"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never will be...nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." – Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2011 Medley #14

Charters, Evaluations, Teacher Certification, Poverty's Influence on Education, Gifted Students, Economy

Should Schools Be Run for Profit?
Led by Patricia Levesque, an experienced lobbyist...the campaign has scored notable successes in the past year, promoting for-profit virtual charter schools...Levesque recommended that "reformers should 'spread' the unions thin 'by playing offense' with decoy legislation...allowing taxpayer dollars to go to religious schools by overturning the so-called Blaine Amendment, 'even if it doesn't pass ... to keep them busy on that front.' She also advised paycheck protection, a union-busting scheme, as well as a state-provided insurance program to encourage teachers to leave the union and a transparency law to force teachers unions to show additional information to the public. Needling the labor unions with all these bills, Levesque said, allows certain charter bills to fly 'under the radar.'"

Principals Protest Role of Testing in Evaluations
...President Obama and his signature education program, Race to the Top, along with John B. King Jr., the New York State commissioner of education, deserve credit for spurring what is believed to be the first principals’ revolt in history...658 principals around the state [NY] had signed a letter — 488 of them from Long Island, where the insurrection began — protesting the use of students’ test scores to evaluate teachers’ and principals’ performance.

Degrading Teacher Certification
...there's a big difference between knowing a subject well and knowing how to teach it well. For example, before Evan Hunter became famous as author of "The Blackboard Jungle," he taught English in a vocational high school in New York City. When asked in an interview years later why he quit after a short stint, he replied: "I was trying, but they weren't buying." Clearly, Hunter knew how to write, but that was not enough.

‘Broader, bolder’ strategy to ending poverty’s influence on education
To ignore [the reality of poverty] and make bold assertions that all children can achieve while doing nothing to address the outside-of-school challenges they face is neither fair nor a sound basis for developing public policy

Is giftedness always a gift?
the challenge for families and individual children can be immense. “Some bright kids will do well regardless: they are resilient. But for many more the lack of stimulation in school will actually lead to underachievement. A percentage will fall in with the mainstream and never perform to their ability. Another percentage will become so frustrated that they will withdraw altogether. They think the system is just not designed for them. Then you hear the comment, ‘Well, maybe she wasn’t that bright to begin with.’ It’s a terrible waste of potential.”

Neuroscience & The Classroom: Making Connections.
Insights drawn from neuroscience not only provide educators with a scientific basis for understanding some of the best practices in teaching, but also offer a new lens through which to look at the problems teachers grapple with every day. By gaining insights into how the brain works—and how students actually learn—teachers will be able to create their own solutions to the classroom challenges they face and improve their practice.

For Business, Golden Days; For Workers, the *Dross
For companies, these are boom times. For workers, the opposite is true...effective tax rates, both corporate and personal, are well below where they were during most of the post-World War II era.
*Dross n.
1: the scum that forms on the surface of molten metal
2: waste or foreign matter : impurity
3: something that is base, trivial, or inferior


From Merriam Webster Online Dictionary.

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