Friday, October 21, 2005

Are the public schools the best solution to every social problem?

This question was posed by an Indiana superintendent on a local school corporation blog site in Indiana.

His blog post was titled "Another Big Fat Mandate."

Indiana is evidently going to consider a bill to weigh and measure every student in the state and require them to send the data to the state.

Another great idea - at what cost?

For newcomer's - click on this link to see the cost. Scroll to the bottom of Jamie Vollmer's website, click to see The Burden animation.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Help Wanted

Notice to all Superintendents:

The following Help Wanted ad was received by The Super through e-mail from a parent in a large east coast school district that is looking for a new superintendent.

I present this ad as proof that the more parents know about NCLB and it's insidious side-effects, the more they want their educational leaders to stand up for their children and not just go along with the throng throwing money at the testing industry.

Wouldn't you like to see a help wanted ad that actually looked like this?



HELP WANTED:

School superintendent who meets the following criteria:

Thinks independently and creatively about public school education.

Does not buy into the NCLB act or it's insistence on participation in the standards and testing industry.

Endorses a curriculum that is sensitive to the needs of the individual child.

Solicits the professional input of teaching staff.

Endorses an awareness of and dedication to current knowledge about learning.

Believes that smaller classrooms, varied assessment tools, creative curriculum and competitive salaries for teachers belong on a priority agenda.

Dedicates resources, not only to minority and special needs students, but also to real and varied academic opportunities for the entire range of students.

Is willing to research and consider other avenues for students advancement besides AP, IB or other overused, academically disputed recipes.

Will hope to foster community and parental interest, input, and support for our schools, our teachers, and our students.

Has no financial claims or interest in contributing to the growing financial returns of academic test, textbook or tutoring industries.

With no particular political agenda, still believes that our public schools present an opportunity to prepare and educate our students for a better future.

Enjoys shellfish.

Ok Supe's - any takers?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

If you could do it over again, would you still be a teacher?

I have been noticing a growing trend in the teaching profession. Ask a few random teachers if they would encourage young people today to go into teaching.

Ask them, "If you could do it all over again would you still be a teacher?"

Many of them are saying they have not encouraged their own family members or other young people to go into education.

The most prevalent reason seems to be that the respect factor is now gone or diminishing and the constant bombardment and negativity from media and politicians has created a growing dissatisfaction.

A second reason is that the teaching profession has not kept pace with the increasing wages found in other professional careers.

This feeling seems to be supported by this month's AFT study showing that teachers' pay increased just 18 cents for every extra dollar earned by other professionals.

Searching around on the web, it's hard to find much that would give a bright, eager high school student a reason to go into what used to be a valued and respected profession.

Sad thing is, we need good people now more than ever.