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MORNING BUZZ: Breeds, Childcare and Legacy

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Good Morning!

There are some interesting debates in the news right now…so we’ll jump in and ask some questions:


Is it the Dog or the owner?  The recent attack on a 4 year-old girl has Prairie City thinking about changing its’ vicious dog ordinance.  The experts tell us it isn’t the breed, it’s the training we give the dogs.  That’s believable.  Kids and animals can be a volatile combination but not because of the animal.  Kids don’t know what they’re doing around animals and can grab or pull.   The dog may be acting on instinct.  Adults and owners of any pet have to be aware of kids when the pet is around.  We have a seven pound cat…she hardly has enough teeth left to break someone’s skin and she’s de-clawed in the front.  Still we continue to watch our kids around her.  The boys love her but their excitement often gets the better of them when she comes into a room.  They can be too rough with her.     So what do you think?  What’s the right balance with kids and pets?


We focused on the fact that Iowa Childcare laws are still lacking significant oversight.  They do.  I never fully understood how hard it was to find quality childcare until I was faced with the decision.  We are so fortunate to be in a position to afford the care we want.  Not everyone is.  There are hundreds if not thousands of quality, in-home childcare facilities in Iowa with dedicated owners who love the children they care for like they were their own.  There are also terrible situations where the adults aren’t qualified to care for themselves much less five kids.  As a parent the only thing you can do is ask a lot of questions and try to find the best situation for your family.


I hear about the cheating on standardized testing over at a Davenport Elementary school and I can already hear critics saying, “This is why we shouldn’t use standardized testing to  evaluate how kids are doing.”  I can hear them saying…it puts too much pressure on teachers and they teach to the test.  I have a friend who’s talked about this.  She teaches according to her curriculum and works with kids on concepts.  Her teaching partner in the other third grade class teaches to the test…  She gets nervous every year that her real work with her kids won’t be reflected in the scores…kids can have a bad day, they can be bad test takers…the list of worries goes on.  I still don’t think that’s enough to throw out standardized testing.  Kids need concepts but they also need rote knowledge…reading writing and ‘rithmatic to quote a few teachers in my past.  there are certain things you should have to know before you move on in certain grades.  These tests can measure that kind of learning.

The fact that a teacher was likely the one who cheated is inexcusable…Every job has pressures…every job has a time of year or one event that can define your performance.  We just started our May “sweeps”.  Do you think its fair that a small sample of people, willing to divulge what they watch for a month can get one of us fired?  Maybe not but it can happen.  Why are teachers different?  Step it up and make sure every one of those kids is as well prepared as they can be.  I seriously doubt any teacher that does would be fired.


The Today Show is live in Dallas for the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential library. I know some people still view President Bush as a punchline.  He certainly made his share of bad decisions.  I still think history will be MUCH kinder than present day pundits.  I’d love to know how the Secret Service approached a day where all five living Presidents are in the same place…two weeks after a bombing at a major public event.


How much is too much for 18 year-old kids?  We had a story from Visa that said the average High Schooler would spend $1000 on prom!  What did you spend?  Is that too much?  Do they really need the limo and the expensive dinner?  I’m not criticizing…I’m actually asking.  What do you parents of teenagers think about all of this?

I hope you have a great day!