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Herm Card

Stories by Herm

It takes courage

I have always been proud to be a teacher, and I have always been proud of teachers. I have a button that says, “Teachers are my heroes.” It takes courage to teach. Teaching requires conviction. It requires self-confidence and a sense that one is doing the right thing in the right way for the right reasons. It requires people to do the right thing at the right time. It requires the resolve to stand up to the fact that we live in a society that is all too ready to assign blame to teachers when the artificial standards that society sets are not met. We are all too ready to declare that things need to be fixed, that we could do a better job, and that we could solve the problems of education. And now we must mourn the loss of six of our colleagues who died doing not what teachers do, but doing what heroes do.

F-M School District outlines security measures in wake of Sandy Hook shooting

The Fayetteville-Manlius School District sent an email to parents in response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut today that claimed the lives of 27.

School Is In — and still SAYing YES

School Is In

The success of education involves more than just a means for teachers to pass out information. It involves students having the opportunity to learn.

A lesson worth learning

School Is In

There is no question that in public education, parents and their children are entitled to certain things. What they are not entitled to, however, is the ability to tell the English teacher how to teach, the orchestra director who the first chair should be or the baseball coach who the first baseman should be.

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It takes a city: Syracuse City School District honors volunteers

To paraphrase the “It takes a village to raise a child” axiom, in Syracuse, it takes a city to educate a child.

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Venditte Rule(s) at Alliance Bank Stadium

It’s unlikely that Pat Venditte ever thought he would be the impetus behind the creation of a baseball rule, but when Rule 8.01 (f) was created, it was because of him. Pitching for the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees against the Syracuse Chiefs last week, he threw lefty against lefties and righty against righties, giving up one hit and striking out four in the Chiefs’ 6-5 win.

A community of teachers

School is In

A dictionary will tell you that a teacher is “a person who teaches, especially in a school.” The emphasis, and implied responsibility, is on the designated teacher to direct the learning – to make it happen. That’s the view from the outside, but that’s not completely the way it is.

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Monster Trucks to jam out at Carrier Dome

Maximum Destruction renews rivalry with Grave Digger Saturday

When Tom Meents was a youngster, there was no reason for him to think that one day he would become the most successful monster truck driver in the world.

Some good news and some same old for Syracuse schools

School is In

On the down side, the newly self-appointed lobbyist for students, Governor Andrew Cuomo (see my last column for details), is already failing at the job. The good news is that five SCSD teachers demanded more of themselves, and earned National Board Certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Opinion: School is in, and the Governor is in the lobby

In his recent “State of the State’ address, governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he has appointed himself to a new position — that of self-styled “students’ lobbyist.”

School is In: More lessons learned outside of school

In the last week and a half I have been accused of not understanding sports, having something against cross country, being a bad journalist, being rude, butting in, having poor research skills, having a bad attitude, not grasping meaning, and a few more things. I have also been congratulated for my willingness to make a point, showing respect for my critics, my good writing, my respect for athletics and a few other complimentary things. All of these things stemmed from the preview of an article that I had not yet written.

School is In: Career day musing

I recently made my annual appearance at Roberts School’s career day. It’s an enjoyable event where seventh and eighth graders have the chance to talk with people who have pretty good jobs and learn that even successful people have had to struggle in one way or another to get where they are — a valuable lesson in itself.

The other side of high school sports

Just when I thought I was on a good roll, finding only good things to write about in my education column, I came across parents wearing these sweatshirts at a high school indoor track meet.

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School is In: Lessons learned outside the classroom

Their game was over – their season was over – but that was not important at this moment. What was important was one player’s concern for her teammate – something perhaps instilled in her by her parents, her coaches, her teachers – something already there that had been brought to the surface by their efforts at just the right moment.

School is In: The Lakers, unfortunately, are out

It was not a particularly good week for education. As happens all too often, adult behavior has intruded on the education of young people.

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Kicking it at the War Memorial

Those of you who think only of soccer in terms of the outdoor version that features players of such high levels of skill and finesse that they can’t seem to get the ball in the goal very often in 90 minutes of play, need to read very carefully. Devotees of indoor soccer probably know most of this already.

Election time for Commissioners of Education

School Is In

In the last 10 years, I have been asked several times to run for the Syracuse City School District Board of Education.

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The first day: 2011-12

School Is In

“The times they are a-changin’” said Bob Dylan in 1964, the year I graduated from high school. True then, true now, and on September 7, the times changed for over 20,000 Syracuse City School District Students.

Evaluating the Evaluation: A look at the validity of 3-8 assessment testing

School Is In

In 2006, I was part of the group that conducted the final grading of the New York State Grade 8 ELA Assessment Tests (or so we thought).

An old promise, unkept

School Is In

As the new school year approaches, it is important to understand something. In 1996, The New York State Board of Regents implemented an overall plan for raising education standards for all students

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Summer Camp in Syracuse

School Is In

Anyone driving in the vicinity of Syracuse’s Thornden Park on July 27 would have noticed an inordinate amount of traffic — hundreds of cars and trucks and dozens of school buses filling the parking lots and adjoining streets at 8:30 in the morning. The third annual Say Yes to Education’s Summer Camp Festival was under way.

The CIRQUE life


Cookin' in Chevy Court


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