Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Today's Random Thoughts

-Did you hear the news? People do better when they procrastinate (sometimes). Which means my dissertation is going to be awesome.

-When I saw the headline -- "5 myths about education" -- I was sure we were in for some sort of ridiculous rhetoric. Just as we're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, I guess we can't judge an op-ed by its title. Kalman Hettleman actually offers up some good advice, rebutting a lot of the most common rhetoric we hear (plus it's pretty short, so it's definitely worth a read).

-In case you thought I hate charter schools, here's something good (I think) that many are doing -- finding innovative ways to reduce class size. Team-teaching and mentoring won't always work out, but these sound like some worthwhile ways to both develop junior teachers and give kids more attention.

-Here's one of those ideas that just seems like it will work no matter no matter how hard I try to convince myself that it would fail and/or raise large ethical concerns. Rather than creating magnet schools that draw the best students from traditional schools, this teacher says "What should have been done was to pull out the bottom ten percent." I really can't underscore how large of an impediment behavioral issues are in some schools, and it sure seems like this would help alleviate that (though who knows -- things never seem to work out as planned). What we do with the removed students, of course, raises huge issues.

1 comment:

mmazenko said...

My initial reaction to the column was the same, though I concur with your summation. Perhaps the most important issue she addresses is the concept that unions are not entirely to blame for the state of schools.

There are far too many successful schools and students with tenured, union staff for any causality. It's also a myth that tenured, union staff can't be fired. It's done all the time in communities who ensure that the school administrators do their job.

That said, I must say I'm not in the union at my school, and there is much to criticize.