Parents --- Your Children's Report Card May Be Rigged

Written by Joel Turtel

Continued from page 1

In 1990, three academics, Harold Stevenson, Chuansheng Chen, and David Uttal did a study ofrepparttar attitudes and academic achievement of black, white, and hispanic children in Chicago. They found a disturbing gap between what parents thought their children were learning andrepparttar 144026 children’s actual performance. Teachers in high-poverty schools had given A’s to students for work that would have earned them C’s or D’s in affluent suburban schools. Inrepparttar 144027 study, black mothers of Chicago elementary school students rated their child’s skills and abilities quite high and thought their kids were doing well in reading and math. The children thoughtrepparttar 144028 same thing.

Unfortunately,repparttar 144029 researchers found thatrepparttar 144030 parents’ and children’s self-evaluations of their math and reading skills were way above their actual achievement levels. There was a big gap between their optimistic self-evaluations and their dismal academic performance on independent tests. Public schools were giving these children a false idea of their academic skill levels. In other words, these children were heading towards failure and no one bothered to tell them.

Parents, it would not be wise to trust any claims by teachers or school authorities about your children’s alleged academic abilities, even in so-called “good” schools in suburban neighborhoods. To find out how your child is really doing, have an outside independent company test your child’s reading and math skills.

If you find that your child’s academic skills are far below what your local public-school led you to believe, you might want to take your child out of public school and look for better education alternatives. There is a complete Resource section in “Public Schools, Public Menace” that explores many of these quality, low-cost education alternatives.

Joel Turtel is an education policy analyst. He is also the author of "The Welfare State: No Mercy For The Middle Class." Contact Information: Website:, Email:, Phone: 718-447-7348.

Your Checking Account

Written by Terry Rigg

Continued from page 1

Determine exactly how much money you have in your account even if you have to go torepparttar bank for help.

Enter that information on a new page in your check register.

Enterrepparttar 144025 date, your check number, payee and amount in your check register when you write he check. Don't worry aboutrepparttar 144026 people in line behind you. This will only take a few seconds. If you like, you can deductrepparttar 144027 amount ofrepparttar 144028 check when you get home.

Take your check book with you when you userepparttar 144029 ATM and enter your withdrawal while you are still atrepparttar 144030 machine.

Develop a system to deduct automatic withdrawals. It is probably best to deduct these onrepparttar 144031 first of each month.

Add any deposits as you make them. You need to find out how much and when direct deposits should be entered in your check register.

When you receive your bank statement, reconcile it as soon as possible. If you find any descrepancies check them out immediately. Don't give up until you are sure you have resolvedrepparttar 144032 problem. The balance you show in your check register should matchrepparttar 144033 bank, less any bank charges.

When you reconcile your bank statement be sure to clearly markrepparttar 144034 checks that have been returned to you. One ofrepparttar 144035 biggest problems people have with overdrafts is missing a check that is taking a long time clearingrepparttar 144036 bank. Go back at least a month to make sure all previous check have cleared.

I really don't mean to insult anyone's intelligence with this article. Having problems with your checking account, as with all other money problems, isn't a matter of intelligence anyway, it's a matter of discipline. It can cost you a lot of money by not applying that discipline to managing your checking account.

Terry Rigg is the author of Living Within Your Means - The Easy Way and editor of the Budget Stretcher web site. To Subscribe to The FREE Budget Stretcher Newsletter and receive The Complete Budget and Bill Organizer absolutely free just visit his home page at

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