girlwithalessonplan

girlwithalessonplan:

lifewithboys:

I wrote a few quick posts last month giving some tips that I have learned over the years. Having four kids in school (grades-2, 7, 10, and 12) we have dealt with a lot of teachers over a lot of years. And in those years, I have heard the same requests from teachers, but as a parent I have one for…

Okay.  Thanks for the feedback.

Now.

How should I say this?

GIVE YOUR KIDS MORE FRIGGIN’ CREDIT.

Shakespeare wrote his plays for the illiterate masses that stood in front of the stage.  If they can get it, your 8th grader can get it.

Chaucer wrote bawdy stories for entertainment and moral value.  As long as it’s not Middle English, one is not asking much for a 10th or 12th grader to follow along with a story about a guy getting a hot poker in the rear end.  

And here’s the other thing:  I AM NOT A READING TEACHER.  I did not go to college to teach kids how to read.  I’m a literature and writing teacher.   I don’t know how to make a kid read at a certain level.  What I do know is there is not a discernible difference 10th and 12th grade reading level.  If you look at the Indiana Approved Reading List, you will notice something:  It’s not by grade level.  All the titles are merely approved for “high school.”  

I can make my freshmen get through the Odyssey just as I can make my twelfth graders to do it.  Don’t tell me what I can’t get a child to read.  

Also, did you ever stop to think that maybe making a child to read above grade level and CONQUER it in some way may actually—GASP—help him?  

And here is where I point out a flaw in your argument of grade levels.  What if freshman student who reads at a 6th grade level writes a really good paper? (I have those kind of kids sometimes.)  I’m going to give that kid an A.  Don’t tell me not to.  It’s likely the best work that kid has ever done.

But if my at-level freshman writes a paper of THAT sixth-grade level paper, I’m going to give that kid a C.

And as for college and work force?  One, there are no grades in the works force.  Two, what makes you think every single kid is going to college?  

I don’t know what type of magic, multi-foot-noted text your kids have, but I can tell you my students are reading the entire Fitzgerald Odyssey without a single footnote.  Nor will Oedipus Rex, or Othello, or Inferno, or the Bible.  If they want to know what a word means, they LOOK IT UP.  Because knowing WHERE TO FIND AN ANSWER is just as important as “gleaning.”

(Also, to add, how can a child glean the meaning of one word if he’s below grade level?  The other words in the paragraph may be above level too.  TO THE DICTIONARY!)

And there is nothing wrong with writing “Y R U?” if a kid is privately message his friends.  WHO CARES? Also, IT’S NOT MY JOB TO POLICE YOUR CHILD’S CASUAL LANGUAGE. He is being efficient with his time.  The key is knowing when to code-switch, and students who can easily code-switch between their informal language they share with friends to the formal language expected in schools is demonstrating a complex cognitive ability.  

How dare you belittle my profession to think I—or any teacher—doesn’t spend time to teach a “coherent paragraph.”  Really?  REALLY. It’s this kind of opinion of teaching that gives me the biggest case of the angries.  What makes you think that we’re all flailing our hands over standardized tests ignoring “the basics”?  

And here’s my last point: You and Roy learned “the basics”.  Awesome. But did you ever stop to think that the basics for you are not the same as basics for your children? 

pantslessprogressive
pantslessprogressive:

In 2003, Texas Governor and current GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry was the driving force behind an insurance scheme to bet on the deaths of retired teachers while Wall Street turned a profit, according to information obtained by The Huffington Post.
According to Zach Carter and Jason Cherkis at HuffPo, Governor Perry and his office tried to convince retired teachers to accept a life insurance plan that would ultimately provide benefits to Wall Street and the state of Texas, rather than family members of the deceased.

According to the notes, which were authenticated by a meeting participant, the Perry administration wanted to help Wall Street investors gamble on how long retired Texas teachers would live. Perry was promising the state big money in exchange for helping Swiss banking giant UBS set up a business of teacher death speculation.
All they had to do was convince retirees to let UBS buy life insurance policies on them. When the retirees died, those policies would pay out benefits to Wall Street speculators, and the state, supposedly, would get paid for arranging the bets. The families of the deceased former teachers would get nothing.
The meeting notes offer the most direct evidence that the Perry administration was not only intimately involved with the insurance scheme, but a leading driver of the plan.
[…] The notes make clear that the governor’s proposal deliberately targeted the elderly. The state was only seeking to take out life insurance on people between the ages of 75 and 90. At a separate meeting five days later, the plan’s proponents discussed the “mental capacity” of these retirees to grant consent as one of three major technical obstacles to the plan, according to notes from that meeting.
At the first meeting, Morrissey said it could take 10 to 12 years for Texas to “earn” money from the scheme, but insisted the deal could be worth up to $700 million for the state if the retirement fund could sign up 40,000 retired teachers.

Perry and team even used a financial incentive to pitch this scheme, according to a meeting attendee:

The governor’s office was even prepared to put down a little cash up front. If retirees balked at the notion of the state profiting from their deaths, Perry’s budget men suggested they could be persuaded for the cost of a pair of shoes, according to the meeting notes. If a retiree signed a contract allowing the state’s teacher pension fund to buy life insurance on them, the governor was prepared to give them between $50 and $100.

The life insurance plan never happened and Perry’s office has since attempted to distance itself from the idea. However, as the article points out, the governor’s office “had not only endorsed the concept, but had already formulated a plan to implement it,” according to the meeting notes.
Read the full story at HuffPo.

pantslessprogressive:

In 2003, Texas Governor and current GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry was the driving force behind an insurance scheme to bet on the deaths of retired teachers while Wall Street turned a profit, according to information obtained by The Huffington Post.

According to Zach Carter and Jason Cherkis at HuffPo, Governor Perry and his office tried to convince retired teachers to accept a life insurance plan that would ultimately provide benefits to Wall Street and the state of Texas, rather than family members of the deceased.

According to the notes, which were authenticated by a meeting participant, the Perry administration wanted to help Wall Street investors gamble on how long retired Texas teachers would live. Perry was promising the state big money in exchange for helping Swiss banking giant UBS set up a business of teacher death speculation.

All they had to do was convince retirees to let UBS buy life insurance policies on them. When the retirees died, those policies would pay out benefits to Wall Street speculators, and the state, supposedly, would get paid for arranging the bets. The families of the deceased former teachers would get nothing.

The meeting notes offer the most direct evidence that the Perry administration was not only intimately involved with the insurance scheme, but a leading driver of the plan.

[…] The notes make clear that the governor’s proposal deliberately targeted the elderly. The state was only seeking to take out life insurance on people between the ages of 75 and 90. At a separate meeting five days later, the plan’s proponents discussed the “mental capacity” of these retirees to grant consent as one of three major technical obstacles to the plan, according to notes from that meeting.

At the first meeting, Morrissey said it could take 10 to 12 years for Texas to “earn” money from the scheme, but insisted the deal could be worth up to $700 million for the state if the retirement fund could sign up 40,000 retired teachers.

Perry and team even used a financial incentive to pitch this scheme, according to a meeting attendee:

The governor’s office was even prepared to put down a little cash up front. If retirees balked at the notion of the state profiting from their deaths, Perry’s budget men suggested they could be persuaded for the cost of a pair of shoes, according to the meeting notes. If a retiree signed a contract allowing the state’s teacher pension fund to buy life insurance on them, the governor was prepared to give them between $50 and $100.

The life insurance plan never happened and Perry’s office has since attempted to distance itself from the idea. However, as the article points out, the governor’s office “had not only endorsed the concept, but had already formulated a plan to implement it,” according to the meeting notes.

Read the full story at HuffPo.

positivelypersistentteach

positivelypersistentteach:


It would distribute money to states yearly, and they would distribute it to districts that have competed for grants to turn around schools that rank in the lowest 5 percent statewide. They would be required to implement one of these four strategies:

• The “restart” model would convert a school into a charter school or one run by an autonomous organization.

• The “transformation” model puts a new principal in place who has a track record of improving schools. It also introduces a comprehensive set of other changes so that teaching and curriculum are improved with research-based approaches.

• The “turnaround” model takes a similar approach to transformation, but it also replaces at least 50 percent of the staff.

• The “closure” model shuts down the school and disperses students to other schools in the district.

These “changes” seem to lay all the blame on failing schools on the principal and teachers at the school.   They do not consider at all the percentage of kids that aren’t getting fed, the kids who stay up late taking care of their siblings while a parent is working or doing less productive activities. Is the staff being provided with the proper professional development opportunities to learn how to help students that are struggling or that come from difficult home lives? Is there a school nurse on staff, a full time social worker, a full time psychologist?  They don’t consider the materials available to school, or even the money wasted on testing that could go elsewhere.  It doesn’t consider the value the community of that school places on the school, or the support it receives.  This is not a viable solution.  If we are going to make changes, we need to consider all of the factors.  Not everything can be blamed on the teachers.