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It's about time. This is well known by many educators, yet seldom spoke of, that socio-economics are what drive test scores. Too few educators speak of this and too few educational decision-makers listen. The greatest predictors of a students success are maternal educational level and economic stability in that students life. Economically disadvantaged people generally demonstrate lower performance, at least as measured by educational tests, regardless of their race or culture.
I hope the odds start to tilt in your favor soon. I started reading your blog. Great stuff. I should have read it earlier. I think I'll get to more of it soon. I'm off to bed though. Tired still from last week's regimen of temozolomide as I treat my grade 2/3 glioma (brain cancer). Temozolomide is more of a nuisance compared to what you've been hitting your body with. You are one bad mamma-jamma. Take care man. There are folks round the world pulling for you.
Nice to have a place to have a thoughtful dialogue about my profession, public school educator, with folks that help me hone and better define my views of education and the directions in which education is moving.
I've always found that reflective thought is the food for creativity in my teaching.
Hubski is an online pub with creative and thoughtful people belly-up at the bar of reason and sanity.
Educators need to be engineers of education reform. Removing teacher input from education reform is analogous to building a bridge or high-rise with the belief that input from construction engineers would be silly. Predicting the outcomes of "construction reform" of this type seems to have predictable outcomes.
Why is it education "reform" anyway? Does "re-forming" mean form again? Maybe "education improvement" instead.
"I want a Michigan banana." That's what she said.
Also, my local Metro-Detroit farmer's market (Clarkston) has broccoli, kale, tomatoes, squash, and even organic chicken and beef that are far better than anything I can get without driving a half-hour, or better, round-trip to a specialty store. My family and I take every advantage of walking to the market (saving some CO2 emissions in the process) whenever it's open.
Yeah. Do what you love and love what you do sums it up. I love what I do and have the occassional gripes. I can definitely empathize with neuroscience researchers. Funding has been easily as scarce as it has been lately in teaching. My school district has the same per pupil funding allowance as it did when I began teaching 15 years ago. Hopefully things will turn around with funding for science and teaching sometime soon.
Teacher salaries aren't too terrible. Especially relative to the last economic downturn. There's some extra security in teaching comparatively speaking. I happen to know a few very talented neuroscience researchers too. Good people.
One of those neuroscientists I know is very talented, as you'd expect a neuroscience researcher to be. He helped create this "hubski" online thing that's been cultivating and expanding a virtual venue for thoughtful sharing of information and viewpoints. The ideas driving it have integrity and universal appeal. You should check it out.
Agreed. As an 8th grade math teacher, I am continually pressed for time during the school day. I teach six class periods, three different curriculum, with four minute passing times in between each hour and a 21 minute lunch period. I have a 56 minute planning period at the end of the day and average about 1.5 to 2 hours a day extra outside of that. It is rare that I walk in feeling over-prepared. I do hold hope that our profession, now that we can unpack and review student learning data, will begin to be viewed on par with medicine, law, engineering and other well-established professional models. My school district has moved to an hour early dismissal for all students on Thursdays in order for all discipline teams within the building to meet. There, we look at assessments that will guide our future instruction. I appreciate the respect that is being given to the time necessary for educators to meet and collaborate. Seems like a small step in the right direction. More of this is necessary. Plus a few extra dollars in our paychecks won't hurt either.
Yes, very tough.
As we assign blame for school proficiency, should we first ask if quality schools produce economic prosperity and employment opportunities for which students may aspire? Or, does economic prosperity and employment opportunity produce measurably high-achieving schools containing students preparing for future career opportunities that they, and their parents, can envision? Students that are currently, by measure of standardized assessment, the main indicators of quality schools and the quality of it's educators?
Could it be that economic prosperity and employment opportunity are the fuels for the fire of a prosperous educational system? The students of quality schools, by measure of yearly tests, are more likely measures of the prosperity of the economics system affecting students in that school system, rather than the quality of the educators within it.
Could we expect DPS's current state of being to reverse if all staff and administration was replaced with educators from top performing school districts in the state?
Are we mistakenly swapping equal education with equal opportunity education? Kozol fought the inequities of an educational system that lacked necessary transparency and inadequately adjusted to the needs/wants of students stuck in a particular track. Tracking seems to make sense if a school adjusts the courses that are made available to students based on their current performance in that particular subject, provided that each student is then allowed to switch tracks as they provide evidence of mastery of material in their current track. Every school must make an equal and excellent educational opportunity to all students. Education begins in the home. How each student comes to school and takes advantage of the opportunities that come his/her way will, and should be different. That's truly differentiated education. Aren't these wonderful opportunities that have made the United States such a desireable place to be?
Currently I've been working on getting my five year old son and three year old daughter to "use your words" when resolving conflicts with one another. It's a work in progress. My wife and I are making headway though. Our son has gone from consistently getting physical in conflicts with his sister to whining that he needs help with her, and actually, but rarely, stopping to tell her what she is doing that is bothering him and then asking her to do some other activity. Frustratingly slow, but extremely rewarding.