"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

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Musical Interlude

I didn't want to think about NCLB, RttT, or anything like that this morning. So...now for something completely different...

Try these interesting instruments on for size.

Đàn T ' Rưng


Glass harmonica...invented by Ben Franklin...

Glass Harmonica


When I first started watching this one I thought that the music was coming from "the background" -- something added by the film maker. I realized I was wrong after watching for a while. btw, there are a lot of "hang drum" videos out there.

Hang Drum


My favorite for last. The Yangqin is a Chinese dulcimer. These young ladies are obviously very well practiced. Not only do they play well, but they play in unison...watch especially the side views as their hands and arms move in perfect sync with each other. Even more amazing...they sound like one.

Yangqin - Flight of the Bumblebee


If you like that, check out this one, too...

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If you must have some education related articles to complete your day, here are three thoughtful articles which ought to do the trick.
Universal Public Education Is Dead: The Rise of State Schools

“Universal public education has two possible—and contradictory—missions. One is the development of a literate, articulate, and well-informed citizenry so that the democratic process can continue to evolve and the promise of radical equality can be brought closer to realization. The other is the perpetuation of a class system dividing an elite, nominally ‘gifted’ few, tracked from an early age, from a very large underclass essentially to be written off as alienated from language and science, from poetry and politics, from history and hope—toward low-wage temporary jobs. The second is the direction our society has taken. The results are devastating in terms of the betrayal of a generation of youth. The loss to the whole of society is incalculable.”
Teacher Leaders as Agents of Change

Do you think ultimately we will find ourselves changing our entire model of education? I have always found with education that individuals are the ones that make the enormous difference, and the more that you're able to empower a great teacher, a great principal, a great superintendent, can make enormous differences. How do we empower the individual to have the authority and the responsibility to make those changes, and not tie them to arbitrary objective realities or goals?
How Can Smart People Do Dumb Things?

What is, however, categorically dumb is the fast-track federally driven movement (states competing for Race to the Top funds) of using test scores to evaluate teachers in the face of damning historical and contemporary evidence, all of which has been available to top federal and state policymakers. Like those smart guys in that 2006 Federal Reserve meeting whose over-confidence in their econometric models fueled joking about a strong economy when they were barely hanging on to a slippery housing market bubble, federal officials pushing states and districts to use test scores to determine teaching effectiveness have not done due diligence. And due diligence is what each of us expect of our top decision-makers.

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