Daily Dispatches
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Web Reads: Parent hacks, education fads, and Lord of the Rings radio

Newsworthy

Splinters and museums. Mashable.com has a list of money-or-timesaving-DIY household tips for families with young children, including this guide to splinters: Apply a paste made of baking soda and water to a child’s splinter, wait a few minutes, and the splinter will work its way to the surface. Mashable also has plotted out a cross-country road trip from one weird museum to the next, 26 in all. (If you’ve visited any of them, please give us your impressions in the comments section.)

Education fads. If only “character education” were as easy as removing splinters! Jeffrey Aaron Snyder makes a case in the New Republic against the newest education fad: “Never before has character education been so completely untethered from morals, values, and ethics.” He argues against attempts to divorce character education from religious and civic virtues.

Education mess. School reform is an increasingly divisive issue as this fascinating narrative from Newark, N.J., shows. Virtually everyone agrees the Newark public schools are a mess. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was willing to spend $100 million to fix them. Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, and then-Mayor Cory Booker, a Democrat, joined hands to push through reform, but their efforts ran into opposition from teachers unions, community groups, and parents who successfully cast the reformers as outsiders and corporate lackeys.

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Middle Earth radio. This website links to a 12-hour radio dramatization of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, originally broadcast by BBC-4 in 1981.

Susan Olasky
Susan Olasky

Susan pens book reviews and other articles for WORLD as a senior writer and has authored eight historical novels for children. Susan and her husband Marvin live in Asheville, N.C. Follow Susan on Twitter @susanolasky.

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