myiW Current Conditions and Forecasts Community Forums Buy and Sell Services
Hi guest · myAccount · Log in
 SearchSearch   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   RegisterRegister 
Education reform
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Post new topic   Reply to topic    iWindsurf Community Forum Index -> Politics, Off-Topic, Opinions
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message

Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 4454

PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had the word "education", or any derivative thereof, been mentioned once in the Maheny article, the lengthy justification above might be a little more believable.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 3132

PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We all "cut and paste" things we want to share, mostly to support our beliefs. On occasion, we post things that seem crazy to us, just to ridicule the other side or show how BSC they may be. On rare occasions, we may be humbled enough to share something that also supports the other side.

We all know that whatever we post will likely be ridiculed, belittled, or all too frequently the poster will be personally attacked or demeaned in some way. Whenever that happens, justified or not, credibility takes a BIG hit. Sarcasm is fine, but it shouldn't go much further than that.

The most telling posts are those where there is no response directed at the issue, just personal hits, deflection, bring up issues from yesteryear, blaming someone else because "they started it" (3 grade behavior), or playing the race card. When all of this happens, usually the issue or point made hits home more than anyone is willing to acknowledge.

Clearly, no one is going to change sides, but it is interesting to see how others think and what they believe. There is no right or wrong here, just different perspectives or solutions to get where we think our liberal or conservative views should take us.

If there is a point to be made here, it's lighten up and offer support for what you believe, or discredit the other side with published material or personal opinions and leave it at that. Be nice boys and girls!

There is a bit of wind today, so I am on my way..........
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3598

PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I change my views based on the things I read here. I know of one other who does, so it makes me suspect that we are not alone. The silent readers outnumber us by a lot.
Venom filled posts have no effect on he and I because we only scan them without giving any thought to other content.
They discredit the material and just lower my opinion of the poster.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 11138
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those interested, and capable, of reading for content, here is what I introduced the bat-shit craziness with:

I heard about this on a Catholic talk radio show last night--the essence of it is a view that the Gates' foundation is trying to establish standards in schools that will lead to eugenics, forced abortion, and other assorted evils. I'm not sure how fringe this is

Hmm, it was about the Gates' efforts in education, and how it seems to stir up a hornet's nest. It was on-thread.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 11138
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apropos of reading for content, it seems that most of us only do it a little bit:

Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox: May 6, 2008

How Little Do Users Read?

Summary: On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely.

We've known since our first studies of how users read on the Web that they typically don't read very much. Scanning text is an extremely common behavior for higher-literacy users; our recent eyetracking studies further validate this finding.

The only thing we've been missing is a mathematical formula to quantify exactly how much (or how little) people read online. Now, thanks to new data, we have this as well.

The Research Study

For full details, see the following academic paper:

Harald Weinreich, Hartmut Obendorf, Eelco Herder, and Matthias Mayer: " Not Quite the Average: An Empirical Study of Web Use," in the ACM Transactions on the Web, vol. 2, no. 1 (February 2008), article #5.

In the study, the authors instrumented 25 users' browsers and recorded extended information about everything they did as they went about their normal Web activities. What's important about this study is that it was completely naturalistic: the users didn't have to do anything special.

One downside of the study is that the users had above-average intelligence, with several being university employees. This might not be a problem in the long run, however. If, for example, we compare data we collected in 2008 for our Fundamental Guidelines for Web Usability seminar with a similar study we ran in 2004, we find that 2008's average behavior is close to that of 2004's higher-end users. Thus, even though Weinreich et al.'s data represents high-end users, it's likely to be fairly representative of broader user behavior in the future. In fact, the authors collected their data in 2005, so the recorded behaviors might already be fairly common.

It is what we do after we realize that we didn't understand the point made where things get interesting--or rude.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 11138
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the kind of thing that can happen when you call turning over education to profit-makers reform.

By TOM LoBIANCO, Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's top education official on Wednesday acknowledged "manipulation" in the way the state's schools are graded, the latest fallout from an Associated Press report that found her predecessor worked behind the scenes to improve the score of a charter school founded by an influential Republican donor.

Superintendent Glenda Ritz told state school board members that this year's school ratings would be held up, at least temporarily, as a result of the independent review into the A-F grading system and left open the possibility some of last year's grades could be changed.

The system was established by Tony Bennett, a rising star in the education reform movement, who last week resigned from his new job as Florida's schools chief amid the scandal in Indiana.

"Upon our preliminary examination, the department has verified that there was manipulation of calculation categories and the department has also determined that there are broader issues that need to be examined," Ritz said.

Ritz, a Democrat, brought up the scandal at Wednesday's school board meeting, but Bennett's allies on the Republican-dominated board had little to say. She met privately Wednesday afternoon with Indiana's Republican legislative leaders, who have started their own investigation.

Ritz declined to discuss specifics of the review but said a final report could be ready by Sept. 2.

The AP published emails showing a frantic effort by Bennett and top staff to rewrite the state's school grading formula after the Indianapolis-based Christel House Academy, founded by GOP donor Christel DeHaan, scored a C. The school's grade was changed twice in the following days, eventually ending at an A. Several other schools also saw their grades improve as a result.

Indiana's school report card website still shows the school with an A.

It is amusing to read again, mrgybe's furious attack on me as a liar above. He was, as he often is, wrong. But admit it? It would take a bigger man.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 11138
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting piece by a researcher in North Carolina

Novice teachers are not the solution
Cash-challenged schools like Pittsburgh’s need experienced teachers
November 24, 2013 12:00 AM

By Helen F. Ladd

In an effort to keep educational costs in check, America’s cash-strapped states, local school districts and charter schools are hiring less costly novice teachers. I understand that Pittsburgh Public Schools may soon be among them. Superintendent Linda Lane has said she hopes to find new college grads in the two-year Teach for America program to help fill 15 to 30 teaching vacancies next fall.

In the late 1980s, most of the nation’s teachers had considerable experience — only 17 percent had taught for five or fewer years. By 2008, however, about 28 percent — or more than one in four of America’s teachers — had less than five years of experience. The proportions of novices in the classroom are particularly high in schools in underprivileged areas.

Some observers applaud the rapid “greening” of the teaching force because they think that experienced teachers are not needed. But this view is short-sighted. Although a constant flow of new recruits is healthy, research shows that teacher experience matters in important ways:

• Experienced teachers, on average, are more effective at raising student achievement. In research I have done with colleagues in my home state of North Carolina, experienced teachers greatly boost student achievement in elementary, middle and high schools alike. This pattern holds even after we adjust for the fact that experienced teachers are more likely to work in schools with more advantaged students.

• Teachers become more effective as they gain experience. Researchers have long documented that teachers improve dramatically during their first few years on the job. Less clear has been what happens after those early years. In our new research on middle-school teachers, we find that math teachers become increasingly effective at raising student test scores through about 15 years, at which point, they are about twice as effective as novices with two years of experience. The productivity gains are less dramatic for middle-school English teachers but follow the same trajectory.

• Experienced teachers strengthen education in numerous ways beyond improving test scores. Our research suggests that as North Carolina middle-school teachers gain experience, they become increasingly adept at producing other important results, such as reducing student absences and encouraging students to read for recreational purposes outside of the classroom. More experienced teachers often mentor young teachers and help to create and maintain a strong school community.

lso, as other research has shown, constant teacher turnover is disruptive for schools and harmful to students, especially in disadvantaged schools. All too often, inexperienced teachers are initially assigned to disadvantaged schools, where the challenges of maintaining order and effectively instructing students can be daunting.

Those who make the case for hiring novice teachers typically cite the apparent success of many charter schools that employ such teachers and hail the effectiveness of many Teach for America recruits. TFA teachers are often no weaker than other teachers in the heavily disadvantaged schools into which they are placed — and some may do better at teaching math.

But Teach for America instructors do not stay around very long. More than half leave after fulfilling their two-year commitment, and more than 80 percent do so after three years. Even strong charter schools have difficulties with teacher retention. Schools with high teacher turnover must repeatedly spend costly time on recruiting, mentoring, socializing and training newcomers — only to see their trained teachers move on.

So the challenge is to attract newly minted teachers with clear long-term potential, give them opportunities to develop their skills and retain the most successful. For that to happen:

• Salaries must be adequate. Teachers should be able to expect that as they gain experience their salaries will rise in line with what college graduates earn in comparable professions.

• Attention must be paid to working conditions. Teachers who experience poor working conditions are more likely to leave a school — or the profession.

• Politicians should stop designating teachers as scapegoats. Especially when they work with socially disadvantaged students, teachers must be provided with the institutional supports they need to be effective and to steadily advance their skills.

Wonderful as it is for bright college graduates to bring new energy and skills to the classroom, schools pay a high price for too much teacher turnover. Surely America can do better. The all-important starting point is to recognize the value of teacher experience and then learn how to develop and reward it.

Helen F. Ladd is a professor of public policy and economics at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and a member of the Scholars Strategy Network (

Read more:
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 5130
Location: The eye of the universe, Cen. Cal. coast

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the kind of thing that can happen when you turn over education to the overpowered teachers union.
Parents stunned that union is seeking a $10K severance for teacher who molested their son

December 11, 2013

WEST BRANCH, Mich. – The Michigan Education Association is going to arbitration to try to force the West Branch-Rose City school district to pay a former teacher who was convicted of molesting a student a $10,000 severance buyout.

Neil Erickson coverThe father of the victim is outraged, calling the union’s efforts on behalf of the sex criminal “ludicrous” and saying any school money due to the teacher should go to his son, who is “out there trying to make it in this world all messed up.”

Neal Erickson, a former math teacher at Rose City Middle School, was convicted this summer of raping a young student over three years, from 2006 to 2009, and sentenced to 15-30 years in prison.

The case sparked community outrage when several of the district’s teachers wrote letters of support for Erickson, pleading for a lenient sentence. A school board member, Mike Eagan, also drew the public’s ire when he sat with the Erickson family at the pedophile’s sentencing.

The community rallied by the victim’s parents, John and Lori Janczewski, to urge the school board to terminate Erickson’s supporters, but officials ultimately decided to keep the teachers out of fear of legal retaliation.

Erickson pleaded guilty of first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor May 8.

Erickson was placed on paid administrative leave when state police launched an investigation in October 2012. Erickson was arrested and charged with criminal sexual conduct in December 2012.

On March 26, 2013 WB-RC officials offered a $10,000 buyout for any qualifying teacher who left the school district that year, an incentive superintendent Dan Cwayna said the district had used in the past to encourage needed staff reductions.

While its not clear when Erickson’s employment was terminated, the union’s action suggests he was still on the payroll when the buyout was offered and accepted it.

The school district declined to pay him the money, prompting the union’s action.

“You had to qualify for the buyout, depending on your years in the district,” Cwayna said. “We’ve done it in the past. It was a little different this last year in that we offered the buyout in two $5,000 payments.

“When the first payment was sent out … and the union discovered we did not make the payment to Mr. Erickson, they filed a grievance on his behalf.”

Cwayna said he was the one who decided not to authorize the special severance for the child molester, but declined to elaborate on why, though the reason seems pretty obvious.

“That was something I as superintendent, with some consultation with the president of the board,” decided, Cwayna said. “That was a decision the superintendent makes and at this point … I prefer not to get into the reasons.”

MEA UniServ Director Ron Parkinson acknowledged that the union is taking the case to arbitration on behalf of Erickson, but declined to discuss the case further.

“We don’t make a practice of discussing any case. It’s based on contractual compliance, and that’s really all I can say,” Parkinson told EAGnews Friday. “We filed for arbitration today.”

The union’s silence is understandable. There is no morally justifiable reason for pursuing public tax dollars for a teacher who committed one of the most heinous crimes against the public trust.

Cwayna wouldn’t discuss whether he expected the union to fight his decision, or his thoughts on the union grievance, which was filed Oct. 8.

“I don’t put a value judgment on a grievance,” he said.

The union’s decision to file for arbitration in the case is step two in the resolution process. Regardless of what the arbitrator decides, both the school district and the union have the right to appeal it through the court system.

Victim’s family vows to continue fight

John Janczewski, father of Erickson’s victim, said his family can hardly believe the MEA is pursuing the special severance for a convicted child molester.

“It’s completely ludicrous!” Janczewski told EAGnews. “Are they nuts in the head? How can the union file a grievance and back a child molester? We’re very upset about it.”

Janczewski wasn’t surprised Parkinson didn’t want to discuss the severance grievance.

“What are you going to say when you’re backing a child molester? I mean, this starts it all over again. It just sickens us,” he said. “If anything, that money should go to my son, who is out there trying to make it in this world all messed up.”

The Janczewskis and their supporters have spent the last several months collecting signatures for a ballot proposal to recall school board member Mike Eagan, who sat with Erickson’s family at his sentencing this summer. Janczewski said he’s confident they’ll collect enough signatures to put the recall on the ballot next year.

“The recall is really going good,” he said. “I’m not exact on the total (number of signatures) yet, because we have so many papers out there. I expect to hit our total in the next three weeks.”

Janczewski said he’s now committed to doing anything he can to prevent Erickson from receiving the special severance.

“We as a family in no way is going to let this happen. I mean, a child molester paid to molest a student?” Janczewski said. “He doesn’t deserve it.”

“I don’t think the union wants the publicity we’ll bring on this,” he added.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 11138
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Astute words from Thomas Friedman in the January 19 New York Times:

PRESIDENT OBAMA will deliver his State of the Union address on Jan. 28, but, for my money, his secretary of education, Arne Duncan, already gave it. Just not enough people heard it.

So instead of Obama fishing around for contrived ideas to put in his speech — the usual laundry list that wins applause but no action — the president should steal Duncan’s speech and claim it as his own (I won’t tell) because it was not a laundry list and wasn’t a feel-good speech. In fact, it was a feel-bad speech, asking one big question. Are we falling behind as a country in education not just because we fail to recruit the smartest college students to become teachers or reform-resistant teachers’ unions, but because of our culture today: too many parents and too many kids just don’t take education seriously enough and don’t want to put in the work needed today to really excel?

Is this the key cause of income inequality and persistent poverty? No. But it is surely part of their solutions, and it is a subject that Obama has not used his bully pulpit to address in any sustained way. Nothing could spark a national discussion of this more than a State of the Union address.

Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, tells parents to speak up and get involved, in the right way, if they want their kids to get a better education. Elizabeth Flores/The Star Tribune, via Associated Press
I’ll get to Duncan’s speech in a moment, but, if you think he’s exaggerating, listen to some teachers. Here are the guts of a letter published recently by The Washington Post from a veteran seventh-grade language arts teacher in Frederick, Md., who explained why she no longer wants to teach. (She asked to remain anonymous.)

After complaining about the “superficial curriculum that encouraged mindless conformity,” she wrote: “I decided that if I was going to teach this nonsense, I was at least going to teach it well. I set my expectations high, I kept my classroom structured, I tutored students, I provided extra practice and I tried to make class fun. ... I quickly rose through the ranks of ‘favorite teacher,’ kept open communication channels with parents and had many students with solid A’s. It was about this time that I was called down to the principal’s office. ... She handed me a list of about 10 students, all of whom had D’s or F’s. At the time, I only had about 120 students, so I was relatively on par with a standard bell curve. As she brought up each one, I walked her through my grade sheets that showed not low scores but a failure to turn in work — a lack of responsibility. I showed her my tutoring logs, my letters to parents, only to be interrogated further.

“Eventually, the meeting came down to two quotes that I will forever remember as the defining slogans for public education: ‘They are not allowed to fail.’ ‘If they have D’s or F’s, there is something that you are not doing for them.’ What am I not doing for them? I suppose I was not giving them the answers. I was not physically picking up their hands to write for them. I was not following them home each night to make sure they did their work on time. I was not excusing their lack of discipline. ... Teachers are held to impossible standards, and students are accountable for hardly any part of their own education and are incapable of failing.”

I got an almost identical letter last month from a high school teacher in Oregon: “Until about 1992, I would have at least one kid in every class who simply wouldn’t do anything. A bad class might have two. Today I have 10 to 15. I recently looked back at my old exams from the ’80s. These were tough, comprehensive ones without the benefit of notes. Few would pass them today. We are dumbing down our classes. It is an inexorable downward progression in which one day all a kid will need to pass is to have a blood pressure. The kids today are not different in ‘nature.’ ... The difference is that back then, although they didn’t want to, they would do the work. Today, they won’t. ... This is a real conversation I had with a failing student who was being quite sincere in her comments: ‘I know you’re a really good teacher, but you don’t seem to realize I have two hours a night of Facebook and over 4,000 text messages a month to deal with. How do you expect me to do all this work?’ When I collect homework at the beginning of class, it is standard out of a class of 35, to receive only 8 to 10 assignments. If I didn’t give half-credit for late work, I think most would fail.”

Now you have some idea why Duncan gave this speech to the National Assessment Governing Board’s Education Summit for Parent Leaders. Here’s an excerpt:

“In 2009, President Obama met with President Lee of South Korea and asked him about his biggest challenge in education. President Lee answered without hesitation: parents in South Korea were ‘too demanding.’ Even his poorest parents demanded a world-class education for their children, and he was having to spend millions of dollars each year to teach English to students in first grade, because his parents won’t let him wait until second grade. ... I [wish] our biggest challenge here in the U.S. was too many parents demanding excellent schools.

“I want to pose one simple question to you: Does a child in South Korea deserve a better education than your child?” Duncan continued. “If your answer is no ... then your work is cut out for you. Because right now, South Korea — and quite a few other countries — are offering students more, and demanding more, than many American districts and schools do. And the results are showing, in our kids’ learning and in their opportunities to succeed, and in staggeringly large achievement gaps in this country. Doing something about our underperformance will mean raising your voice — and encouraging parents who aren’t as engaged as you to speak up. Parents have the power to challenge educational complacency here at home. Parents have the power to ask more of their leaders — and to ask more of their kids.”

Citing Amanda Ripley’s new book — “The Smartest Kids in the World, and How They Got That Way” — Duncan said, “Amanda points a finger at you and me, as parents — not because we aren’t involved in school, but because too often, we are involved in the wrong way. Parents, she says, are happy to show up at sports events, video camera in hand, and they’ll come to school to protest a bad grade. But she writes, and I quote: ‘Parents did not tend to show up at schools demanding that their kids be assigned more challenging reading or that their kindergartners learn math while they still loved numbers.’ ... To really help our kids, we have to do so much more as parents. We have to change expectations about how hard kids should work. And we have to work with teachers and leaders to create schools that demand more from our kids.”

Now that’s a State of the Union speech the country needs to hear — and wouldn’t forget.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 3132

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Thomas Friedman nailed that one.

I would question this statement:
Is this the key cause of income inequality and persistent poverty? No.

I think there is a direct correlation or at least something more than a flat NO!

mac, thanks for the post.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    iWindsurf Community Forum Index -> Politics, Off-Topic, Opinions All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Page 3 of 6

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You cannot download files in this forum

myiW | Weather | Community | Membership | Support | Log in
like us on facebook
© Copyright 1999-2007 WeatherFlow, Inc Contact Us Ad Marketplace

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group