but just a few random thoughts as I sit in my classroom - I arrived at 6:15, we let students in around 7, and school officially begins at 7:17, although my first class today is not until 2nd period at 8:55

I sense a change in the political environment.  It is not just that the Republicans have overreached in appealing to their Tea Party element, although that is part of it.  That is reflected not only by voters who might otherwise vote Republican staying home or being willing to support a Democrat.  It also includes some key funders from the business community who do not want to deal with the social issue craziness, and/or who actually see some financial benefits in the Affordable Care Act.  We are seeing this clearly in the Virginia state-wide races.

I similarly am seeing something of an important groundswell against what has been the direction of educational policy over the past several administrations.  Now it is coming not only from teachers, but from school boards, principals, superintendents, university professors.  Diane Ravitch has a new book officially out one week from tomorrow, and I expect it will build on the impact of her previous book.  As a reviewer, I am almost finished with it, and let me say right now that no one else in the US could have written that book.  Look for my review.

Finally, building on an insight derived from Diane's book, I think I begin to understand why there is such emphasis by the so-called reformers on test scores -  they themselves do very well on such tests, and because in their own eyes they are "successes" therefore the scores on the tests MUST be meaningful.

There are a few of us who precisely because we do well on such tests but also recognize how meaningless that is in terms of what we have learned or been taught oppose the heavy (mis)use of such instruments.  Our numbers are increasing.

It is the start of another school week.  Saturday night I was depressed.  It is an old pattern - during the school year, the further away from students I am, the more down I get.  I want to be with them, interacting, trying to make a difference.

Just told an administrator that despite still trying to figure out exactly how to approach my current classes and students, I am having such fun I almost feel guilty about getting paid!  But I will take the money.

Students now, at 6:55, coming into the building, so I have to go stand in the hall to watch them.


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