Sharpening Student Skills

When it comes to hitting the mark on test scores, one innovative educator at a San Diego charter school may be onto something. Ron Owens, a fifth-grade teacher at Cosner Exceptional Academy, has daringly defied conventional wisdom by putting pocket knives in the hands of elementary students. While many educators might cry foul at the very idea of ignoring zero-tolerance weapons policy, Owens has the full support of CEA’s CEO and principal, Horace Cosner.

“The results speak for themselves,” gloats Cosner. “Children who regularly participate in Mr. Owens’ Mumblety Peg Club score anywhere from fifteen to thirty-seven percent higher than their peers on the Language Arts and Math portions of their state STAR tests.”

Yes, mumblety peg, the quaint knife-tossing game that disappeared from schoolyards generations ago, is making a comeback thanks to Owens, and while no one can conclusively prove a causal connection, there is no denying that a correlation between the pastime and higher test scores apparently exists. What is it about this erstwhile bygone pursuit, a series of motions in which players fling knives from their wrists, elbows, shoulders and heads, that seems to sharpen student skills? Read More

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