Sunday, September 17, 2006

Going To The Mat--Two Good Posts About Education

Matt (see blogroll at left) has two short posts you may find interesting:

Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings On RedState Radio

Liberals, Conservatives, and the Use of Racial and Ethnic Classifications

Affirmative action in education is discussed.


Herr Professor said...

Perhaps I didn't read carefully enough, so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like Margaret Spellings wants to holde everyone accountable except students and parents.

I may be wrong on this point as well, but I sincerely believe that in another 5-10 years, when all of these kids have left their "failing" schools that have cheated them out of a proper education for the top performing public and private schools, we will start to see that the "top" schools are beginning a slow but steady decline in their "topness."

This decline will only be mitigated by the amount of dispersal that is possible among the top schools in an area.

Darren said...

Herr Professor, if you ever read the Education Wonks (see blogroll at left), you'll find that yours is a familiar and popular refrain over there.

It's not that I don't agree, it's that I think too often it's used to deflect attention from the impact we in the schools *do* have. We should be doing better, and we *can* do better. Teaching to clearly articulated, grade-specific goals is a good start.

Herr Professor said...

I do understand your caution, and I certainly agree with your point. Whenever I think of it, I do some second-guessing of myself, and wonder if I'm just trying to let myself off the hook for not doing everything I possibly can.

However, when it seems that students and parents are NEVER mentioned as part of the equation, you can't help but feel, at least a little, that no matter what you do, and no matter how hard you work, you could still be screwed, largely based on the population your school serves, which is totally out of your control.

Herr Professor said...

More thoughts here, if this attempted link actually works. I meant to email this to you, then was too mentally challenged to discover your address.

Darren said...

I read that post. I recognize that someone might fail, but to build failure into the expectations of a test that tests at most 8th grade math and at most 10th grade English, well....

Herr Professor said...

I can see your point, and I guess I'm being a bit contrarian. Still, what happens when a student says, "Hey, if I do bad on this test, teacher and the school get in trouble, ha, ha, ha!" I'm giving you a direct quote. And the student proceeds to mark "d" for every answer. Now I'm on the hook for this with a Superintendent who lives in sunshiney-daisy land where 100% of students must pass. It's frustrating.

I'm not glad about this boy or any other student who doesn't pass the test. I'm just saying I'm also not glad about being accountable to someone so divorced from reality that he is unable to conceive that even one student out of 10,000 or so might not pass.

Anyway, thanks for the discussion. I've probably dragged this one out long enough.