Desert Companion
 
Subscribe now
Current Issue
OCTOBER 2014
Click the cover to read the complete digital edition
Features
The Radioactive Activist

Departments
All things to all people
Dining
Editor's Note
End note
Notes and letters
Take 5
Technology
Travel
the guide
upcoming events
Take 5
Oct. 2, 7p. The artist who installed giant eyeball sculptures in Chicago and St. Louis and created a 30-foot fiberglass image of a weary Paul...   
Oct. 2, 7p. The UNLV Wind Orchestra presents this magnificent piece led by conductor Thomas G. Leslie and featuring a guest performance by Palo...   
Oct. 3, 5-11p. This month’s theme is “12 Months and Mythology,” in celebration of First Friday’s 12th anniversary! There...   
  0
To a weary observer who’s watched Nevada’s K-12 education system limp into the 21st century, it can sometimes seem like the problems facing the school district aren’t just problems, but Problems — implacable, inscrutable, systemic, dyed so deep in the grain they’re less symptoms than a larger syndrome. Whether it’s state funding for education, graduation rates or test scores, the school district’s struggle to educate Clark County students has taken on the same sort of flavor as efforts to right our state tax structure: that of an ongoing epic with some small victories, precious few triumphs and lots of heartbreaking setbacks. Call it Game of Groans.
 
So, you can hardly blame a weary observer for reading an article like this with some sense of wolfish, almost desperate hope: Maybe this is it? Maybe this is the secret, the magic formula, the key, the grail? The this is, simply, Quiet Time. Could something as basic as meditation help turn our schools around? It’s an appealing idea after you read this article about how a meditation program in a troubled school has been linked to dramatic improvements in attendance, discipline and even GPAs. (Interestingly, one of Quiet Time’s most vigorous proponents is filmmaker David Lynch, whose filmography, er, seems hardly the stuff of a placid, om-chanting mind.) Since officially adopting the practice of Quiet Time in 2007, San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley Middle School seems transformed:
Now these students are doing light-years better. In the first year of Quiet Time, the number of suspensions fell by 45 percent. Within four years, the suspension rate was among the lowest in the city. Daily attendance rates climbed to 98 percent, well above the citywide average. Grade point averages improved markedly. About 20 percent of graduates are admitted to Lowell High School - before Quiet Time, getting any students into this elite high school was a rarity. Remarkably, in the annual California Healthy Kids Survey, these middle school youngsters recorded the highest happiness levels in San Francisco.
Part of the appeal, of course, is that meditation is virtually free — welcome news for a cash-strapped school district. (Note to school district officials: If you contract a six-figure “mindfulness consultant” or “cosmic awareness facilitation expert,” you’re probably going down the wrong path.) And, particularly for its size, the school district has shown a willingness to experiment and innovate with what's-old-is-new-again concepts such as magnet schools and career and technical academies. If institutional desperation moved the school district to, say, oh, sign a pricey contract with Edison schools for a big bag of mixed results, a meditation pilot program shouldn’t strike anyone as all that far-fetched. Quiet Time may not be the cure-all for a school district beset with problems, but I can guarantee you that a roomful of quiet students will make for some truly blissed-out teachers


Comments
























































































































 

Top Lawyers
Project Playhouse: Pet Edition
Recycle
Photo Tour
Play the desert companion video

DC Scene
Recent Posts
9/30/14  
Wellness center, bird's-eye views
9/24/14  
Anti-Pastoral
9/23/14  
'Cookies change the world'
{more posts...}


Archives
Archives

Newstand Locations
Pick up your Desert Companion today at one of these Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf or Jamba Juice locations.
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf LAKE MEAD & TENAYA
7291 W Lake Mead
Directions


PALMS CASINO
4321 W Flamingo Rd
Directions


UNLV
4550 W Maryland Pkwy Suite A
Directions


CARNIVALE
3377 Las Vegas Blvd
The Venetian Food Court
Directions


THE LAKES
9091 W Sahara Ave
Directions


THE DISTRICT
2220 Village Walk Dr Suite 140
Directions


MIRACLE MILE
3663 Las Vegas Blvd S Suite 45
Directions


CANYON POINT
10834 W Charleston Blvd Suite 200
Directions


TOWN CENTER
3645 S Town Center Dr Suite 101
Directions


PATRICK
6115 S Rainbow Blvd Suite 101
Directions


PALAZZO
3265 Las Vegas Blvd, Suite 1600
Directions


TOWN SQUARE
6599 Las Vegas Blvd, South #P-8149
Directions


BRIDGE
3377 Las Vegas Blvd
The Venetian
Directions


BOULDER CITY
Boulder Dam Credit Union
530 Avenue G
Boulder City NV
Directions

Jumba Juice

PEBBLE
1500 N. Green Valley Pkwy Suite 240
Directions


SAHARA & EASTERN
2675 S. Eastern Ave Suite 400
Directions


MCCARRAN MARKETPLACE
5905 S Eastern Ave Suite 108
Directions
NORTH MESA PLAZA
1829 W. Craig Road Unit 3
Directions


CANNERY CORNER
2546 E. Craig Road Suite 135
Directions


WESTLAND FAIR
1121 S. Decatur Blvd
Directions



Also available at Clark County and Henderson libraries.
Emerald City Smoothie

ST GEORGE
2376 East Red Cliffs Drive #502
St. George, UT 84790
Directions


Desert Companion