Thursday, September 30, 2004


I was in the audience as a teacher from my children’s school was awarded a $25,000 prize for excellence in teaching. It was the ninth annual Henry Salvatori Prize from Hillsdale College in Michigan.

Tears of joy streamed down my face as my children’s teacher received the award. It went to our school in recognition of the outstanding use we have made of the hands-down best curriculum and instruction package in the country, the Hillsdale Academy Reference Guide.

It was like a dream come true when our school implemented the Hillsdale principles and processes that are in use at the Hillsdale Academy in Michigan as well as more than 400 other schools and countless homeschools.

All we had to do was download them, free, from http://www.hillsdale.edu/academy and throw out all the extraneous glunk that didn’t work in exchange for these time-tested techniques and materials.

From the great core curriculum, to citizenship, to the reading lists, to the parents’ handbook, weekly outlines and course syllabi, this school infrastructure is by far the best any of us parents had ever seen for teaching, learning, student self-respect, and parental satisfaction.


But then I woke up . . . and realized it was alllllll a dream.

As far as I know, not a single school in Nebraska is closely following the Hillsdale way. So not a single Nebraska teacher would be eligible for this award. And not a single Nebraska student is benefiting from it.

What a dream it would be if we could get a bunch of them going here.

Hint, hint: even though Hillsdale is a private school, the $25,000 prize is open to public and private school teachers.

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