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View Diary: Ravitch:  The Death and Life of the Great American School System (90 comments)

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  •  Billionaire Poison In Seattle - Our Sup is a (4+ / 0-)

    Broad foundation toady.


    of course, with our own home grown prince fauntleroy out saving the world with his good intentions, good money, and good works - ooops - but don't tell the world he was a prick to work for, and if it weren't for stock wealth based upon a monopoly daddy's law firm helped him finagle, billy would have exactly as many friends as he could buy ---

    since gates has got on the reform bandwagon, seattle educa-crat big shots piss their pants anytime they get a chance to go pow wow with the boy wonder of seattle.

    gates, having gone to a posh private prep school in seattle and then harvard, and gate's wife who went to an ursuline academy in texas & who was a comp sci geek - both of them are REAL familiar with how the other 95% live ... yawn.

    Oh well, money talks and shit walks, right.

    The teacher's union is in a contract year - it will be interesting to see what happens this year against the forces of we-had-to-wreck-the-public-schools in order to save them.


    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Sun Feb 28, 2010 at 06:31:02 AM PST

    •  we have our 2nd in a row (3+ / 0-)

      his predecessor, who did a few good things before decamping to the Gates Foundation (which overlaps in a large number of endeavors with the Broad Foundation), and he met at the Broad academy.

      We are becoming data obsessed, although I can assure you that the data is being derived in some cases from some very flawed test items.  At the high school level they are using released questions from the state test, some of which are, simply put, bad questions.  Of course, if we do not follow the county pacing guide (and given that our scores on state tests are much better than other schools, and not just for our more elite kids, I'm not sure why we should) they then demand of our principals that we sit down and explain what it is we are going to do for those kids not performing well on the interim tests.  In some cases they are testing stuff I did several months ago, for which I did not take time to prep in a review session, although I will review the entire course in time for the state tests.

      And they totally ignore things like the attendance or lack thereof of a number of my students.

      Ravitch does a thorough job of taking apart what Broad is doing.  Especially in chapter 10.

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Sun Feb 28, 2010 at 06:36:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I commented above on Boss Data - 1 other ... (3+ / 0-)

        VERY mixed feeling I have about data and standardized tests  -

        I'm a high school math teacher, and there is not much interesting we can do when kids can't do the most basic math.

        Basic math skills, to me, are like lots and lots of basic rules in life ... yawn. Something you have to do so you can do more interesting things.

        I have no problem with tests which show that someone has mastered a set of basics - you brush your teeth regularily or they rot out, you plant the corn and harvest the corn / wheat / rice on time or you starve, you follow the rules about stop signs and red lights or someone gets killed.

        All my kids can master the lyrics of scores or hundreds of songs which would make Elvis blush, and 99% of my kids COULD master math basics (fractions, decimals, percents, order of operations, positive and negative numbers) ...IF

        a lot of things.

        I see tests as a very basic useful tool to see if we're getting anywhere on those basics.

        Of course, the point of the tests right now is to blame teachers for systemic problems which we didn't create and which we haven't the tools to fix, cuz it is a lot easier to blame the serfs than it is to blame the people stacking the deck so the serfs always look bad.

        thanks for the book idea


        Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

        by seabos84 on Sun Feb 28, 2010 at 06:54:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's a lot easier (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          to blame teachers for students being out of control, disrupting the classroom, and not learning and keeping others from learning - than it is to hold administrators and principals accountable.

          I can't decide which is more depressing - being pressured to teach to the state tests til May, or watching instructional time being wasted by acting-out students no one seems to be able to effectively manage.

          •  it is part of the SAME systemic problem - NOT (0+ / 0-)

            paying for what needs to be done.

            I don't know what to say about people who turn test taking in the raison d'etre of school ... oh well.

            The FACT is that unless you can competently deal with fractions, percents, decimals, positive and negative numbers ... you are practically BANNED from participating in most of our society, nevermind having the skills to change and to improve the zillion things that are messed up and need changing and need improving.

            Math tests SHOULD help us figure out who needs what and get it to them so they can get on with more interesting things - instead of blaming teachers.

            Want kids to learn in class? Well, the following should be NON-Negotiable:

            1. quiet & books & pencil & paper & tools out when bell rings = ready to work.
            1. don't interrupt explanations, or you're out.
            1. don't argue about being ready to work or interrupting, or you're out.


            You plant & harvest on time, or you starve. You stop on time at the lights, or you kill someone. Being prepared for class and paying attention and NOT interrupting and NOT argueing are allowed for 3 sets of reasons:

            I. the fascists sure as hell don't want to figure out how to remediate anything and fix anything, since they don't want a population capable of more than struggling for survival.

            II. Idiotic dipshit 'classroom management' practices from the relatively affluent educatrats who tend to come from neighborhoods where there are underemployed psycho-babble-ists in every other house, and there are the re$ource$ to $end the brat$ of the hood to 5 figure brat camp$.  These people are pretty incapable of figuring out processes to solve problems, as evidenced by the rot in public schools, which is a crime against all the kids who want to learn and who to participate and who want to try different things with their lives, BUT, who don't come from backgrounds with re$ource$.  

            III. Teachers have how many hours to fix how many problems a day ??? (I know ... send us to training to watch hillary swank and robin williams and some 26 year old in a charter school and ... some other 1 off situation, THEN blame us for not making life life teletubbies, sesame street and barney!)

            oh well - these fights are more fun, to me, than lots of political fights, cuz I care about my kids more than I care about bill gates.


            Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

            by seabos84 on Sun Feb 28, 2010 at 11:29:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

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