California’s Idea of a Full School Day Doesn’t Make the Grade

By Skimping on Class Time We’re Failing Our Kids

On many mornings, I think my state senator has the best policy idea in California.

The rest of the time, I think he’s missing the point.

The idea involves the sleep of schoolkids, and the state senator is Anthony Portantino, who represents me and nearly one million other residents of one of California’s nerdiest regions, the San Gabriel Valley.

Portantino has won plaudits for a bill that would require middle and high schools to start the school day later—no earlier than 8:30 a.m. The bill is grounded in research showing that additional …


November and the metallic whine of schoolyard
swings trawls me back to the confused daze
of childhood in which the only rules stricter

than my mother’s nuns were my own bylaws:

Going to School in Finland in 1972

When the child turned seven
the mother said:
“Child, go to school”
and the child did.
And at one in the afternoon
the mother said to the child:
“Child, welcome …

The Real New Year Starts in September

The NFL, Hollywood, Uncle Sam, and Judaism Can't All Be Wrong

Have you made your New Year’s resolutions?

No? What are you waiting for? Labor Day is upon us.

September sneaks up on us every year to interrupt the languid days of …