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Thread: 180 School Days

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by dickkotite View Post
    This might be the most ignorant post of all time. Every single one of your bitter accusations is off base. "Free Periods" lol ok thanks......... I know teachers who spend saturday and sunday afternoons grading papers.

    An essay takes at least 5 minutes each to grade and critique times 125 students= 10+ hours a week. Thats just ONE assignment per week...imagine several even teaching different subjects meaning different preps. Then you have to do the data entry, plus meetings that prevent you from doing all that plus lesson planning plus prof development plus parent meetings plus all the other clerical stuff that is unavoidable

    dude seriously your post is very angry and baseless. you sound like a big time whiner probably pouring concrete and breaking your back wondering what it could have been like if you didnt make such bad decisions as a youngster.
    I taught accounting at a major university for 4 years full time while building my practice and when we gave "problem" exams the grading took at least that and is not enjoyable work.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooklyn Jet View Post
    Id like to see a link to that study. In NY, elementary schools are cutting teachers, not adding new ones, in a lot of districts.
    Guess what. People are leaving NY in droves. NJ too. That's why Southern states picked up more Congressional rep and northern states lost them.
    They are hiring like crazy in SC, NC, TX. New jobs in other areas. Taylor mmade gold moving to SC. Goodbye Cal.

    The study appeared on yahoo yesterday. Best and worst degrees for college grads.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr726 View Post
    Public sector jobs have been on a steady decline, Palmetto was probably shining his anchor when that report came out.

    Public sector is doing well here. Hiring. Maybe because the public employees are not greedy and actually work. Where thing are not decaying (see NE, NY, NJ) the public sector grows.
    Have a galvanized set of anchors BTW.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    Guess what. People are leaving NY in droves. NJ too. That's why Southern states picked up more Congressional rep and northern states lost them.
    They are hiring like crazy in SC, NC, TX. New jobs in other areas. Taylor mmade gold moving to SC. Goodbye Cal.

    The study appeared on yahoo yesterday. Best and worst degrees for college grads.
    Is that the one that stated 5.4% unemployment rate for recent grads 22-26 and that:

    ....teaching jobs are projected to be high.

    That's because the teaching work force is one with a higher than average age, according to Carnevale. This means there will likely be more job openings due to retirement.

    "The retirement rate of teachers over the next 15 to 20 years is going to be huge. So there'll be openings in teaching even if they cut back on public spending," Carnevale adds.
    Hang in there college grad, hopefully some old fart teacher will retire in 5, 10, 15 years and you'll get a job. In the meantime, here's how to work the deep fryer.

    But in all seriousness, wonder what that 5.4% represents behind the numbers.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trades View Post
    That Bloomberg is a crafty one! He is forcing low test scores to fire teaches and at the same time forcing "falsely" higher test scores at the same time to prove out his policies. Brilliant!

    I see what you are saying on the whole but as I have said before I think you need to get out of the city and teach in a real school instead of a prison. The rest of the country is nothing like what you describe. You chose your situation and continue to stay there. Before you say you stay there for the kids you have also said that the kids and their parents don't give a damn so why not go somewhere where the parents are involved, administration isn't draconian and kids aren't carrying weapons?
    Yes TRADES exactly. In teacher contract years (and non election) the city and state exams are difficult, all to make a case to not give teachers raises and/or fire them. When it is an election year or the mayor needs to make a point they are easy. It's that corrupt.

    If a tenured teacher moves from the inner city to the suburbs he/she must give up his tenure and start over. At one point, before Republicans vilified teachers, this might have been possible. A good teacher in the city could easily give up his tenure and then prove himself again. No tenured teacher in their right might would give it up now. They'd never get it back no matter how good they are. Teaching is now a 3 year and your out job. Who in their right mind would sacrifice time and money to get a masters degree and numerous teacher tests and workshops that are payed out of the teachers pocket all to be fires after year three? All the master plan of the zombie politicians who go as far to try and convince the world that somehow an inexperienced teacher is more valuable than an experienced one. (Last In First Out)

    In what world does a less experienced professional have more value than an experienced one?

    In an America where politicians have ruined your kids education by convincing the public through the media that it is the tenured teachers fault and their fat pensions that were the cause of this economic downfall and no fault of themselves.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    So. It's an opportunity. Especially for women.
    And there will really be a chance and more openings when they get through indicting all the phony teachers faking up test scores. 35 and counting in Atlanta. Funny, the head came from Brooklyn. I guess the NYC ethics and morality rubbed off very well on her. Randi Weingarten blames the system. They had to cheat to keep up.
    This is a wide spread cancer. It happened in Charleston 2 years ago. Also Dallas, LA, Phily, DC.
    Odd - all mostly minority districts. And all showing remarkable progress.
    Cheat the kids. That's the way to a fine future.
    Funny how you mention the teachers when they are the lowest on totem pole and in most of these cases are following the orders of their superiors for fear of losing their jobs while its the superintendents who are pocketing the bonuses. Just like the Republican's wet dream Michelle Rhee who was successful firing a few hundred teachers unjustly using junk data from standardized tests. The same tests where she changed answers, took bonuses, and resigned abruptly.

    Imagine the dedicated, hardworking teachers who lost their jobs. Imagine the impact it had on their families and children because of the greed of Michelle Rhee. Waiting for Super Man (ROFLMAO)

    Ask yourself, is it worth it? All this money spent on standardized tests and now more money to investigate school systems that are suspected of cheating. This is what happens when politicians push unreachable educational goals through policies like George W Bush's No Child Left behind and Obama's Race To The Top/ Common Core Standards.

    Money well spent tax payers! Stop listening to Republicans who want you to believe that every teacher is living it up with no accountability in the work place. It was a huge fabrication.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by copernicus View Post
    Funny how you mention the teachers when they are the lowest on totem pole and in most of these cases are following the orders of their superiors for fear of losing their jobs while its the superintendents who are pocketing the bonuses. Just like the Republican's wet dream Michelle Rhee who was successful firing a few hundred teachers unjustly using junk data from standardized tests. The same tests where she changed answers, took bonuses, and resigned abruptly.

    Imagine the dedicated, hardworking teachers who lost their jobs. Imagine the impact it had on their families and children because of the greed of Michelle Rhee. Waiting for Super Man (ROFLMAO)

    Ask yourself, is it worth it? All this money spent on standardized tests and now more money to investigate school systems that are suspected of cheating. This is what happens when politicians push unreachable educational goals through policies like George W Bush's No Child Left behind and Obama's Race To The Top/ Common Core Standards.

    Money well spent tax payers! Stop listening to Republicans who want you to believe that every teacher is living it up with no accountability in the work place. It was a huge fabrication.

    It was teachers and the head of the teachers. Following orders? Sounds like a member of the poor Gestapo. "My colonel ordered it".
    I pose this question again. What has changed. On LI in the mid 50s, we were tested like crazy. It was never ending. By the time we graduated from HS, I know what happened to a lot of us - success. I've gone to reunions years ago - doctors, lawyers, successful business people, even teachers at various levels. It worked then, why not now.
    Sounds like you're miserable. IJF also. Advice. Do something else - you'll live longer. I'm not being sarcastic or joking.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooklyn Jet View Post
    Is that the one that stated 5.4% unemployment rate for recent grads 22-26 and that:



    Hang in there college grad, hopefully some old fart teacher will retire in 5, 10, 15 years and you'll get a job. In the meantime, here's how to work the deep fryer.

    But in all seriousness, wonder what that 5.4% represents behind the numbers.

    That sounds about right. But you see that's the way life works. You have to let those before you move out so you can move up. Same in business, the military, most things. Nothing new. Wait your turn.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    It was teachers and the head of the teachers. Following orders? Sounds like a member of the poor Gestapo. "My colonel ordered it".
    I pose this question again. What has changed. On LI in the mid 50s, we were tested like crazy. It was never ending. By the time we graduated from HS, I know what happened to a lot of us - success. I've gone to reunions years ago - doctors, lawyers, successful business people, even teachers at various levels. It worked then, why not now.
    Sounds like you're miserable. IJF also. Advice. Do something else - you'll live longer. I'm not being sarcastic or joking.
    Are you seriously going to compare standardized testing from 1950 to today!!?

    "Tested like crazy?" What exactly does this mean?

    Were you pre tested, post tested, standarized tested on top of classroom tests, and then lose classes like phys ed, social studies, and music for more test prep classes?

    Did you receive testing materials for practice over and over throughout the school year?

    Did your teachers even have ONE student who didnt speak English in the entire school!? ONE students that went home to a single parent household!?

    Any kids in the your classroom with AUTISM in 1950!?? Addicted to drug!!??

    The millions of dollars that are changing hands from politicians to testing companies presently compared to what was happening in 1950!!?

    Were there political agendas in 1950 to fire teachers based on standardized test scores!!??

    Do you have any idea how much of your money is being stolen by politicians and testing companies in schools all at the expense of children's education!!??

    Have you even stepped one foot in a school in the last ten years to comment so strongly??

    1950!!!??? You are so far out of touch its not even worth discussing
    Last edited by copernicus; 04-04-2013 at 05:09 PM.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    It was teachers and the head of the teachers. Following orders? Sounds like a member of the poor Gestapo. "My colonel ordered it".
    I pose this question again. What has changed. On LI in the mid 50s, we were tested like crazy. It was never ending. By the time we graduated from HS, I know what happened to a lot of us - success. I've gone to reunions years ago - doctors, lawyers, successful business people, even teachers at various levels.
    yeah - lump military in with doctors and lawyers. don't forget Pathmark Assistant Manager Trainees.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    I pose this question again. What has changed. On LI in the mid 50s, we were tested like crazy. It was never ending. By the time we graduated from HS, I know what happened to a lot of us - success. I've gone to reunions years ago - doctors, lawyers, successful business people, even teachers at various levels. It worked then, why not now.
    You know you got me thinking PD, it seems like Long Islanders think way ahead of the times. In the 1950's they got it right according to you, why not now? I think I'll join on of those Long Island groups that are thinking ahead times:

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/04/...ardized-tests/

    NORTH BELLMORE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - Some parents on Long Island are not allowing their children to take the New York State standardized tests because they say the tests are making their kids sick.

    Jeanette Deutermann of North Bellmore told WCBS 880 reporter Sophia Hall that it happened suddenly last year.

    He normally happy third grade son became upset, crying at night and not wanting to go to school.

    She said she soon discovered it was because of the standardized tests that last two weeks. The tests are for students in third through eighth grades.
    play

    This year, she said her son is not taking the test.

    “Third graders are being forced to read at a seventh, eighth, ninth grade reading level. The test questions themselves, often parents can’t even figure out the answers,” Deutermann told Hall.


    She said being faced with questions he couldn’t possibly answer made him physically upset.

    Deutermann said she started a Facebook page to encourage parents to opt their children out of the tests.

    2,300 parents have done so. She said children are not penalized for not taking the tests.


    “What the kids have to do is refuse to take the test and they’re scored as a 999, which is a no score. It doesn’t count against the district, doesn’t count against the student,” she said.

    New York State Department of Education Associate Commissioner Ken Wagner issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

    “Two years ago the Board of Regents announced that the State would begin testing students on more rigorous academic standards beginning this year. The goal is to make certain that all students are on track to succeed in college and meaningful careers when they graduate high school. Parents who keep their children from taking these tests are essentially saying, ‘I don’t want to know where my child stands, in objective terms, on the path to college and career readiness’ — and we think that that’s doing them a real disservice.”

    Parents from around the nation are in Washington, D.C. this week to call for a boycott of standardized testing. The four-day “Occupy the Department of Education” event is organized by United Optout.

    What do you think of standardized tests?


    Here's where you can sign up. We can always use another forward thinking person

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Long-...11021932327048

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by copernicus View Post
    Are you seriously going to compare standardized testing from 1950 to today!!?

    "Tested like crazy?" What exactly does this mean?

    Were you pre tested, post tested, standarized tested on top of classroom tests, and then lose classes like phys ed, social studies, and music for more test prep classes?

    Did you receive testing materials for practice over and over throughout the school year?

    Did your teachers even have ONE student who didnt speak English in the entire school!? ONE students that went home to a single parent household!?

    Any kids in the your classroom with AUTISM in 1950!?? Addicted to drug!!??

    The millions of dollars that are changing hands from politicians to testing companies presently compared to what was happening in 1950!!?

    Were there political agendas in 1950 to fire teachers based on standardized test scores!!??

    Do you have any idea how much of your money is being stolen by politicians and testing companies in schools all at the expense of children's education!!??

    Have you even stepped one foot in a school in the last ten years to comment so strongly??

    1950!!!??? You are so far out of touch its not even worth discussing
    We were teseted a lot. Class as well as standardized. You weren't even alive so please do not act like a source.
    We did not have practice materials to prepare. There were no practices until courses in HS for PSAT and SAT.
    We are spoke English, all had 2 parent famiolies that I knew, did not have druggies and knew of nobody with a mental deficiency. Those were sent to separate facilites.
    Classes wewre sorted by ability level. We had 5 levels prior to HS. Arranged by testing.
    We had music, art and gym.
    I know teachers are school board members, so I hear the story.

    If it sucks so bad, GET OUT. Who does something you hate? Irrational behavior. It's obvious you are not making a difference. Go where you can.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timmy® View Post
    yeah - lump military in with doctors and lawyers. don't forget Pathmark Assistant Manager Trainees.


    One was a commander of the Enterprise (the aircrraft carrier). Another a division commander in the Army. Yes, I group them with a doctor or a lawyer.
    You really have a learning disability problem.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by copernicus View Post
    You know you got me thinking PD, it seems like Long Islanders think way ahead of the times. In the 1950's they got it right according to you, why not now? I think I'll join on of those Long Island groups that are thinking ahead times:

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/04/...ardized-tests/

    NORTH BELLMORE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - Some parents on Long Island are not allowing their children to take the New York State standardized tests because they say the tests are making their kids sick.

    Jeanette Deutermann of North Bellmore told WCBS 880 reporter Sophia Hall that it happened suddenly last year.

    He normally happy third grade son became upset, crying at night and not wanting to go to school.

    She said she soon discovered it was because of the standardized tests that last two weeks. The tests are for students in third through eighth grades.
    play

    This year, she said her son is not taking the test.

    “Third graders are being forced to read at a seventh, eighth, ninth grade reading level. The test questions themselves, often parents can’t even figure out the answers,” Deutermann told Hall.


    She said being faced with questions he couldn’t possibly answer made him physically upset.

    Deutermann said she started a Facebook page to encourage parents to opt their children out of the tests.

    2,300 parents have done so. She said children are not penalized for not taking the tests.


    “What the kids have to do is refuse to take the test and they’re scored as a 999, which is a no score. It doesn’t count against the district, doesn’t count against the student,” she said.

    New York State Department of Education Associate Commissioner Ken Wagner issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

    “Two years ago the Board of Regents announced that the State would begin testing students on more rigorous academic standards beginning this year. The goal is to make certain that all students are on track to succeed in college and meaningful careers when they graduate high school. Parents who keep their children from taking these tests are essentially saying, ‘I don’t want to know where my child stands, in objective terms, on the path to college and career readiness’ — and we think that that’s doing them a real disservice.”

    Parents from around the nation are in Washington, D.C. this week to call for a boycott of standardized testing. The four-day “Occupy the Department of Education” event is organized by United Optout.

    What do you think of standardized tests?


    Here's where you can sign up. We can always use another forward thinking person

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Long-...11021932327048


    I believe I outlined some things about my experiences in school.
    I HATED school. I thought it was brutal. When I was younger I would cry about having to go. My parents were very tough about it. Go and you had better perform. I did under penalty of who knows. Though in the top tier I was reprimanded for not being number 1 or even in the top 5. Cruel, perhaps, but effective. It made me tough and hard.
    I did it differently will all my children. School was important but I never demanded a specific grade. Moderation. I and they stressed athletics (better balance) and all got full scholarships to ACC/SEC schools.
    They were also tested like crazy in grade and HS. But no pressure ffrom me on standardized tests. I looked at them and tossed them when the numbers came home.
    Frankly, I think parents are getting soft and letting it rub off.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    We were teseted a lot. Class as well as standardized. You weren't even alive so please do not act like a source.
    We did not have practice materials to prepare. There were no practices until courses in HS for PSAT and SAT.
    We are spoke English, all had 2 parent famiolies that I knew, did not have druggies and knew of nobody with a mental deficiency. Those were sent to separate facilites.
    Classes wewre sorted by ability level. We had 5 levels prior to HS. Arranged by testing.
    We had music, art and gym.
    I know teachers are school board members, so I hear the story.

    If it sucks so bad, GET OUT. Who does something you hate? Irrational behavior. It's obvious you are not making a difference. Go where you can.
    You are under the impression that I "hate" my job. I hate the politicians who have destroyed it by making it into a test lab corporation.

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by copernicus View Post
    You are under the impression that I "hate" my job. I hate the politicians who have destroyed it by making it into a test lab corporation.



    I am under that impression. Whatever the cause you are not a happy camper. My advice would be for anyone who is not joyous about their job is get another.

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    I am under that impression. Whatever the cause you are not a happy camper. My advice would be for anyone who is not joyous about their job is get another.
    Not so easy to just pick up and change school systems and jobs entirely the way that things are set up currently. If I changed school systems now (have to give up tenure) there would be ZERO chance i'd still be working after 3 years. I'd be let go no matter how well I performed simply over money,

    Yeah, I am still happy with my choice of becoming a teacher, that doesnt mean that there isnt something terribly wrong with the system currently or that by standing up for that means that I am miserable and should quit.

    I began teaching in 1995. I thought it was the best decision I've ever made. I couldn't believe how positive the students responded to me, how my colleagues and students parents respected me, how well I performed, and how good it made me feel. I really thought I hit the lottery. It was that for-filling. Then the government and GW Bush stepped in with No Child Left Behind and his agenda to fire teachers through standardized test scores (of course it wasnt presented this way initially.) Then Obama continued the money train of testing through Race To The Top/ Common Core Standards.

    So yes, for the last 10 years it has been extremly difficult. No Child Left Behind and now Common Core created a venue for politicians to use junk data from testing that would make any and every teacher look bad and ultimately fire them for budgetary reasons. Indirectly we have demoralized every student by giving them these state exams where success is virtually unreachable. Imagine the impact this has had on children being told over and over, year after year, how little they know?

    But the tide is beginning to turn and many citizens are beginning to see that the perception of our school system in shambles and that teachers were the cause of this was just a made up story by politicians with a monetary agenda. They are beginning to realize that they were tricked by their government into thinking that teachers were the cause of all the countries down falls. Tricked into handing over all the money that is meant for education to test corporations. Thankfully citizens are stepping up:

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Long-...11021932327048

    I have a "career win" situation because ultimately my students trust that I am guiding them in the right direction. I have had numerous former students come back to me as successful adults to thank me for being more than just a teacher but also a father figure. You cannot put a price on those moments. Many of the students who come back successful adults were troubled as a youth. They tell me it wasnt until years later that "it clicked." That the message their teachers were telling them made sense. Its part of the reason why a single test cannot judge a teacher. My message to my students are to respect others and themselves, work hard and question questionable leaders when you feel that they are unjust. These things will never show up on a test score but are so much more important for individual success so much more important than what any test score could ever show.
    Last edited by copernicus; 04-07-2013 at 02:19 PM.

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    I am under that impression. Whatever the cause you are not a happy camper. My advice would be for anyone who is not joyous about their job is get another.
    Another teacher who is not joyous about his job and should just get another. Pretty sad state of affairs for educators and students.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...longer-exists/

    Increasingly teachers are speaking out against school reforms that they believe are demeaning their profession, and some are simply quitting because they have had enough.

    Here is one resignation letter from a veteran teacher, Gerald J. Conti, a social studies teacher at Westhill High School in Syracuse, N.Y.:

    Mr. Casey Barduhn, Superintendent
    Westhill Central School District
    400 Walberta Park Road
    Syracuse, New York 13219

    Dear Mr. Barduhn and Board of Education Members:

    It is with the deepest regret that I must retire at the close of this school year, ending my more than twenty-seven years of service at Westhill on June 30, under the provisions of the 2012-15 contract. I assume that I will be eligible for any local or state incentives that may be offered prior to my date of actual retirement and I trust that I may return to the high school at some point as a substitute teacher.

    As with Lincoln and Springfield, I have grown from a young to an old man here; my brother died while we were both employed here; my daughter was educated here, and I have been touched by and hope that I have touched hundreds of lives in my time here. I know that I have been fortunate to work with a small core of some of the finest students and educators on the planet.

    I came to teaching forty years ago this month and have been lucky enough to work at a small liberal arts college, a major university and this superior secondary school. To me, history has been so very much more than a mere job, it has truly been my life, always driving my travel, guiding all of my reading and even dictating my television and movie viewing. Rarely have I engaged in any of these activities without an eye to my classroom and what I might employ in a lesson, a lecture or a presentation. With regard to my profession, I have truly attempted to live John Dewey’s famous quotation (now likely cliché with me, I’ve used it so very often) that “Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.” This type of total immersion is what I have always referred to as teaching “heavy,” working hard, spending time, researching, attending to details and never feeling satisfied that I knew enough on any topic. I now find that this approach to my profession is not only devalued, but denigrated and perhaps, in some quarters despised. STEM rules the day and “data driven” education seeks only conformity, standardization, testing and a zombie-like adherence to the shallow and generic Common Core, along with a lockstep of oversimplified so-called Essential Learnings. Creativity, academic freedom, teacher autonomy, experimentation and innovation are being stifled in a misguided effort to fix what is not broken in our system of public education and particularly not at Westhill.

    A long train of failures has brought us to this unfortunate pass. In their pursuit of Federal tax dollars, our legislators have failed us by selling children out to private industries such as Pearson Education. The New York State United Teachers union has let down its membership by failing to mount a much more effective and vigorous campaign against this same costly and dangerous debacle. Finally, it is with sad reluctance that I say our own administration has been both uncommunicative and unresponsive to the concerns and needs of our staff and students by establishing testing and evaluation systems that are Byzantine at best and at worst, draconian. This situation has been exacerbated by other actions of the administration, in either refusing to call open forum meetings to discuss these pressing issues, or by so constraining the time limits of such meetings that little more than a conveying of information could take place. This lack of leadership at every level has only served to produce confusion, a loss of confidence and a dramatic and rapid decaying of morale. The repercussions of these ill-conceived policies will be telling and shall resound to the detriment of education for years to come. The analogy that this process is like building the airplane while we are flying would strike terror in the heart of anyone should it be applied to an actual airplane flight, a medical procedure, or even a home repair. Why should it be acceptable in our careers and in the education of our children?

    My profession is being demeaned by a pervasive atmosphere of distrust, dictating that teachers cannot be permitted to develop and administer their own quizzes and tests (now titled as generic “assessments”) or grade their own students’ examinations. The development of plans, choice of lessons and the materials to be employed are increasingly expected to be common to all teachers in a given subject. This approach not only strangles creativity, it smothers the development of critical thinking in our students and assumes a one-size-fits-all mentality more appropriate to the assembly line than to the classroom. Teacher planning time has also now been so greatly eroded by a constant need to “prove up” our worth to the tyranny of APPR (through the submission of plans, materials and “artifacts” from our teaching) that there is little time for us to carefully critique student work, engage in informal intellectual discussions with our students and colleagues, or conduct research and seek personal improvement through independent study. We have become increasingly evaluation and not knowledge driven. Process has become our most important product, to twist a phrase from corporate America, which seems doubly appropriate to this case.

    After writing all of this I realize that I am not leaving my profession, in truth, it has left me. It no longer exists. I feel as though I have played some game halfway through its fourth quarter, a timeout has been called, my teammates’ hands have all been tied, the goal posts moved, all previously scored points and honors expunged and all of the rules altered.


    For the last decade or so, I have had two signs hanging above the blackboard at the front of my classroom, they read, “Words Matter” and “Ideas Matter”. While I still believe these simple statements to be true, I don’t feel that those currently driving public education have any inkling of what they mean.


    Sincerely and with regret,

    Gerald J. Conti
    Social Studies Department Leader
    Cc: Doreen Bronchetti, Lee Roscoe
    My little Zu.

    Last edited by copernicus; 04-07-2013 at 10:37 PM.

  19. #79
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    Another advocate for early HS graduation. The author neglects to include the benefits of year round school (YRS), however.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marc-f...=@education123

    Is All of 12th Grade Necessary for All Students?

    Marc F. Bernstein
    Fordham University
    Graduate School of Education
    04/07/2013

    With the coming of spring, so comes the rite of senioritis, that time when high school seniors do very little of an academic nature, and, as a result, often get themselves into trouble due to having too much time, accompanied by too little structure. Actually, senioritis started last year when large numbers of 12th graders scheduled themselves for late school arrivals, multiple lunch periods, and only two or three academic classes. What a huge waste of time, opportunity and money!

    I propose that during the first three months of a student's 10th grade year the student, family and school counselor create three alternative educational plans for the remainder of the student's high school career: graduation prior to 12th grade, during the middle of 12th grade and at the end of 12th grade. The specifics of each plan would depend upon the individual student: academic success to date, interest in pursuing specific extracurricular activities during 12th grade, college plans, need or desire to work prior to college, and, very importantly, the maturity to graduate high school somewhat earlier.

    The planning of early graduation is not difficult to conceptualize. In New York State, for example, though there are innumerable high school graduation requirements, almost none of them require a student to be in attendance during his entire 12th grade year. Taking a full course load in grades 9, 10 and 11 will meet almost all requirements.

    A corollary benefit of requiring each high school to implement such an educational plan for each student is that high schools would have to perform comprehensive reviews of their educational programs to properly evaluate and counsel students: which courses are offered during the senior year, how many students are taking each course, are there other courses that students would rather take, or are there other courses of study or in-school experiences that students would prefer? And, perhaps most importantly, who is this person and what are her strengths, interests and goals?

    The competition that high schools would feel as a result of students having alternatives to the traditional four-year high school program would improve education for all students, not only those who opt to graduate early:

    1. High schools will form closer relationships with neighboring two-year and four-year colleges, probably resulting in many more college courses being offered on the high school site.

    2. A limited number of online courses would be offered to students prior to 12th grade, recognizing that such courses are currently utilized by students in rural communities and/or very small high schools where advanced placement and other specialized courses are not available due to insufficient numbers of students or the lack of qualified teachers.

    3. Schools could seek 12th grade internships and formal volunteer experiences for some of their students, in order to encourage students to remain in attendance.

    Is it not our obligation to facilitate what is best for each student by requiring a structured planning process, especially one that carries no additional cost to the school or family? Not only those students who understand their right to graduate early, as it now exists in its limited way, should benefit from increased flexibility and opportunities and utilize their time in the most productive manner.

    To encourage schools to implement this expanded planning process, a financial incentive should be provided. Here is where everyone benefits! The state's share of a high school education continues to flow regardless of the student's early graduation; however:

    1. A third of that share is now placed in the college accounts of those students who graduate early.

    2. A second third is utilized by the local school district to improve educational programs or returned to local taxpayers.

    3. The state keeps the final third.

    A true win-win-win!

  20. #80
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    Not gonna bother quoting statistics, just personal experience:

    1) Left tenure in one district in 2007, had no problem getting tenure in my new one in 2011, even though I'm M +32

    2) The overwhelming majority of teachers I "came in" with were also not rookies (so didn't start at the bottom of the scale) but also got tenure. To their credit I find most of them to be exceptional in their field, but I didn't see $$ being an issue at all

    3) We've currently been without a contract for two years, so it's not like we have money flowing all over the place. Yet quality of education seemed to take a MUCH higher precedence than is implied in this thread

    4) While the "old guys" complain about the direction education is headed (and rightfully so), NONE of them left/are leaving for any other reason than their own personal finances ("Christie wants to raid their pensions"). This idea that "we just can't help the kids anymore" is ridiculous and nothing short of a pity party. If anything, kids need quality teachers now more than ever to find a way to give them a quality education AND prepare them for whatever hoop the state wants them to jump through.

    5) I can understand the logic behind early graduation, I just don't think it's what it's cracked up to be. We know what the "real world" has in store for these kids, and unless you're truly one of the top of the top, I don't think rushing into it is in the best interest of the child. In my experience, too many graduating Seniors aren't ready for the next step as it is, never mind 6-12 months sooner.

    6) The only "real" solution to the education problem is to get rid of the students who don't want to be there. Whether you call it alternative education or whatever, we can't help the kids who are willing to learn if we're always focused on the ones who aren't. If that sounds like a whiny teacher excuse, guilty as charged. I'm not saying everyone shouldn't be given the opportunity to learn, but they shouldn't be entitled to it. Something like "maintain a C average or you're out". I don't care how many bleeding hearts would cry foul -- I GUARANTEE you education results would go through the roof. We've set a bar so low that students trip over it as they grab for their diploma. We say how important education is, but then don't back it up. No wonder the kids (and many parents) could care less.

    Well, that's my $.02. We'll see if anything changes over the 20+ years I have left. I already know I won't be pushing my kids toward teaching, so with my luck they'll probably all become ones and I can listen to the debate until they drop me in the grave . . .

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