All Blog Posts (17)


In the book students state cheating is ok unless you get caught! Go HARVARD! Go PARENTS! Just remember...what goes around comes around.

Added by Susan Morris on February 2, 2013 at 9:50pm — No Comments

The Rising Tide Part 1

By the time my class had gotten to the end of high school we were mental and social refugees. 

We had survived 12 years of numbing state examinations, the Cogat test in 3rd grade, the ELAS in 4th grade, practice ELAs in 7th grade, the real deal ELAs in 8th grade, Regents all through high school, AP exams, PSATS, SATS, SAT2s, also the ACTs which can be a very good option for those unhappy with their scores!

Insert your favorite slew of swear words here. Be creative, this is…


Added by Michael Grossman on January 26, 2013 at 6:21pm — No Comments

Martin Van Buren "Google App" commercial - What did she learn?

I know this is preaching to the choir, but....  I just saw this ad and although it was creative and cute, I was struck that it sent a message that is one of the points Rod makes in Counterfeit Kids.  Parents are over-involved in making sure their children get the 'right' grade rather than concerned about helping them to learn how to learn or teaching them about their own responsibilities and the consequences of actions or in-actions.

The little girl has a homework assignment that is…


Added by William Petruska on January 18, 2013 at 6:31pm — 1 Comment

A bunch of unorganized thoughts.

To say I had a rough time in high school would be an understatement. A lethal combination of an undiagnosed learning disability on top of nonexistent self-esteem made me basically useless in the classroom. I couldn't focus, I couldn't care...sometimes I just slept. The teachers let me. I got average to below average grades. My teachers and guidance counselors dismissed me as lazy and unmotivated. What I was was scared. I was anxious and depressed all the time, and I didn't…


Added by Jan on January 16, 2013 at 11:13pm — 4 Comments

Rise and Shine Part 3

As described in Counterfeit Kids, Mr. Baird's classroom was atypical to say the least.

Hustling and shuffling into the room Mr. Baird would greet students at the door symbolically opening the gateway.

Although the school graciously has provided every classroom with ample florescent lighting they would neither be necessary nor relevant to our purposes within this classroom. 

The dimly light room created a contrast from the outer world of the hallway and cafeteria. A…


Added by Michael Grossman on January 15, 2013 at 8:33pm — 1 Comment

Learning as competition?

Hi all.  I wanted to post this thought provoking article on the very misguided attempt to make learning into a commodity.  I'd love to hear any thoughts...

Added by Jason Simone on January 14, 2013 at 8:30pm — 6 Comments


Rod's classes are fabulous stimulants for helping kids think outside of their "safe-haven" box. I just finished the book and it made me realize that the best way to helps kids is to witness adults pushing creative envelopes whenever possible.

By this I mean, do/share things out of the ordinary. Try different activities, open up your minds to experiment, explore, and see how other people experience things.

Rod - you are so true to your ideas and have inspired all of us to reach…


Added by Peter Hewitt on January 14, 2013 at 8:02pm — 1 Comment

Rise and Shine Part 2

I think all this is important to say because if we were to look at our society as one big room you wouldn't be able to see your friends on the other side due to all the goddamn elephants. Citing "Generational Gaps" is a common rational for giving up on these issues.

We grew up in a world that was always on the brink of a new evolution while the processes and institutions remained stuck in place. Whether we were able to articulate this or not the disconnect abused our psyches. The…


Added by Michael Grossman on January 13, 2013 at 3:28am — 2 Comments

Rise and Shine Part 1

It's early in the morning here. 

I haven't slept. 

I made a commitment about writing during these hours.

And if you can't be a Man of your Word, then what are you hoping to be a Writer of?!

I meant to post here some weeks ago, but I was in a fog. Goofing up. 

The typical hi-jinks.

So here's a little intro of me:

I was one of Mr. Baird's students. I grew up in the Age of Counterfeit Kids.

I walked among them, sat among them, judged and sympathized. I…


Added by Michael Grossman on January 12, 2013 at 12:15pm — 4 Comments

WSJ Article "Good Teachers Linked to Test Success"

I was shocked when I read this article.  Isn't this the whole problem?  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been doing a research study linking good teachers with better test success and trying to "pay and fire teachers based on performance."  Well isn't that just great.  This gives teachers so much flexibility to think outside the box, I think not.  A teacher is not helping any student if they teach to pass an exam.

Luckily in the article as well "Critics say the Gates effort…


Added by Tara Baird on January 9, 2013 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

I graduated!! Now what?

I work in a large urban district with high levels of poverty, low graduation rates, and low post-high school success with our students. The district is a far cry from the school described in the book, but there are many correlations between my experiences and those trends in students discussed in the book.  There is a big push in my district to just graduate students, with high school graduate the ultimate end and no discussions of what next or any efforts in the students to think about what…


Added by Jon Jagemann on December 18, 2012 at 10:25pm — 2 Comments

Just Some Thoughts.....

I am a fifth grade teacher and have been teaching for 28 years. Much of that time I have tried to create a teaching environment that encourages thinking, creativity, and communication. It didn't take me long to realize that in order to get a child to succeed and be open to learning that you had to gain their respect and trust. That is not always easy when you are teaching in an inner city school where they trust no one or believe it or not, in a very affluent public or private school where…


Added by Susan Walker on December 18, 2012 at 4:37pm — No Comments

Counterfeit Kompetitors

Throughout the book (which I'm reading for the second time now), there are a number of examples of the impact parental over involvement coupled with the chase to get into the right college has had on youth sports.  Gone are the days where kids can just be kids, choose up teams, play the game and work out their own issues.

As Rod pointed out in a number of discussions on this, the moment a child appears to excel at a sport, parents (and many coaches), driven by visions of Olympic…


Added by Rich Duncan on December 17, 2012 at 6:29pm — 2 Comments

In Matters of Principle

Contrary to the old adage “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock” many of young people today value the brand of a university more than the values it is supposed to represent. Counterfeit Kids clearly articulates what is causing this trend and what can be done to reverse it, hopefully before America’s great institutions of higher learning become little more than factory farms for low-grade professionals.

Added by Paul Tusting on December 12, 2012 at 10:58pm — No Comments


Like so many others who have read Baird's book, it makes me stop and think what can I do different in raising my own children. 

When I was in my early 20's I started to really watch people.  It is one of my favorite things to do.  People are fascinating and often time so immersed in their own lives that they themselves do not have time to just sit and watch the chaos that is all around them. 

It was then that I started to meet "characters" or that is at least what I called…


Added by Tara Baird on December 11, 2012 at 11:00am — 2 Comments

Something is Rotten in the State of Denmark....

Check out these two articles in the December 7th issue of the Wall Street Journal:  Students Fall Flat in Vocabulary Testwhich reports that U.S. students know only about half of what they are expected to and…


Added by Rod Baird on December 9, 2012 at 11:03pm — 2 Comments

Inaugural Blog

For more than two decades now, parents and schools have been obsessed with one goal: the relentless packaging of children like consumer brands in order to market them.  But training and packaging children instead of raising and educating them can lead to disastrous results. The evidence is pouring in:

  • Although 75% of high school graduates now go on to some form of higher education, the US ranks only 10th among industrial countries for percentage of adults with college…

Added by Counterfeit Kids on December 3, 2012 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

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