Thursday, January 25, 2007

SRPs, Strictly Random Posts

I haven't been able to throw any thoughts up here in a couple of days, and I'm plagued with incoherence at the moment, but here are a couple things to chew on this morning:

It has occurred to me that Mrs. Clinton is leading in the creative acronym division of the embryonic Presidential campaign: She's trying to transition from FFLOTUS, Former First Lady of the United States, to POTUS, President of the United States. You go, girl! Way ahead of the pack on this one.

It is not recommended to try to corral a hunting dog who's just caught himself a chicken. They tend to be so pleased at their catch, and so delighted with themselves, that they just keep dancing around just out of your reach. I tried for nearly an hour to apprehend a wirehaired chicken thief this morning in extremely cold temperatures, and had to give up until he consented to be coaxed back to jail. It wasn't exactly Ivan Turgenev in A Sportsman's Sketches...the scene looked much more like the Lucy show.

The STOU, State of the Union, was a little bit on the pedestrian side, and Jim Webb was laconic and straightforward, rather than combative. I guess I like the potential for sparks, just like my late, great graduate adviser Barbara Jelavich, who loved the idea of a hockey game NOT for the hockey, but for the possibility of flying bric-a-brac in the stands.

Over and out.


jodmeister said...

State of the Union...completely underwhelmed and then he muttered four little words, each harmless on their own but raise my hackles every time I hear them together...NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND. If this were truly a wonder piece of legislation, the kids living in the inner cites would have the same education as the kids in rural Mississippi and both would have the same education as the kids in Beverly Hills. You know that's not happening. Heck, I even read in the WaPost that kids in the Maryland 'burbs of DC are not getting the same educaiton as the kids in the Virginia 'burbs. If everyone were on an even playing field, vouchers would not be necessary.

Yeah, hooray for the parents who are able to send their kids to higher achieving schools, but what happens to the lower achieving school. They continue to struggle. Why? The averages are lowered because the higher achieving students are no longer there to balance the averages out. Then, they're penalized funding so they can't get the resources they need to improve education. Then, what funding the poorer school districts do get have to be used for bare necessities. Wealthier school districts can use their funding for extras and not the basics.

Don't even get me started at educators having to teach students to pass a stupid test like the WASL instead of teaching them how to survive in life. Not everyone is cut out to be a math/science geek.

Yep, sure sounds like no child is left behind to me.

Off my soap box for now.

P.S. If hound dog caught a chicken today, does that mean it's chicken and wine for dinner tonight??

german said...

well jodmeister i had to reply to this one. NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND is a step in the right direction. it takes the power out of local district and puts the power in the federal government and the parents. if a school is doing poor what does a parent have to do not vote for a levy that takes aay 15% of opeating budget. that means no extra curricular activites which wasn't the problem. some people have the ability to teach and others do not. i have seen where a history teacher in high school would use a filing cabinet and role out the same lesson plan from years ago. then procede to use in the class whether it matched anything in the text book. that was my MASTER TEACHER when i was student teaching. looking back at things i am not sure really who was doing the better job me or the master but i know who got paid and was above reproach and being new and demanding was not what the students wanted. all areas will have a variance its a matter of personal pride to bring up the standards to some level of repectability and a national standard is needed. sometimes i think the little small schools might actually do a better job than the large. it gives parents the opportunity to take kids to a good school and out of a school that is just going though the motions. the money goes to incentives to take on more kids and keep up the good work. the lack of money means change things or go away and a private school can enter the area. guess what that means people with ba's and bs could teach a subject and not be equired to have taken all the add ons to be balanced and people who actually know something about a subject could teach instead of a highlighter who didnt know much about modern american or modern world history since it wasn't a requirement for them to take it. would you want some one teaching world history and all they had was the 103 104 111 112 college version of world history or us history and i think maybe only 5 or 6 upper division history classes and on any subject matter. i think a general ba or bs degee has more in content which is what the teacher would need to know.
sorry i better get off my soap box now and mean no personal harm in a different opinion.

buckarooskidoo said...

i'm fine with accountability, personally, but i've heard so many complaints about NCLB from teachers I know that I'd like to see major revisions in it, or even scrap it altogether. what i DO agree with is that it ought to be way easier for people with subject-area expertise to get teaching positions. a subject NCLB does not touch. One of the most absurd moments of my experience in education came a few years ago, when my friend who taught Russian at PHS had to be out of school for a couple weeks. You can't just scare up people who know Russian, and I happened to be free at the time, so I stepped in to sub. To make a long story short, I had a Ph.D in history and an MA in Slavic Languages and Literatures, so i kinda knew my first-year Russian well, but I had to be baby-sat by someone with a teaching certificate because i couldn't be trusted to do the right things with the students if I lacked that same certif. That didn't make an overwhelming amount of sense, and it was a colossal waste of time for everyone concerned.

jodmeister said... offense taken. I do agree there needs to be federal standards for eduction. My beef is if children in all US school districts were receiving an equal education, there would be no need for vouchers. Seems like under NCLB, the school districts that need the most help are the ones losing their funding.

I also agree with your example of a history teacher using the same old, tired curriculum is a problem. Those who are not willing to remain up-to-date in their field should be penalized, but that's another story.

If I ruled the education system, I would make the 3 R's and science manditory for all students beyond a certain grade level, probably the 9th grade. I would taylor different programs so those who are promising in math and science could study more math and science and less English and vice versa. Personally speaking, I have never had a need for algebra beyond the 9th grade. The only math I needed is typical math needed for everyday life.

If the government is serious about global competition, how about free undergraduate education at state schools. Other countries do that (Mo can correct me if I'm wrong). There are many improvements that could be made but education is not a priority... and it should be!