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Monday, August 16, 2010

A fun day in education land...

Today was a wonderful day for this observer of the education scene. First, I noticed an article in an Italian newspaper reporting something I did last week:


What happened is that a teacher in Italy wrote to me to say he had won the teacher of the year award in Italy and was immediately fired. He had written to me before about what he was doing in his school. Since I needed someone to help build our Alternative Learning Place, I offered him a job. The above article says all that. The Italian school system is, of course, as stupid as ours.

The second event was the usual stuff from our system. I heard from my daughter who has decided to try out public school kindergarten in Brooklyn for Milo this fall. The ALP is meant for first grade in 2011, so she decided to try out the system while we build Milo's future school. She lives two blocks from a school and it has a talented and gifted program so she had Milo tested. Milo tested at 99% which was no surprise. Equally no surprise, the New York City School System in its infinite wisdom, decided to offer Milo a place in a school in a rough neighborhood, not in the one he lives near. One of the reasons that New York has such terrible schools is, of course, that they seemingly encourage the best and brightest to leave. Milo won't be there long. As someone who was in the New York City schools all through his childhood, I can tell you that they were always very good at making smart kids miserable there. Not much has changed.

The third thing was an incredible article in the Washington Post written by Dana Milbank:


It is amazing because it is right on about the stupidity of the Obama administration in education and tits nonsensical testing obsession. The Washington Post is owned by Kaplan testing or the other way around, (I forget which), so the truth about testing is usually hard to find there.

1 comment:

anonymous math maestro said...

I can think of many examples of Teachers of the Year that get laid off soon after. The article about the T-O-Y at one Alabama school district comes to mind. I myself will be pinked slipped soon because I refused to go to a more "challenging classroom". I was one of the few teachers that had 4-years of continuous "green" student growth. Why don't I want to go to the more "challenging classrooms"? Would you? Or rather would you with poor support? If the decision comes down to "challenging students" or my own "survival", I pick my own "survival".

The public education system is a bureaucracy with its goal of perpetuating itself instead of its original goal. And as long as the public believes the system is trying "new" techniques to teach students, then they get to continue to take tax dollars.