**School reform turns politics upside down**

PETER CALLAGHAN; THE NEWS TRIBUNE

Published: 04/19/09 12:05 am

He finds traditional roles reversed.

Mentions the coming Elephant in the room:

Despite the rhetoric, the bill gives the state a defense against a lawsuit set for trial in August that claims –

**quite accurately – that the state violates its constitutional duty to amply fund the education of all students**.

## 5 comments:

If 1209 forced schools to deal with failing kids by imposing the WASL on 'all' kids - then it really was empty-headed rhetoric. Instead you have kids (including students with unidentified learning disabilities) quietly being shuttled into 'alternative' programs run by teachers and administrators who are not properly trained or culturally sensitive to the students they are receiving - we are talking about marginalized, largely displace students (not just minorities).

As an example, for a kid to complete one hs credit - they are given three weeks to complete all their assignements. If they don't meet the contract, then they get dropped.

The state should allocate school funding on the number of students enrolled in April after the WASL, not in October when the school is operating at maximum enrollment. There is a whole population of students not being counted on the roll books, who are not receiving education services.

Combine reform math textbooks with poorly operated alternative programs and you have the makings for a social disaster that has unimaginable consequences. The textbooks that use the curriculum developed by the enhanced graphing calculator curriculum group are especially poor because of the absolute reliance on TI graphing calculators. In most cases, students were given the textbooks to use without the calculators. Teachers struggled to use the graphing calculators because the interface was not user friendly (especially in a stressful, artificial, social environment like a classroom).

This is more complicated than you or Gallagher are reading into it. There is disagreement about where state funding goes to fund education (districts would like the freedom to put the money where they wanted it to go and its definitely not curriculum), its not how much districts should get funded. It affects students with special needs and funding for children at risk. The 'pie' is still the same size. Look at the 30-some districts who are members of the 'district' coalition. Each of them footed $30k+ in legal fees (all of it was refunded by OSPI (the defendant?) to pay for services provided by Gates (the litigants).

I taught students to use TI graphing calculators and the 81, 82, 83, and 84 were very user friendly but the TI-85 was a mess.

I think that the Graphing Calculator has a definite place. But not before a student really knows what is going on in Algebra I and knows arithmetic.

Most kids figure out Algebra I in Adv. Algebra if they ever figure it out.

I think the Calculators became a crutch so admin could have their claims of differentiated instruction works validated as unskilled kids could do something and be passed.

What curriculum were you using with the TI82? Was it similiar to the Core Plus activities (tables and iterations). I think its dependent on the activities and most important, if the activities were a part of the adopted curriculum.

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