"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

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Random Quotes

The Big Evil in U. S. Education: Teachers' Unions?
...If unions are the problem, how come unions in some places are so much more of a problem than in others...How did Vermont graduate 83% of its students in four years, and Wisconsin 81%, and North Dakota 80%, and why did Mississippi come in at 61% in 2008? If Louisiana was at 60% and South Carolina and Georgia were at 59%, maybe it wasn't unions. Maybe it was some strange phenomenon, related to flying the Confederate flag.

Most Charters Avoid Students with Special Needs*
We have seen this story again and again. A lawsuit against the charters in New Orleans and the District of Columbia filed on behalf of children with disabilities. A charter school in Minneapolis that literally pushed out 40 children with special needs, part of a pattern in which the nation’s largest charter chain–the Gulen-affiliated schools–keep their test scores high by excluding students with disabilities. Study after study showing that charters take fewer children with disabilities. Even a federal study by the GAO documenting that charter schools have a smaller proportion of children with special needs, to which the relevant federal official responded with a yawn and a promise to look into it someday.

Won’t Back Down’: Realities the movie ignores
...before our nation agrees that it is a neat idea for parents to demand takeovers, everybody has to know the real issues that caused the problems. People can choose to blame teachers unions, but they should remember that the problems people are trying to fix in public education are the same in states with unions and without unions.

“A Daily Act of Love”
It has always seemed to me that the things we care the most about, that are most important to us, are the most resistant to this sort of simplistic measurement. do we measure our marriages with a 4 point scale? do we “grade” the love we have for our children on a rubric? teaching is a daily act of love; love for our students, for their learning, for our colleagues, and for our communities. to think that we can measure our effectiveness as teachers with a 4 point scale is not only absurd, its insulting.

Truth about Policymakers?
Teachers focus on what is particular within their own classrooms; reformers focus on what is universal across many classrooms. Teachers operate in a setting dominated by personal relations; reformers operate in a setting dominated by abstract political and social aims. Teachers draw on clinical experience; reformers draw on social scientific theory. Teachers embrace the ambiguity of classroom process and practice; reformers pursue the clarity of tables and graphs. Teachers put a premium on professional adaptability; reformers put a premium on uniformity of practices and outcomes.

Imagine Schools and Romney's Bain Capital
Public money going directly to private business. No wonder the local Imagine Schools don't have the necessary educational resources that students need and probably never will...Imagine Schools is not entirely about education. It is about business.

Why Teachers Unions Are Losing Support
The leadership of teachers unions across the country needs to realize that public schools are at an historic crossroads. Whether they will even exist decades from now is uncertain. If they somehow manage to survive, however, I don't think they'll be recognizable. That's why teachers unions need all the support they can muster. They're certainly not going to get it by repeating what is taking place in California. It's no way to win friends and influence people.

The Paradoxical Logic of School Turnarounds: A Catch-22 (Tina Trujillo)
...the assumption behind school turnarounds—that rapid, dramatic changes in staffing and management can fundamentally improve persistently low-performing schools—is inherently paradoxical because the turnaround option rests on faulty, unwarranted claims. In fact, the policy exists despite evidence to the contrary. Such reforms engender the exact conditions that long lines of research have linked with persistent low performance—high turnover, instability, poor climate, inexperienced teachers, and racial and socioeconomic segregation.
*References to charters generally imply corporate, for-profit charter schools. Quotes from other writers reflect their opinions only. See It's Important to Look in a Mirror Now and Then
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Stop the Testing Insanity!


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