Showing posts from January, 2014

The 93% Solution

Public education is in the midst of a perceptual crisis. The public-school-as-smorgasbord proponents, the privatization faction, the voucher believers, the private school crowd, and the transformers—those small but vocal minorities who insist that every public school is mediocre at best and that students do not stand a chance in today’s competitive market after graduation from these dumbed-down anti-God institutions that are little more than attendance monitors for minority students—all proclaim loudly their way is better and will lead to the miraculous and marvelous reinvention of our failed system of public education. Choice seems to be a constant theme in these insistent complaints that public education has failed us and that our way of life, our political system, and our form of government are at risk because we cannot educate every child to the point he or she can have a seamless entry from secondary school into work or college.  Baloney. My personal belief is that segregation i

String Theory

    Remember how wonderful it was when we were told Georgia won the second round of the Race To The Top sweepstakes?  The application submitted by then-Governor Perdue and his team, amended from the first application that was almost but not quite good enough, had been amended to include the results of a survey that nobody remembered taking AND in meeting the USDOE guidelines and our lucky state was about to receive $400 million dollars and a little change.  The first announcement after the award was that about $200 million – around ½ - was to be reserved for “administrative costs.”  Most of the other money was to go to the 26 or so volunteer districts around the state that would pilot programs for the rest of Georgia school districts.  Among these pilot programs were the Teacher Evaluation Measure (TEM) and the Leader Evaluation Measure (LEM).  Both evaluation measures must, in accordance with the RTTT guidelines, tie a percentage of the evaluative scores to student academic achiev

Everyone is Failing and It's All Your Fault... A version of this article appeared in the February 2012 AJC “Get Schooled” blog.   This, with minor changes, is an updated version. Everyone is Failing and It’s All Your Fault…..           Drug abuse education, alcohol abuse education, parenting, character ed, special ed, gender equity, environmental ed, women’s studies, African – American education, school breakfast, school lunch, daily attendance, computer education, multi-cultural ed, ESL (ELL, ESOL), teen pregnancy, Jump Start, Even Start, Head Start, Prime Start, Bright from the Start, Kindergarten, Pre-K, alternative ed, stranger/danger, anti-smoking ed, mandated reporting, CPR training, defibrillator training, anaphylactic shock recognition training, inclusion, internet ed, distance learning, Tech Prep, School to Work, Gifted and Talented, at-risk programs, keyboarding, dropout prevention, gang education, homeless ed, service learning, gun safety, bus safety, bicycle safety, driver

Do You Get It?

     I once worked for a Superintendent I admire immensely, mostly.  Let’s say his name was John.  John left no doubt as to who was in charge, and once described his position in a message to local administrators; “I am the CEO of this system.  Don’t tell parents to call me if the bus is late.  We have competent people to take care of that for us.”  Right or wrong, that was his MO, and everybody understood their relative position in John’s hierarchy.  He met with system Principals a week or so after his appointment by our local board.  We had been discussing among ourselves the pros and cons of continuing block scheduling in our system’s high schools.  That things in our system were about to change became evident with John’s first statement in the meeting; “I don’t have the time in my schedule to continue meeting with Principals” he told us.  “I have people that do that for me.”  He had our attention.  Once of our group raised his hand and was recognized.  “Dr. Superintendent” he beg