Weekly Parenting News Roundup

Cross-posted at Daily Kos.

Good morning fellow moms, dads and caregivers!

I am back with your weekly parenting news update. Here are some topics we recently discussed here at MotherTalkers:

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco recently heard arguments whether millions of women who work or used to work at Wal-Mart can join a class action lawsuit against the retail giant for pay discrimination, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. According to the plaintiffs, Wal-Mart showed a pattern in all 41 regions it serves of paying women, on average, $2,000 per year less than men who held the same positions. Men were also promoted at a greater rate than women, the women’s attorney said.

Just to show you that the unemployed are not the only people lacking health insurance, 1 in 5 U.S. workers currently has no healthcare coverage, according to the Associated Press. In related news, parents here discussed the benefits their companies have slashed to stave off layoffs in light of a news story showing that less working mothers are taking advantage of benefits like flextime in order to keep their jobs.

We had a long discussion about the lack of funding for gifted programs in schools. The conversation was sparked by this Newsweek column, in which a mom griped that there were more resources poured into her special needs son than her gifted daughter. What if her daughter can come up with a cure for autism? Personally, I agreed with those of you who said the purpose of a public education is to make sure everyone is served, not provide a specialized turbo education for a few kids. That said, there were many good suggestions on how to meet the needs of gifted children within a public school classroom. Are any of your children gifted? How are they educated?

For some light reading, check out this blog written by the grandma who was recently called out by the New York Times for being an uninvolved “glam-ma.” Also, check out The Great Zucchini, a wonderful profile in the Washington Post Magazine about a guy who has the unique ability to make preschoolers laugh and makes a six-figure salary doing it.

By the way, I gave in and opened a twitter account. I am still getting the hang of it, but you can follow me at ElisaBatista. Do you tweet? I am actually not a technophile and am still reeling over the Facebook changes. The horror!

What’s up with you?


13 thoughts on “Weekly Parenting News Roundup

  1. Nice round-up, Elisa

    I’ve never registered at Kos, so I’ll comment here.

    It’s raining in the Southeast, which is a great thing, though three days straight can be dreary.

    I’m prepping to be the guest blogger on the morning news down the hill in South Kakaklacky (South Carolina for those of you who don’t speak the language). I don’t really like doing teevee because I have to look decent. I prefer radio.

    Happy weekend!

  2. Morning

    I read about The Great Zucchini and immediately thought, good grief, maybe my son will have employment this summer LOL…. I know for sure he could whip out a ratty diaper and pop it on his head, and do a wacky job of juggling….for six figures, perhaps I’ll give it a try.  :>)

    Just went for a walk around our local reservoir.   The weather is summer-like.  There were so many fellow walkers out there and I marveled at how humans can continue to find endless things to discuss day in and day out.  How do we do it?

    As for gifted programs and special needs, our journey through the public schools had me wondering about the more average population, many of whom seem to pretty much get ignored….sigh.

    Hope the day shapes up well for everyone.

  3. local news coverage

    of DS’s weekend production, “Carmen High”.  The reporter is right, there’s a bit of everything in this show.  

    The girl who sings Carmen was DS’s date for the winter formal.  The show is 3.5 hours long and I honestly don’t know how she does it.  Amazing.

        • What a fun show.

          I don’t recall kids being so talented when I went through high school.  I just attended my DD’s high school’s senior production and talent show night and was blown away by the spectrum of interests and amazing performances – singing, acting, tap and ballet, breakdancing, martial art demonstrations, etc….the seniors put together a  video production that was a take off on several popular current TV shows.  It was hilarious, imaginative and well-written.   So fun to see such confidence and courage to perform.  The other thing that my husband and I noticed during our kids’ years in high school is the audience respect for their peers’ performances.    A couple of the performances fell flat and that didn’t stop the audience for being completely supportive and respectful, both in being quiet during the performance, and in giving applause afterwards.  Love that.

          • audiences

            Yes, it’s such fun to be part of audiences that support everyone.  These folks clap for the announcement to turn off your cellphone!  I think it brings out the best, most courageous parts of the kids.  They take chances.  

            And it’s amazing to see so many teenagers watching opera 😉

      • DS’s role is pretty small

        this time.  He is having a blast, though, so it’s all good.  And it’s nice to see the seniors one last time before they wing away for college.  

        These kids have so. much. energy.  It’s really fun to watch.

  4. followup to the gifted thread

    The NYT book review has a very interesting review this week discussing education and the plasticity/heritability of IQ.  Since one of the points we debated was whether it was worth investing more in the highest IQ group to maximize their potential contributions, I was particularly intrigued by the following:

    But beyond a certain threshold — an I.Q. of 115, say — there is no correlation between intelligence and creativity or genius.

    As someone with a high IQ but not a trace of genius, this makes intuitive sense to me.  Unfortunately this was just dropped in at the end of the essay without amplification – anybody know where this comes from?

    • You might like

      Gagne’s differentiated model.here Basically, high IQ means that you learn faster than the “average” person. And nothing else. If you want that giftedness to be translanted into actual talents (creativity or genius), you also need a confluence of intrapersonal and environmental factors (including perserverance, initiative, interest or passion, and random things like events and environment). It’s a rare gifted person that is a genius or a creative genius. Most people might learn very quickly, but don’t have the initiative, perseverance or passion to ever take it farther than being ahead (and miserable) at school. I’m pretty well convinced that my DD lacks both perseverance and passion. But we’ll see, I suppose.

      • I wish I could help parents

        understand and accept the corollary — that mental retardation merely means a person will learn more slowly.  

        The same personal strengths/weaknesses are really vital to knowing how far a person with relatively low IQ will go.  Some of the M.R. kids I work with are curious, methodical, patient, and energetic, and these qualities will take them further than their peers who are irritable, repetitive, and unmotivated. I focus on those personal qualities more than the numbers when people ask me for a prognosis.

        I also think it would help if I didn’t have to use the term mental retardation.  Some organizations have replaced it with intellectual disability, which seems easier for some people to hear.  Other professionals cop out, IMO, by saying “developmental delay,” but past a certain age I think it’s misleading because it implies that a child will catch up to typically-developing age peers.  

        The federal category that makes a person eligible for special ed is still “mental retardation.”  It really seems to hit people hard.

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