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Tue Oct 9, 2012, 09:07 PM

Things educators could say but don’t

This is a great read. And not too long either. Check it out!

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Federal statutes governing public education have been based more on hope than data since at least 1965. That was the year the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was adopted as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society.” ESEA’s fundamental approach was to order teachers and schools to solve a host of non-education social problems that all other social institutions – especially families and churches – had failed to solve. ESEA — better known in its current form as No Child Left Behind — and its legislative progeny have all failed. All of the problems have gotten worse rather than better.

I have long been surprised that these irrational policies have been adopted and readopted without serious objection by most education practitioners. Educators could say all of the following:

1. To Parents: “If you effectively raise your children before you send them to school, we can teach most of them. If you do not, we cannot.”

2. To Legislators: “Do not order us to repair the developmental damage that is done to children before they reach school age. We cannot do so and pretending otherwise wastes resources, damages K-12 education and does nothing to help those utterly innocent children who need it (and deserve it) most.”

3. To Reformers: “Academic achievement gaps, robust and intractable, are well-established long before the first day of kindergarten. Those gaps are not caused by teachers and cannot be fixed by teachers. What you like to call ‘reforming’ schools does nothing to help children who spend their first five years living in inadequate, often chaotic, households. If you want to help those children, you must do something to change those households. Any other approach is foolish, wasteful and destined to fail.”

Educators could say those things, but, with rare exceptions, they do not. Consider the following speculation as a possible way to explain why educators are mostly silent when their profession is slandered by politicians and pundits and crippled by irrational public policies.

more ...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2012/10/08/things-educators-could-say-but-dont/?wprss=rss_answer-sheet

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Reply Things educators could say but don’t (Original post)
proud2BlibKansan Oct 2012 OP
jody Oct 2012 #1
Igel Oct 2012 #2
LWolf Oct 2012 #3
GMR Transcription Oct 2012 #4
savebigbird Nov 2012 #5
Smarmie Doofus Nov 2012 #6
montanto Nov 2012 #7

Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Tue Oct 9, 2012, 09:11 PM

1. More basic "if parents don't really care whether their child learns to read or do math, then

 

the child probably won't!"

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Tue Oct 9, 2012, 10:10 PM

2. He's wrong about one thing. (At least.)

"I suspect that a person who is not deluded into believing that every child can be educated could not tolerate being a teacher for very long."

I know lots of teachers with no such delusions. They know that many of their students will learn little.

But they also know they can't tell which of those students will learn well. Granted, by the time you're a junior or senior in high school the odds of changing categories are long; nonetheless, it still happens, that kid who goofed off for 11 years and then discovers that while he hated the arithmetic disguised as Algebra I he got into college algebra by accident and hit that teacher that made him love math.

They also know that they're teaching at least some kids that want to be taught and others that can be taught.

The problem is the administrators who know this but have to act as though they believe that they don't. Then when things go bad because demographics change they have only one viable option to keep their butts covered: Blame the teacher.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 09:17 AM

3. Depressingly accurate.

I wish I could send it to all the admins, and the school board, in my district. I can't, though, without risking being labeled "old school" for not enthusiastically embracing "reform."

Except that I already have. I guess it's not risking any more loss of support.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 08:17 AM

4. Things educators could say but don’t

Hi,
Great post. This is really something a very nice information for the readers to go through. This can be helpful for the educators as well who are unaware of the facts what educators are missing out to speak up now-these-days. Thank you very much for updating such a nice information.







Thank you once again...)

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:47 PM

5. #4.

4. It is unacceptable to hold students and teachers accountable for making gains and learning skills and content which is not developmentally appropriate for the student. Just because you might increase rigor of standards and standardized tests doesn't mean that students are capable of making such gains.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 09:28 AM

6. All of 'em, really. But especially #2.

Last edited Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:20 AM - Edit history (1)

>>>>2. To Legislators: “Do not order us to repair the developmental damage that is done to children before they reach school age. We cannot do so and pretending otherwise wastes resources, damages K-12 education and does nothing to help those utterly innocent children who need it (and deserve it) most.” >>>>>>

If the dim-wit politicians and hedge-fund ghouls know zero about K-12, I guarantee you they know LESS than zero about Special Ed.

The real tragedy here: their "less-than-zero-ness" evolves into required , even *mandated* pedagogy. ( See the Danielson thread below.)

It's like friggin' sci-fi.

But in sci-fi usually something good happens after a while.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 03:12 PM

7. And a few more.

we could say the U.S. is #37 in education spending, and it shows. But hey, we're number one in military spending, so it's no mystery why we are the most powerful in that area.

we could say that while poverty doesn't always cause poor academic performance, the two are so strongly linked that the vast majority of poor academic performers are also poor financially. This is a huge hidden/contributing factor in the points above, and until addressed, we can all go on spinning our wheels.

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