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View Diary: It's the teachers, stupid!  Ed/Up:Ykos (74 comments)

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  •  Well, (1+ / 0-)
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    what you are describing are not really standards as presently conceived, but rather, "outcomes":  every kid should be able to write a research paper at age 13.

    Minnesota did try that with the Profile of Learning back in the late '90s.  I actually thought it was a good process oriented approach and worked up one of the packages for my local district.  The problem was that the paperwork was a disaster:  you had to give a separate grade on a separate bubble sheet for every individual standard.  Plus, if a kid flunked the standard but not the class or vice versa, there was a hell of a mess.

    And then of course, the Fordham Foundation came around and gave the State an F for its accountability system.

    Education? Teaching? NCLB? Read my book _Becoming Mr. Henry_

    by Mi Corazon on Sat Mar 03, 2007 at 08:38:44 AM PST

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    •  OK, so it didn't work then (1+ / 0-)
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      Mi Corazon

      You start over and figure out how to make it work. If we as teachers really practice what we preach, we learn what worked and what didn't work and we try it again. There is nothing more frustrating to me than being in a room of teachers who, when presented with something new, start whining, "But we tried that before and it didn't work," or "But that's too complicated." Do we accept that from our students? No, we make them keep trying until they get it right. We need to do the same.

      I see standards as only being measured by outcomes. How do we know whether a kid has met the standard unless he or she can produce something that shows mastery?

      •  Agreement (1+ / 0-)
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        At last.

        If you are interested, join the Minneapolis Anti-NCLB Group over at  I'm the leader.

        I am also working with a group of reps and senators in St. Paul to move us away from assanine standardized testing to something that builds our teachers up and focusses on what our kids are actually learning.

        Education? Teaching? NCLB? Read my book _Becoming Mr. Henry_

        by Mi Corazon on Sat Mar 03, 2007 at 08:59:36 AM PST

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        •  I'll check it out (0+ / 0-)

          Thanks. The bottom line is that we need to focus on what is best for kids, all kids, and not on protecting our turf as teachers.

          It just doesn't sit well with me to focus only on making sure that Minnesotan children get a quality education but then leave it up to individual communities to figure it out on their own elsewhere. If we really believe what we say we believe, then we have to think it's just as important that kids in Texas get the same quality of education as kids in Minnesota.

          •  I admire your idealism (2+ / 0-)
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            elie, RebeccaDT

            I'm focussed on doing what I can, where I can.  And that means throwing down my shovel and bucket and digging in right here, right now.

            A word of caution about trying to do the National thing:  no matter how good your intentions, Washington is run on money and power.  (Witness Medicare Part D.)

            Even if good people with good ideas were contributing to the bill and shepherding it along, at a certain point, a powerful interest or lobby would subvert it and steer it in their own direction.  

            I honestly believe that Washington will never again (if they ever have) produce good law for the common people--and especially not for those who are not well represented, like kids, the poor and people of color.

            Education? Teaching? NCLB? Read my book _Becoming Mr. Henry_

            by Mi Corazon on Sat Mar 03, 2007 at 09:21:06 AM PST

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            •  I try to remain optimistic (0+ / 0-)

              There are many issues regarding social justice that took a long time to get right. We were dragged kicking and screaming to the Civil Rights Act. We fought desegregation for a century before we finally started making progress.  Throughout our country's history there have been people in power who have sought to do the right thing, and there have been people in power equally dedicated to not doing the right thing. Eventually, justice prevails.

              I have to believe that there are more people who believe in equality in education than people who don't. If we as a country can imagine a national education policy that ensures a quality education for all, then we can create it. That is what I honestly believe.

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