Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Effective Parenting

There is now an Effective Parenting Initiative. It has always been known in Christian churches that parenting is important. Our society is better understanding the link between poor parenting skills and many social ills, such as dropping out of school or joining gangs. has a proposal to Make Parenting Education a National Priority.

The Plano ISD has a free course for parents from the Love and Logic organization. Here is a notice regarding the most recent class schedule. Here is a sample of Parenting Tips from the course.

This parenting class is another fine effort from the Plano ISD to help the children of Plano, Texas.

Robert Canright

PS: I attended a Love and Logic seminar when I was a public school teacher. I can testify they do teach useful methods.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Plano Senior High Debaters Advance in International Contest

From the Dallas Morning News, Education Notes, Sunday December 28, 2008:

"The Plano Senior High debate team has advanced to the "Sweet 16" round of the Bickel & Brewer/New York University National Public Policy Forum, an international contest that makes them eligible to win the $10,000 grand prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City for the final. More than 100 schools from 14 foreign countries and 32 states entered the 2008-2009 NPPF competition."

It is fabulous to see Plano students debating public policy at the international level. The article says the contest is sponsored by Bickel & Brewer, a law firm with offices in both Dallas and New York City. Here's another link describing the contest.

Even more important than the success of the debate team is their participation in public policy debates. The people of DFW, the people of Texas, need to start thinking globally and not let New York City think tanks like the Council on Foreign Relations control America's interaction with the world.

If we believe in the principles of free market competition, then we should apply the principles of competition to foreign policy and public policy. I believe we should start a Texas Diplomacy Project. The people of Texas, the people of DFW, and the people of Plano need to engage in foreign policy and public policy at the national and international levels. We should not continue to cede the steering of our nation to the New York City establishment.

So when our Senior High students debate public policy at the international level, it's not just another debate competition, it's a step towards moving Texas onto the world stage.

Robert Canright

Monday, December 29, 2008

TxVSN: A New Resource for Your Children

The Texas Virtual School Network is a new resource for your children, provided by the state of Texas. It allows your child to take school courses for credit online. Why would anyone other than a home schooler need this? Here are some reasons:

Need to make up lost credit.
Wish to accelerate learning.
Homebound due to illness or other health related issues.
Want to take AP courses.
Courses not available in the students home district.

Here's a link to a press release from the Texas Education Agency regarding the TxVSN.

I heard about this resource from David Hall's weekly email on education. Mr. Hall sends out an email every week on education. If you would like to be added to his distribution list, email him your request to

Thursday, December 11, 2008

PISD's Advocacy Program

PISD's Advocacy Program is a great idea. Plano ISD's priorities for the 2009 legislative session are published at this site and in the school district's official 2009 Legislative Brochure. Citizen involvement is the foundation of our democratic society.

The Plano PTAs are involved in their own Advocacy Project to inform the public about the 4x4 Program: 4 years mandatory of math and science. The Shepton HS PTSA has written about it. The Plano PTA has a short presentation and a more detailed presentation addressing the problems with the 4x4 program.

All Plano parents should be involved in contacting their state legislators about 4x4 because it narrows our childrens options, puts undue stress on the schools, and is 20 years behind the times.

Our children need more education in Economics, Finance, and History to deal with tomorrow's challenges.

This is fine work by both the PISD and the PTAs/PTSAs.

Robert Canright