Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New Vision for Schools Proposes Broad Role

From the New York Times...HERE

Randi Weingarten, the New Yorker who is rising to become president of the American Federation of Teachers, says she wants to replace President Bush’s focus on standardized testing with a vision of public schools as community centers that help poor students succeed by offering not only solid classroom lessons but also medical and other services.
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Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times

Randi Weingarten, in May, is nominated to lead the American Federation of Teachers.

Ms. Weingarten, 50, was elected Monday to the presidency of the national teachers union at the union’s annual convention. In a speech minutes later to the delegates gathered in Chicago, Ms. Weingarten criticized the No Child Left Behind law, President Bush’s signature domestic initiative, as “too badly broken to be fixed,” and outlined “a new vision of schools for the 21st century.”

“Can you imagine a federal law that promoted community schools — schools that serve the neediest children by bringing together under one roof all the services and activities they and their families need?” Ms. Weingarten asked in the speech.


Anonymous said...

so - the children of affluent households will be prepared to take and do well on gatekeeper tests like the PSAT, SAT, ACT and AP because the adults in affluent households tend to have a good grasp of how the rules work, and what needs to be done to work the rules.

and the kids in the non affluent households may or may not get into preparation for gatekeeper tests because ... bush and his cronies are a bunch of fascist scum who actively work to insure that only their rich kid offspring will have a chance at Yale and University of Texas Austin?

I'm really troubled by these adult children who don't like how the world works, and there are more problems that need fixing than we can shake a stick at, BUT whose solutions to fixing the problems are childish.

I think having schools as community centers is a great idea. The building is there, it is empty 1/2 the day, what sense does that make?

I think there is an over emphasis on preparing for crappy tests - See Math WASL, exhibit A. However, the world is not Seasame Street or Teletubbies or Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, you have to compete and you have to get ready to compete OR

change the way the world works !

Hiding from how the world works = you lose.

Anonymous said...

SAT is not a gatekeeper test. The kids take the SAT to determine where they go to college, not if they go to college.

The WASL is a standardized test used to determine school funding. If your kid is going to college, they should be taking the WASL, because it helps their school.

On the other hand, that school would not be encouraging every student to take the WASL since a low score would lower AYP and the school loses money. That's why you now have alternative programs at these sites accepting the lowest performers.

This is how the world works whether kids like it or not. Not quite true, this is how the US works, not the world. The world uses exit exams and promotes students by merit. However, the curriculum is nationalized. Everyone learns from the same textbooks, the US does not. I'm not in favor of social promotion, but we need to build programs that still prepare kids for work.

My point is this, if there was a curriculum that all children could learn math from, so everyone had a chance to be successful, then why hasn't the US adopted it.

When I see a child being handed a book and told to read it, yet the teacher knows full well the child can't read it then what am I to think. What if they could read the book, but the book failed to teach them the things that they must know for college, then what will they begin to think. Kids spend at least six million minutes in school and yet on average they leave with barely a seventh graders knowledge of math. Lets not even talk about the science our students are taught.

Also, students entering college are not prepared for advanced math classes. Wouldn't they benefit by using Singapore versus a curriculum that never gets around to teaching long division.
So why don't we adopt Singapore?

It is this society's paralysis that interests me more than the math itself. When clearly the best choice has been presented and yet we cannot agree to move forward.

Anonymous said...

US schools are not designed to be competitive, yet other schools are. Americans either do not understand or are unwilling to face this fact. If the children from affluent families are still able to enroll in college than why change the system.

Anonymous said...

My hunch is affluent families already send their kids to private schools which teach the things kids know to go to college, like long division. Public schools are left holding the bag. Its easy to be the best when your toughest competitor uses textbooks like Core Plus and Everyday Math.

Anonymous said...

California has been using schools as community centers for at least five years. There are two things, first it shifts the debate away from curriculum. Second, its a redistribution of school funding to private outreach organizations. Public school becomes a conduit for charity. Hardly an improvement when education is the only avenue for financial success in this country.

Anonymous said...

If you think the WASL is a crappy test, well that's how your school gets funded (with a crappy test) We pay test writers (millions) to make a test to determine how schools get funded.

Bergerson makes a big deal out of WASL results (overstates results) when it has nothing to do with kids. Flake. State control means private contractor. More flakes. Another layer of bureacracy that gets paid to mismanage public schools.

Anonymous said...

Minorities are better off creating their own schools and buying Singapore. Don't be a dropout. Don't be a victim of a racist society.