Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hillary is pro-uniforms

In comments to Iowa teachers recently:

[Hillary Rodham Clinton] supports implementing a school uniform policy so students, particularly girls, can focus on school and not peer pressure over what they wear. "Take that off the table and put the focus on school, not on what you're wearing," she said. Associated Press

Her views on teacher pay straddled the fence. Merit pay bad. Incentive pay good.
Merit pay for teachers "could be demeaning and discouraging, and who would decide" who would receive it, she said in a meeting with teachers at Cunningham Elementary. "It would open a whole lot of problems."
Clinton said Monday she does support incentives for teachers who work in geographic areas and on subjects where there are shortages. And she has said she supports "schoolwide pay for performance programs because I think that the school has to be viewed as a whole unit with everybody working together."


Nashteach said...

a school uniform policy

Yep, Bill Clinton proposed one in 1996, IIRC. One of a long list of proposals to appeal to moderate America.

...so students, particularly girls, can focus on school...

What I've noticed as a teacher is that, unlike almost every other rule with punishment for breaking, girls are much more likely to be in violation. So, if enough suspensions are doled out, girls might finally receive equity in punishment. [/sacrasm] Seriously though, the girls seem more upset about it and more willing to push the limits of the SSA policy.

I will add I think the notion of the feds enacting a school uniform policy is laughable.

incentives for teachers who work in geographic areas

Fair enough, if it means high poverty schools, where teachers are likely to be newer and lower on the salary scale- these schools are paying less for teachers as it is. It makes more sense to me to use that money to better the conditions though. More teachers are leaving due to the conditions than they are because of the money. Giving extra money for hazard pay isn't the best solution if the goal is to remove the "hazardous conditions." Supportive, curriculum-centered principal, lower class sizes, clear rules with clear enforcement. That's what would make me consider moving.

But again, the feds won't have much to do with this, likely. She does like to straddle the fence. A bit annoying, but it won't cost her the election.


Wendy said...

The web site Great Schools dot net has an online survey of parents regarding this very topic. The online survey asks "Should public schools require students to wear uniforms?" The answers are as follows "Yes, it helps kids to focus on learning." and "No, kids need freedom of expression." 3722 votes have been totaled, 78% voted yes, and 22% voted no.

I also agree that we can do more for our schools where we have high poverty. We have already seen a flight pattern of high and middle income families from our zoned schools. If the money can't follow the children or directly benefit the teachers, then lets invest in those schools with better facilities, more technologies, pay teachers for leading extra-curricular activies, like after-school band as well as the athletic programs.

You all know how I feel about Litton, clean water and clean air will go a long way for our students and teachers. How can we attract more middle income students back to a school that has visibly poor water coming out of the tap?


Nashteach said...

How can we attract more middle income students back to a school...

Not your question exactly, but the general question is a good one.

1. Rigor in the curriculum along with a principal who monitors instruction for it and engenders an atmosphere of support for higher standards.

2. Weaken the rules against schools touting their own horn. Too often, central office controls the PR- principals need more leeway to go out into the city and tout the strengths of their school. More and more, only the bad news gets covered.

3. Increase visibility and activeness of academic extra-curricular activities. Metro's debate program is lacking despite plenty of students who'd be great at it, only one high school in Nashville competes in chess, more Quiz Bowl, more creative writing journals, Youth Leg., etc.

4. More choice. A family choosing a school is much more empowering than simply being assigned one.

They still haven't fixed that water? Shameful!