Highland Park band: Recent events

The Highland Park Senior High band has had many exciting, recent events. One was the trip over spring break to San Francisco. The band traveled to California to participate in an event called “Music in the Parks,” which is a competition hosted at a school right outside of Santa Cruz. This trip was not only a band trip, but an opportunity to visit many different tourist destinations including: the Twin Peaks, Fisherman’s Wharf (Pier 39), Chinatown, California’s “Great America” Amusement Park, and even the Cable Car museum. The trip was definitely worth the money, and the Highland Park band also won 2nd place in the competition.

Another recent event of Highland’s band, was the experience of marching from Rice Park, down to the Saints stadium. Many different schools went back to back marching down the streets of downtown St. Paul including: Central, Humboldt, Washington, Murray, Randolph Heights, and many more. After the event, the students got to enjoy the Saints game at CHS field.

The last event that the band will take part of, is  on May 25th, when the spring concert will take place. The Scot’s band, Honors Band, Symphonic band, and Jazz band will all play. All these bands, and their teacher, Mr. Matuzak, have been working hard all year to have the best performance!

Bill O’Reilly: Dropped from Fox News

Recently, Bill O’Reilly was dropped from Fox News, and lost his slot at 7 pm with his show The O’Reilly Factor. Mr. O’Reilly had reportedly sexuallly harrased many different female colleague at Fox News. After the story began to spread, more than 50 advertisers removed their ads from his show, including popular Fox advertiser, Jenny Craig.

Shortly after the show started losing many of its sponsors, Fox decided to let go of O’Reilly. He responded, “Over the past 20 years at Fox News, I have been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in  history, which has consistently informed and entertained millions of Americans and significantly contributed to building Fox into the dominant news network in television.” He also was dissapointed in having to leave as he said: “It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims.”

After O’Reilly was let go from Fox News, he decided to start his own new podcast called “No Spin News.” The podcast is only available to premium members of his website.

According to Rupert Murdoch (the head of 21st Century Fox) he was the one who decided to let him go, but also had much praise for his show:  “By ratings standards, Bill O’Reilly is one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news,” Murdoch wrote, “In fact, his success by any measure is indisputable.”

Many people have praise for Bill O’Reilly, and his conservative views on his popular talk show, but Fox was right to take action in this situation.

The issue of technology in the classroom

In the past few years, there has been a huge advancement in technology. This technology is being used for education (for example: school issued iPads). Even though the idea of technology is a good idea for helping children learn, it is also creating a distraction for their learning. In St. Paul Public Schools, there are many kids that are distracted by either their iPads or cell phones in the classroom (playing on them instead of doing their school work). This is causing them to not focus and learn, which can result in bad tests scores and low grades. 

One of the issues with school iPads is the App Store which allows kids to download and play games on the device. In the last year, there have been fixes that have taken the App Store off of school iPads. This helped for awhile, until kids figured out how to either get the App Store back or they found other ways to play games. The App Store battle is a constant issue which is continuing to cause kids to be distracted in the classroom.

Another issue is the use of cell phones. Each teacher has different rules about phones but kids still use them to “listen to music while doing work.” There have been studies proving that listening to music is more of a distraction than a help for doing work (for an example see: http://www.spinedu.com/listen-music-studying/).

One more issue with cell phones is that if a student doesn’t have an iPad with them, they say they will just use their phones to do the work. The problem with this is A) the screens of cell phones are small so it is difficult to produce quality work and B) without the school iPad app restriction, the student is able to do anything on their phone even if they say they are doing work.

Since school issued iPads, and personal cell phones, are both an issue in a learning environment, there should be someone who looks into enforcing more efficient rules for the use of these devices in the classroom.