I was at the school board meeting yesterday. It was a "Work Session" which they have every month. Hawthorne school was giving their school improvement report. They've been doing this for about 20 years- you'd think they would be improved by now- but what would happen to all the workshop providers, non profits and consultants if they actually accomplished school reform? They'd be out of work. Does this mean that we will be in school reform mode at the public schools indefinitely? It appears that way.
Well the school board always praises the school improvement reports- this is a way of praising themselves. They are just so cutting edge- probably just so cutting edge that the rest of us just can't understand it-or better yet- can't accept their genius (which comes to them from Federal Grants that generally get their push from somewhere else- like special interest groups and the U.N.). In any case- see if you think I'm just not forward thinking to not accept this one. In the bathrooms at Hawthorne School they are teaching respect by putting up signs that say "NO SEEING WHEN SOMEONE IS PEEING" and "NO SNOOPING WHEN SOMEONE IS POOPING". Hippies always did love vulgar language.
I couldn't believe I had to get up this morning and take the time to write the principal at Hawthorne School (c.c. ing in the Superintendent who was at the meeting) to explain to them that saying pooping and peeing to the little children was inappropriate- the kind of thing we generally hope to teach our children not to say- at least in polite company, at school, and in public. She wrote me back and thanked me for my "OPINION". I'm probably just flailing out there all alone with this OPINION, right?
They are just so "Cutting edge" that they don't know that controlling our language is one way of showing respect to one another. They don't know that we teach our children appropriate behaviors and language by modeling it for them.
The "cutting edge" planning committee was there to give their first report after being hired. They skyped a lady who spoke all of about 3 sentences. The presenter could have told us himself that Brain Spaces is a firm that specializes in planning spaces for education- but that would be just so yesterday. I guess we're all just too stupid to arrange classrooms for kids, we need a $250,000.00 firm to do this. So the school district will pick who will be on the planning committee. Don't bother applying- they only want smart people- that means people who agree with them. You only can see the future and are smart and with it if you go along with the program here. OF COURSE the business community and other powers that be will be on this committee, if they can get them. Getting the "right" people on the committee will help pass the BOND.
Before we leave the "cutting edge" here we should talk about the DIGITAL ACADEMY ( even we stupid people know this is online learning). Apparently the "Cutting edge" is collaboration all the way- or maybe it's online learning by yourself at home. As the curriculum specialist from the digital academy gave his presentation I was on the edge of my seat waiting for someone to ask the obvious question. There was a time for questions from the board but no one ever did ask that obvious question. There is just such a lack of curiosity. So I followed the gentleman out into the hall and asked him myself. I said when I taught school for 30 years there was always the concern of children not doing their own work- looking on other students papers for test answers for example. Here's the question HOW DO YOU KNOW THESE STUDENTS ARE DOING ANY OF THE WORK AT ALL- ESPECIALLY TAKING THE TESTS? I always did wonder about these online courses. Well- if the students work changes a lot for the better they call him/her up and ask questions. If they're not satisfied with the answers they make them do the work again. Tests are taken at school with a proctor (teacher aide to make sure they don't cheat)- oh so yesterday. Only one more thought and I hate to be the one to bring it up-but of course I will- why in the world would you offer classes in the Irish language? I'm Irish - but I don't speak Irish. Has anyone noticed that it's a dead language of no use at all unless you're an ancient historian and want to read original documents? I doubt our high school kids fit into this category.
Even if you vote Democrat you can't make more money. Choices are going to have to be made and that's one thing we know for sure. Will they choose teaching Irish and $250,000.00 firms over food share?