Friday, November 11, 2005

NCLB violates federal promises?

From federal legislation under Goals 2000 comes this closing paragraph to section 319....

(b) REAFFIRMATION.--The Congress agrees and reaffirms that the
responsibility for control of education is reserved to the States and local
school systems and other instrumentalities of the States and that no action
shall be taken under the provisions of this Act by the Federal Government
which would, directly or indirectly, impose standards or requirements of any
kind through the promulgation of rules, regulations, provision of financial
assistance and otherwise, which would reduce, modify, or undercut State and
local responsibility for control of education.

Have the feds lived up to their promise not to undercut state and local control?

Jim Horn over at Schools Matter blogs about the increasing cry for national curriculum and national tests.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Is Your State Chamber of Commerce Out of Touch?

Many superintendents have observed that their state chamber of commerce representatives repeatedly take positions on issues that do not necessarily reflect the local chamber of commerce in their communities. There might be something to this.

Recently, I attended a community business and education forum in which the following statistic was quoted.
"Seventy percent of the jobs available in the future will NOT require a four year degree."
In addition, a graph was distributed showing the results of a round table discussion of community leaders who were asked, "What can education do to advance the interests of business? The most frequent response by almost 2 to 1? Give them graduates with "skills." From reading all their comments it is obvious that they meant soft skills and technical skills, not what most view as academic skills.

Meanwhile the state education policy, driven by business roundtables at the state levels, is driving almost all students to college preparatory tracks. Which has never been a "track" proven to emphasize technical or soft skills.

This might indicate that local business needs are at odds with the state chamber of commerce's view of needs. Meanwhile, the nation's governors are driving attempts to make high school more academically rigorous because they know that students that take more rigorous courses do better on international and national tests.

Students are getting mixed messages.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Obesity Fad: Junk Science?

Here is a research study on your school's vending machines.

Conclusion: Much ado about nothing.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Finally, a FUNDED mandate!

For years educators have railed against "unfunded mandates."

I have finally discovered a "funded mandate."See the photo of a plastic rafter square and flexible tape measure?

This is Indiana's method of funding a new obesity initiative. Indiana's educators will soon be required to weigh and measure all public school students and send the data to the state in a spreadsheet along with their confidential student ID number.

Now, I figure it will require each teacher an hour to put the books away, line up the class, take them to the room where confidential weigh-ins will occur, supervise the class and take them back to the room and resume instruction. At 200 teachers x 1 hour each, times $30.00 per hour of instructional time, that's $6,000.00. Not to mention the nursing staff hours to man the stations and organize the spreadsheets for uploading to the state.

Our FUNDED mandate is a $4.99 rafter square and $6.99 tape measure our nurses received in the mail.

Now THAT's efficiency.

Finally...a FUNDED mandate! Posted by Picasa

Teachers suspended with pay for breaking up fights?

According to an individual posting on the Indy Star web site, Indianapolis Public School teachers have been put on administrative leave pending an investigation after students have alleged the teachers used excessive force in breaking up a student altercation.

Wow this is tough. Liability issues have the entire nation under siege. Administrators are afraid not to treat these seriously until the facts are sorted out...but now the teachers will be afraid to get involved which is the WRONG message also.

Tough spot.

Here's the link.

Here's an excerpt:
Several teachers have been suspended this year because they were involved in
breaking up fights. After the fights were stopped, a student alleged that he or
she was the victim of a teacher using too much force to separate the combatants.
Principals must report the allegation to Child Protection Services and IPS Human
Resources. The teacher is then suspended with pay pending the CPS investigation.
The mere fact that this suspension and investigation have happened becomes a
threat to the career of the teacher.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Is the system collapsing under the weight of it all?

This year alone you can add to your curricular pile...obesity, bullying, intelligent design, and now.....middle school foreign language requirements? (according to this morning's Indy Star)

What would you like us to leave out?

Of course you don't want us to leave anything out.

It's all important isn't it?