Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Tuesday 12/13/05

Lots of activity this holyday season and so things have gotten backlogged. Hang on while I clear the desktop.

Freedom in Ohio--

The state that was the demarcation between free and slave states does it again by demonstrating education freedom. That same ethnic group joyfully embraced and fought for choice in Cincinnati and their struggle has set more captives free in the rest of the state.

The State Legislature has passed a voucher program, okaying millions of public tax dollars to send students to private schools. Monday, the state began getting out the word on how the program will work.
(snip)
The Cincinnati Federation of Teachers says draining money from public schools is no way to help public schools: From WKRC
Note to the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers: it's not about helping public schools--it's about actually educating students.

Oh...captives is too harsh a word? 'Compulsory attendance' isn't?

Well said--

But if public school districts wish to keep their enrollment numbers up -- and stop parents from homeschooling their children or sending them to parochial, private, charter or online schools -- they'd better be willing to adapt to changing trends in our society.

Academic freedom does not trump parental rights. From the Mansfield( OH) News Journal


Educated? Maybe not--

Sarah Moore's piece about an author's use of a thesaurus made me laugh out loud. The only thing Sarah overlooked was responding to this sentence by the editorial writer:

From the safety of any state university, the quixotic thrill of honorably serving the public can be thoroughly quenched with a bachelor of education degree.

Education majors may want to rethink that. I served in the military. I'm sure that my mother-in-law's experience in a inner city Nashville school was much more dangerous than my service during the Carter administration.

And since we're criticizing 'educated' folks.

I wouldn't wish this visit to the woodshed with Balidlocks on anyone. A "a 19 year old white william and mary student" has such poor writing skills that you wonder how he managed to get into the school. This isn't the half of it:

(As an aside, were I one of the faculty at William and Mary, I’d give you an ‘F’ simply for staining that august institution’s reputation by displaying your poor writing skills; it wouldn’t matter what subject it was. Were I one of your parents, I’d demand a refund for your tuition. However, I’m glad that you are only nineteen because you will have time to improve all of the writing-skill deficiencies displayed above.)

Here's an excellent idea
that ought to be replicated across the nation--

Nashville's KIPP charter school created an Amazon wish list to fill the school's library.

[KIPP principal Randy Dowell] and KIPP business manager Matt Grace stumbled upon the idea when doing research for the redesign of the school’s Web site.

Grace said they saw other school Web sites had wish lists and decided to coordinate one with Amazon because it would allow them to register for a variety of needs.

Staff members sent an e-mail invitation to check out the wish list to all their friends and family and the donations quickly rolled in. From Nashville City Paper

Anyone surprised that it's a charter school that's taken this innovative action? Let's have more schools with this kind of 'git er done' attitude. Here's their wishlist. Big upside--you don't have to pay for anything you find objectionable.

I'm pro-choice--

and so is Nathan Moore:

It’s something all school systems in America should not only consider but implement- especially Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. Creative solutions and new ways of thinking seem to be beyond the abilities of our current administration. It’s the vision thing, and as I’ve said before, we’re short on visionaries at the local level.
And Nathan takes it a bit further and asks when Nashville's school board chair is up for reelection. Not until 2008, Nathan.

More from the Moores---

Frankly, the Moores are doing a great job covering and commenting on education issues--maybe I am expendable. :-)

Here Nathan uses an essay on the need for a college education to make the case that too many aren't even ready for college and they'll get a sub-par college education as it is.

Maybe---

the higher cost of that lower education is the result of government control. Sen. Lamar Alexander was quoted as saying:

“Yet, thanks largely to the last two rounds of the federal Higher Education Act, each one of our 6,000 higher education institutions that accepts students with federal grants and loans must wade through over 7,000 regulations and notices. The president of Stanford has said that seven cents of every tuition dollar is spent on compliance with governmental regulations.”
I remember some years back asking why the state of Tennessee was even in the business of higher education. Why are my tax dollars funding any of this? A correspondent replied "Because it's too expensive for me to send my children to school without help." Apparently it never occurred to them that if they got to keep their tax money they may actually be able to afford this college education.

And at the other end of the education process--

Current House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh (D-Covington) looks toward the opening of the legislative session in January and writes:

The first round of pre-K expansion this fall is being financed with $25 million in excess lottery proceeds. As we move forward, we will need to commit additional funds out of existing revenues if we're going to realize the dream of offering prekindergarten to every 4-year-old in the state whose parents want him or her to attend.

Accomplishing that could prove politically difficult. Despite overwhelming support for pre-K, there still are some in the General Assembly who have exhibited short-sightedness and flawed logic when it comes to investing in our children. From the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

It is not 'short-sighted' for legislators to look into their constituent's wallets and see that we don't have the money you clearly want. What's short sighted is to begin a program knowing that the finances for that program are tenuous and 'politically difficult'.

I strongly recommend reading the Speaker's entire article.

Government as landlord--

That whole school board as landlord thing keeps popping up. After fussing about the terrible condition of the old Litton High School Gymnasium I realized I'd completely overlooked the Baxter Alternative Learning School, also in Inglewood. The school was in such bad condition that they built another one just down the road to replace it. BUT somehow it was good enough for those 'alternative' students. Never mind it was an eyesore to their neighbors we were told the school board didn't have the funds to fix it up. So the neighborhood business group took it upon themselves to do the job. And it seems the students are appreciating the effort.

And now comes news via Enclave that the renovations of Jones Paideia, saved from the brink, may not get the contracted renovations. He does provide some useful suggestions for community input.

Kingsport ALC---

The Kingsport Times-News supports the formation of an alternative school in their area.

Modern public schools, unlike a generation ago, are required to educate any student, short of truly violent criminal misbehavior.
Well, the system did this to themselves. They wanted compulsory attendance. They've got compulsory attendance and all that comes with it--to include meeting the needs of special needs children and badly behaving ones. The only real solution is to recognize that compulsion isn't the answer.

Speaking of punishment---

Thaddeus Matthews and his commenters have a fair amount to say about the issue in Memphis.

Supt. Carol Johnson and some of the members of the City of Memphis school board wanted to end corporal punishment and go to a program called Blue Ribbon.A program that will cost taxpayers $6,000,000 over 3 years. But is it working? Are we hearing about all the violence that is taking place now that we have given control of the schools to the students?

2 comments:

Steve said...

I enjoy reading your comments and am curious about your background. You state that you were in the military. Did you receive a college education using the G.I. bill? I'm interested in the level of education you have achieved. No, I'm not being sarcastic. Just genuinely interested in knowing if you were awarded a degree in Education. If so, what is your opinion of the level of education offered in Tennessee's public universities vs. private/Christian universities located in Tennessee.

Kay Brooks said...

Thanks for reading and commenting, Steve. I do appreciate your time and participation.

I did not receive a college education using the GI bill.

I don't have an education degree so I guess that means I'm off the hook for question #3. :-)