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This week the viral sensation of a high school student telling his teacher off made the rounds on the interwebs.  Many with comments in support of him for pointing out that his teacher was giving the students busy work, as well as comments from others saying he should sit down and shut up as adolescents have been doing for decades.  

These issues aren't new, right?  Headline: Student isn't interested in what is being assigned.  Stop the presses.  But this particular student has a unique story that gives this issue a twist.  He was a high school drop out who realized the value of education, and came back.  Now he's being subjected to what he thinks is pointless busy work.  He wants to see teachers engage students, have conversations, talk about issues, challenge them to think, not memorize, and he hurls this advice at his teacher as she sends him to the principal's office.


When I saw the headline I was excited.  As someone who inherited her challenge to authority from her father at a very young age, I wanted to cheer him on.  Damn the man!  Fight the system!  But the system he has a problem with, isn't the teacher's fault.  See.... our rebel with a cause is in Texas.  That's right, y'all, that Rick Perry lovin' state that has cut its public education budget to bits and pieces so while the number of students in public schools in Texas have exploded, costs haven't kept up.  

In elementary school they teach you this nifty thing called "cause and effect." What's it look like when you live in a state where the cost per pupil gets cut?  Well, you get a dive in graduation rates for one.  Hey 42nd in the nation isn't too bad, everyone will always be better than Mississippi!

This is the day to day representation of No Child Left Behind and "teaching a test."  This is what happens when you tie someone's job to a performance by a student.  Work packets that teach the test.  Not to think.  Not to learn.  Not creativity and engagement, but memorize the information.  Rinse and repeat.  At the same time, they've been in fierce arguments over curriculum standards where the religious right wants to demand that science teach religion and the earth is only a few thousand years old.  But at the end of the school day, the fault doesn't lie only with Rick Perry's bad governing, or even local school boards run amuck. It's part of a much greater problem we have in the United States called governmental preeminence discombobulation.  In south speak we'd say "y'all, ain't right."

This is a photo of President Barack Obama sitting at a Bar-B-Q joint in Austin, Texas after a speech he gave on Thursday to a crowd at Manor New Technology High School.  See those folks sitting with him?  That one woman... is Caroline Sweet an educator talking to the President about Charter Schools - photo by White House Photog Pete Souza and meme'd by Education Austin.

Our entire education system is so messed up and the President is just compounding the problem.  At Manor New Technology High School the President said (these are excerpts of his speech):

"Every young person in America deserves a world-class education.  We've got an obligation to give it to them.  And, by the way, that helps the whole economy.  Every business in America we want to draw from the world'™s highest-skilled and most educated workforce.  We can make that happen.  But we'™re going to have to put our shoulder against the wheel and work a little harder than we're doing right now as a nation.

"We've also got to start rethinking and redesigning America'™s high schools.  That's part of what's happening here is there's innovation going on that equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy.  There's a lot of hands-on learning here.  People aren'™t just sitting at a desk reading all the time."

"And finally, we know that even with better high schools, if you want a good job and work your way into the middle class, most young people are going to need some higher education.  Unfortunately, in recent years, college costs have skyrocketed and that's left too many students and their families saddled with a mountain of debt.  So we'™ve worked to make college more affordable for millions of students already and families through tax credits, grants; more access to student loans that go farther than before.  We'™ve reformed the student loan process by putting students ahead of big banks, providing options to make it easier for young people to repay these loans. "

Here's my question:  What legislation has the White House come out in supportive of or actively lobbied for since 2009 that would achieve this rhetorical bloviation? Well... let's use ObamaAchievements.org under education:
  1. "Enacted largest reform of student aid in 40 years" - Right so you basically didn't make education cheaper you just took over taking my payments.  Cost didn't change, accessibility didn't change... just who I write my check to did.  Ok.  Check. 
  2. "Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010"  - Here's the description.  The Affordable Care Act.  So basically you won't have medical debt and student loan debt at the same time.  Doesn't  stop Philly from closing 47 schools or 50 in Chicago.  Or college more affordable or create more jobs for new graduates or pay interns for their work.  But, you don't have to file for bankruptcy at 23 if you're in a car wreck.
  3. "Established President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability to assist in financial education for all Americans." - Was Google down in the office or something?  You gotta have a "council" to figure out about how much it sucks to try and pay for school?  What's next a blue ribbon commission on how school doesn't prepare you for life?
  4. "Increased funding for land-grant college."  - Which is awesome because that funding was about to get cut by their states who would rather give tax cuts.  So did it really go up?  Or just did we just shift responsibility to the federal budget?
  5. "Provided means for students struggling to make college loan payments to refinance."  Sorry Timmy, you still own $120,000 for that Art History degree, but now we can refinance it so suicide doesn't look quite as appealing as it once did.
  6. "Expanded Pell Grants for low-income students." - Cost of college has increased 1120% in the last 30 years are these Pell Grants even keeping up needs?  #JustSayin.  Look, this is good, it really does help, but it's a band-aid on a blown off leg ten years too late.  There is an entire generation of young people who needed help then and who are working more than full time and can't pay their bills.  I work with some, I use to live with one.  What can be done for those who graduated between 2000 and 2010.

Rhetoric is all well and good, but let's talk about the reality.  The President has no power to control the budget for Texas high schools or state funding to higher education to decrease contributions required by students and/or their families.  The only bills that can make it better come with a dead president's pictures on them.  You gotta show me the money.  Instead.... all we do is what Caroline Sweet pointed out.  We create the Two Americas where if you can kick in some extra money for a charter school you have a fancier education even if it doesn't result in better test scores.  Maybe that charter school can afford to pay a college prep person who can help students apply for the coveted public/private partnership so the 1% can bless us with their trickle down scholarships. Even Senator Elizabeth Warren's bill, which is awesome and wonderful and hey she's from my home state, really only seeks to reduce the interest rate on student loan payments, because she knows she's powerless to reduce the high cost of education or lack of education funding.  What she's doing, is realistically all she can do, and bless her for it, but we need Elizabeth Warren's in state houses across America.

So, Mr. President, can we cut the BS and talk about truly reforming education?  No.  Actually, we can't.  Because that reality would cost this country more than we're willing to spend and there is no way we'd ever get the 113th Congress to agree to prioritize young people over tanks and missiles defense contractors.  So.... we give speeches and we talk about how we want to have high standards and don't want to pay for it, and then we blame the teacher and the student for complaining.  We publicly humiliate educators who could make more working less at Starbucks and we punish the student who sees tests for what they are.

So what do we do?  I actually think closing the school district in Michigan was a good idea.  The students walking out in protest in Philly is a better one.  I think regardless of which of these options is preferred we as students, teachers, parents, community allies we just stand up and walk out.  We say stop.  Until elected officials develop the political will to create lasting and meaningful education reform that works and prioritizes learning and not just facts and figures and "sit down and shut up" I think we stop school.  Time for some tough love.  Walk out of your class rooms and straight into state houses across the country and say no more.

Originally posted to Sarahkatheryn on Sat May 11, 2013 at 08:25 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Awesome diary (6+ / 0-)

    Though my kids are getting a pretty good education here in Texas, I rail against this system every chance I get.

    The testing here sucks monkey balls, not to put too fine a point on it.  It's a $90 million boondogle.

    We pay this money in taxes to torture our children and enrich others, all taken away from the REAL education budget.

    I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

    by coquiero on Sat May 11, 2013 at 08:40:34 AM PDT

    •  Agreed, great work on this diary. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coquiero, Sarahkatheryn

      I have to run now but look forward to reading it more carefully. Just wanted to pop in and say, well done!

    •  Actually (6+ / 0-)

      The $90 million doesn't come close.  In my high school, there are five extra people hired to do test prep and get materials ready for the teachers so that each (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) TEKs is met.  Then there is the cost of the huge amount of paper for those dreaded worksheets.  I don't know what specifically was going on in that classroom in the video, I am am willing to bet that it was test prep and the reason they were working on packets is probably to allow each student to work on the TEKS that have low scores on his previous practice tests.  There are "pullouts"where students are pulled out of elective classes (usually the first half of the period or the last half) in order to get more tutoring in the TEST.  

      Now let's talk about how the scores reflect the quality and energy of the teacher.  In my room last week during the STAAR tests for 10th graders in three subject areas, I had two students who immediately just filled in bubbles and didn't even read the questions. One left the room and said he wasn't coming back.  I had to continuously wake them up--the same students several times each.  They were sleeping on an end-of-course test that they must pass to get credit.  Most of these students are not in my regular classes because test days take over the entire building and students are put in rooms alphbetically and teachers are assigned to the rooms.  I do know, however, that their teachers worked hard to teach them and some didn't even try.  

      I wish people knew that teachers work harder to get the mediocre scores in at-risk schools than the spectacular scores in the wealthy neighborhoods.  I have worked in both kinds of schools and i know.  I am a supporter of Obama, but don't agree with his educational policies at all.  

      •  Exactly! We take our Iowa Tests in "dugouts" or (0+ / 0-)

        advisee groups. I have 12 in my group. Sometimes I meet with another teacher to get to 24 in our testing group. Each teacher and counselor has a group and stays with them for 4 years. It seems to help kids take the tests more seriously. We also give incentives like a day off and ice cream. Silly, but it seems to motivate them. Sleeping on a test they need to get credit is beyond my experience.

    •  coquiero - (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bulldozer, coquiero

      I work in public schools in TX (special education) and it's true, you CAN still get a very solid public education here. We have well-trained, very dedicated (though underpaid, since unions can't do anything here) teachers. But I worry about how things will look 5 or 10 years from now. It's going to take a while for the destructive effects of Rick Perry and the GOP to be fully seen (and let me just note, as horrible as GWB was, he absolutely did not attack public education in the way that Perry is). After slashing over $5 billion from education last year, schools (which didn't have much fat to cut to begin with) have tightened their belts as far as they can go. We just can't absorb any more cuts. But what did I real the other day? Perry is threatening to call the Lege back for a special session if they don't find another couple billion in budget cuts so that he can give more tax breaks to big business. Why do we put up with this?

      •  You are 100% right, Leap Year (0+ / 0-)

        I agree that classrooms will suffer over time.  It is so sad.

        Teachers work so hard, I appreciate everything they do.  We've only met one teacher that had some questionable practices here, and unfortunately she was a SPED teacher.

        Other than that, they've all been very dedicated and caring.

        Counselors, too.  And admin, I have to say.  I've been nothing but pleased by public education here.

        Now, the politicians here, that's a whole different thing.  It's like there's two different worlds.

        I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

        by coquiero on Sun May 12, 2013 at 07:11:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  THE LONG TERM GOAL (0+ / 0-)

        Elimination of teaching everyone.  Only those who can afford to pay to educate their kids in an exclusive private school learns anything, including basic reading/writing/math.  Then they don't have to have property taxes!

        We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

        by ScrewySquirrel on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:20:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  As the significant other of a teacher in Texas (13+ / 0-)

    ...yeah, this is pretty much spot-on.  Charter schools and voucher programs are presented as the answer, but what they're really doing is solidifying a system of haves and have-nots in education.

    What happens when you tie a teacher's job to test scores?  Answer: teachers flock to the schools that already have high test scores.  The best teachers are concentrated in already high-performing schools -- usually upper-income suburban schools -- and the low-performing districts fight for the leftovers.  That's the rich getting richer right there.

    28, white male, TX-26 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Sat May 11, 2013 at 10:26:21 AM PDT

    •  That always seemed to be the idea (9+ / 0-)

      The most privileged and secure students always have better test scores (on average) than poor kids dealing with multiple challenges. So when your job and now your pay are dependent on test scores, what are you going to do to survive.

      Until we have a discussion about the very clear impact of poverty on education and what we will do to give learning tools to kids not born with them, the entire education discussion is a sham.

      Good diary. There's no issue I disagree more with the president on, although I generally support him. I cannot believe he can't see how charter schools and vouchers and closing schools as punishment and demonizing teachers are making improving education where it needs to be improved impossible.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Sat May 11, 2013 at 11:26:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whatever else you say about him (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Philby

        (and my own comments about the president have been "all over the map," expressing every flavor of praise AND criticism, as my comment history will attest), Obama wants to go down as the Nice Guy (TM) president. He wants that to be part of his legacy, his success at placating everybody. Including oligarchs. Including villainous politicians.

        It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

        by karmsy on Sat May 11, 2013 at 12:51:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Anastasia p, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        417els, TRsCousin

        I love Hillary, but I have to admit I didn't think she was electable. But one area in which I think she totally got it right was education - I honestly believe we would not be saddled with Arne Duncan, Michelle Rhee, and that crowd if she had somehow won.

        Hmmm, maybe we can hope for Hillary 2016, and maybe Joaquin Castro (I hope that's the right brother - mayor of San Antonio) as TX Governor? Castro pushed through a major expansion of pre-k in San Antonio. He's got the right idea.

    •  I've seen a lot of teachers also migrate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      417els, drmah

      downward to PK-2nd, which don't have high-stakes tests. But there's even a lot of pressure on 1st and 2nd grade teachers to start getting their kids ready for the tests! It's absurd.

    •  Ok, when I taught in the public school system, I (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      417els

      only taught in title 1 schools because I wanted to.  I wasn't a "leftover" nor was I not a good teacher because I taught in the type of districts you just spoke about.  

      I have met and worked along side some of the best teachers ever in title 1 schools. The kind of teachers who wouldn't step foot in an upper-income districts because part of the allure of their job was to make a real difference in their students' lives and in the community that they served.  Teachers can do that much more in a title 1 school and low income districts, when you really think about it.   I also taught in Texas and I can honestly say, in a lot of respects,  it was a better experience for me than other states I have been in.  

      Great teachers are everywhere and we only know what we see in this video.  We have no idea if or why this teacher was assigning packets everyday....was it district mandate?  Was it require end of course reviews?  Or was it really not packets everyday but simply that day for whatever reason? Etc.  Perhaps the student is right in his assessment of this teacher or perhaps he was being kicked out for some infraction and that was his way of "steaming".  Until I hear from the teacher and her point of view, so I can see both sides....can I make a valid judgement of this one single moment in a classroom...and that's all we see here, one single moment.

      •  EXACTLY! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bailey2001

        I can't believe how many good liberals were slamming this teacher on Facebook. They're ready to base judgment on her entire performance based on a 2 minute YouTube video. As I pointed out, she may very well be a horrible teacher, but you can't make that determination based on a 2 minute video. If she's giving out packets it's PROBABLY because it's what the district/administration TOLD her to do. You don't follow the curriculum, you're out of a job!

        Others also said her response says she doesn't care. I responded that if she DID respond emotionally, she would be hauled in to the administrator's office. Parents who can't be bothered to put down the remote & attend parent/teacher night are usually the first to complain that a teacher had the NERVE to discipline their kid. They come down on the principal who then comes down on the teacher.

        The kid is obviously passionate, and he did the RIGHT thing in going back to school, but he's not automatically a hero nor is the teacher automatically a villain.

        FWIW, my girlfriend teaches special ed at a charter school. I taught HS English for two years & I currently teach college as an adjunct.

        A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

        by METAL TREK on Sun May 12, 2013 at 10:48:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Charter schools suck! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drmah

      My girlfriend is a special ed teacher at a charter school. She is getting her masters degree in special ed. She can tell you some horror stories.

      She told me that her charter school cherry picks the students they accept so they get the high scores (and get the added benefit of being supported with taxpayer money). She and a number of special ed teachers did not get their contracts renewed for next year. The special ed kids, in turn, are going to be kicked out.

      My girlfriend couldn't be happier about her work situation. She has some money in savings & can get unemployment so she has the rest of spring & the whole summer to job search. She feels REALLY bad about the kids though (more than the dumbass administration that didn't renew her contract).

      A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

      by METAL TREK on Sun May 12, 2013 at 10:39:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Someone should tell them (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, Sarahkatheryn, Nadnerb in NC

    Its not the hat, it's what's inside it.

  •  There's one meme that increasingly (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philby, Lujane, Sarahkatheryn, Leap Year

    comes out at me and gets my goat anyplace I see it. It's a meme diarists (one in particular) even push around here from time to time. It sends me into orbit every blessed time:

    "Some-anonymous-little-nobody-messed-up-with-horrible-consequences-to-society."

    Yes, let's entirely blame the most powerless people, for awful systemic failures. Let's not be at all curious about the overall context of the botch-up, and by all means, let's keep the powerful people in the shadows.

    Yeah, just blame the teacher. That's the way.

    No, I haven't seen the video yet. But I've heard enough about it.  

    Thanks for the diary.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sat May 11, 2013 at 12:47:14 PM PDT

  •  So (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane

    The answer to the school problem is student protests and closing school districts? What answers are being laid out here exactly? It sounds like the diarist is advocating not sending kids to school.

    "Until elected officials develop the political will to create lasting and meaningful education reform that works and prioritizes learning and not just facts and figures and "sit down and shut up" I think we stop school."

    Protests are fine. But there aren't any solutions here that can even be analyzed or debated for merit.

    http://callatimeout.blogspot.com/ Jesus Loves You.

    by DAISHI on Sat May 11, 2013 at 12:55:36 PM PDT

    •  The White House has access to experts (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane, Square Knot, Leap Year

      to come up with ideas for improvements. They have not come up with any solutions that have significantly improved the state of education. The diarist does a very good job of pointing this out. The White House has the responsibility to come up with better approaches to improving the situation. There any many differing ideas held be many people that may or may not be of value. I don't believe that the intent of the diarist was to present all of the solutions. Do you have some ideas? Fine. Feel free to offer some suggestions.

    •  Not exactly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Philby, METAL TREK

      When a company does something we don't like what do we do?  We boycott right?  When your place of work doesn't give you the rights you deserve - you strike, right?  I think this is the approach the citizenry should take.

      Like it or not, we're not normal.  Kos readers, education advocates, we're not normal every day people.  The normal every day people who aren't engaged on this issue don't know any of this is going on because they don't have kids and they're not involved.  What is a way that we can build a community of support behind parents, teachers, students, and education allies?  Like it or not, walk outs, strikes, and shutting schools down gets people's attention really quickly.  It also puts kids who have nothing to do back in communities.... which means unsupervised teens .... and no one wants that.  THAT is where it becomes a community problem. . . and my hope is that's where people who aren't involved in this issue will learn more about the impact the best education can have on their community and in their state...

      Whatever we're doing now, just isn't working.  So I think the goal here is a little tough love.  Or I guess we could just send policy makers to the principal's office.

      The solutions on which you would like to analyze are pointless to propose at this point because there's no political will to even invest the time and energy to do it.  If you want policies read Obama's speech - invest, middle class, affordable, access... there are dozens more See: Sir Ken Robbinson.  I can understand if you don't exactly get the point of the piece - it's to call people out for their BS and hopefully encouraging people not to sit down and shut up but demand more than just empty promises from elected officials.

      Work together to save the world.

      by Sarahkatheryn on Sat May 11, 2013 at 04:47:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  DAISHI, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bulldozer, Texas Lefty

      the diarist points out that Texas schools need money, and federal funding is only a small part of that formula. Furthermore, federal funds tend to be earmarked for things like special education and Title 1 programs. As long as Rick Perry and the GOP are in control here, they will slash education funding with impunity, and there's really not a damn thing we can do.

      Some of the bad policies, like NCLB, are federal, but Texas is implementing them on steroids. Again, with the GOP in control, we're kind of stuck.

  •  Texas is a national problem (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sarahkatheryn, pdxteacher, Bulldozer

    The infamous Texas school book policies dumb down texts offered to schools around the country, although it's allegedly not as bad as it used to be as publishers can tailor books these days.... if they make the effort.

    AUSTIN, Tex. — After three days of turbulent meetings, the Texas Board of Education on Friday approved a social studies curriculum that will put a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks, stressing the superiority of American capitalism, questioning the Founding Fathers’ commitment to a purely secular government and presenting Republican political philosophies in a more positive light.

    The vote was 10 to 5 along party lines, with all the Republicans on the board voting for it.

    The board, whose members are elected, has influence beyond Texas because the state is one of the largest buyers of textbooks. In the digital age, however, that influence has diminished as technological advances have made it possible for publishers to tailor books to individual states.

    In recent years, board members have been locked in an ideological battle between a bloc of conservatives who question Darwin’s theory of evolution and believe the Founding Fathers were guided by Christian principles, and a handful of Democrats and moderate Republicans who have fought to preserve the teaching of Darwinism and the separation of church and state.

    And the last thing Republicans in Texas (or elsewhere) want is students being exposed to critical thinking.
    The Texas GOP's declarative position against critical thinking in public schools, or any schools, for that matter, is now an official part of their political platform. It is public record in the Republican Party of Texas 2012 platform. With regard to critical thinking, the Republican Party of Texas document states: "Knowledge-Based Education - We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student's fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority." (page 20, Republican Party of Texas, 2012).

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sat May 11, 2013 at 03:33:50 PM PDT

    •  I wonder, sometimes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, 417els

      "challenging fixed beliefs." As a teacher in China, I wonder how much the Texans realize their view mirrors the party line here.  Most Chinese here take the party line with a huge grain of salt.  I hope most Texans do, too.

      None of this makes a bit of difference if they don't count your vote.

      by Toddlerbob on Sat May 11, 2013 at 05:21:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No Thomas Jefferson in Texas (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sarahkatheryn, Bulldozer

    They wrote the free thinker right out of the ciriculum. I suspect it was because of his views on religion or maybe because he thought government should be "paid for by the contributions of the rich alone".

  •  My experience as a teacher (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    not this time, METAL TREK

    is, very often, schools with parents who are not involved with their students' schools, will have more teachers like this one handing out packets to students. Why? Because these students, who tend to be the poorest, are seen a dragging down the whole district and don't fit the paradigm of what a student should "look like". Their needs are so great that one teacher with 25 or 35 students in her classroom is so overwhelmed that paralysis sets in and a teacher just tries to get through the day.

    Oh-and resources in poverty schools are often scarce, if they exist at all. Poverty schools and districts often get more funding, but it seems rarely to actually trickle down to the classrooms where the students actually sit to learn.

    Are there bad teachers? Heck yes. I have seen many through the years. But, most teachers came to the profession with energy, enthusiasm, and expectations, which have all been beaten into the ground with our current unreasonable testing and relentless teacher-bashing.

    The programs being adopted more and more are mostly "teacher-proof". They are scripted, there is a set time for each step of the lesson, 7 minutes for the opening, 5 minutes for demonstration, 10 minutes for independent practice, 10 minutes for group practice, 6 minutes for closing and 4 minutes for reflection (or something similar to this structure). Lessons are heavily scripted. Teachers are to cover x material in y time, regardless of students understanding what is taught. With such intensely structured lessons, why do schools need to hire or retain teachers with good education and years of experience? All public schools are going the way of the majority of charter schools, the money is skimmed off the top, so the resources for those who work closest to students are depleted, so schools hire the cheapest labor possible.

    There is a very sad attitude in our country about students in poverty that is played out every day in our schools, one that tells us these students are not worth the expense of quality education, NCLB being one of the biggest violators of these students' right for quality education.

    "There must be more to life than having everything" -Maurice Sendak

    by lilypew on Sun May 12, 2013 at 06:30:03 AM PDT

  •  I'm not sure what the snip of video is supposed (0+ / 0-)

    illuminate.  The word "packets" was used which is a word that then leads into discussion of the Cram for the Test state of educational affairs which is horrible.  This is a situation that needs to be changed and soon.

    However, in this video what I saw was a very rude, combative student who thinks he knows more than anyone around him....he's going to "teach" the teacher?

    It's admirable that after dropping out of school, he decided to go back.  My admiration for this young man stops there.  He appears to be deficient in some basic communication skills, anger control and a sense of appropriate behavior.

    By watching him, it sets off the anger we all feel about the state of our educational system.  But viewed as an event of a student interacting with his teacher (and we have no idea what preceded what we see) it shows nothing heroic on his part.  I see a disrespectful, loud-mouthed bully; his fellow classmates and his teacher may well have been happy - for good reason - to see his backside...having nothing to do with the overall disturbing state of our educational system in this country.

    "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

    by 417els on Sun May 12, 2013 at 06:55:48 PM PDT

  •  Sad, sad, sad (0+ / 0-)

    Education is another one of those things Americans don't want to pay for anymore, but its one of the essentials.  

    The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

    by not2plato on Mon May 13, 2013 at 06:16:43 AM PDT

  •  Good article - I don't know how to post on Kos (0+ / 0-)

    Hi MaryKathryn,

    Thanks for your throughful posts.  Here is a great story that someone needs to post - I don't know how.

    Researchers have tracked anti-obama tweets and created a visual map - fascinating research

    http://www.floatingsheep.org/...

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