Marotta: Time for education system to evolve — just ask the teachers

“The system that I teach in is not designed for how my students grow up,” says one veteran Worcester Public Schools teacher. “They all have phones; they grew up in a digital age … [but] we still have to teach them in a form that they are not going to encounter when they enter the workforce. This is how they grew up taking in information, and it’s the opposite of what we do in our classroom.”

GOP reform bill will be taxing for teachers, small businesses

The tax bill being pushed through by the Republican Party threatens the foundations of a vital and healthy economy. By reducing deductions for charitable donations, for teachers’ expenses, and for state and sales taxes, the bill makes it less likely that we will be able to financially support the services and projects that depend on them to succeed.

In the name of capital gain, the tax-reform plan threatens the human-based economy that is the foundation of our thriving, growing communities, cities and neighborhoods. Without the personal contributions and professional incentives to sustain local activity and involvement, society fails to adapt and flourish with the skills necessary to address the problems of the future.

Let’s think of our economy as similar to a brain, with many moving parts. How do we successfully prepare that well-rounded economy for the people who will be entering into it?

The aptly named “whole brain teaching” approach to education is now taught in many schools across the country. The aim is to impart knowledge through various modes of learning that tap different parts of the brain.

Trump vows to fight ‘fake news’ by cutting funds to cities

Wondering what the future could hold for capitalism and national pride in our city? Find out with author BJ Hill in the Sun’s serial glimpse into the fantastic, fascinating (and mostly fictional) possibilities of a not-so distant tomorrow.

WORCESTER, Jan. 17, 2019 — President Donald Trump shot back this week at what he calls “fake news” by threatening to defund cities in which “subversive or treasonous” media are based. “Met with GOP lawmakers to discuss setting up a Dept. of Truth. Must weed out fake news outlets before 2020 Election – Bad for Democracy!” President Trump tweeted yesterday morning.

At a White House press conference later in the day, White House Press Secretary Troy Chamberlain justified the move and outlined how the administration could apply pressure to make the so-called “fake news outlets” unwelcome in communities.

“Nothing is more important to America than its voters making well-informed choices based on facts,” said Mr. Chamberlain. “Rogue media that chooses to ignore the facts or make up its own truth is a poison. The last administration failed to take action, so it’s time we eliminate the threat to our citizens.”

Mr. Chamberlain went on to suggest steps the White House and Congress could take to wage the battle. These included withholding payments from the Highway Trust Fund. This was the carrot Congress dangled in 1984 to get states to raise their drinking ages to 21. All but five states acceded to that request.

Mr. Chamberlain also mentioned working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to deny grants to law enforcement agencies in cities and towns that “harbor fake news outlets.”

More What if … Worcester: Nothing but net profit — St. John’s hoop star scores big-league video game endorsement

Becker Post Presentation

The Quad [Dec. 9-16]: Four things to know from WPI, Becker and QCC

Have campus news you or your college or university organization would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to Be sure to send a link to the full release on your site or Facebook page so we can include it and point Sun members your way.

WPI allows applicants to self-report test scores, saving on application fees

Worcester Polytechnic Institute has joined a growing number of colleges and universities that allow students or their school counselors to self-report their SAT and ACT test scores, saving money and time for prospective students.

Previously, students had to request that their scores be submitted via the agencies that administer the SAT and ACT, which collect a fee from students for each school being sent the scores. These fees are in addition to those that students spend on registration each time they sit for a standardized test.

As of the start of this month, students applying to WPI who wish to submit their test scores can do so directly. Students who are admitted and plan to enroll are then required to submit any scores officially, via the testing agencies.

Literacy Volunteers give the gift of language

All their adult lives they have attempted to live without the verbal survival skills the rest of us take for granted. Finally admitting their need for help, these native-born Americans, as well as our core adult student population of immigrants, come to us for help. What you, as a Literacy Volunteer, can offer will change their lives immeasurably.

Sanchez punctuates education reform bill signing

Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez waited nearly 16 years for the moment that arrived in Gov. Charlie Baker’s office on Tuesday.

“Sixteen years — you’re doing it! Yes! Yes!” an animated Sanchez, D-Jamaica Plain, exclaimed, bouncing up and down briefly before high-fiving the governor.
Baker invited lawmakers and Education Secretary James Peyser into his office for a ceremonial signing of a law granting school districts more flexibility in educating students who are not fluent in English.

The incredible story of Augustine Kanjia continues … ‘Omolé’ Creates a Bigger Problem

Our house was incomplete — still — but my thoughts were on school and soccer.

Augustine Kanjia

I was quite a local champion among my peers. I was the only boy to constantly provide a ball for every game we had. Of course, I was stealing — still — from the little money my grandmother and I were saving from the omolé sales. I was popular, but too lazy for many people’s comfort.

My grandmother’s thoughts stayed focused on fulfilling her promise to provide me a good education.

My first cousin Alex, commonly called Tamba or T-Boy, was my admirer, but I never let him know where I got the money to buy soccer balls. I was quite skillful; no one in my house knew. I was also called Tamba Magician (Tamba Ngofo, in Kono). Our house boomed with omolé.

T-Boy had watched the omolé flow in the house. We were constantly selling and brewing. Many came to the house to get their shots. T-Boy had made arrangements to take some bottles out to sell. We were uncertain about his true motives.

One day, he watched everyone keenly, understanding that we were concentrating in the kitchen. He entered the house quickly, picked up a couple of bottles and placed them at the window before passing through the back door. Soba Peppeh, my grandmother, had seen him rush out, and became suspicious. She quickly entered the room and went close to the window.

T-Boy, not watching, quickly put in his hand to take a bottle. Grannie caught him in his first attempt. He shouted when he was caught. He had no excuse and felt very ashamed, which eventually led to his going to live in Yengema, Sierra Leone, for good. But I loved him. I searched for him from school to our house, but to no avail. I had been his mentor.

He took to his heels and walked to Yengema, which is where I trekked to get to school. That walk was not fun, especially when you were hungry.

Augustine’s last chapter: Tragedy Falls on Our Doorstep  Or scroll down to catch up on earlier posts in the remarkable tale.

The Quad [Dec. 3-9]: Four things to know from Clark, Holy Cross, WPI and Anna Maria

Have campus news you or your college or university organization would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to Be sure to send a link to the full release on your site or Facebook page so we can include it and point Sun members your way.

Sen. Warren helms Dec. 8 Business Matchmaker event at Clark

Clark University will host the fourth annual Business Matchmaker event 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8 at Tilton Hall, 950 Main St. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren will speak at the event for small-business owners and entrepreneurs, which is sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Participants will learn how to sell to the government, gain certifications and connect with the right people. More than 20 buyers from federal agencies and large prime contractors will be on hand for one-on-one meetings.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 219]: Old Crusaders, hooked on a feeling

Tommy Heinsohn and Bob Cousy never played together at Holy Cross, but the pair of basketball immortals (Celtics teammates from 1956 to 1963) form the very top of the totem pole of Crusader sporting legends (apologies to the Perry, Palazzi and Lockbaum families).

The Cooz has so far taken a pass, publicly anyway, as far as choosing sides on the divisive debate over the negative connotations pinned to the Crusader nickname.

Heinsohn, however, continues to take his shots.

Hitch corrals the rebound and looks to score on the fast break.