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Loopholes in MCPS regulation of school food allow unhealthful options

By Warren Zhang | Nov. 12, 2009, midnight | In Print Opinions »

These days, with the recent influx of media coverage of childhood obesity, students are more health-savvy than ever. Yet, school food seems to have remained largely unchanged - bright Pepsi vending machines selling sugary soft drinks still adorn Blair Boulevard and fast food dishes are served in the school cafeteria.


A plea for different interview sources

By Warren Zhang | Nov. 12, 2009, midnight | In Print Opinions »

As much as we Blazers love to hear from our principal, Silver Chips needs to find new sources of information. In the last issue of Silver Chips, both MCPS public information representative Chris Cram and Principal Darryl Williams were quoted in multiple news stories. And they're not alone - various issues of Chips have had their share of repeated sources in their news sections.


Pro/Con: Is year-round schooling an effective alternative to the traditional calendar?

By Laura Anthony Olayinka Oladiran | Nov. 12, 2009, midnight | In Print Opinions »

At the end of September, President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan voiced their support for year-round schooling. They are advocating for schools nationwide to join the approximately 2,800 others who are already on this schedule. Instead of one three-month summer vacation and a few shorter breaks throughout the year, year-round schooling has school throughout the year with several shorter vacations.


Going to seed: Time to overhaul state ranking system

By Eli Okun | Nov. 12, 2009, midnight | In Print Opinions »

Imagine, for a moment, that you are a professional soccer star. Your team does well throughout the season, but you end up with the fifth-best record in your division. The top four teams are guaranteed the top four playoff spots, but everyone else is randomly seeded. So you draw last place, you play the best team in the first round of the playoffs and your season ends there. It seems unfair because it is. And that is the problem with the state's current playoff seeding system for high school teams.


Soapbox: Blazers speak out

By | Oct. 8, 2009, 8:33 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

"Yes, I used to visit one fortune teller in Thailand. She told me that I will have a rich husband!" -senior Chonnipa Hongjaisee


Taking to the streets

By | Oct. 8, 2009, 7:49 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

Takoma Park Folk Festival, Magical Montgomery, Takoma Park Street Festival, Silver Spring Jazz Festival, Hispanic Heritage Festival, World of Montgomery Festival. This is but a smattering of the fairs, festivals and other types of gatherings that deluge the greater Blair area every autumn. Most of us shrug them off as just more silly Montgomery County festivities for which we don't have time. But before you crumple that event flyer into the recycling, take a second look - and maybe even consider showing up.


Practicing and preaching free speech

By Urja Mittal | Oct. 8, 2009, 7:25 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

The world without Holden Caulfield, Atticus Finch or Frodo would be an empty place indeed. For those of us who grew up with Harriet the Spy as a partner in crime or Harry Potter as our nightly bedside read, a life of reading without these companions is almost unimaginable.


Doing Latinos justice: equality through education

By Natalie Rutsch | Oct. 8, 2009, midnight | In Print Opinions »

Sonia Sotomayor is a high school valedictorian, a Princeton and Yale graduate, a veteran of 30 years in the courtroom and the "savior" of baseball who ended the 1994 Major League Baseball strike. And on Aug. 6, Sotomayor took on her most important role yet: the first Latina Supreme Court justice.


The adult role in a student paper

By Warren Zhang | Oct. 8, 2009, midnight | In Print Opinions »

Student editors and writers are the only contributors to Chips stories; we write stories ourselves. However, the Silver Chips adviser also accomplishes several monumental tasks that are essential to the continued success of Silver Chips, and for that, we must recognize the hard work these individuals put forth in the name of student expression.


Pro/Con: Are the new lunchtime policies effective?

By Jess Miller Vicky Lai | Oct. 8, 2009, midnight | In Print Opinions »

In May of last year, the school administration implemented a new lunchtime policy that restricted students to the Student Activity Center, courtyards and Blair Boulevard up to the media center during 5A and 5B lunches. Students can only go to other locations in the school if they have a pass signed by a teacher or administrator that they can show to members of the security staff.


Pitching in when pitching out: improving our recycling

By Philipa Friedman | Oct. 8, 2009, midnight | In Print Opinions »

Recycling ideas is easy. It's coming up with new ones that can be tricky. Unfortunately, it appears that Blair's recycling program is neither new nor recycled; it's just in need of improvement.


Seven keys for standard inflation

By Nellie Beckett | Oct. 8, 2009, midnight | In Print Opinions »

Envision stimulating classroom discussion, thought-provoking literature and appropriately challenging curriculum tailored to each student. Now scrap all thoughts of MCPS as an enriching learning environment in favor of Superintendent Jerry Weast's new plan for MCPS as an intensive 12-year college prep course.


The fall of identification nation

By Lauren Teixeira | Oct. 8, 2009, midnight | In Print Opinions »

This summer, after a decade of enhancing outfits, preventing abductions and inducing controversy, IDs were let go. No longer were we mandated to wear the pieces of plastic visibly-above-the-waist. For a few days, the announcement dominated Facebook statuses and casual conversation within Blair social networks. Then, we proceeded to...not wear our IDs.


"Is the installation of artificial turf a positive change for Blair?"

By Rebecca Guterman Rebecca Novello | June 5, 2009, midnight | In Print Opinions »

This summer, the Montgomery County Department of Parks and Planning will install artificial infilled turf in Blazer stadium to replace the natural grass field. The turf will be made of a mix of recycled rubber and other chemicals and will be installed at Blair because the natural grass field was deemed overused. Detractors protest its environmental impact while athletes welcome its even surface.


Plan B's emergency reperception

By Nellie Beckett | June 5, 2009, midnight | In Print Opinions »

Here's the choice: abstinence or your life is ruined. Such is the ultimatum teens hear in many different forms - a polarity that sums up society's judgmental attitude toward sex. With nationwide ideological disputes between activists and bureaucrats over issues such as the appropriateness of teaching teenagers about methods of contraception, not to mention the prevalence of abstinence-only education, it's a relief to see the passage of legislation that acknowledges teen sexuality and takes a positive step toward making teen lives safer and healthier.


Keep teens keen, save their clubs

By | June 5, 2009, midnight | In Print Opinions »

When the Montgomery County budget was approved earlier this month, it made the county's dwindling concern for the maintenance of teen programs clear - after just one year of extreme budget shortfall, the county cut its recreation department's budget by 57 percent, effectively ending one of the county's valuable Teen Club programs. Montgomery County's Teen Clubs are known for offering organized trips and activities for teenagers in many middle and high schools, similar to other constructive teen programs.


Singled out

By Urja Mittal | June 5, 2009, midnight | In Print Opinions »

One room, 20 high-school boys and one teacher made all the difference. It's a story that could easily be a based-on-a-true-story movie, and it's happening right next door at Einstein, where an all-male class has made great strides in improving the education and lives of several students.


Zero tolerance: In loco parentis in the extreme

By Lauren Teixeira | June 5, 2009, midnight | In Print Opinions »

I am concerned because I can no longer make jokes about zero tolerance policies. For example, the other day I quipped to a friend about these policies, "At this rate, they'll strip-search you for Advil!" And then I realized it had already happened.


From multiple choice to multiple response

By Lindsay Brewer | Feb. 7, 2009, midnight | In Print Opinions »

Think of as many uses as you can for a paperclip. The request may seem basic - much easier than, say, a logic- or analysis-based question on the SAT. But creative, open-ended questions like this one reveal information just as telling as whether a college applicant can decipher questions like, "There are 75 more women than men enrolled in Linden College. If there are n men enrolled, then, in terms of n, what percent of those enrolled are men?"


Where does the education lie?

By Jesse Gonzales | Feb. 7, 2009, midnight | In Print Opinions »

Education is getting boring. Not the classes and the teachers, but the stuff that goes on outside of the school building - the constant partisan bickering about how best to fix the country's ailing schools, the squabbling over funding and budgets, the unending talk of reforms that always fail to happen. To be sure, a handful of people have made some headway into the bureaucracy, but for the most part, the system has remained relatively stagnant.

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