In mid-April a Florida superior court judge handed down harsh prison sentences to 10 former school administrators, principals and elementary school teachers because of a citywide test cheating scandal within the Atlanta public school system.
What these educators did was inflate 2008 test scores. Read more about Savage Sentences for Test-Altering Atlanta Teachers
Begun as part of the Americorps program, TFA has evolved into a handmaiden for monied interests.
The first minute of this video has local weatherman turned state representative, Greg McMaster saying, in answer to a question about restoring funding for education, "You need to recognize that for every dollar that you put into that school there are different entities that want part of that money, some of it going to teachers, others going to education [??!!].... Read more about No money for schools because teachers might get it
Crossposted over at themontanamaven.com
Might be a good idea to have a Weasology Handbook. To his credit yesterday Chris Hayes on his show "UP" signaled a problem with the words "high quality" as in "high quality charter schools" after one of his guests, Darrell Bradford of something called "Better Education For Kids" praised some charters in Chicago. Yeh, of course high quality charter schools are just great, Chris laughed. Who doesn't love "high quality" anything? So he was right to warn us about this phrase. But he let the phrase "high quality pre-school education" be defined by his guests without real analysis*. As defined by most of his guests this morning, high quality preschool education was about learning...get this..."persistence, "discipline" and my favorite, "finishing things." The professor (and to my chagrin a woman) also emphasized how spongy little brains are at 4 years old. Ugh.
My psychological type in Myers/Briggs Jungian land is an ENTP (extroverted intuitive thinking perceiver). Didn't discover this until I was around 42. Much to my relief, my type just doesn't finish things. Once we mostly master something, we move on. We are notorious for not completing things like degrees and we rarely put the degrees we do achieve up on the wall. We move from project to project. My former husband was quite kind but used to lament the many different piles of dirt and stones around our cabin of projects I had started and then grown bored with. I didn't finish my dissertation for my Ph.D in theater and film. Ran off to New York instead. My friend and I wrote a whole book about what it was like for two Hollywood New York movie agents to fly the coop; her moving to Italy and me moving to Montana. We got through many drafts and then both of us started other projects. What a relief to discover that it is just my nature to not always finish things. I do finish making dinner. I finish most books although I am simultaneously reading 5 books right now (four non-fiction and one fiction). I'm pretty loyal and probably should have finished one marriage sooner than I did. If I do finish, I often make a strong finish. But nobody really knows if I will finish or take a turn and jump over the fence and run away. Read more about Weaselology Entry for Today - "High Quality"
On Nov 6, California voters put a stake through the heart of the Republican Party. Really! Not to take away from the landmark victories in the rest of the country, which are momentous and deserve every bit of attention they're getting, but, in the words of Robert Cruikshank at Calitics:
...the California Republican Party, and the California conservative movement, are as dead as Monty Python's parrot.
[YES!] emphasis and editorial comment added] Read more about Now THIS is a Big Deal!
A teacher friend here in LA, who has spent probably 20 or more years teaching in inner city high schools, sent this email to everyone she knows yesterday, highlighting the importance of voting YES on Proposition 30.
I have never done anything like this before, but I feel like the stakes are so high, I just had to say something.
Please vote yes on Proposition 30.
LA Times columnist George Skelton does a pretty good job of addressing concerns on both sides of the issue here.
(Cross posted at The Montana Maven )
Newt Gingrich suggested that perhaps a good idea for poor highschoolers would be to work as the janitors in their high school in their off hours which would "be a way to instill a work ethic while also saving money". A lot of liberals jumped on him for this screaming, "That's an awful idea. That is child labor and it's racist to boot."
Well, it sounds racist. But most of all it sounds stupid and way out of touch with the lives of regular Americans. So it's not only racist, but it's elitist. Read more about Chores
Cross posted from Real Economics.
So, Republicans and Tea-baggers today, after giving tens of billions in tax cuts to millionaires and corporations, are demanding steep cuts in state budgets, including for education. They are especially targeting teachers’ pay.
Some people just can’t wrap their minds around how utterly destructive the conservatives’ agenda is. A few days ago, daveinchi tried to get a grip on this with his DailyKos diary, DESTROY EVERYTHING: Nihilism on the "Right". Read more about The Conservative Tradition of Attacking Teachers and Education
Yesterday, I scored the SOTU on the 7 Fairy Tales I discussed previously, and concluded that the President was subscribing to at most two of them, and that he accepted the deficit reduction framing of the Republicans as a basis for negotiation, and was trying to point the US in the same direction as export-led economies emphasizing fiscal austerity, thus joining the world's race to bottom. Today, I want to analyze the details of the portion of the SOTU dealing with deficit reduction. The President said: Read more about More Fairy Tales of the SOTU
In "All Together Now: There Is No Deficit/Debt Problem,” I warned against the message calling for deficit reduction that the President would probably deliver in his State of the Union Address. And in a series of later posts, I looked at 7 fairy tales I thought he would tell. Finally, in a summary post, I offered a table summarizing the fairy tales and corresponding truths. In this post, I'll do a post-mortem. How many of the 7 fairy tales did he tell us? Read more about Fairy Tales of the SOTU Related to Deficit Reduction
(The title is inspired by Historiann's excellent post. Also a note: unlike most of the things I blog about, teaching is what I've done professionally for decades. I taught in universities, not schools, but the two aren't totally unrelated.) Part I, Part II
If you need a metaphor for education it's not work or play or a factory or a ladder. It's a journey. People join at different points, and leave at any point. No power on earth can keep them on it if their minds don't want to go. Sometimes it's fun, sometimes it's mind-altering, sometimes it's a real slog, and sometimes the fleas force a change of plan. The same people are guides or need guides for different things at different times. Sometimes the travellers learn things on the road that are useful in the next village. Sometimes they climb mountains and see the whole world spread out before them.
Certification -- whether it's a cosmetology degree, a B.A,. or an M.D. -- is the commuter traffic of that journey. The roads used, however, still have to be in good condition. Better, if anything, to withstand all that traffic. The necessary aspects of education still have to be done right, even if all anyone wants is a piece of paper for the wall. Where that's most important is at the foundation: in schools. Read more about The War on <strike>Teachers</strike> Ignorance III: What Could Work
(The title is inspired by Historiann's excellent post. Also a note: unlike most of the things I blog about, teaching is what I've done professionally for decades. I taught in universities, not schools, but the two aren't totally unrelated.)
Let's face it. The war on teachers is about money. People want to pay less and get more. Read more about War on Teachers II: Why It Can't Work
This is probably the wrong time to post this, but I just discovered this blog and the angry posts about education, employment and debt there. Don't get me wrong; I can wax plenty angry on those subjects and the way they interact today in this country. But I'm disturbed. It seems to me more and more people are giving up on the idea that education, the real and good kind, is of value in and of itself. I could never believe that. Read more about Is Higher Education a Waste of Time for Little People?
The Black Agenda Report has been documenting the atrocities of the Obama education policy, including the traveling sales trio of Gingrich, Sharpton and Education Secretary Duncan. Now, why, you may ask, would Newt Gingrich endorse Obama's education policies? And shouldn't such an endorsement be a huge red flag to anyone who thinks government - and public schools - should and can work since, you know, Gingrich has spent his entire career working to destroy government. Read more about Bipartisanshit: Obama's Education Policy Endorsed by Newt Gingrich, Al Sharpton
We all want to know how Obama is doing on education, right? I came across an article at Edweek that discusses the pros and cons:
To be sure, his economic-stimulus package shows he is ready to pump far more money into education than Mr. Bush did. And Mr. Obama says he opposes private school vouchers, a consistent Bush agenda item.
Still, some observers see little difference between the two so far—and aren’t happy at the similarities.