stephanie jones

Tell me more about the hopes and woes of public education

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2012 at 3:15 pm

National Public Radio’s Tell Me More aired a great show last week on education with Arne Duncan.

Among the highlights:

– Education is the best investment we can make as a nation

– Raise status and pay for teachers to attract and retain the best teachers where they are most needed

– Move away from high-stakes testing and toward looking at growth and improvement

– Finding ways to give kids and communities access to ‘wrap-around’ services at schools that are open 7 days a week 10, 12, 14 hours a day

And for a “different point of view” the interview turned to Margaret Spellings.

Among the highlights:

– Teacher union contracts “allow teachers to choose where they teach” – and this is a deterrent to educational improvement – and teachers tend to choose to teach near where they live so they have shorter commutes, etc.  (With all due respect, Margaret, have you lost your mind??!! To attack teacher unions as your favorite pasttime is one thing, but to say they allow their members to apply to – and work at – places that are close to where they live is something entirely different. Do other professions – law, medicine, finance, etc. – tell their individual professionals where they can and cannot work? Lots of teachers choose to teach in inner city schools, and more might do so if they were treated with an ounce of dignity and respect.)

– “We have teachers deciding where they get to place themselves” – and this is why education is failing. Again – really Margaret? Thanks to Michel to asking if this means teachers should be treated like enlistees in the military.

– NCLB waivers, granted by Obama’s administration, aligns with “soft bigotry” of low expectations for kids (says Spellings). Well, we’ll just have to wait and see about that.



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