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  1. #1
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    How many reformers does it take to fix a school?

    magine that there are three autos, all broken down alongside I-10, in the Arizona desert. The drivers are three real teachers. Each has been carrying five passengers, five students. One car is a new Lexus LX 570. The second is a 2006 Honda Civic. The third is a battered 1972 Chevrolet Impala.

    None of them will run.

    [Arne]Duncan is first to suggest a solution to the problem of the three stalled-out cars. “We are going to paint the Impala red to make it run.”

    “We will call this plan ‘Race to the Garage.’ We will offer states $4.35 billion in federal aid if they agree to paint all their cars red.” A call is made, and at great expense, apparatus is brought out to the desert, and the car is painted red. It still won’t run.

    Michelle Rhee pipes up next. “I say we make these drivers apply for new licenses.” she sneers. “If you had better drivers the cars would surely run. I once taught for three years. So I know everything there could possibly be to know about saving children. These drivers must be terrible. Every child deserves an excellent driver. I am thinking... someone pretty much like me.”

    No matter, because Mayor Bloomberg is quick to agree with Rhee. “The problem in U. S. education is that we hire drivers from the bottom 20% of their graduating college classes—and not of the best schools.”

    The Harvard-educated billionaire informs everyone that the driver of the Honda will have to go. Another call goes out and a graduate of Teach for America is brought to the desert. The young professional gets behind the wheel and tries twice to start the engine. When it won’t turn over, the Teach for American kid exclaims, “Well, I only signed up for two tries. My work is done, my resume is padded.”

    Joel I. Klein, who never taught a single solitary minute in his life, offers up another plan. Of course he does. “I have a plan! And my plan is sure to fix the problem. We grade the cars. Then parents can choose the best cars for their children and all mechanical problems will go away. He gives the Impala an ‘F’ and the Honda gets a ‘D+.’ The Lexus gets a ‘B’ because it went a hundred yards farther down the highway before its engine coughed and died. Klein slaps bumper stickers with grades on all three cars.

    They still don’t run.
    There's more including Kaisch, the Koch Bros and Pearson Ed: http://ateacheronteaching.blogspot.i...=1363058886667
    "Stop doing the wrong things. Stop promoting competition and choice as answers to the very inequality that was created by competition and choice."
    ~ Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error

  2. #2
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    In the end, all the reformers stop by the broken down cars but eventually drive off to more important functions, leaving the kids and teachers in the desert:
    “If we expect to get out of this desert it doesn’t make an ounce of difference what color the cars might be or what kind of garage we’re going to park in once we arrive. We’re going to have to put our backs into it and shove
    Rick, a high school senior who had been riding in the Civic, immediately grasps her point. “The key part of ‘automotive,’ is not ‘auto,’ but ‘motive.’ The car can’t move without some source of motive power.”

    “Looks like we’re going to have to do some sweating if we expect to move these cars along,” says Shaquille, who was riding in the Impala. “If we expect to get anywhere in education we, as students, are going to have to push.”

    Teachers must push, too,” Ms. Beasley notes.

    They all look off down the highway. Only twelve miles to go to Tucson and it isn’t going to be getting any easier. Still, even Carlos, a first grader, has the proper attitude. “Well, I guess we better start,” he says and prepares to put his fifty pounds of muscle to work.

    He thinks a moment, though, and adds: “It would have been nice if all those people on that bus had stuck around to help.”

    The three drivers give each other knowing looks. Then all the teachers and all the students lean in together and do their part.
    "Stop doing the wrong things. Stop promoting competition and choice as answers to the very inequality that was created by competition and choice."
    ~ Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error

  3. #3
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    I say if you really want to make a difference, the parents are going to have to be your focus. I don't know if there is research, but I would bet my whole next paycheck that 9 out of 10 cases where students aren't making it in school, you'll find parents who don't give a crap at home or are just plain bad/dysfunctional parents (mostly likely fatherless homes as well). If you want to make a difference in education, ironically you likely will get more bang for your buck by setting up household/lifeskills training/education for the parent(s). Where you send out councilors to the children's homes to establish the condition of the environment/neighborhood and culture. Have the councilor offer the parents a voluntary life coach to visit a few times a week for 3 hours or so in the evening to help the family establish good habits for study. Also, setup voluntary after-school study programs for students who's parents who go for the life skills training.

    Bottom line is that we don't have an education problem. We have a culture problem in America.
    As defined by the Official Terrorism Training For Law Enforcement:
    What Is Domestic Terrorism?
    Extreme force and violence perpetrated by
    the people government of a country, within that country,
    for the purpose of coercing its government and population public
    into modifying its behavior"

    You are either with Our Constitution or you are with The Terrorists!

    Government...if it leans to the left it eventually means theft. - tlc

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by thelittlecheese View Post
    I say if you really want to make a difference, the parents are going to have to be your focus. I don't know if there is research, but I would bet my whole next paycheck that 9 out of 10 cases where students aren't making it in school, you'll find parents who don't give a crap at home or are just plain bad/dysfunctional parents (mostly likely fatherless homes as well). If you want to make a difference in education, ironically you likely will get more bang for your buck by setting up household/lifeskills training/education for the parent(s). Where you send out councilors to the children's homes to establish the condition of the environment/neighborhood and culture. Have the councilor offer the parents a voluntary life coach to visit a few times a week for 3 hours or so in the evening to help the family establish good habits for study. Also, setup voluntary after-school study programs for students who's parents who go for the life skills training.

    Bottom line is that we don't have an education problem. We have a culture problem in America.
    To do that which you speak is a "cost fail*". Few make big bucks from doing that. So, lets continue to testing them firing teachers and closing schools. It's a lot cheaper and there's money to be made.




    *The last school I worked at does have a program similar too, but not as extensive as the one you speak of. I can't say it was an immediate success, as there was a lot of turnover in the counselors. Over time, with a more stable, established program, i could see some benefit that could translate to classroom and life success. But we're a Race to the top State; the program got cut last year. The tried to reassign some of those responsibilities on the teachers (volunteer basis, with pay) but even that is a lot to ask. The home visits can't happen during the day and the teachers have families of their own.
    Last edited by ForWhoForWhat?; 03-17-2013 at 09:16 PM.
    "Stop doing the wrong things. Stop promoting competition and choice as answers to the very inequality that was created by competition and choice."
    ~ Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error

  5. #5
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    I got nothin, but the broken down cars on the side of the road story was funny.
    The world is a toll-free toilet
    Our mouths neurological ass0s
    And psychologically speaking
    We're in a state of mental diarrhea
    Talking sh*t a mile a minute
    Or in a state of constipated notions
    Can't think of nothin' but sh*t, and in this world of stinky futures
    Sh*tty memories and constipated 19 now-nows
    Emerges from the hiney of your head the doo doo chasers
    The Promentalsh*tbackwashpsychosisenemasquad
    Bringing you music to get your sh*t together by

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForWhoForWhat? View Post
    To do that which you speak is a "cost fail*". Few make big bucks from doing that. So, lets continue to testing them firing teachers and closing schools. It's a lot cheaper and there's money to be made.




    *The last school I worked at does have a program similar too, but not as extensive as the one you speak of. I can't say it was an immediate success, as there was a lot of turnover in the counselors. Over time, with a more stable, established program, i could see some benefit that could translate to classroom and life success. But we're a Race to the top State; the program got cut last year. The tried to reassign some of those responsibilities on the teachers (volunteer basis, with pay) but even that is a lot to ask. The home visits can't happen during the day and the teachers have families of their own.
    It takes volunteers. Each volunteer gives 3 hours in the evening twice a week to visit a home, help kids with the homework, helps the single Mom organize schedules and/or get into a college program/look for a job that pays decent enough to live and save a few bucks. I believe the VAST majority of these failing kids come from dysfunctional homes. The school can meet with local churches and organizations where people are willing to give their time to help neighbors. Stir communities to build themselves up.

    I also believe that these drug dealing kids are would-be entrepreneurs who have the motivation and born-acumen to be businessmen, but have fallen victim to a horrible cultural influence. If local governments would relax business fees and be willing to let these kids find a legit way to be businessmen instead of drug dealers, these neighborhoods would see a 180-degree change to prosperity. I believe it's that simple. The hope is that they aren't too far gone into violence that they can be influenced by a better way. It's sad that so many bright and energetic kids are using their gifts for all the wrong pursuits.
    As defined by the Official Terrorism Training For Law Enforcement:
    What Is Domestic Terrorism?
    Extreme force and violence perpetrated by
    the people government of a country, within that country,
    for the purpose of coercing its government and population public
    into modifying its behavior"

    You are either with Our Constitution or you are with The Terrorists!

    Government...if it leans to the left it eventually means theft. - tlc

  7. #7
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    Maybe some administrators can push too?
    "I like my women the way I like my scotch, 20 years old and mix up in coke."

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lechrus2 View Post
    Maybe some administrators can push too?
    ADDENDUM: Several of my administrator friends have read this post; to be fair, I should include a principal who comes looking for the missing teachers and students and gives one of the cars a tow.
    -from the link
    "Stop doing the wrong things. Stop promoting competition and choice as answers to the very inequality that was created by competition and choice."
    ~ Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForWhoForWhat? View Post
    -from the link
    Might as well throw in the administrators. They've grown in numbers at a greater pace than teachers and outnumber teachers. Are they valuable to the education process?
    "I like my women the way I like my scotch, 20 years old and mix up in coke."

  10. #10
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    My favorite part:

    The drivers are three real teachers. Each has been carrying five passengers, five students. One car is a new Lexus LX 570. The second is a 2006 Honda Civic. The third is a battered 1972 Chevrolet Impala.


    Read more: http://forums.kffl.com/threads/30365...#ixzz2NtYqyf4I

    Why does one teacher have FIVE PASSENGERS in that BATTERED '72 Impala? lol. Hype for a story. I'm surprised there weren't zombies mentioned.
    I promise I won't do it again

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raid View Post
    Why does one teacher have FIVE PASSENGERS in that BATTERED '72 Impala? lol. Hype for a story. I'm surprised there weren't zombies mentioned.
    The car would be 40 years old. At 10,000 miles per years, that'd be 400,000 miles. Not many of these on the road any more. No wonder why it broke down. Good luck pushing. Sucker is heavy.

    Last edited by lechrus2; 03-18-2013 at 01:27 PM.
    "I like my women the way I like my scotch, 20 years old and mix up in coke."

  12. #12
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    It takes 3 reformers to fix a school.

    I don't know if this is the answer...but it sounds like a riddle...so I am guessing?
    "I would not join any club that would have someone like me for a member." - Groucho Marx

  13. #13
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    That all depends on how much fortune can be extracted from it.

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