Brooklyn College proposed that human behavior is guided by five basic needs (in this order): 1) physiological, 2) safety, 3) belongingness, 4) esteem, and 5) self-actualization. People,... — Updated 8/28/2013

 
 By DR DUANE PITTS    Opinion

Common Core, Part 9

Many students in high-poverty schools perform poorly on state tests already. With Congress’s plan to cut food stamps for the poor, elderly, and disabled, schools nationwide will face much greater difficulties in educating hungry... — Updated 8/22/2013

 
 By DUANE PITTS    Opinion

Common Core, Part 8

In Part 7, we saw Common Core curriculum being used with second-graders in New York. For K-12, the standards, readings, and suggested curriculum remain about the same – developmentally inappropriate for learners, especially in el... — Updated 8/14/2013

 
 By DR DUANE PITTS    Opinion

Common Core, part 6

Many teachers are concerned about the Common Core State Standards. Compounding their anxieties, Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, has noted that the CCSS establishes national standards for the country, as though they had... — Updated 7/31/2013

 
 By DR DUANE PITTS    Opinion

Common Core's model ignored teacher input

Marianne Iksic and I realized that though the state standards were superior, the new national standards were here to stay. About 90-95% of our English program matched the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). At Common Core English... — Updated 7/24/2013

 
 By DR DUANE PITTS    School

Summer reading series

As we learn from home and research, the most important influence on a child is the parent. Next, we learn that daily support in reading from parents and other adults contributes greatly to the child’s success in reading. Then... — Updated 7/17/2013

 
 By DR DUANE PITTS    School

"Common Core" explained

As noted last week, the backlash against Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has begun. A look back to two years ago may provide some insight into the current groundswell against the CCSS. In 2010-2011, Marianne Iksic and I... — Updated 7/17/2013

 
 By DR DUANE PITTS    Opinion

Helping children learn to read

Research into early reading shows numerous elements that help children become readers. Teachers know these factors; and if parents know also, they can support their children at home with some of the same information. I comment on... — Updated 7/10/2013

 
 By DR DUANE PITTS    Opinion

"Common Core" Explained - Part Three

Common Core is the most recent version of a five-decade long reform movement, which has stressed over and over that public schools are failing. It all started with Sputnik. In 2012, McDonnell and Weatherford, professors at UC-Santa... — Updated 7/10/2013

 
 By Duane Pitts    School

Tips for parents reading books aloud to their children

When parents read aloud to their young children, they can also do any of the following, which teachers do all the time. As I noted before, when parents and teachers share some of the common methods in helping children understand... — Updated 7/4/2013

 
 By Duane Pitts    School

"Common Core" explained

Last week we discovered that President Eisenhower’s decision to let the Russians launch a satellite first was a military-political decision; it had nothing to do with the education system in the United States, which he deemed as... — Updated 7/4/2013

 
 By Duane Pitts    Opinion

The desire to know more

"People cannot learn by having information pressed into their brains. Knowledge has to be sucked into the brain, not pushed in. First, one must create a state of mind that craves interest and wonder. "You can teach only by... — Updated 6/13/2013

 
 By Duane Pitts    Opinion

Contemplating two very different Americas

On Monday, January 21, we celebrate both Martin Luther King, Jr., Day and the inauguration of Barack Obama. Much has happened between the Civil Rights Movement, which began in 1954 with Brown vs. Board of Education, to the... — Updated 1/18/2013

 
 By Duane Pitts    School

How to become a SuperStar student, part 13 (final article)

In this last column on how to become a superstar student, Michael Geisen emphasizes balance. You need balance for yourself as well. Having a fulfilling community life and personal life will make you a healthier, happier and more... — Updated 12/6/2012

 
 By Duane Pitts    School

How to become a superstar student, Part 12

Last week, we looked at Michael Geisen’s suggestions about how to prepare for a test. This week, we will examine what to do during the test and after the test. Instead of diving into the test when the teacher hands it to you,... — Updated 11/30/2012

 

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