Saturday, April 16, 2005

Let's run schools like a business they said

Yesirree! If we can just run schools like a business then competition will really reform them. If we loosen up those rules and get rid of the stifling monopoly they will perform like the business world.

Yep - let's see which business will it be.... Enron (Crooked accounting) Conseco (Greedy/sleazy CEO and board) , Tyco................

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Public school students out perform private school students

Despite the rhetoric from those seeking to discredit public education, new research is emerging that challenges their assumptions that private school students out perform public school students.

Kimberly at Number 2 Pencil discusses the issue and shed's light on Simpson's Paradox which The Super's Blog has discussed here before.

Carnival of Education: Week 10

Take a ride on the midway of the educational blogosphere. Check out the different blog rides in week ten at the Carnival of Education.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Gazing into the crystal ball again: India and China

America may have more to worry about than debates about the best way to deliver instruction. My personal opinion is that vouchers, tax credits and arguments over private or public delivery models will have little impact on improving the status of the American economy any time soon. But, the business roundtable has done a very deft job of shifting attention to American public schools. Interestingly enough, the increasingly popular American solution appears to be to abandon "government" public schools and to decentralize everything as a way to improve. This is where it gets interesting to me. You see, the nations that are making the most noise right now with an increasing economic presence in the world, are not abandoning their government's central role in their education system, they are increasing it.

American business folks need to be careful, they may get exactly what they ask for. Decentralized schooling where anything goes. I may hate NCLB, but that is because of the overemphasis on standardized testing and the irrational and illogical methods of determining success. I still believe that a country as diverse as America MUST have a coordinated system of assimilating immigrants and others into our country. There is nothing wrong with a government system of schooling. Depends on what they teach! Let's not give up the debate about what the curriculum should look like by just saying, "Forget it, just privatize it and all will be well."

That might be throwing the baby out with the bath water.

There is a regular reader here who goes by the moniker "old retired business man." I have always enjoyed his comments even when I don't agree. He indicates he has traveled in India and China and is impressed with the desire and work ethic of those he has met there. Their students are hungry. Ours seem satisfied.

"Old retired business man" reports that India and China seem to have little care or attention for many students who are left behind or who aren't educated. To many of us in America, myself included, that seems unfortunate and short-sighted, but that's not their current worry. Their agenda is to lead the world economically and politically. They have the raw materials and they have the population. What they need are enough engineers and highly educated people to get the job done. They may be on their way.

Now India and China indicate that they are laying aside some of their own differences and are going to cooperate. This may get interesting. One-third of the world's population is accounted for in this new alliance.

As the "old retired business man" says, " It may be time to invest in the emerging markets."

Monday, April 11, 2005

Wal-Mart announces new educational division

In breaking news today, Wal-Mart announced its plans to unveil a new educational for-profit division called, Edu-Mart.

Sam Walnut, founder of the company explained, "We are very happy to support the private school concept, and now that tax dollars get involved we are very interested in the concept."

Sam explained, "When Mom, Dad, Ralph, Cousin Billy-Bob and three tag-alongs come into Wal-Mart of an evening, we think we can make it more worth their while. Shoot, given how much time the average family spends in a Wal-Mart in one month, it might as well be useful!"

He explained the Edu Mart vision:

"When a parent enrolls a child in Edu-Mart we start by giving them a brain scan and a traditional manual assessment. This will give us a reading of their capabilities and what they have accomplished academically to date.

Then we take an electronic chip containing the results of their scan, complete with their current Reading and Math levels and their complete transcript of national academic standards and an individual IEP for each child. We then embed the chip just beneath the surface of the skin at the back of their neck. It's simple and painless, and we already do it for your pets.

When an enrolled student passes through the electronic doors of any Wal-Mart in the world, an automatic scanner will immediately read the electronic chip and send the information to a waiting Edu-Mart Associate Greeter standing at the Edu-Mart conveniently located at the back of the Wal-Mart just beyond the toy section.

Using our "just-in-time delivery method," by the time the child arrives, the Edu-Mart Associate has already pulled a prepared 30 minute one-on-one lesson from the data bank that is specially geared to the child's needs.

If the family wants to "shop-till-they-drop" then our Associate can "teach-till-they-screech," by adding additional lessons.

Parents and students will also like our Edu-Mart Home School Curriculum that is available for an additional fee. The great thing about this technology is that it will automatically update the embedded chip and keep the IEP current.

Parents will receive additional Edu-Mart vouchers depending on how much they spend while their child is receiving lessons.

School can now be held any place in the world and is available as close as the nearest Wal-Mart.

Added Sam, "We are very excited about this new program. We believe it will be almost as popular as our new chain of funeral home parlors."

Indiana hesitates on vouchers, vows to try again

The Indiana state legislature recently decided to back down on vouchers but to proceed with education tax credits.

More telling than anything else was this quote from a Republican legislator, "We should not try to destroy public education overnight."