Friday, December 7, 2012

Preaching, teaching and race

Imagine you're trying to create standards for effective preaching.

You watch a Southern black Baptist preacher engage his congregation with a sermon that relies on rhythm, gesture, emotion and humor as much as words. He expects and encourages his members to call out in response.

You also watch a white Episcopal minister deliver an intellectual, tightly-structured sermon with little humor or emotional tone. His congregation raptly follows his words, but doesn't respond aloud.

Delpit
Which is most effective? There's no one answer,  according to Lisa Delpit,  who offers an extended analogy between preachers and teachers in her book "Other People's Children:  Cultural Conflict in the Classroom."

"Suppose we set out to evaluate and certify ministers nationally,"  she writes.  "(W)hat could we do with the plethora of cultural styles of preaching?  Can we try to evaluate,  for example,  Bishop Sheen,  Billy Graham,  and Reverend Ike  (a Southern black Baptist minister)  within the same conceptual construct?  Or would we be better off asking what good preaching looks like in different cultural settings and for different audiences?  After all,  Bishop Sheen would not be much of a hit in most black Baptist churches,  and Reverend Ike would not be likely to impress the denizens of Harvard Square."

I ordered the book after it showed up on the recommended reading list of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Superintendent Heath Morrison. Delpit's chapter on  "Cross-cultural Confusions in Teacher Assessment" struck me as particularly helpful in trying to understand what Morrison means when he talks about the need for educators and the community to become more culturally competent.

Delpit is an African American who has spent her adult life in white-dominated academia and done research in schools for Native Alaskan children.  The book explores the differences in those three cultures and talks about the harm done to children and teachers of color when the middle-class white communication style is treated as the standard for everyone.

African American children, especially those from low-income families, are raised to be sensitive to body language and nonverbal messages.  They may be more motivated by their relationship with a teacher than by a need to achieve,  she writes.  Teachers expecting them to respond to words alone may judge these children as low achievers or behavior problems.  Teachers of color who display emotion openly or spend time trying to build relationships may be judged as out of control or disorganized,  Delpit says.

Job interviews and teacher evaluations can also be derailed by cultural differences,  Delpit writes. For instance,  Native and Anglo Americans have different patterns of storytelling,  with Native Americans expecting to take longer turns speaking,  with longer pauses in the midst of a story.  If a Native American begins an answer,  pauses and is interrupted by a white person,  both may end up frustrated.  The white person thinks the Native American has given a pointless response,  while the Native American finds the white interruption rude.

Delpit acknowledges that it's no simple task to tease out cultural differences while zeroing in on standards that are important to successful education.  But she insists we've got to do better than,  in essence,  letting Bishop Sheen's board hire the minister for Reverend Ike's congregation  -- and then blaming the congregation when it's a bad match.

"We must consciously and voluntarily make our cultural lenses apparent,"  she writes.  "Engaging in the hard work of seeing the world as others see it must be a fundamental goal for any move to reform the education of teachers and their assessment."

77 comments:

Rev. Mike said...

Ann, you've gone from preaching to meddling. ;)

Wiley Coyote said...

Retro Week for Your Schools...

..yesterday it was Griffin, Griffin and Rembert....

Today it's ebonics.

Anonymous said...

I don't buy this argument at all.

I can appreciate the style of Bishop Sheen, Reverend Ike, Billy Graham, Charles Stanley, Crelo Dollar, etc alike.

What is more important is what they have to say.

Same goes for teachers.

BolynMcClung said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BolynMcClung said...

HOW DO YOU DECIPHER BETWEEN…..

…. coming to school unprepared to learn and “cross cultural” differences.

My suspicion is that too many folks are trying to say that the unprepared part is an element of that cultural differences thing. The conversation that reveals it goes like this.

Teacher to parent: “You’re sending your child to school unprepared.”

Parent to teacher: “That’s your job.”

The new CMS administration believes it can overcome both by asking teachers and staff to throw away their racial lens. They are asking teachers to do all the changing. Well, that’s slightly unfairly written. There are a few task forces and the superintendent appears to be ready to take his message to 100 percent of the districts resident’s.

It would be “amazing” if he were successful.

Anyway, now there are two books on the superintendent’s reading list that address cultural competency. One is mighty unforgiving of White teachers, actually all teachers, and now this one that is more warm and fuzzy. I haven’t ready the fuzzy one.

Think of all of this as replacing busing of students with busing of minds. Time will only tell if the later opens old wounds or heals them.


Respectfully,

Bolyn McClung
Pineville

Anonymous said...

How many more excuses can they come up with?

Wiley Coyote said...

Excellent analogy Bolyn...

Anonymous said...

So if we go with this theory, exactly how and when do those whose background is "culturally different" become part of the mainstream--i.e., become adequately prepared, both intellectually and behaviorally, for a job in the workplace? It always has seemed strange to me that those who want us to cater to cultural differences in the classroom (even those that undermine long term success) at the same time demand the same outcomes for all. If you don't expect behaviors that lead to future success, aren't you setting children up for failure?

Anonymous said...

Ann,
Please tell us more about the Pacific Education Group and how Heath plans to use this guy in CMS.

Ann Doss Helms said...

8:13, my understanding is that Delpit DOES think it's important to teach students -- especially those from lower-income families -- standard English and other "rules" for middle-class success. She just doesn't think that can be done by disregarding where they come from. Please don't think these few paragraphs encompass all the ideas in the book.

8:31, that's on my to-do list.

Anonymous said...

This is one country made of different cultures. When immigrants moved here at the beginning of this country, they all had different cultures in their hearts. But they accepted as ONE COUNTRY, we had to stand as ONE. That's the problem. No one wants to be an AMERICAN anymore. They want to be a "fill in the blank - " AMERICAN. Our ancestors were able to respect their culture and heritage in the families and home life and still go to school and the workplace and assimilate so that the one goal of whatever the institution (success in school, business, etc.) was what was of upmost importance. Our society is WAY to hung up on "me, me, me". The generations before us understood we are all in this together and we need to act as one, because OUR success as a nation, or school, or business was what mattered, because if the larger entity succeeded, we would also succeed. Until people stop selfishly believing that they will give up "themselves" if they assimilate into a group standard, we can never move forward.

Anonymous said...

This is one country made of different cultures. When immigrants moved here at the beginning of this country, they all had different cultures in their hearts. But they accepted as ONE COUNTRY, we had to stand as ONE. That's the problem. No one wants to be an AMERICAN anymore. They want to be a "fill in the blank - " AMERICAN. Our ancestors were able to respect their culture and heritage in the families and home life and still go to school and the workplace and assimilate so that the one goal of whatever the institution (success in school, business, etc.) was what was of upmost importance. Our society is WAY to hung up on "me, me, me". The generations before us understood we are all in this together and we need to act as one, because OUR success as a nation, or school, or business was what mattered, because if the larger entity succeeded, we would also succeed. Until people stop selfishly believing that they will give up "themselves" if they assimilate into a group standard, we can never move forward.

Wiley Coyote said...

Pig Latin...Pidgin, Spanglish, How to Speak Southern, How to Speak Yankee....

It's interesting that English is the official language of India, but for the life of me, I can't understand a damn word of it when I seek help from a call center....

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a perfect argument for ethnically segregated schools with ethnically segregated teachers. The good news is Charlotte is already headed in this direction. Prepare to see test scores soar!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic.

We can have a Baptist African-American standardized EOC test, an Episcopalian white standardized EOC test, a Jewish-Hispanic standardized EOC test, a Hindu-Hmong standardized EOC test, a bi-racial Buddhist standardized EOC test, and a Pentecostal Native-American standardized EOC test. The Wicca French-Aborigines will just have to suck it up.

Anonymous said...

What's his face on the BOE wants Spanish speaking teachers at Spanish speaking schools. LIFT wants African-American teachers at their schools.

Sounds GREAT to me. Let's divided everyone up once and for all and be done with it. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

When I finish my post-baccalaureate K-6 teaching licenser program, remind me to limit my interviews to schools that reflect and honor my cultural heritage - rural redneck.

Moo,
Alicia Durand

Wiley Coyote said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wiley Coyote said...

Alicia,

Just watch Duck Dynasty, Honey Boo Boo and Moonshiners and you'll have a leg up on the competition....

...a leg up...I think that's a LaQuinta commercial.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=zxsFWRNNrwc

Anonymous said...

Wiley,
I'm still laughing over the Jethro Tull video from yesterday!

Alicia

Lookin' for my turtle trap and duck blind...

Anonymous said...

"Which is most effective? There's no one answer"

So she just talks about the differences and writes about it? Do the parents not have the responsibility to make sure their "culture" is not an impediment to success? I fail to see how any of this "talk" about difference will actually translate in the classroom.

It comes off as "people are different but there is nothing we can do about it." This is one of those where trying to make this into some sort of policy ends up making things worse for all. Are students not going to encounter different teaching styles throughout their life and shouldn't the student be adaptable as opposed to the teachers?

Anonymous said...

I don't care where kids come from or if they are prepared or not. THEY ARE ALL KIDS & they are eager to learn. They absolutely pick up on this ridiculous ADULT cultural/racial/income issue (because really isn't it all adult ways of classifying people???) & they think grown-ups are nuts!
They do not see these issues until the media sensationalizes it & adults pay attention to it.
Shouldn't we be helping teachers to give kids learning tasks that are linked to their LEARNING SYTLE and discontinue categorizing kids?

Anonymous said...

"But in every story I have heard, good teachers share one trait: a strong sense of personal identity infuses their work...

Good teachers possess a capacity for connectedness. They are able to weave a complex web of connectedness among themselves, their subjects, and their students so that students can learn to weave a world for themselves. The methods used by theses weavers vary widely: lectures, Socratic dialogs, laboratory experiments, collaborative problem solving, creative chaos.

If teaching cannot be reduced to technique, it is both good news and bad. The good news is that we no longer need to suffer the boredom many of us feel when teaching is approached as a question of "how to do it". We rarely talk with each other about teaching at any depth - and why should we when we have nothing more than "tips, tricks, and techniques" to discuss? That kind of talk fails to touch the heart of a teacher's experience...

The good news gets even better. If teaching cannot be reduced to technique, I no longer need suffer the pain of having my peculiar gift as a teacher crammed into the Procrustean bed of someone else's method and the standards prescribed by it. That pain is felt throughout education today as we glorify the method "du jour", leaving people who teach differently feeling devalued, forcing them to measure up to norms not their own.

We must find an approach to teaching that respects THE DIVERSITY OF TEACHERS and subjects, which methodological reductionism fails to do...

If we stopped lobbing pedagogical points at each other and spoke about WHO WE ARE AS TEACHERS, a remarkable thing might happen: identity and integrity might grow within us and among us, instead of hardening as they do when we defend our fixed positions from the foxholes of the pedagogy wars."

The Courage to Teach
- Parker J Palmer

Alicia Durand

BolynMcClung said...

TO: 8:31AM

Subject: More about PEG.

I'm going to suggest that not Ann but many go looking at PEG. You'll will have an unusual journey.

You will quickly have your eyes opened to a subject that few in the general public know about....Cultural Competency.

Dr. Morrison, Heath, is correctly focused on this as why the world beyond Mecklenburg sees CMS differently than we see ourselves. The outside world sees our actions, not our minds.

The success of his drive for this depends on whether Mecklenburgers have accidentally found the right balance between the races and have it right when they live with the all the differences.....that they don't need remediation via removal of racial lens.

We shall soon find-out. If you start investigating now it will help...but help what I worry about.

Here's an additional phrase to include with cultural competency, "critical race theory."...it has a connection to Swann.



Bolyn McClung
Pineville

Anonymous said...

"... teacher-bashing has become a popular sport. Panic-stricken by the demands of our day, we need scapegoats for the problems we cannot solve and the sins we cannot bear.

Teachers make an easy target, for they are such a common species and so powerless to strike back. We blame teachers for being unable to cure social ills that no one knows how to treat; we insist that they instantly adopt whatever "solution" has most recently been concocted by our national panacea machine; and in the process, we demoralize, even paralyze, the very teachers who could help us find our way.

In our rush to reform education, we have forgotten a simple truth: reform will never be achieved by renewing appropriations, restructuring schools, rewriting curricular, and revising texts if we continue to demean and dishearten the human resource called the teacher on whom so much depends".

The Courage to Teach
Parker J Palmer

Dear Dr. Morrison,
Where are the teacher leaders on your 22 task-forces?

Alicia Durand

Bill_Stevens said...

We have been down this path before with like sex classrooms. Hated by the liberal agenda but proven very successful in the education "business". However many look for their 15 minutes of glory by bashing it, portraying it as archaic and accusing those pushing for it as knuckle dragging rednecks.

The particular references Ann has documented is nothing new for a lot of us that follow education news, reforms, success stories, failure stories, etc. You could see the undercurrent of this at the closing of schools public hearings here at CMS. Students and families loved the relationships with the teachers and they thought that meant success or the promise of success. However, time proved out for that not to be the case.

So are we back to "the teachers looking like the students" undercurrent I have been posting about and others have been pooh-poohing me on?

Also, there was a movie maybe on A&E channel where a star NC teacher went to Harlem to teach and his experiences that first year. He found that connectivity thread and while I would not call it culturally based, that helped his class, lowest expected to succeed, actually beat the "advanced" class on the end of year grade tests. For example, when he was trying to teach them the list of US presidents, be developed a rhythm, a beat, a type of poem that made it easier for them to associate with and learn.

Lastly, I have heard a couple of people speak about how Shakespeare written stuff can actually be put to "rap" beat. So is this just a case of discovering a linkage to Shakespeare from a cultural persepctive or is "rap" music nothing special, nothing new and known from early times, just a basic building block of the human race, no cultral differences at all? Are cultural differences a made up figment meant to more effectively divide this country. Are they just another way to create excuses when none other can be found or at least a new list invented when others are addressed and academic success is not found.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me more like those that only wish to be entertained versus those who are more cerebral.

Bill_Stevens said...

Alicia, it became immediately apparent these new task forces are about diversity (defined not to include whites) and some new Broad strategy designed to make our community school leadership to appear more "connected" to the urban culture/disease. As another poster has already said, no one is an American anymore. Can we create more labels to drive more wedges between and all in the meantime, the central/federal government subverts our whole society? When what really needs to happen is the federal government reeled back in and made to adhere to the Constitution.

Anonymous said...

CMS Task Force Leaders:

1. Chief Officer
2. Broad Fellow
3. Executive Director
4. Senior Vice President
5. Foundation Chairman
6. Lawyer
7. Board Chairman
8. CMS administrator
9. Rabbi
10. Reverend

So much for someone with the title "teacher". Well, I suppose "carpenter" with the surname Jesus didn't make the cut either.

Alicia

Anonymous said...

Why would they want teachers in on the discussions? Everyone in the real world obviously knows more than teachers. You know the old saying "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach"

Anonymous said...

50 years and trillions of dollars later he we are STILL trying to figure out a way to (let’s face it once and for all) sucessfully educate the black folks. Lord have mercy, how many different ways have we tried this thing and yet they still languish near the bottom in every category. Even the Latinos, who are relatively new to the game, have lept over them leaps and bounds. Nothing seemingly works, yet they ask for more and more programs, more and more funding; all the while leveling excuse after excuse, and pointing the finger everywhere but at themselves. I simply don’t understand how it is that this Country has bent over backwards for the past 50 years, spent trillions of dollars towards trying to help them succeed, lowered every standard to the most basic of requirements, and they still have made no measurable progress whatsoever. Someone please help understand this, could they really have squandered every opportunity granted them for the last fifty years? That just seems impossible to me.

Anonymous said...

2:13
Those who can't teach, try micro-managing.

Alicia

Anonymous said...

2:27, it's like I posted yesterday, I have never seen so many liberals in Charlotte with the "white guilt" disease.

Lastly, ask your self how you raise your kids? When you are trying to teach themselves money management and budgeting and such, do you bail them out every time they get themselves in a hole when you have told them over and over again not to do that?

Anonymous said...

They would never have a teacher lead a task force, but be sure there are teachers in the task force groups offering their opinions. Whether or not those opinions are heeded is another story.

Anonymous said...

This is another example of teacher evaluations and pay for performance.It is all subjective and today I was told that a logarithm will determine a teachers salary. To many variables in pay for performance for this to work.

Bill_Stevens said...

2:27, while you are partly right, a significant portion of this race through off the victimhood "hoodie" and decided to take advantage of these opportunities though many still argued they did not "guarantee" success. The key we have not been willing to adopt is at what point do we see whether this stuff works for soome and nnot for others. When it does not work or others, then stop the drain. Simply quite paying them to have babies and make then rely on family or ther community supprt groups. Quit making the responsible, hard working tax payers pat for things they themselves would never accept as socially responsible behavior.

Simple, end of debate.

Ann Doss Helms said...

3:54, I was thinking the same thing. There could be practical reasons for not tapping teachers to lead. If you're in an admin job, it's feasible to carve off a certain number of work hours for task force duties. For a classroom teacher, seems like that would be much harder. Teachers, do you agree?

But yeah, not including teachers on the task forces would be another matter entirely. I'd be surprised to see that happen.

Anonymous said...

People who serve on the school board have full-time jobs. How do they carve out the time?

Anonymous said...

A Rabbi can lead a congregation and a task-force, a Senior Vice President can manage a company and lead a task-force, but a teacher can't lead a classroom of kids and lead a task-force at the same time? I'm not saying this is easy, but I find the premise insulting.

Anonymous said...

Ann,
What? For practical reasons it's only feasible for stay-at-home mommies who have "extra-time" to carve out of their day to lead an effective PTA? Excuse me?

Alicia Durand

Anonymous said...

So, it's a form of altruism when executives, politicians, and lawyers exclude teachers from leading an EDUCATIONAL task-force? Should we exclude doctors at the local emergency room from leading a cancer awareness task-force because they're overworked too?

Alicia

Anonymous said...

How did select CMS teachers manage to carve out the time to design test-pilot standardized pay-for-performance tests in dance, yearbook and marching band?

Ooo, ooo! I know! CMS PAID substitute teachers to come to school and cover classes while providing test teachers a free IPad!

I can't make this stuff up.

Alicia

Ann Doss Helms said...

Alicia, I'm not sure if you're agreeing or disagreeing with that PTA thing. If I'm not mistaken, most of the powerhouse PTA leaders are parents with time available to focus on that work, no? But you've got a great point that CMS can find ways to cover a classroom if the mission is considered important enough.

BolynMcClung said...

IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE TASK FORCE LEADERS.....

....you got a few choices: ignore the results or form shadow groups.

How difficult would it be? For example: Compensation?

No doubt that the community could produce many experts of its own from many stations in life to produce recommendations.

Maybe: Achievement. Not to make a bad pun but this is a "no brainer" for being a shadow group.

Shadowing is probably not something that can be done. Too expensive.

The 2006 Martin Committee, which was 37 citizens gathered to determine when or if the district had the will for a school bond, had a budget of $160,000 but likely had additional County-CMS donated manpower of $300,000. It lasted 13 weeks.

I happen to like the mix of leadership. The ones I know are always respectful of opinions. Contrary to the comments in this blog, these men and women will expand horizons..not shutter them.


Bolyn McClung
Pineville

Bill_Stevens said...

Boyln, too many of us have been burnt by going to CMS task force meetings only to have our comments re-worded to fit the agenda of the workshop leaders and to not reflect the intention at all in which they were presented.

I plan to attend a couple of these and see if I see any difference in the CMS pattern of ignoring the input of the suburbanites and see how much panering there is the "community organizers".

Anonymous said...

Can we just give Kojo the keys to all the schools? Then he can just run them since Heath cannot. And when that happens maybe you can write a decent article about , because this one sucks.

Anonymous said...

As mentioned earlier by another poster in Ann's blog, the Rand Corp's Delphi Technique and more recent variation, Expert Lens can shake and bake whatever consensus you want. Add your yes men/women, stir just enough, and Voila! just the information CMS wanted. These Heath/Broad experts are truly deserving of a Bread and Puppet Theater parade.

BolynMcClung said...

TO: BILL

Your experience with the 2005 Task Force appears different than the one I had as a member of the Martin Committee. Mine was excellent.

Something that happened out of that was four new school board members. Lennon, Morgan, McElrath were on the committee and Eric Davis played a big part in the background…..as did many others like Mike Murdock. Member Dr. Dan Murrey won a seat on the County Commission.

So for me the coming together of the community worked. But the Martin committee was put together by not by one source, but the town mayors, the County Manager and the school board. Well not exactly: Coach Joe White and Harry Jones made it happen.

I’ve already stated that the Martin Committee was a melting pot. A mix of the middle class and not too much upper crust. The results were good for the community

Here’s the 2005 Task Force breakdown. None went on to serve in elected office.

Global Marketing Officer, BOA
Former Mayor of Charlotte
President of a global strategy company
District manager of Duke Energy
Senior partners in law firms (2)
Retired banker, Wachovia
Pastor, St. Paul Missionary Baptist
Civic leader (3)
CEO
President and CEO of large construction firm
President and CEO of CHS
President of BellSouth – NC

Now the view of the 2012 Task Force leaders. We don’t know the rank and file members yet.

1. Chief Officer
2. Broad Fellow
3. Executive Director
4. Senior Vice President
5. Foundation Chairman
6. Lawyer
7. Board Chairman
8. CMS administrator
9. Rabbi
10. Reverend

This isn’t as top heavy as 2005.

Morrison is doing this for his reasons. But I’m glad he’s doing it because of fertile ground it will be for the next class of education leaders. Those will come from the rank and file. I kind of think that is in the back of the super’s mind….at least I want to hope that.

Respectfully,

Bolyn McClung
Pineville

Bill_Stevens said...

Bolyn, thanks for the opinion but I had a personal confrontation with one of those members. They attempted to pull my work management into the mix ala Harry Jones to make trouble for me at work. Luckily my manager was brave enough to call them on it but did not go to their work management to express concern over their tactic. Just as well I guess looking back on it. You do not want to stoop to the level some of these people operate at. One of my favorite management sayings is "don't get into the mud with pigs, they like it there".

These folks are okay as long as you go along with their preconceived ideas. They are not open to input that may give them a different slant on addressing the issue. They then do not have their fingerprints on their 15 minutes of glory.

Bill_Stevens said...

Oh and as for the new board members, I do not think those logically thinking of actions and consequences would agree with your conclusion about them.

Anonymous said...

Although I believe a teachers ability to connect with all students is very important you make a wonderful point!

Anonymous said...

Bolyn, Those school board members you are in love with what peaches. Closed schools , Changed districts, Swapped his seat to get a free ride (Morgan), Uprising in the community created, Changed zones pissing most parents off, Changed school bell times , lost millions on schools they closed they cant lease , fired their lobbyist 3 yrs ago, lost control of the board to EES in the Morgan Power Play backfire, served their terms with highest percentage of students LEAVING CMS , saw grade point averages fall, were caught in bed with Petey , Let basically all department heads do nothing and eventually they all left. I mean Bolyn were is your head?

Anonymous said...

The only good thing about those board members coming on is Leake and Dunlap went off.

Anonymous said...

Ann,
I'm a former PTO president. As much as I despise the thought of fitting "the profile", to many people I do - college graduate, bank executive husband, grandmother who was a school teacher, father who was a public school superintendent, former certified teacher myself, nice house, decent car, trips to the beach over spring break and the best dog. I worked 25 hrs. a week outside of the home while serving as a PTO president with a toddler in preschool so the suggestion I had lots of carefree time makes me a little defensive but I get your point. I would say I made the time to serve in this role although it's nice to have a luxury of lifestyle that allows one the freedom and opportunity to choose to commit oneself to hours of volunteer work. Being a PTO/PTA president is a full-time volunteer job that would be impossible for someone to undertake if they were struggling to put a roof over their kid's head and food on the table.

However, here's where I have an issue with the composition of CMS' latest list of task-force leaders based on my experiences as a former teacher, parent, and PTO president. For starters, there are plenty of people without all the "right" credentials who have remarkable gifts and talents that can and do contribute positively to a successful school environment - every day. Unfortunately, its not uncommon for people to feel intimidated by the grand podium many so-called educational "experts" stand behind. One of the things that struck me about being a PTO president was that almost anyone with half a brain could do it - just like being a school board member. It just takes passion, commitment, some hutzpah, and drive. Of course, I let the MBA's handle the finances.

If one of the goals of education is to create a close and trusting relationship between students, teachers, parents and administrative personelle, than it seems to me that holding those without fancy pedigrees at arm's length does nothing more than build walls of distrust and exclusivity. In addition, I strongly believe educational reform can never happen unless teachers are freed from bureaucratic harassment handed down by those who've never taught but somehow "know" everything. Excluding teachers AND students from positions of educational leadership and academic governance is a form of marginalization which is counterproductive to any sort of real and meaningful dialog aimed at facilitating positive change.

Yours Truly,
Alicia

Anonymous said...

And to preach the obvious...

It might be beneficial for someone to point out to Dr. Morrison that a few of "yesterday's" task-force leaders come with some serious and very heavy community baggage.

Griffin, Griffin and Rembert?

AD

Anonymous said...

The Middle Ring? The Equity Committee?

Thought process on these leadership choices?

Wiley Coyote said...

No wonder I was never a PTA president.

Whew!

Anonymous said...

The author misses the fundamental point of Christianity. Accepting Christ into our heart is a personal decision, a bond between a person and God. The style of preaching in an organized religion matters not. What matters is the individual acceptance of God's grace. Missionaries around the globe would fail.....but do not.

I left CMS after watching senior level executives of a specific CMS division lie to a BOE attorney twisting the truth to look righteous when they were giving false witness. Their lies were to my professional advantage showing they knew their actions were wrong. Their lies adopted my position as their own. The ability to lie to other leaders, staff, parents, the press (some think to call a lie B.S. is different then to lie) on a daily basis is held high by some executives still left at CMS.

In terms of teaching cultural sensitivity does matter. However, cultures come an go.

Charles Darwin suggests those species that adapt to change have the best chance of survival, while those who do not adapt do not make it.

I changed my job as opposed to adapting to a culture of deceit established, acknowledged and practiced by those in leadership of a division within CMS. Children do not have the same capability.

Failure to address the issue of culture results in more $30,000 per year prisonships than $30,000 a year scholarships. “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea." Matthew 18:6 (NIV)

In the words of Maude, "God will get you for that!"

John said...

I'm always amused at how we defer to "education experts" to fix a failing system, when it's the "experts" that are part of the failed system! They have been embedded in the system for how long and we still have the same problems?

Why isn't it time to look outside the system for new ideas?

Does anyone remember that public education in this country started in the churches, not in the government? Maybe it's not God we need to get out of the schools, but an incompetent government!

John said...

Three simple steps to a better education:

#1 Learn to read, and love to read. If you teach a child to love reading, you will never have to teach them anything else, because they will learn everything else by reading.

#2 Question everything. Never let anyone tell you what you should think. Research it and make up your own mind.

#3 Recognize that despite claims to the contrary, science doesn't have an answer for everything. Some things you just have to take on faith and there is no way around it.

Shamash said...

Funny, but she looks "white" to me.

I guess that's why she has to try so hard to look "African" with all the accessories.

Anonymous said...

I'm so tired of hearing about "cultural differences" when all anyone really means is that blacks and hispanics just don't do as well in school as nearly everyone else from any other culture.

It's really that simple.

I know plenty of "minority" Asians who don't have the problems with school that our two major "struggling" cultures seem to have.

We don't need special culturally sensitive teaching for most Asians for some odd reason.

And I didn't have a lot of "cultural conflict" teaching English in China, either.

I just taught and the kids just studied and learned.

How was that possible without me having all that "diversity" training we so desperately push in the US?

Let's just get past all this crap and admit that some "cultures" are losers and others are winners in this world and get on with teaching the individual child regardless of their "cultural" background.

Everywhere you go, no matter what the culture, 2+2 still equals 4.

So let's "throw away those crutches" (as a faith healer would say) and let the kids walk.

Bill Stevens said...

Maybe it has more to do with this from www.theroot.com.

In 1960, the proportion of black children living with a single parent was 20 percent. By 1970, that number had grown to 30 percent. The numbers for intact families slid throughout the 1970s. Black families started crumbling in the 1980s.


In 1980, more black children were living with a single parent than with two parents (43.9 percent versus 42.2 percent, respectively). Black single-mom families continued to mushroom, making them a stark contrast with most U.S. families where children lived with both mom and dad.

Wiley Coyote said...

Maybe it has to do with too many cooks in the kitchen barking out ingredients and how to make the cake.

Shamash said...

I think it's worth observing just how many countries with better educational systems than ours aren't particularly Christian.

At least not to the same degree that we are.

Maybe it's time we recognized that and kept the two separate.

Wiley Coyote said...

Shamash,

I will go out on a limb and say the lack of religion or at least morals; of what used to be unacceptable, but is condoned today, is partly to blame.

I supposed by your standards that if a child is caught stealing at school, we'll have an assembly to mete out his or her punishment of lopping off their hand?

Parochial schools at least give parents an alternative to public schools.

Anonymous said...

Wiley,
48 high powered grand pooh-bah task-force "leaders" x 22 "stake-holders" per task-force.

Let the average 5th grader do the "effective" educational reform math.

Alicia

Wiley Coyote said...

...I believe it's 12 per task force.

Morrison wants to keep membership to about a dozen on each of the 22 panels

Does that make me smarter than a fifth grader?

Anonymous said...

Oops. Divided by 9 school board members representing 6 districts.

AD

Anonymous said...

Wiley,
Well, I guess it does! Thank you for paying attention to the front of the class! A+++!

Alicia

Anonymous said...

OK, so let's regroup.

It's 22 task-force leaders x 12 stake-holders per task-force divided by 9 school board members representing 6 districts.

Got it!

Alicia

Anonymous said...

Hey 7:23 The team that lies together gets raises together...and even a few promotions. Nice to know there are still some who choose to rise above the trash. Good bloodline I suppose. Only the experienced can lie at the top and remain hidden.

Wiley Coyote said...

It's 22 task-force leaders x 12 stake-holders per task-force divided by 9 school board members representing 6 districts.

Where zero means no clue, here's the calculation:

(22x12)/9
----------
0

When you try to divide by zero, things stop making sense

Anonymous said...

Wiley,
How about co-hosting CMS TV's resurrected math homework show with me? Oh, the possibilities!

Alicia

Wiley Coyote said...

I already have a corporate sponsor lined up, Pete Schweddy, the maker of Schweddy Balls.

Anonymous said...

If you had watched any of the old math homework shows, you'd realize why fewer and fewer American students are avoiding engineering programs.

Anonymous said...

I wonder when the day comes when Asian and Hindu students do not want white students in their schools because the urban disease has infected them.