Friday, October 22, 2010

CMS drama as performance art

I walked up to the Levine Museum of the New South Wednesday night for a forum on changing demographics and public schools, and found myself at one of the most unusual education events I've encountered.

The organizers from UNC Charlotte decided to forgo a traditional panel discussion in favor of performance art. School-related headlines spanning decades flashed on a screen, while performers read excerpts from court rulings, newspaper articles and personal essays. Civil rights lawyer James Ferguson, one of the readers, interspersed the prose with a cappella verses of Jacob's Ladder, with lyrics such as "Tell me, do you love all children? Leaders of our youth."

And so, 48 hours after covering an NAACP meeting with a crowd fired up to fight school closings in 2011, I watched a headline that was obviously decades old flash on screen: "Negro Groups Complain About School Closings."

Katie McCormick with the UNCC library said she'd started planning this session about a year ago, before the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board launched the student-assignment review that has people up in arms over proposed closings. "It turns out that this topic was more timely than we imagined," she said.

The historians were quick to incorporate breaking news. It was surreal to hear the final few minutes of the performance, where Ferguson and another reader turned quotes and snippets from articles I wrote last week into a sort of point-counterpoint poetry.

The discussion that followed wasn't exactly the bullet-point, solution-finding exercise that you see at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools forums. A mom about to send her child to kindergarten mused about feeling overwhelmed. A more experienced CMS parent commiserated: "It's always been overwhelming to get your kids in CMS."

Older speakers talked about living through desegregation. A Mallard Creek High School student gave his take on resegregation. Northerners and Southerners traded barbs over who was responsible for racial separation.

There was a strong sense of repeating history. A teacher at University Park Elementary, an arts magnet that's slated for closing next year, said it feels like we're going in circles, but as an artist she prefers to think of spirals.

"We can spiral upward," she said, "or we can spiral down."

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds great! Wish I had attended. Nothing much has changed in the education arena in decades.

Anonymous said...

I find it confusing that the very same people who didn't want to go back to re-segregating schools, are against this new CMS plan. This plan for closing schools and reconstituting other helps to integrate schools. It has a busing element in it. For example, we are moving high poverty children from Waddell to South Mecklenburg High School; sounds more like the good 'ole days to me!

Anonymous said...

I find it confusing that the very same people who didn't want to go back to re-segregating schools, are against this new CMS plan. This plan for closing schools and reconstituting other helps to integrate schools. It has a busing element in it. For example, we are moving high poverty children from Waddell to South Mecklenburg High School; sounds more like the good 'ole days to me!

wiley said...

I agree with the poster above.

Last night at West Meck in the breakout sessions, I was surprised to hear the same sentiments.

Ragarding the story, the changing demographics really haven't changed other than more Hispanics entering the system.

White flight and bright flight have pretty much become a thing of the past because most people avoid putting their kids into public schools/CMS if at all possible from the start.

Organizers such as these and others already know why the demographics are this way. Too much government interference, virtually no discipline in schools, parents who don't care about raising their kids and expect public schools to do it and the perception, real or imagined, that many teachers aren't qualified and the constant instability in school boundaries.

When parents plunk down $12,000 to $20,000 per kid to send them to private school, you know what you're getting. If they screw up, they're out, period, so there is more of an incentive for keeping their kids on a straight path and staying involved.

Regarding demographics, Mecklenburg County is 64% White yet CMS is 33% White.

In Chicago, the city is 42% White yet the schools are 8% White.

You don't need someone singing to a slide show to know what's going on here.

Anonymous said...

Bummer I missed this event! Darn.

I've always thought a modern dance piece about student assignment performed to Wagner's "Die Walkure" score would be a great way to take up 3 minutes of alloted public speaking time at a school board meeting. Yellow cardboard school buses included with students waving out windows as black student buses and white student buses pass each other traveling in opposite directions and in aimless circuitous spirals. (pretty cardboard clouds and rainbows attached to prohibited lethal weapon paint sticks included).

Better yet, how about performing the same piece to Charlie Brown's theme song "Linus and Lucy" by Vince Guaraldi? Yea, I like this idea with Snoopy dressed up as an official drug sniffing dog.

We've come a long way baby.

luckypuck said...

No Child Left Behind, the stubborn imposition of business standards on education and the economic disaster wrought upon us are what has brought us to this sorry mess. Using the current standard business-oriented measurements to determine the depth and extent of learning is the proverbial mixing of apples and oranges. Learning is process-oriented, business is goal-oriented. Each person, over time, develops unique, individual ways of learning, a complex blend of nature and nurture. Business standards, based mainly on rote-learning, lend themselves well to business, but these measure but one small aspect of learning processes, i.e., rote learning.

This one-size-fits-all approach to teaching/learning is, in large measure, responsible for student failures, drop-outs and, in my opinion, even for bullying. Instead, what is needed is much more study of approaches such as Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences. But even so, Gardner doesn't go nearly far enough. There are visual learners, auditory learners, tactile learners. While always some combination of both, there are right brain learners and left brain learners, analyzers and synthesizers, objective learners and subjective learners, linear thinkers and random thinkers, convergent thinkers and divergent thinkers, methodical processors and inventive processors. The list is long. Current testing content relies heavily on measuring rote-learning abilities, only one small skill in the whole-learning inventory.

Education is mired in the tired old agricultural-industrial model, whereas for our needs we should develop a new high-tech/communication model. Until we do, we'll continue to have low test scores and high drop-out rates.

Anonymous said...

Wiley, you love to play the race card don't you? Okay...WE'VE ALL GOT IT...there are fewer white kids in CMS than in Mecklenburg County.

You're white boy Gorman is mucking things up for all races in CMS.

You can blame this mess on how many ever black families you care to blame it on. But, ultimately, blacks (African-Americans) for the most part, save for the Native Americans, are the only people who were NOT clamoring to enter this country.

Stick to the issue...education. And whenever you get that inkling to blame black people for the demise of CMS, think about the folks who should have picked their own cotton.

If Gorman were worth his weight in salt, this would be a great district for kids. He is ineffective and all hot air. There is no grit to him.
And to tinker with Davidson IB? Only an idiot would do that.

Who is allowing all of these TFAs into CMS? Who is rifting great teachers? Who is allowing ineffective principals to lead?

On the west side,there is a lady who has NEVER been an assistant principal who now has a school. Nothing was said about that. But it would be wrong for me to say "Oh it is because she is white and the kids are black, so she is sharpening her claws on them." Sometimes Wiley, I just want you to shut up. You're view is so narrow it's sickening.

Anonymous said...

Thank you 5:40. Like Pete, Wiley is overexposed.

Mike said...

And all this started because a black kid wanted to attend his neighborhood school.

Anonymous said...

Readings were accompanied by evocative music by composer David Crowe. http://www.davidcrowemusic.com

wiley said...

Anonymous said...
Wiley, you love to play the race card don't you? Okay...WE'VE ALL GOT IT...there are fewer white kids in CMS than in Mecklenburg County.


Perhaps instead of shooting the messenger who is only stating the FACTS, you should be at one of these meetings working to improve the system as I was last night.

The problem with people like you is that when you can't dispute the facts or don't like them being discussed, you attack the person instead of the problem which is in front of us as a community.

Let us hear your "facts" and what YOU would do.

CMS has played many of the the citizens in Mec klenburg County as fools by whining they need more bond funds to build schools due to overcrowding, yet 4 years and 14,000 more students later, we all of a sudden have all of this underutilized space.

Because of that, those "blacks who now want neighborhood schools" are having them ripped right out from under their feet.

Care to comment on that?

That's what I thought. All you have is insults with no solutions or facts.

Anonymous said...

Wiley, what you have said has some merit. I am just tired of the same ho hum from you.

So here is what I would do if I were on the school board:

-fire Gorman
-have neighborhood schools with a few magnets (perhaps two high school IBs and two middle school IBs)
-keep the language academy and NWSA
-create a teacher cadet program in all high schools
-establish relationships with the local colleges/universities and recruit homegrown teachers
-get rid of TFAs in the schools
-hire great principals and allow them to work in a school for years instead of doing the principal shuffle
-have yearly contracts for teachers
-get rid of tenure if possible
-bring back trade schools
-never establish the k-8 or k-12 b.s.--it's not for public urban schools, this isn't "Little House"
-never establish the Pay for Performance...bonuses work well
-establish financial transparency

Listen, I could go on and on, but I'm not trying to do Gorman's job. He should be an independent thinker. He is white.

Furthermore, you do not know what I do on a daily basis to educate students in Mecklenburg County. I do know that you seem to blame black people for the ills within CMS.

And where is the outcry about our local homegrown terrorists? It is muted. Oh I forgot. That kind of behavior is out of the norm for white people.

If you want to point fingers based on race, there is plenty to go around...starting with white people. They are the ones who always want to be on top and have free/cheap labor.

How ugly does that sound? But, is that comment without merit?

I understand that you may want to blame someone. Start with the person who is getting paid the big bucks.

And who is hurling insults? When you dish it out, just be able to take it. Don't assume that black people don't read Ann's blog and can't respond to the rhetoric.

Focus on education for KIDS, not just the white ones.

And if I had the power, that's what I would do, because ALL kids in this county are important!

Anonymous said...

...oh and one more thing...you all are surprised that black people want neighborhood schools? Well don't be! Mixing in with whites does nothing to educate blacks. I don't know who started that lie. And I don't know who says that that's what black folks want.

How about start with principals in economically disadvantaged schools that aren't incompetent, inexperienced, morons.

wiley said...

Anonymous said...
Wiley, what you have said has some merit. I am just tired of the same ho hum from you.

If the "ho-hum" fits...

So here is what I would do if I were on the school board:

-fire Gorman
-have neighborhood schools with a few magnets (perhaps two high school IBs and two middle school IBs)
-keep the language academy and NWSA
-create a teacher cadet program in all high schools
-establish relationships with the local colleges/universities and recruit homegrown teachers
-get rid of TFAs in the schools
-hire great principals and allow them to work in a school for years instead of doing the principal shuffle
-have yearly contracts for teachers
-get rid of tenure if possible
-bring back trade schools
-never establish the k-8 or k-12 b.s.--it's not for public urban schools, this isn't "Little House"
-never establish the Pay for Performance...bonuses work well
-establish financial transparency

I noticed you said nothing of parental and student responsibility in all this. It was all about teachers and "educators".

Listen, I could go on and on, but I'm not trying to do Gorman's job. He should be an independent thinker. He is white.Hmmm..the race card?...and you accuse me of racial comments?

Furthermore, you do not know what I do on a daily basis to educate students in Mecklenburg County. I do know that you seem to blame black people for the ills within CMS.Blame black people? Where do you come up with that? I merely state(d) the facts. I could go on about how the NAACP prior to CMS deciding to close schools due to a $90 million dollar budget shortfall - and their total lack of screaming about the dismal rate of graduation by blacks, black on black crime, teen pregnancy, lack of black male heads of household, etc. It seems to me that blacks are responsible for their OWN ills and if that translates into their education experience at CMS then that's the way it is.

And where is the outcry about our local homegrown terrorists? It is muted. Oh I forgot. That kind of behavior is out of the norm for white people.If you're referring to the pen bomber and followed my comments in the story about that, you would have seen my disgust about that situation. This kid needs to be locked up for awhile and his mother.

If you want to point fingers based on race, there is plenty to go around...starting with white people. They are the ones who always want to be on top and have free/cheap labor.There you go again playing the race card. Again, if you have ever read any of my posts, I have always stated I would gladly pay more for goods and services if that is what it takes to secure our borders and revamp our immigration policies. So just as you state "I shouldn't assume things about black people", perhaps you should do the same regarding white people.

How ugly does that sound? But, is that comment without merit?No different than the merits of my comments. Both are opinions

I understand that you may want to blame someone. Start with the person who is getting paid the big bucks.I blame educators as they are the ones who have been offering the same lame programs and running the schools for the past 40 years.

And who is hurling insults? When you dish it out, just be able to take it. Don't assume that black people don't read Ann's blog and can't respond to the rhetoric.I believe it is you who is making the assumptions. I believe Martians read her column as well. Also, I'm a big boy. I can take whatever you choose to dish out.

Focus on education for KIDS, not just the white ones.Again, another race card. Nowhere have I ever made this issue about "just white kids".

And if I had the power, that's what I would do, because ALL kids in this county are important!

wiley said...

...(continued)

...oh and one more thing...you all are surprised that black people want neighborhood schools? Well don't be! Mixing in with whites does nothing to educate blacks. I don't know who started that lie. And I don't know who says that that's what black folks want.Again, if you had ever read any of my previous posts, you would have seen where I have stated that two plus two equals four no matter what your skin color is, your household income is or what school you're sitting in. I have also stated busing a black kid to sit between two white kids does nothing to enhance any of the kids from learning.

How about start with principals in economically disadvantaged schools that aren't incompetent, inexperienced, morons.I'm not quite sure what that means. You'll have to explain that statement.

Anonymous said...

I've read many posts about 'social engineering'. My belief is that many people think that that's what black people want, when it's NOT. We want our kids to be educated with great leaders at the helm.

Simple isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Wiley, my comments about white people were intended to point out to you how in your face it sounds when you keep harping on blacks.

Blacks have plenty of social ills to address. Even so, they are still not the blame for ALL of CMS' woes.

Again, whites have their issues too...like why are we fighting wars with people who had nothing to do with the 911 terrorists? Trying to steal land again?

A board member can not mandate a parent to become involved in their kid's education. (There wouldn't be so many adoptions if everybody wanted their kids.) They can however, put people in place who are skilled in engaging parents who would not ordinarily be engaged in their kid's education.

They can also make sure that troublemakers do not disrupt school.

It is clear that Gorman is causing lots of confusion in CMS and the board is doing nothing about it. It appears to me that Pete is blaming black people for the demise of CMS because he plans to close 3 predominantly black schools.

Now why wouldn't he put 3 strong principals in those schools? Denise Watts was in one of them and when it looked like she might have made some headway, he pulled her out and promoted her???? She didn't even complete her 3 year contract. That makes no sense.

I think that maybe, just maybe, Pete does not want black kids to learn. I think that some people enjoy watching, commenting, and writing about black failures, because really, secretly, they are afraid to see blacks succeed.

Anonymous said...

Wow, It is difficult to hear an adult having to be taught a basic lesson on "assumptions about others", but it comes a time when it must be done.
I do however disagree with some racial accusations about Pete Gorman. His policies for teachers are equally horrible.

Anonymous said...

I have never seen a superintendent hate teachers so much. His mom did an awful job raising him.

Anonymous said...

Why was an emergency CMS principal meeting called last week??

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, Dr. Gorman isn't closing 3 predominantly black schools. The proposal is to close 3 under performing, old and under utilized schools! i am so sick of hearing black and white. Who cares what color the kids are, they don't care what color they are, they just need to learn. If parents would step in and do something then this would be a great school district! Drr. Gorman has done more then the one before him! I am sick of parents blaming everyone but themselves! I get that you have to work but you are at home at some point and should at least be going through bookbags and making sure they tried to do their homework. My husband and I both work full time, but we still make time to know what our child is doing.
the reason the westside schools aren't being targeted b/c they are perfect. They are on the list b/c the schools, students, staff and PARENTS need the extra support. Close the schools and send the kids to a school where they can get the help and support that their parents either can't or WON'T give!

Anonymous said...

1:48, I have read comments on CO's blogs for MONTHS talking about social engineering this and race that, but I never refuted anything that I've read. I waited patiently to see if comments would by chance change. My rational for doing so this time is because I've had it with this conversation being one sided.
I agree with you on some points. "The one" before him was the pits too, but Gorman isn't any better than he. They are both horrible.

YES, parents need to do their jobs to educate their kids or at least support the teachers who are trying to help them educate their kids.

However, you are fooling yourself if you think race doesn't matter.
Racism does not necessarily come in the form of material things; new buildings, new books, etc.
In CMS it comes in the form of human capital. Administrators who are a)knowledgeable, b)experienced, c)invested in working hard to make sure students succeed are sent to rich schools. Administrators who are inexperienced, poor performing, or who otherwise suck, are sent to poor schools.
Not all the time, but more often than not the students in those schools are black.
So you can say anything you want to about the parents (which may or may not be true), but trust me, rich schools wouldn't have slackers at the top.

Too, you don't see any TFAs in rich schools. Some say that teachers just don't want to teach in poor schools...not so. I bet there are plenty of teachers who were laid off who would have LOVED to work in an E.D. school than to be out of work. Gorman doesn't want experienced teachers in those schools. He saves money by using TFAs.
Wealthy parents are typically more educated and wouldn't have them 'practicing' on their kids, but who advocates for the poor?

Good for you and your husband! Your kids will be better off than some, because of you.

You know it's sad. Because of all of the in fighting, America will lose. The whites blame the blacks, the blacks say not so fast, you caused this mess. No one takes responsibility and pretty soon we will all be speaking Chinese. Gotta love it, only in America.

Anonymous said...

TO: 5:31 PM/Oct. 25

My sibling went through a 6 week teacher certification "crash course" back in the late 1980's and taught for 2 years at a wealthy public high school in Connecticut. My sibling graduated from Yale with a degree in physics. The wealthy suburban school he worked for gave him excellent performance reviews. The state had him work closely with a "master" teacher who served as his mentor and guided him through things like classroom management techniques that can really only be learned on the job.

So, the misperception that suburban parents wouldn't want a teacher with Ivy League or top-notch college credentials (which MANY TFA teacher's have) isn't necessarily true. TFA is a highly competitive program that only accepts some of America's best college graduates. Unfortunately, my brother left the classroom to become a patent attorney for better pay and after almost every single parent at the school he worked for questioned why anyone with a degree from Yale would go into the teaching profession. Many thought he was out of his mind. The PARENTS at the wealthy school he worked at partially contributed to him deciding to chose a different career. Go figure.

Before I get attacked for sounding snotty, let it be known I did NOT attend an Ivy League university and my SAT's were in the national average range. I also dropped high school physics after sitting through one class on the subject of centrifugal force.

I agree with some of your comments concerning race. Yes, race does matter and anyone who thinks it doesn't is delusional. There just doesn't seem to be anyway of avoiding it here in Charlotte or anywhere else. I don't have the answers or solutions to this complex issue although it makes me sad. I'm glad you've joined the conversation.

I will share one of my favorite quotes to ponder;

"My parents always told us the solution to the world's problems was education. Nothing rang louder."

- Rod Paige, former African-American U.S. Secretary of Education

Anonymous said...

Secretary Paige,

"Master" teachers waste their time mentoring TFAs in Charlotte every day. Why is it a waste of time? Because they will have to do it all over again every two years.

Relationships make schools successful. You can not maintain healthy relationships (with students, parents, teachers, administrators) at a school with a revolving door of teachers.

The school where your brother taught may have been able to 'absorb' his inexperience for a couple of years, but the fragile ecosystem at E.D. schools in Charlotte can't hack these "teachers" anymore. Bottom line, they are making the already bad situation worse.

On another note, I have been a part of the discourse for a while, but have just blended in. Glad YOU joined us!

Anonymous said...

10:00 PM

Yes, ideally schools shouldn't need TFA teachers because I wholeheartedly agree with you that long term relationships matter and having a revolving door of young and inexperienced teachers has to create a somewhat unstable and inconsistent environment. It also has to be extremely frustrating for experienced teachers who are committed to their profession long term to be expected to mentor people they know plan to eventually move on to other careers.

However, the reality in today's world is that it is extremely difficult to recruit and retain America's best teachers in our most challenging public schools. We already know trying to force teachers into schools they don't want to work at isn't successful. So if you have a better solution, please share.

Anonymous said...

10:51, I can not speak for America, but CMS just rifted/laid off/fired hundreds, if not thousands of teachers two years in a row. The news is reporting this morning that they are about to lay off even MORE teachers. All the while, TFAs have job security with their 2 year contracts.

What kind of allegiance does that show teachers who actually want to teach for a living and majored in education?

The solution is not difficult. To retain effective teachers in urban schools, allow them flexibility and freedom to creatively practice their trade. Make sure there are good working conditions. I am talking about school climate; one of those intangibles that can be obtained by a trickle down effect, starting with a great administrator.

Many teachers leave urban schools because they feel unsupported by their principal concerning discipline, planning time, duties, etc.

In my opinion, the conversation in
America needs to change from ineffective teachers to ineffective principals.

Anonymous said...

Hi 7:28,
I agree with you that the leadership of any organization sets the standards, expectations, quality and tone in a working environment so having a great principal in place is paramount.

What are your thoughts about allowing principals more flexibility to fire ineffective teachers even if they have tenure?

I loved Fannie Flono's column about education in Finland and South Korea where teachers are treated and paid like "rock stars" and where these countries only accept the best students into their education programs vs. the U.S. which allows just about anyone to major in education. TIME magazine has some disturbing statistics in a recent publication about the quality of students who chose to major in education. Please don't shoot the messenger since I have a long line of teachers and educational administrators in my family!

My brother's story is an interesting case in point. He was really excited and wanted to be a physics teacher in addition to loving his job even though he didn't major in education but majored in physics. Although he was well received by his principal, colleagues and parents as a non-traditional entry into the classroom, he started to question why he was teaching when wealthy parents kept asking him why the heck he would chose to teach their children with a degree from Yale. The attitude was sort of, "so, this is the best you can do"? Of course, making a lot more money doing something else also came into play with student loans to repay even though he did receive some scholarship money.

As American's, I think we play plenty of lip service to placing a high value on teachers but do we really put our money where are mouths are? Do we really walk the talk when it comes to making sure our children have a great teacher standing in front of them when we know this one factor is the most important thing in education?

I also sense a lot of resentment from some teachers with degrees in education who don't like the idea of people entering "their" field through non-traditional routes. I don't get this. I don't get offended when I work with people in my field who are better at what I do and smarter than I am because I view this as a way of improving myself and as a means of becoming a better employee. Being around great people who want to achieve makes me want to achieve more. It's called healthy competition.

Anonymous said...

7:28, I agree with you that the leadership of any organization sets the standards, expectations, quality and tone in a working environment so having a great principal in place is paramount.

What are your thoughts about allowing principals flexibility to fire ineffective teachers even if they have tenure?

I loved Fannie Flono's column about education in Finland & South Korea where teachers are treated & paid like "rock stars" & where these countries only accept the best students into their education programs vs. the U.S. which allows just about anyone to major in education. TIME magazine has some disturbing statistics in a recent publication about the quality of students who chose to major in education. Please don't shoot the messenger since I have a long line of teachers in my family!

My brother's story is an interesting case in point. He really wanted to be a physics teacher even though he didn't major in education. Although he was well received by his principal, colleagues and parents as a non-traditional entry into the classroom, he started to question why he was teaching when wealthy parents kept asking him why the heck he would chose to teach their children with a degree from Yale. The attitude was sort of, "so, this is the best you can do"? Of course, making a lot more money doing something else also came into play with student loans to repay even though he did receive some scholarship money.

As American's, I think we play plenty of lip service to valuing teachers but do we really put our money where are mouths are? Do we really walk the talk when it comes to making sure our children have a great teacher standing in front of them when we know this one factor is the most important thing in education?

I also sense a lot of resentment from some teachers with degrees in education who don't like the idea of people entering "their" field through non-traditional routes. I don't get this. I don't get offended when I work with people in my field who are better at what I do and smarter than I am because I view this as a way of improving myself and as a means of becoming a better employee. Being around great people who want to achieve makes me want to achieve more. It's called healthy competition.

Anonymous said...

7:28, I agree with you that the leadership of any organization sets the standards, expectations, quality & tone in a working environment so having a great principal in place is paramount. What are your thoughts about allowing principals flexibility to fire ineffective teachers even if they have tenure?

I loved Fannie Flono's column about education in Finland & South Korea where teachers are treated & paid like "rock stars" & where these countries only accept the best students into their education programs vs. the U.S. which allows just about anyone to major in education. TIME magazine has some disturbing statistics in a recent publication about the quality of students who chose to major in education. Please don't shoot the messenger since I have a long line of teachers in my family!

My brother's story is an interesting case in point. He really wanted to be a physics teacher even though he didn't major in education. Although he was well received by his principal, colleagues and parents as a non-traditional entry into the classroom, he started to question why he was teaching when wealthy parents kept asking him why the heck he would chose to teach their children with a degree from Yale. The attitude was sort of, "this is the best you can do"? Of course, making a lot more money doing something else also came into play with student loans to repay even though he did receive some scholarship money.

As American's, I think we play plenty of lip service to valuing teachers but do we really put our money where are mouths are? Do we really walk the talk when it comes to making sure our children have a great teacher standing in front of them when we know this one factor is the most important thing in education?

I also sense a lot of resentment from some teachers with degrees in education who don't like the idea of people entering "their" field through non-traditional routes. I don't get this. I don't get offended when I work with people in my field who are better at what I do and smarter than I am because I view this as a way of improving myself and as a means of becoming a better employee. Being around great people who want to achieve makes me want to achieve more. It's called healthy competition.

Anonymous said...

Yikes. This happened to me once before when this blog stated my comments were too long and needed to be shortened. I know my husband would agree I get a little long winded at times.

Sorry for the multiple postings.

Anonymous said...

Yep 2:38, I remember you.

Tenure. In my opinion, teacher's contracts should be renewed from year to year...with no tenure.

If students who major in education can't cut it in more difficult majors and American teachers aren't up to snuff, then why not disban the entire U.S. Department of Education?

The US would have more money to spend on military and wars. Then the whole education debate would be over.

Why teach when you can do something else? Why have education majors? How about this, major in whatever you want and if the economy goes sour and you can't get a job in the real world, then find an alternative way to get certified to teach.

Maybe, all professions can have alternative liscensure. How about mechanics...just shadow someone for 6 weeks and turn 'em loose on a 2010 Lexus Coupe.

And who cares about competition? The more competitive teachers are, the more the STUDENTS win/learn...get it?

The goal of education is to educate students. It is not about tenure or ego.

Anonymous said...

Ann, please come back! Henny Petey is wearing a cartoon tie and calling "the sky is falling, the sky is falling!" It's High Noon and Will Kane has run out of bullets. Napoleon has called another meeting and all the animals are no longer. Seems fitting that the conclusion of Animal Farm is so similar to the Pete strategy of playing the animals vs. the farm owners with everyone accusing the others of cheating at cards. Orwell continues to portray CMS/BOE/BOCC definitively as the pigs have now had their contracts extended.

Anonymous said...

In response to Anon 1:58 on 10/25 who said "Close the schools and send the kids to a school where they can get the help and support that their parents either can't or WON'T give!"

What makes you think they are going to get the help they need? Have you checked the data lately about how minority kids are faring at Myers Park, South Meck, etc? In fact somehow they manage to put out the worst of the lot at those schools and send them to other schools. It would be easy to achieve what you are asking, just change the boundaries...they have already been squeezed and drawn in a manner that makes sure these children do not attend those schools in the first place. Draw some straight lines or some natural curves on those boundary maps and under utilization would not be a problem.

Anonymous said...

LOVE IT - 9:39!!!!!