Read the second paragraph and look at the grade. I understand that teachers have time restraints but Oh My Gosh.
H/T to The MetaPicture
Read the second paragraph and look at the grade. I understand that teachers have time restraints but Oh My Gosh.
H/T to The MetaPicture
Kerry is discussing. Toggle Comments
A middle school teacher asked the students to pretend that they were on one of the hi-jacked planes or in the Twin Towers on 9/11 and to write one letter to say good-bye as a homework assignment to mark the anniversary of 9/11. These kids are in the seventh grade, that would roughly put them about 11 or 12. 9/11 happened before most of these children were born.
There is an uproar about the assignment. Many feel that this is very inappropriate and outright ghoulish. I happen to disagree. I think this is a good assignment. One of the things that I feel is vital in education is teaching how to think, not what to think. This is a way to bring the finality of that tragic event to the people who were killed that day. As a person who is lets just say older than these kids, I remember clearly that day. I remember hearing the recordings of calls made from inside the building as well as the planes. Betty Ong calling the airline emergency number talking about the hijackers and how low the plane was flying. Simply heartbreaking. Or the calls from flight 93, ending with “Lets Roll” as the passengers tried to stop the plane from hitting another building, likely the U.S. Capitol or an attempt at the White House. Simply heroic.
I also believe that empathy is sincerely lacking in our society today. We don’t put as much value on human life as we should. I think this teaches these kids to think about that. To look at their loved ones and come to the realization that on that day, thousands of people knew they were never going to see those people again. One of the most indelible images of 9/11 are those of the jumpers. Imagine what those people were thinking while falling to their deaths.
Now, I have spent the majority of my life living outside of NYC and Washington D.C., so 9/11 is very personal to me. I know people who were first responders, who made it out of those buildings, and sadly I knew someone who died, and I know others who lost a close loved one that fateful day. But, these kids don’t have that connection. This assignment may help bring those feelings alive to these students. The further we get away from that day, the harder it will be to really understand what happened and the shock that people in this country felt.
Again, since I have lived in the areas most directly affected by that day, I look at from that perspective. These are children from Texas. Now, as strange as this sounds, I remember having a conversation with a work colleague shortly after the event. He worked in outside of Las Vegas, and I remember him saying something all the lines of he could only imagine how hard it was for people like me who lived in the D.C. area. His connection to the event wasn’t what mine was. I found it to be an odd comment at the time and obviously it really struck me since I remember that conversation all these years later.
Not all parents are upset about this assignment. One mother read the letter after her daughter went to bed. The letter was addressed to her. She said that she cried and cried after reading it and brought her daughter into her bed to sleep with her that night. Her words “mission accomplished”.
I don’t think this would be assignment that would go over well in the New York City area as it way too fresh for most of the people who live in this area. The museum isn’t open, the new tower is not yet finished, New Yorker’s still live with the idea that being in that city automatically puts a target on their backs. But do people who live in smaller towns in more rural areas think about that in the same way? I don’t think that they do. So trying to get that to come alive for younger students in those areas must be a very difficult task. I think this teacher did that. These children had to really think about what it would be like to be in a building that was on fire from jet fuel knowing that they were never going home again. They were never going to see their loved ones again. Of course you can never fully accomplish that, but it at least got them thinking about it.
That is what I expect from teachers, get these kids to think. Not what they should be thinking.
It is rare, but I happen to agree with Michelle Obama on something. Over the weekend she gave a commencement speech at a historically black college and during this speech she said:
“reject the slander that a black child with a book is trying to act white.”
There was a time in my life that I wouldn’t believe that this was so widespread of a belief in the black community. But that naiveté is long gone. I have done some volunteer work with the scholarship program in Washington, D.C.. It is basically a voucher program that allows low-income families to apply for money to be used at the school of their choice. The forms can be a little overwhelming, so I would help parents fill out the forms for the application. I also did outreach to get as many as possible to apply. During this outreach I got a little education of my own. This is a common theme among the inner city blacks, at least in D.C.. I heard this mantra over and over again. I also heard far too often that learning how to fight wouldn’t happen in those “white schools”. Sadly, that is true story.
What exactly is “acting white” supposed to mean anyway? Why would getting an education that can lift your child out of poverty and a life of low earning jobs a bad thing? Every one of the parents I spoke with were living in low-income, high crime areas of The District. They have lived the life of not having enough money to get their children into a neighborhood that would provide them a better school and reduce the amount of violence around them. I went into doing this work thinking every parent would jump at the chance to get some help for their child. Wrong.
Education is an issue that I feel very strongly about. Every child in this country deserves a quality education; regardless of the income of their parents. Sadly, when you are living in low-income areas, the public schools are failing your children. A lack of a good education leads to all kinds of social ills throughout your life and in many instances leads to a life dependent on government subsidies just to survive. It also costs the taxpayers a great deal of money when you start looking at the rates of incarceration among people who don’t finish high school. They are far less likely to add to the economy; actually they become a drain to tax payers. From a human point of view it is a difficult life to lead.
It has also been shown that pay disparities between blacks and whites disappear within one generation. A black person who finishes two-year of college will have children that makes just as much as their white counterparts. This is among one of the chief complaints among “civil rights” leaders. Well, here is a your solution. Yet, this is something that is rarely, if ever, spoken about by these race hustlers. They just talk about all that is wrong, but rarely every talk about the ‘unspeakable”. The apathy in the black community that has haunted far too many and allows generation after generation to live a life of poverty need to hear this message. You can lift yourself and your family out of poverty by getting yourself an education.
She went on:
“Today, more than 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, more than 50 years after the end of ‘separate but equal,’ when it comes to getting an education, too many of our young people just can’t be bothered,” she said.
“Today, instead of walking miles every day to school, they’re sitting on couches for hours, playing video games, watching TV. Instead of dreaming of being a teacher or a lawyer or a business leader, they’re fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper,” Obama kept going. “Right now, one in three African American students are dropping out of high school, only one in five African Americans between the ages of 25 and 29 has gotten a college degree.”
This is something that the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton don’t understand. They continue to hold onto the belief that somehow only access to the same public schools that whites go to is enough. The evidence that clearly isn’t true sadly is the many inner city black youths who are being robbed of a decent education. This is demonstrated quite clearly when the NAACP sued the City of New York to keep the worst performing school in the country open. That incident also clearly demonstrated how hypocritical they truly are about the issue. The lawyer for the NAACP that filed the lawsuit sends her daughter to boarding school in New Hampshire. If you are stunned by that, you really shouldn’t be. It is par for the course. Education for me, but not for thee seems to be mantra of the race hustlers that have money. Letting those poor kids stay in the under performing schools is perfectly fine, as long as it isn’t their children.
I have waited four long years for the Obama family to make these type of statements. While I truly believe that singling out people by race is a bad thing, I also truly believe that with the type of platform that they have it is a crying shame that they have not used it more effectively to reach those in the black community. Simply being president and first lady isn’t enough. The message must be that you too, with an education, can accomplish what we have accomplished. You too can make it to Harvard and Princeton if you work hard. You too can lift your families to greater heights. I also feel that they need to talk about the family dinner table and the importance of fathers in the home and being around to raise your children. While I have heard it from him, it isn’t nearly often enough. Every study shows that having a father around increases grades, decreases drug use, and makes the possibility of that child growing up in poverty that much less. In fact, the percentage that lift themselves out of poverty is more than 70% when three simple things are done, finishing high school, not marrying before the age of 21, and not having children out-of-wedlock. This study was also confirmed by a left leaning think tank that tried to prove it wrong.
I will always give credit where credit is due. I want to hear more of this from Michelle Obama. I also would like other leaders in the black community to follow her lead. Lets talk about some of the uncomfortable truths, that sometimes blacks are their own worst enemies. Believing that getting an education is “white” then getting ahead will be nearly impossible. The choice is yours black community, the choice is yours.
It seems to me he really needs to be in school.
This is a page from a college text book:
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These are just great.
Seriously, throw a pencil at a gunman? What exactly is that supposed to accomplish?
There are no easy answers, but to tell someone that using a pencil against a gunman is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard.
“It is absolutely critical because we know how important it is for our children’s development. We all know. Every one of us who are here in this room will do whatever it takes to make sure that our own kids get access to sports and music and arts and recreation. So if it’s good enough for our kids, it’s good enough for all of our kids, right?”
First Lady Michelle Obama
It is a real shame that she doesn’t feel that other students in Washington, DC have access to the same school her children do. Her children have never stepped foot in a public school. What a shame that her husband is doing everything possible to rid D.C. of the voucher program that could allow low income children to the same high quality education Malia and Sasha are getting.
“You chose to be teachers because you know every child is entitled to do as well as they can”
Vice President Biden speaking to educators today at the annual convention of the NEA. It is too bad that NEA doesn’t agree with his sentiment. Remember this?
Or how about this:
“I will begin to care about the quality of children’s education in this country when they start paying union dues.”
Albert Shanker, former president of American Federation of Teachers.
I don’t understand why the rank and file teacher who does want nothing more than to give the kids a quality education allow themselves to be represented by these people.
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Since this is Mother’s Day and there is nothing in the world more important to any mother than the well-being of her child, I wanted to share with you Juan Williams’ keynote speech about school choice to the American Federation for Children in New Jersey.
Choice is becoming more and more mainstream. We are seeing people on both sides of the political spectrum come together because our desire for our children to receive a quality education is not partisan.
School Choice is a battle we must not only fight, but we must win. The sad state of affairs that has become our public school system is quickly becoming an issue of national security and our economic well-being depends on preparing the next generation to lead our country.
Williams also has produced a documentary on the topic as well; Two Missions. They are long, but well worth the watch.
We must find a way to put partisanship aside and deal with the very real issue that we are failing our children when it comes to getting them an education and give power back to the parents to make the best decision for their children.
Here is a shorter version of his documentary:
If you are not interesting in spending the time to watch that, here he is discussing the documentary:
During my career, I met with thousands of parents. I have never met a parent who did not want for his or her child what I wanted for my own sons and now my grandchildren, a quality public school education. In fact, I have met far too many parents in neighborhoods with failing schools who lacked the financial resources for private school, the political connections for magnet schools, or the luck of winning the lottery for a charter school. (Philadelphia has more than 30,000 children on charter-school waiting lists.) Providing these captive parents with broad school-choice options is the only chance to improve public schools as a whole. Expanding charter schools and passing school-voucher legislation, as being voted on right now in Harrisburg, will end the public school monopoly that has failed low-income neighborhoods. Allowing parents to vote with their feet and letting some education funding to follow children to new schools is the drastic measure necessary for improving the public-education system. The more choices parents have, the better education their children will receive
This is part of an OP-ED written by Arlene Ackerman, former teacher, administrator, and chancellor of the public school system in Philadelphia.
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Rahm Emanuel is about to experience for himself that the racebaiters of the world don’t care about your politics. He is planning on closing 17 poorly performing public schools. Not something that is sitting well with the likes of Jesse Jackson.
“I cannot wait another year and allow a child to be caught in a school system that, for five years running, has been on the watch list or the troubled list with no prospect of getting off of it. … Nothing to me is worse in the sense of discrimination than leaving kids in a system that, year-in-and-year-out, has been scored as failing.”
Not that you are apt to hear me say this often, but he is right. These schools need to be closed and these kids have the right to get a better quality education. Jackson on the other hand is calling it:
No, Mr. Jackson apartheid is keeping these black children in a failing school that gives them little to chance of becoming a productive adult. It would be apartheid to keep them there. Jackson is under the impression that just spending more money will solve the problems. Chicago spends more money per pupil then they do for the students in the public school system where I live. We have a 90% on time graduation rate and almost 92% rate of students going onto a post-secondary education. The problems go beyond money.
Someone actually took the time to write down the costs associated with the low graduation rates for the city of Chicago (which is just above 50%) and the results of what it costs the community are staggering:
15% of high school dropouts were in the jail system in the year 2010-2011 overall and rise to 25% for blacks. More than 50% of the prison population in Illinois are high school dropouts.
Nearly 48% of 18 to 64-year-old high-school dropouts in Chicago did not work even one week last year. The statewide number, 42%, is not much better and is four times higher than the figure of those with bachelor’s or higher degrees.
If those numbers are not enough:
The study, based on U.S. Census data, suggests that dropouts nationally will be a net drain on the government, collecting an average of $70,850 more in benefits like food stamps in their lifetimes than they’ll pay in taxes. In comparison, the typical high-school grad will make a net positive contribution of $236,060.
About 33% of dropouts will collect food stamps, twice the share of graduates, and fewer than half will own a home. And such bleak figures tend to be passed down to their children.
“Children living in families headed by high-school dropouts face a substantially above average probability of encountering cognitive, health, housing adequacy and nutrition problems that will limit their future, their chances of securing a bachelor’s degree by their mid-20s are close to zero.”
Now, I don’t believe that every person should go to college. Some people are not cut out for it and they would prefer to do jobs that don’t require a college degree. But they will still usually need some sort of training or education in order to find a job that will allow them to live above the poverty line. While that is not true in all cases, it is true in many.
So it seems that Jesse Jackson would prefer that these kids just stay in these schools, increase the odds of them dropping out and have a much harder time leading lives that will bring more financially security to them. He plans on filing a lawsuit to stop the closing of these schools.
There are no words for the stupidity of what Jesse Jackson is doing. People need to wake up and realize that the likes of Jesse Jackson has lost all relevance and his ideas of what constitutes fairness not only are outdated but dangerous to the community that he says he is trying to help.
This report details the costs to society as a whole in just one state. multiply this by 50% and it is not hard to see why we are broke. Our broken educational system is not just drain on us financially, it is becoming a national security issue. It was just 40 years ago that we had the highest rates of high school and college graduates in the world. We now rank at 21st. That is how far we have fallen is such a short time.
Again, you not likely to see this again real soon – Kudos to Mayor Emanuel for having the courage to take on the unions and Jesse Jackson to do what is right for children instead of what is easy.
We have heard a great deal about the obesity levels of young children in this country. I agree they are startlingly high. But the answers that the government has come up with don’t seem to be working. Who would have seen that coming?
One mother said she actually reduced what her five-year-old eats at home because he has a second breakfast at school. This obviously creates doubts about the need for this taxpayer-funded meal program. Uncle Sam is already feeding a record 45 million people via food stamps and the number is quickly growing, according to the most recent government figures.
…the mathematics components of the Common Core State Standards Initiative are a bitter disappointment. In terms of their limited vision of math education, the pedestrian framework chosen to organize the standards, and the incoherent nature of the standards for mathematical practice in particular, I don’t see how these take us forward in any way.
Says Grant Wiggins, curriculum expert.
But hey, at least they are getting fatter.
Ike and A.Men are discussing. Toggle Comments
Yes, you read that correctly. Terri List, a teacher in Michigan, is upset that with the new law in place she can’t retire at the age of 47 with full health benefits. She is so upset that is ready to advise her students not to become a teacher in the state of Michigan. You see they have to start putting in 5% of their annual income (her current salary range is between $70-80K per year). She is being asked to contribute approx. $3750 per year over her career so that she will get full health benefits for life. Something that very few people receive anymore. Only the chosen few.
She can actually retire in two years at the age of 47 and get $60K per year in retirement pay. She would also be free to get herself another job that gives health benefits if she doesn’t want to pay for them herself. Which at $60K she should be able to afford. In order for her to qualify for free health benefits for life she will have to stay at her current job until the age of 60. Her pay scale would be expected to reach $90K per year by that point. Which of course will also increase her yearly retirement pay, it increases at 3% per year. Which would give her an additional $39,000 per year.
“By the time I’m 60, I would have put in 43 years of service, earning a salary at the top of the pay scale. How does that save the district money? You could hire two people for the cost of one and encourage young people to join the profession. Right now, I would not recommend to my pupils to become a teacher in Michigan.”
Boy, they start them young in Michigan. She starting teaching at the age of 17? I sincerely hope Ms. List isn’t a math teacher.
“Wow. They have reached the politicians’ level of entitlement, she thinks she is entitled to retire at 47? Holy smokes. I don’t know what more to say to that. A government employee thinking that 47 is a reasonable expectation to retire shows just how deep inside their own bubble they live, insulated from the real world.”
Leon Drolet, Chairman of Michigan Taxpayers Alliance.
A sinkhole of funds and expectations, good ol’ public schools. From my local paper, the Colorado Springs Gazette, a summary of the poor math performance among high schoolers:
But in the six largest districts in El Paso County — Colorado Springs School District 11, Academy School District 20, Falcon School District 49, Harrison School District 2, Widefield School District 3, and Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 — fewer than 50 percent of 10th graders scored proficient or advanced in math. Over the last five years scores have remained flat, indicating schools haven’t found the silver bullet.
This year they rolled out a high school math program where geometry, algebra and other courses are integrated so students can see the connection between concepts.
In elementary school, Assistant Superintendent Dan Snowberger notes, they have set aside the idea that kids can’t get into higher math until they have memorized basics such as multiplication tables. “Some might never memorize it, so instead we get them engaged in higher math, scaffold the lessons and support them where there are deficiencies.” They are seeing positive results.
Vanguard doesn’t socially promote kids, has high expectations and stresses parent support. Students are divided into zones based on ability rather than grade levels for math, and placement is emphasized in the first month of school. Students repeat material until they know it, and have an extra half hour daily for homework and extra help. The school uses Saxon math curriculum, which lays a foundation of skills and builds on it. Lectures are short; more time is spent doing problems so teachers can see issues and help.
A survey by USA TODAY of state education agencies found that 20 states and Washington, D.C., did erasure analysis on all pencil-and-paper tests required during the 2010-11 school year under the federal No Child Left Behind education law.
That means nearly 45% of the annual reading and math exams this year were scored without analyzing erasures.
A D.C. check found problems with over half.
A better approach would of course be to let the tax dollars go to the parents and follow the child. Parents know how well their children are learning, and even if some parents don’t care there are enough who do to force improvement through school competition.
By now, most people know about those crazy Swedes and their attempt to eliminate gender from language on impressionable children on the theory that language oppresses and causes boys and girls to grow up to be men and women… as verses anything else.
Somehow, every generation prior to this one survived this madness and even turned out legitimately decent sane people, but when it comes to creating equality in the classroom, there’s only one theory. It goes like this:
1) Whatever we’ve done before is at its core wrong and dangerous and must be stopped. (This is taken as a given truth. Why? Because someone somewhere felt marginalized and has declared that this was the cause and source).
2) Whatever we substitute must be as much as possible, the opposite of what has been done before. (No research necessary, the classroom and its moppets are your social guinea pigs, enjoy)!
3) You may predict all good things and the utopia to follow without fear of skepticism, criticism or consequences for poor, ineffective, disastrous or ridiculous results.
4) You will be lauded for your politically correct good intentions and thought process.
“We could just get to Utopia if everyone would do it our way” thinking is madness. It is the root of this sort of educational reform, we can eliminate anger and evil and pain through education if we just teach them young enough what to do. Oppression from family and language, liberty through state education and the elimination of words from reality –got it.
Deciding that children will be like blocks of marble from which if we’re patient, fully formed beings shall emerge who define and decide their own realities according not to actual facts but their own feelings is a shortcut to how to raise a civilization of narcissists and psychopaths –who define and see the world on their terms only.
I wish I were simply engaging in hyperbole to make a point, but if a kid thinks 1+4 is 6 until they decide otherwise, why should they ever come to think otherwise? If a kid comes to believe because he/she has been taught that nothing is but his/her thinking makes it so, (a moral relativist ultimate conclusion, all is mine to define), why should any of these children ever give a damn about anyone else’s desired or perceived or defined reality? I foresee a lot of hurt feelings when these kids grow enough to run into others who don’t see the world as they do which will be as soon as they go to a non state sponsored playground and meet a less purely raised individual of the same age.
And how far are these nutjobs at the experimental Egalia willing to take this thought process. Are they then going to declare use of gender specific language tantamount to hate speech? Revise “Are You My Mother” to be “Are You Who Gestated Me?”
Here’s a crazy idea for those modern thinkers who come up with this tripe. Go outside and meet actual people. There are women lawyers and doctors. There are men who are chefs and artists. This is not the middle ages and most folks, (even toddlers) see male and female role models out there in the world and that is how they come to know what is possible. They also see that there are men and there are women and omitting language does not do what you intend, rather it simply pretends that what is (gender based on biology) isn’t.
Final thought for those Swedish avant-garde thinkers of new thinkery, before everyone goes off storm chasing (the kid not being assigned a gender by his/her parents) to create a society peopled with “It’s Pat” clones, maybe we ought to ask why and to what end?
My kids are out, thank God, but every time I see a story like this I get so steamed.
Most parents are too cowed by the possibility there will be reprisals by teachers against their child so they stay silent–unless they can afford private school.
I thought W’s No Child Left Behind might be the best we could do to break the unions at the national level, but states circumvented it.
We are at the point now I think where the only thing is to follow the Walker lead, stop the collective bargaining, push for school choice, and vote REPUBLICAN whenever you can.
We can’t afford our kids to be so ill-served as to think Big Gov is the way the truth and the life, especially when it won’t be there for them. They’ll be there for it.
At what point does this become ridiculous and scary intrusive? I know the Secret Service has to check out just about every threat but really?
Maybe the mom was the real concern.
What do we think about this. Obviously anything the kid said wasn’t admissible in court, as I understand it, since she wasn’t present and he’s a minor.
Women surpassed men over a decade ago in getting bachelor’s degrees. Now it’s post-graduate.
On the face of it, fine.
But the story touts the wonderful opportunity for men to be Mr. Mom. This is a feminist leftie take on the stats.
If you’re going to take that tack, given men’s underemployment in the mancession, shouldn’t this be a cause for concern? I mean, men might want choice too.
With this economy, what kind of jobs do we especially need for the future, to be able to compete in the world economy?
Women still trail men in professional subcategories such as business, science and engineering.
It’s a matter of degree.