Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It does not seem possible ...

It does not seem possible that there would be an interest at the Federal level to make the teaching profession more insecure then it is now.  That appears to be the case.

Florida political leaders appear to have passed SB6 as an attempt to get their Federal share of the $4.35 billion Race to the Top fund.  That was not enough to get the money.  The money went to Delaware and Tennesee.  They will get another opportunity later this year.

I can not envision how undermining the teaching profession can improve education. I am already at the point where I avoid teaching and advise others to do the same thing.

I doubt if any school administrator will ever do anything that will change my mind regard the teaching profession.  But, I'm open to that possibility.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Study: Home matters more than school reform

Two University of Florida researchers say it's confirmed:  Where you live and what you do with your parents influence school performance.  "The core philosophy of school reform today is that effective schools and quality teaching can correct all learning problems ...and if they fail, it's the educators 'fault,' says Harry Naniels, the study's lead investigator.  But "the most important factor ... may be the children's life style and the early learning opportunities they receive at home."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Under Florida SB 6 (Passed Senate, pending in House)

Teachers would serve a five year probationary period and then get single-year contracts, with pay based on evaluations.  Half of their pay wuld be linked to student test results.

Bonuses now given to teachers with National Board certification would be eliminated in 2014.

All studnets must take geometry, two years of algebra, biology, chemistry or physics and an additional "rigorous" science course.

Phase out the FCAT in hight schools by 2014 and replace it with an end-of-course tests. Students who fail the tests can move to the next grade, but graduation depends on passing.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Florida's Senate is still punishing teachers.

The Senate is poised to vote on SB 6, which envisions a future where any teacher hired after July 1 has no gaurantee of a job year-to-year. That would make it easier to get rid of a teacher without having to endure a laborious discipline proceeding.  It would also make the teachers even more insecure than they are now.

SB 6 will also do away with tenure.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Playing A Musical Instrument Makes You Smarter

Many studies have been conducted on the effects of music to the brain. Scientists say that children who are exposed to music, or those who play an instrument, do better in school than those who don’t. Recent research suggests exposure to music may benefit a child’s reading age, IQ and the development of certain parts of the brain. Adults can benefit from learning to play an instrument too because it helps the mind to be alert and remain active eventually helping to sharpen the memory.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fixing schools requires all to pitch in .... Bill Maxwell

I have heard since I got involved in education about fixing schools.  This now sounds like a mantra that insinuates that it is broke.  At this point in my life, it lacks sincerity.  It seems to me that it is more of an evolutionary process.  Fixed?  I doubt it.  Schools changing gradually over time and becoming something different?  Yes!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

U.S. science literacy has increased to 28%.

Miller concedes that some of the rapid increase in U.S. science literacy may reflect self-education by adults, aided by the Internet.

Over the past two decades, science literacy has nearly tripled in the U.S. to a meager 28%.  Source: Science news, March 13, 2010.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Rowdy protester target funding cuts at US campuses

BERKELEY, Calif. – Students carried out raucous rallies on college campuses nationwide Thursday in protests against deep education cuts that turned violent as demonstrators threw punches and ice chunks in Wisconsin and blocked university gates and smashed car windows in California.

Link To News Story

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Brawls disrupt middle school

"We have no control, " says a teacher at John Hopkins in St. Petersburg, FL, with 60 arrested since fall.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Bill Maxwell wrote:

"Becasue people are low income, it doesn't mean they don't care about their children and don't want them to get a good education. These parents care about their kids.  They want them to have the best education.  And, tax credit scholarship affords them the opportunity."