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Call it Math Madness

Laurels to teachers who find ways to make lessons relevant to students’ lives. For example, a Raleigh teacher was featured briefly on ABC Television’s “Good Morning America” on Monday for using the NCAA men’s basketball tournament to teach about math. Alyssa Jackson at Durant Road Middle School had her students study experimental probability by filling out tournament brackets and seeing how well the teams performed based on their seed, according to The News & Observer of Raleigh. March Madness math activities have been around for some time; Jackson said she got the idea from one of her own teachers. But many of us come from a time when the probability of NCAA basketball figuring into a math lesson was just about nil.

Dart to “business-friendly” legislation that leaves consumer wishes out of the equation. Federal regulations set to go into effect soon to keep internet users’ browser history private may get axed before they ever start. The U.S. Senate voted last week to roll back the Federal Communications Commission’s requirement that service providers, such as Comcast or Spectrum, get permission before tracking and selling your information. This includes everything from where you are to what you’re looking at. The House could vote today to  invalidate the privacy rules and prevent the FCC from issuing similar regulations in the future. Those who want to stop the rules say it’s a case of FCC overreach; such matters used to be regulated by the Federal Trade Commission. Is this turf war more important than protecting consumers’ privacy?

Laurels to state Rep. Harry Warren, R-Rowan, for proposing that Rowan-Salisbury and 19 other districts be part of a pilot project regarding school calendars. If the bill passes, those systems would have the option of starting school about two weeks earlier than the state allows now, instead of late August. Warren wants to weigh educational benefits against the impact on the tourism industry. Other legislators should accept this as a good-faith effort to give traditional public schools a small sliver of the freedom granted to charter schools and more fully enjoyed by private schools. Finally, thanks to Warren, traditional schools could get that chance.

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