Odds, Ends, Edujobs!

Smart paper from Craig Jerald about the improve/eval debate. And IES interviews Jane Hannaway.

New organization seeking to help address various kinds of abuse of athletes – maintains a banned coaches list.

Over at NJ they’re talking civics, good entry from Civic Education Chairman David Feith. But seriously, if you asked Fair Test a question about the weather outside, you’d get an answer about No Child Left Behind.

Future Is Now schools are looking for a leader in New Orleans.  Interesting high school turnaround opportunity.

3 Replies to “Odds, Ends, Edujobs!”

  1. The “new” promising future is in education reform. These are all related to government spending within present government agencies or through grants to NGO’s. But make no mistake, the eduacracy is expanding exponentially.

    I read this blog and what do I see. I see a whole lot of talk about studies and statistics, and reform. I see very little deck plate knowledge.

    My fear is that the edu-reform debate is more about salaries and positions for suits than it is about helping children learn calculus. Proficiency in math and science are NOT mentioned on this site.

    There is no remedy offered for poor math and science programs. None at all. But they edu-reformers propose all kinds of extremely expensive accountability systems to somehow make math and science be taught better.

    It is the American way of making a car. We inspect in quality, while our competitors build it in. There is a massive difference in approach there.

    After twenty years in the Navy on submarines I saw first hand how highly trained, deck plate knowledgeable sailor could operate the most sophisticated weapon system in the world. There were not reform experts running around. EVERYONE WAS AN EXPERT ON EVERY SYSTEM ON THAT BOAT.

    We had NOT TALKING HEADS. We had NO USE FOR THEM. And in the yards for retrofit we did not have suits running around telling us all kinds of bromides for how to run things better. The people who changed things and made things work were the people who did the job every day and WERE THE EXPERTS.

    Supposed expertise now lies at least 2000 NM away from the classroom in some isolated office at the FDOE.

    There is no way to reform this system. It is as if the secretaries are driving the boat. The whole system is intellectually bankrupt and the only way to fix it is to SCRAP IT. Send it to the boneyard.

    My plan is simple, elegant, and will get us back on track.

    1. Immediately grant all parents full cost vouchers to the school of their choice. Respect their right to privacy in that decision.

    2. Teachers will be employed on at-will contracts and may contract their services to the highest bidder. No binding contracts. 2 weeks notice is all that is needed to leave.

    3. Teachers have only the power to instruct and will no longer grade or judge student work.

    4. National board exams will evaluate student learning. Full accountability falls on parents and students. If parents are not satisfied with their student’s outcome then they have the choice to move their child. The accountability for the child’s learning rests with the parents. If the child learns nothing, then the parent MAD A BAD CHOICE.

    This is the ONLY REMEDY. The present edu-system borders on the insane. There is no reason to continue it. Break it apart. Do it in one year.

    It is time to be like Hyman Rickover. Kick the crap out of the way, and build something.

  2. Even when districts and schools have good evaluation information, they usually use it narrowly, focusing primarily on remediation and dismissal.
    Which is the point/fear teacher bloggers and Mickey have been making.
    As Amos Elon once wrote:

    A man who puts a snake into a child’s bed and says, “I’m sorry. I told the snake not to bite. I didn’t know snakes were so dangerous.”

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