Fred Klonsky, the best under-published cartoonist on education issues:
If you ask me, we don’t have enough poetry in our lives.
In bygone times, newspapers carried poems almost daily. Magazines carried poems in every issue, but today you find fewer poems published in fewer magazines — can you name the periodical publication in which you last saw a poem that caught your eye, or heart?
Rhyme and meter power their way into our minds. Teachers who use poetry find lessons stick longer with students.
Shouldn’t we use a lot more?
Since 1996, several groups including the Academy of American Poets have celebrated National Poetry Month in April. There are posters,and of course April is a month with several poems to its credit — Paul Revere’s Ride, The Concord Hymn, To a Lady with a Guitar, An April Day, The Waste Land, and several poems just about April as a month.
It’s a good time to beef up our poetry tool boxes, if we are managers of organizations, or teachers, or parents, or human.
Poetry lovers gave thought to how to do that, and there are many good recommendations out there. For example, from Poetry.org, 30 activities for National Poetry Month 2014:
30 Ways to Celebrate
|Take a poem out to lunch
“Adding a poem to lunch puts some poetry in your day and gives you something great to read while you eat.”
|Put a poem on the pavement
“Go one step beyond hopscotch squares and write a poem in chalk on your sidewalk.”
|Recite a poem to family and friends
“You can use holidays or birthdays as an opportunity to celebrate with a poem that is dear to you, or one that reminds you of the season.”
|Organize a poetry reading
“When looking for a venue, consider your local library, coffee shop, bookstore, art gallery, bar or performance space.”
|Promote public support for poetry
“Every year, Congress decides how much money will be given to the National Endowment for the Arts to be distributed all across America.”
|Start a poetry reading group
“Select books that would engage discussion and not intimidate the reader new to poetry.”
|Read interviews and literary criticism
“Reading reviews can also be a helpful exercise and lend direction to your future reading.”
|Buy a book of poems for your library
“Many libraries have undergone or are facing severe cuts in funding. These cuts are often made manifest on library shelves.”
|Start a commonplace book
“Since the Renaissance, devoted readers have been copying their favorite poems and quotations into notebooks to form their own personal anthologies called commonplace books.”
|Integrate poetry with technology
“Many email programs allow you to create personalized signatures that are automatically added to the end of every email you send.”
|Ask the Post Office for more poet stamps
“To be eligible, suggested poets must have been deceased for at least ten years and must be American or of American descent.”
|Sign up for a poetry class or workshop
“Colleges and arts centers often make individual courses in literature and writing available to the general public.”
|Subscribe to our free newsletter
“Short and to the point, the Poets.org Update, our electronic newsletter, will keep you informed on Academy news and events.”
|Write a letter to a poet
“Let the poets who you are reading know that you appreciate their work by sending them a letter.”
|Visit a poetry landmark
“Visiting physical spaces associated with a favorite writer is a memorable way to pay homage to their life and work.”
How will you use National Poetry Month in your classroom, teachers? And by “teachers, ” I mean you, math teachers, social studies teachers, phys ed teachers, biology and chemistry teachers. You don’t use poetry? No wonder America lags in those subjects . . .
What’s do you remember about your teachers’ use of poetry in learning?
What’s your favorite poem?
- National Poetry Month homepage at the Academy of American Poets
- Bellingham, Washington, celebrates National Poetry Month, even opening a new library
- Los Gatos, California, takes poetry seriously, with a city Poet Laureate, Erica Goss, who has a bunch of stuff scheduled for the month (yes, Los Gatos is close to Los Gatos Canyon, subject of a Woody Guthrie song about the 1948 crash of an airplane carrying migrant workers to be deported)
- Paso Robles, California, celebrates with flags created from library patrons’ favorite poems
- Teachers Scholastic has a bunch of resources for teachers
- National Poetry Month at Read/Write/Think
So, put some barbecue in the smoker, get a Shiner for you and your pet armadillo, sit back and enjoy the holiday. If you’re near Washington-on-the-Brazos, go to the ceremony. You’d better be sure you’ve got plenty of Blue Bell Ice Cream.
What? You don’t get the day off? You know, Texas schools don’t even take the day off any more. (In 2014, of course, it’s a Sunday.)
I thought things were going to change when the Tea Party got to Austin and Washington? What happened?
For Texas Independence Day, it’s appropriate to fly your U.S. flag — or your Texas flag, if you have one.
Text from the image above:
Declaration of Independence
made by the
Delegates of the People of Texas
in General Convention
at the Town of Washington
on the 2nd day of March 1836
When a government has ceased
to protect the lives, liberty and property
of the people, from whom its legitimate
powers are derived, and for the advance-
ment of whose happiness it was inst-
ituted, and so far from being a guaran-
tee for the enjoyment of those inesti-
mable and inalienable rights, becomes
an instrument in the hands of evil
rulers for their oppression.
Resources for Texas Independence Day
- Texas Declaration of Independence, at the Online Texas History Handbook
- Portal to Texas History has teacher notes, lesson plans and class exercises
- Historian and author H. W. Brands will be at the Texas Archives in Austin for a lecture (he’s the author of Lone Star Nation, among many other good books), and cake. 11:30 a.m., March 2, 2011.
Resources at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub
- In 2009, some rare documents related to the Texas Declaration of Independence turned up.
- “Yellow Rose of Texas” and the Battle of San Jacinto (true story, really)
- Texas Independence Day 2008
- Teachers, get ready for San Jacinto Day, April 21
- Events and information, at Celebrate Texas!
- “I am besieged by a thousand or more . . .” at Texas Scribbler
- “Remember Goliad on Texas Independence Day,” Weekend Beercast
- “Independence Day: Students celebrate Texas history,” Killeen Daily Herald
This is mostly an encore post.
I played high school football. Untalented in virtually every other sport, I kept my place in 6th Period Athletics working with the basketball team, keeping statistics and keeping the official score book when we traveled. That was in the era when UCLA’s basketball team dominated the NCAA championships (save for 1966, when Texas Western managed to sneak out of the west and take the title from Kentucky . . . a story for another occasion). I cannot count the times coaches discussed the wizardry of the coach at UCLA, who seemed to be able to weave a winning team from any talent.
Our basketball team had some great talents — Stan Crump, Clark Hansen, Jim Brock, Steve Whitehead, Craig Davis, Parke Hansen and Sam Robinson come to mind. But we played up a level in our league play, and rarely won. Injuries kept the seven I named from playing together in any one game through their last season. Brock, Whitehead and Parke Hansen would have been the most formidable front three in our league, including the schools twice our size; I’d have to check to see if we were able to get two of them on the floor at the same time in even half our games. Never all three. Wooden’s ability to win constantly at UCLA was both an inspiration and a taunt.
Our football coach used to say you win games, or you build character. We built a lot of character, in football and basketball.
In our junior year, we got a new wrestling coach who followed many of the tenets of John Wooden — and the wrestling team won the state championship in our senior year. Mark Sanderson led the team; his younger brother Steve Sanderson followed him, adopted winning ways, and went on to father the great Sanderson wrestlers out of Heber, Utah. Winning can be contagious when solid teaching meets young talent.
In my senior year (IIRC) my sister bagged a couple of tickets for the NCAA basketball regionals, at the University of Utah. I got to see our local powerhouse (then) Weber State, and ultimately, the winning UCLA Bruins crush all comers.
Years later, when I consulted with corporations, especially on quality and excellence in performance. I often came across framed quotations from John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach — often framed, or etched in brass or stone, hanging on the wall of executives. Wooden’s words on getting great performance rang true with crew bosses, executives and everybody in between.
In a meeting on the importance of elders in a church congregation, national church officials referred back to the dramatic testimony from people in a California church, who swore an elder in their church had turned their lives around. Turned out that John Wooden was that Disciples of Christ elder.
How does a guy get so good, and say stuff that is so applicable to peak performance coaching in several different areas?
There’s a new book out on the coach, John Wooden: A Coach’s Life, by Sports Illustrated writer Seth Davis. Charlie Rose interviewed the author tonight. At the close, Rose showed a clip of Wooden being interviewed with Bill Walton and Bill Russell; Walton talked about how he’d been inspired by a visit to the Vietnam Memorial with Wooden, and the poetry Wooden recited from memory on that occasion. Past the age of 90, Wooden recited the poems again, poems he’d memorized for use in his classrooms when he taught high school.
This one is about teachers:
THEY ASK ME WHY I TEACH
They ask me why I teach,
And I reply,
Where could I find more splendid company?
There sits a statesman,
Strong, unbiased, wise,
Another later Webster,
And there a doctor
Whose quick, steady hand
Can mend a bone,
Or stem the lifeblood’s flow.
A builder sits beside him-
The arches of a church he builds, wherein
That minister will speak the word of God,
And lead a stumbling soul to touch the Christ.
And all about
A lesser gathering
Of farmer, merchants, teachers,
Who work and vote and build
And plan and pray
Into a great tomorrow
And I say,
“I may not see the church,
Or hear the word,
Or eat the food their hands will grow.”
And yet- I may.
And later I may say,
“I knew the lad,
And he was strong,
Or weak, or kind, or proud,
Or bold, or gay.
I knew him once,
But then he was a boy.”
They ask me why I teach, and I reply,
“Where could I find more splendid company?”
* They Ask Me Why I Teach,” by Glennice L. Harmon, in NEA Journal 37, no. 1 (September 1948): 375
Why do you teach?
- John Wooden’s TEDs talk (he recites this poem there)
- Review of Davis’s book, John Wooden: A Coach’s Life, in the Indianapolis Star
- Review of Davis’s book in the Dallas Morning News
- NPR interview with Davis, “An English Teacher Who Happened to Coach Basketball”
- I finally found a good copy of the poem, with what I hope is proper citing, here.
As if anyone were looking and needed light. The heat is intense, and the light seems superfluous.
First, Jack Russell Weinstein, a philosopher in North Dakota, of all places, seems to me to have accurately found the issue in Common Core discussions, better than almost anyone else (including Diane Ravitch, at least for succinctness), in a short post at his blog PQED from which this is excerpted:
Philosophically then, the question is how to negotiate federal and local power in education. We are also concerned with what counts as expertise. If we combine the two, we are faced with a third issue: who negotiates all of this? When the National Governors’ Association created the new Common Core—the standards that many American school kids will now be evaluated against—they relied more heavily on business than on teachers. They asked Microsoft and the standardized testing companies what they thought, and minimized the input of those who actually teach. They then assumed a purpose that suited their needs: they concluded that students should graduate from high school career and college ready.
Now, these are good goals. Our students should be ready to move on to the next stage of life. But where is the love of literature, the ability to communicate needs and political ideas, the capacity to respect both difference and personal experience at the same time? Where is the understanding of the importance of math, science, and history, and the celebration of being alive, in the world, surrounded by art, music, comedy, and neighbors? Leaving these things out of schooling is a bit like teaching your child to kick a soccer ball while convincing her that she doesn’t deserve the chance. It’s like putting her on a soccer team only to teach her to despise the game. It’s like sending your kids to school while telling them that education and teachers have little value. Surely, the first goal of education, like the first goal of soccer, should be to show why it’s worth doing in the first place.
Looking for a general link to Ravitch’s blog, I stumbled on this post, “Why Teachers Don’t Like Common Core”:
Why do teachers resist the mandates of Common Core?
We suggest money spent on the development of these major unresearched and unfunded mandates to implement CCSS be used to alleviate the lack of resources — unequal staffing, support services, and restoration of school libraries, music and art classes, as well as enrichment programs in these schools. Research has shown that this is the way to help even the playing field for the districts in poverty.
Teachers are mind-molders. When they embrace, create and implement meaningful change with their students, they are helping every child reach his or her potential. Teachers embrace constructive, researched change that result in better, meaningful learning. Resistance to the Common Core standards should be understood in this context.
Rabid CSCOPE critics in Texas, dedicated to the tasks of destroying teaching while failing to recognize what they do, won’t understand. First off they fail to recognize, as Dr. Weinstein explicitly does, that Common Core standards do not come from the federal government, botching the history of education and federal involvement from the get go. More important, few discussions start out with seeking the common ground we might find by asking the question, what is the purpose of this education system we work on?
Do any of us fully understand?
- Teachers face retaliation for criticizing Common Core (grumpyelder.com)
- Q&A: Common Core academic standards (bigstory.ap.org)
- Critical thinking hallmark of Common Core class (bigstory.ap.org)
- Five myths about Common Core school standards (miamiherald.com)
- Principals on Common Core: Standards are good, but more training needed (al.com)
- Inside school: navigating Common Core (northcountrypublicradio.org)
- Diane Ravitch: The Biggest Fallacy of the Common Core Standards (huffingtonpost.com)
- Catholic Scholars Blast Common Core (invisiblesource.wordpress.com)
Steven Zimmer, a member of the board of the under-assault Los Angeles Unified School District, lays it on the line: Class size is important, and legislative efforts to expand class size in public schools are intended to sabotage public schooling — and that action harms students.
Description of the video at YouTube from the OTL Campaign:
Small class size isn’t about protecting teachers’ jobs or making their work easier — it’s about providing every student with quality attention in the classroom. Steve Zimmer, Board Member of the Los Angeles Unified School District and a former teacher, asks why we tolerate or dismiss crowded public school classrooms when charters and private schools use small class sizes as a selling point?
- Steve Zimmer on Why Class Size Matters (dianeravitch.net)
- Fresno Unified officials plan for extra $15 million (fresnobee.com)
- LAUSD Debating New School Funding Options (losangeles.cbslocal.com)
- Does class size affect the learning process? (voxxi.com)
- ARIZONA: Charter schools seeing growth across the state (charterpulse.com)
- Call Your Representative Today! And Tomorrow Too! (dianeravitch.net)
- Local districts shouldn’t bear burden of funding charter schools (bangordailynews.com)
- Charter schools offer scant edge over neighborhood schools: study (news.terra.com)
- Tend to Wake County schools (newsobserver.com)
- Learning Journal Week 2 (chiraphatch.wordpress.com)
Diane Ravitch gets all the good discussion — of course, she’s much the expert and she’s done several thousand posts in the last year.
Ravitch engaged in a brief back-and-forth with Ben Austin, a guy who contributed to the invention of virtual IEDs to blow up California schools, called parent trigger laws. Under California law, if 50% +1 of the parents of the students at a school sign a petition, the district must take apart the faculty or give up control of the school to a non-public school entity. See my posts repeating the early parts of the exchange under “More” at the bottom of the post.
For reasons I can’t figure, parent trigger advocates claim these moves bring “accountability” to education, though the only effect is usually to fire public school teachers. Oddly, most of the time replacements then are not accountable to the local school district nor the state for similar levels of student educational achievement. But a public school is dead and a private entity has taken its place.
Discussion on the threads at Ravitch’s blog get long.
I responded to a guy named Steve who rather asserted that teachers are just trying to avoid accountability, and so should probably be fired (there’s more nuance to his position, but not enough). A few links are added here, for convenience of readers.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were absolutely no standardized measures for educational success, and teachers could simply focus on educating children in whatever way they believe is best, and that all schools were funded to their greatest need and without oversight? And students learned to their capacity and everyone would sing kum-ba-yah at the end of the day?
No. The premise of no standardized measures is a bad idea. In that case, as now, we would have no real way to determine whether the system is working.
You mistake testing for reform, and you mistake test results for quality; you assume that test results are the result of what a teacher does in the previous few months, without any assistance (or interference) from parents, the front office, state agencies, and smart phones.
It would be good if we had research to guide teachers in the best ways to educate kids. We have way too little now, and what does exist rarely can break through the complex regulatory web created by NCLB proponents who ironically, and probably sardonically, require any new process to be “research tested and proven,” probably knowing that gives raters more opportunities to fire teachers.
That’s where our dispute lies.
Yes, sometimes it’s best to hold hands and sing “Kum Ba Yah.” Especially in school. Singing is good, music education is important to the development of sterling minds. Group activities to celebrate milestones produces greater achievement.
I gather you’re opposed to that. That’s a key part of the problem. “Reformers” are too often working against what we know works (though often we’re not sure why it works), against what many regard as “frills” like music and poetry (well, Aristotle argued against it, didn’t he?), and against achievement that can’t be used to fire somebody.
It’s a problem of models. A group singing a song together shows some developmental progress, and may show other progress. The Donald Trump “You’re Fired” model is much more titillating to bullies. Bullies tend to rule too many places.
We need a model that works, a model grounded in good theory (“theory” does not mean “guess”), a model that produces some sort of scoreboard teachers can use, day-in and day-out, to determine what to do next.
“Accountability” is a light on that scoreboard, but it’s not the score, and it’s not the game.
And yes, it certainly would be a better world if poverty, racism, abuse and more simply didn’t exist.
Don’t patronize with stuff you don’t believe and you know policy makers won’t work towards.
Poverty is the big one here. We’ve known for 40 years that poor parents as a group cannot produce students who will achieve well academically as well as rich parents, not because they’re not the great parents they are, but because middle class wealth brings learning opportunities for preschool kids and pre-adolescents and teens that mold minds and make them work well; kids in poverty miss that. Until you’ve tried to get your students up to speed on the Constitution with students who do not know how many states there are, what oceans border our nation, who George Washington was, what a Constitution is, how laws are made, or where food comes from, you really don’t appreciate the difficulty.
Yeah, they used to get that stuff in the newspaper. But their families can’t afford newspapers.
And when I get those kids to “commended” levels on the state test, how dare you tell me I’ve failed. Shame on you, and may you be nervous every time you hear thunder, or go under the knife with a surgeon who passed my class.
But this isn’t the world we live in. This is an organized society. When public funds are spent, there needs to be accountability.
There can be no accountability where there is no authority. If I do not have the authority to obtain the tools to educate the students in my tutelage to the standard, why not hold accountable those who are the problem? I produced four years of achievement in the bottom 20% — you’re bellyaching because the top 3% only got one year of achievement? They were already scoring at the 14 year level — sophomores in college. “Adequate Yearly Progress” can’t be had for those students, if you define adequate as “more than one year,” and if they’re already far beyond the material we are required to teach.
Accountability is a tool to get toward quality. You want to use it as a club. I think it should be a crime to misuse tools in that fashion.
You really don’t have a clue what’s going on in my classroom, do you.
I am *so* tired of the educators on this blog berating anyone who suggests that a teacher be accountable for *anything*.
Show me where anyone has said that. I weary of anti-education shouters complaining about teachers not being accountable, when we’re swimming in “accountability,” we’re beating the system most of the time, and still berated for it; our achievements are denigrated, our needs are ignored. If we win the Superbowl, we’re told we failed to win an Oscar. If we win the Superbowl AND an Oscar, we’re told someone else did better at the Pulitzers. If we win the Nobel Prize for Peace, we’re asked to beef up our STEM chops.
I was asked to boost my state passing scores by 5%. Part of the reason Dallas dismissed me was my abject refusal to sign to that (“insubordination”). That it’s mathematically impossible to boost a 100% passing rate to 105% didn’t change anyone’s mind, nor give anyone pause in passing along the paper. College acceptances didn’t count, SAT scores didn’t count, student evaluations didn’t count.
I wish idiots who can’t do math would be held accountable, but you want my gray scalp instead (and larger paycheck; but of course, that’s not really in the system, is it?). Is there no reason you can find to cling to?
There’s a difference between “accountability,” and “pointless blame.” See if you can discern it. Your children’s future depends on it. Our nation’s future depends on it. We’re not playing school here.
People are accountable for the work that they do.
That’s absolutely untrue in about 85% of the jobs in America. W. Edwards Deming died, and people forgot all about the 14 points and how to make winning teams. Are you familiar with the Red Bead experiment?
Most people calling for accountability can’t define it (Hint: in the top management schools, you don’t see this equation: “accountability=fire somebody”).
Can you do better? What is “accountability?” Will you please rate me on the advancements of my students? No? How about on their achievements? No? Can you tell me even what you want to hold teachers accountable for?
Don’t wave that sword when you don’t know how to use it, or if you can’t recognize the difference between a scalpel and a scimitar, please.
You give me white beads, I turn 80% of them red, and you complain about the few that remain white? [If you're paying attention and you know Deming's experiment, you know I reversed the color in my example -- no one ever catches me on that. Why?] You’re playing the guy who, having witnessed Jesus walking on water, wrote the headline, “Jesus can’t swim!” That’s a joke — it’s not how to make a better school, or a better education system, and it’s not accountability.
NOBODY wants a teacher to be accountable for things that are beyond their control. You have had FIFTY YEARS to develop a means to show that you are accountable in your use of public funds. You have not done it to the public’s satisfaction.
As Deming noted occasionally, we’ve had 5,000 years to develop standards of quality for carpentry and metalwork, and haven’t done it.
The Excellence in Education Commission in 1983 recommended changes to stop the “rising tide of mediocrity” in education. Among the top recommendations, raise teacher pay dramatically, and get out of the way of teachers so they can do their job.
Instead, teacher pay has stagnated and declined, and we have a bureaucracy the sort of which George Orwell never had a nightmare about standing in their way.
But you want to “hold the teachers accountable.”
I suppose it’s impossible to be part of the rising tide of mediocrity and also recognize you’re part of the problem.
Your failure to understand accountability should not cost me my job. I not only want accountability, I want justice, especially for my students. 97% of my students will face invidious racial discrimination when they go out to get a job; many of them (about 50%) come from families who don’t use banks. No checking accounts, no home loans, no car loans from a bank. More than half of the males have never worn a tie. 75% of them come from homes where no novel is on any bookshelf; 30% of them claim to come from homes where there are no books at all, not even a phone book.
They passed the test with flying colors despite that.
That kid who came in not knowing how to write a paragraph went out of my classroom with a commended on his state test, and writing well enough to score 80th percentile on the SAT including the writing part. You have a lot of damnable gall to claim that my work to get him to write his brilliant ideas, well, was wasted effort.
Why won’t you hold me accountable for that? Why do you refuse to look at real accountability?
Don’t claim I’m shucking accountability, when you haven’t looked, and you don’t know what it is.
So – others are now coming in to try and develop what you failed to do. Yup, some of them are shysters. Some of them are ego-maniacs. And some of them are doing so because they have experience and success and they can apply those to helping to improve education and measurement of same.
Good luck to them. Why not let me compete with them. I mean compete fairly — either they don’t get to take money from me merely by existing, or I get to take money from them when I beat them in achievement, and when we take students away from them because they aren’t getting the job done?
You seem to think that these other alternatives for sucking taxpayer money work better. My schools beat charter schools and most private schools in our same population in achievement, in yearly progress, and in a dozen other categories. (Our art students took the top prizes at the state show, beating students from one of the nation’s “top ten high schools” four miles away; the art teachers who got them there? Rated inadequate, given growth plans, funding cut . . . I though you were campaigning for accountability?)
Don’t change the subject. I thought you were for accountability. All of a sudden, you’re against it when we’re talking brass tacks. When we miss a standard, we public school teachers get fired. When we beat the hell out of a standard, we still get fired. When we beat the private schools, the charter schools, and the home schooled kids in achievement, we get zip, or a pink slip.
Accountability? I’d love to see it. You can’t show it, though, so you’re wasting my time and taxpayer money hollering about it.
Some of you even have the temerity to say that the system isn’t broken. Well, maybe it’s not broken for *you*. But it IS broken for the rest of us. And it’s public money here – so – if you are so certain that everything is hunky-dory in what you are adding to the process, well then, prove it. That’s what using public funds requires.
Your kids are in jail? Sorry the system failed you so badly. I had a 90% graduation rate out of my students, in a state where 75% is the state norm and suspected by everyone to be inflated. If your kids are not in jail, and didn’t drop out, that’s good.
Public education isn’t a right (in most states); it’s a civic duty, the thing that keeps our republic alive and democratic. School worries about your kids, sure — but we must also worry about every other kid, too.
What about the 200 other families in your neighborhood? The levels of vandalism and other crimes in your neighborhood depends on the children of those families getting an education. I was able to turn around a dozen of them. The local cops actually did a good job with another dozen.
The local charter school wouldn’t take any of those 24 kids. The private schools took one on an athletic scholarship, but he flunked out his junior year, after football season ended. He was out of school for full six months before we got him back. Three of those girls got commended on the state test despite their having infants; two others got commended and one more passed for the first time in her life despite their delivering children within three weeks of the test. We covered the history of children’s literature one week, convincing more than a few that they should read to their babies, as they were never read to. I got the local bookstore to donate children’s books for each parent in my class, so that their children won’t grow up without at least one book in the house.
We’re teachers, and we worry about the future. Why won’t you allow accountability for that?
Accountability? The word does not mean what you think it means.
Firing teachers is not accountability. It’s an evasion of accountability. It’s destructive of schooling and education. Firing teachers damages children. Even if you could tell who the bad teachers are — and you can’t, no one can do it well — firing teachers cannot offer hope of getting better teachers to replace them.
Why not improve education instead? Who is accountable for that?
Again at Diane Ravitch’s blog, Steve responded that he wants everyone held accountable, including parents and administrators. Good, so far as it goes. I think that’s just lip service. He’s still firing teachers with no way to tell the good from the bad.
- War on Teachers and Education, part 1: Prof. Ravitch’s emotion-touching call for a cease-fire on teachers (timpanogos.wordpress.com)
- War on Teachers and Education, Part 2: Ben Austin of Parent Revolution attacked Prof. Ravitch (timpanogos.wordpress.com)
- War on Teachers and Education, Part 3: Prof. Ravitch’s response (timpanogos.wordpress.com)
- War on Teachers and Education, Part 4: The fight gets a little weird (timpanogos.wordpress.com)
- Why The Business Model is Not an Appropriate Way to Improve US Schools (pdfadown.wordpress.com)
- Teaching Today: One Teacher’s Perspective from Hong Kong (expatteacherman.com)
- Sec. Paige vs. Sen. Wellstone: Testing, Accountability, and Prophetic Pronouncements (cloakinginequity.com)
- Poverty and Our Public Schools (nancyschoellkopf.wordpress.com)
- ‘Parent Trigger’ proponents sue Compton’s school district (Mother Jones)
- Press release from Kirkland and Ellis on preliminary injunction (oddly, there seems to be no follow up)
- “A better parent trigger,” editorial in the Los Angeles Times
- Teacher of the Year given pink slip, Las Vegas Review-Journal
- “Sacramento ‘Teacher of the Year’ rewarded with pink slip,” MSN Now
- “Teacher of the Year gets pink slip,” (Ashley Black of Folsom, California) Mountain-Democrat
- Teacher of the Year let go in Los Angeles, (Bhavini Bhakta) Los Angeles Times (Yes, I’m aware this is Ms. Bhakta’s complaint about protecting teachers with more seniority; my point stands, however — schools cannot tell who are the good teachers and who are the bad ones most of the time, and those who are clearly good, cannot be guaranteed that they will be kept on, or rated well; budget cuts are to blame, not unions)
- 8 Teachers of the Year fired in San Diego, VoiceofSanDiego.org (the article actually lists 13 ToY laid off)