Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Today's Education Reflection and Noam Chomsky

I have been reading, listening and watching Noam Chomsky's view on education. I am not surprised at all to discover that his formative years in education was deeply entrenched in literature, a Dewey school, and did not know what a grade was until High School. He commented that when he went into High School he did not know that he was considered smart, and found it absurd that people were ranked academically. The more I personally look at it, the more I think it is absurd as well. Making meaning in your lives has little to do with a grade on a report card, or even a degree for that matter. After striving to attain 4.0's and 2 masters degrees all I have is the reality that I can and did. It has not gotten me economic advancement, but, rather is some regards has worked against me. I saw a billboard of an older gentleman holding a book. The sign said, Herbert was not able to read this sign until he was 70...literacy matters. To that I wanted to laugh. Why? Because the man made it into his 70's without being able to read and he is retired and happy! He was able to hold down a job, raise his family, work in this nation. He needed to be able to crunch numbers. Wake up America! The way we are schooling our kids does not develop freedom of thought, knowledge and potential wealth. It actually works against the original belief in America. Ask yourself do you want a child who can think freely, question the world around them, seek answers and be the change? Or do you want a child who is a grunt incapable of developing an individual thought and only spewing back information that comes to them on a test? Your answer to this question will in fact determine your value and opinion about standardized testing.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

NCLB: No Change, Learning Backpeddles...

Tonight I was reading Michael Deshotels, Louisiana Educator article discussing the one thing wrong with President Obama's education lack of reform, and I was hearkened back to a set of articles that I wrote immediately after Obama took office. The series of 5 blogs outline what was in my opinion the only way to really move us away from a failed NCLB and into a new era of reform. What has happened is that NCLB has been strengthened, fewer educators are involved in making an impact and it seems that the greatest of change has come in the way of what our kids would be allowed to eat! Sadly, this major reform did not even come by way of Arne Duncan, but rather the woman behind the man! In truth, we are further behind and we are yet again facing failure and it is not on our kids report cards, but, rather Washington DC, is more appropriately Washington D-F!
If you have nothing better to do, and you are curious about what this educator had to say in January of 2009, then go for it!
I apologize if there are any major errors in spelling or in grammar as I am unable to access my own blog through wordpress. Due to some bizarre change over at some point my account was compromised and now it sits with my branded/copyrighted name, ArtSees Diner attached to it. This preceded the development of PBL3. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Governor Mike Pence Is At IT Again! Or, playground bullying isn't isolated to grade school?

Abuse of Power is an Epidemic So It Seems;Too Many Selfie's Maybe? 

It seems that White House isn't the only place where there seems to be a misuse power in order to steamroll an agenda. Indiana Governor Mike Pence is at it too. Our state openly and honestly elected Superintendent Glenda Ritz, yet it seems that Mike Pence is doing everything in his power to remove her power as head of education in Indiana.

I personally believed in Ritz as she embodies everything that is right in education and stands against everything that has gone wrong. She represents the possibility that a person can be chosen for a position regardless of political connections, or correctness. Public education, like most government run agencies has become a cesspool of nepotism, political ties, and what is most pervasive cronyism! Glenda's appointment was refreshing because it sent a message to people everywhere. That message simply stated is; do a good job, be a good person, and you can move to the head of the class. Her appointment embodies what public education is!

Well, it seems that whether you are dealing with State level education or a local school yard, bullies do in fact troll the halls and playgrounds just waiting to find someone to bully and minimize. I truly believe that Glenda Ritz is being grossly disrespected by Governor Mike Pence. Is it because she never held a local superintendent position or is because she is a woman, she supports public education and republican Governor Mike Pence is misogynistic? My suspicion is that it is both. Please read a letter sent to me by the Indiana State Teacher's Association. It is time for union members across the nation to stand together and demand the badgering against public educators stop!


ISTA has learned that the State Board of Education intends to further diminish Superintendent Ritz’s role as Chair of the board and transfer some responsibilities to the board’s staff at the Center for Education and Career Innovation (CECI). The actions will take place at the board
meeting on Wednesday .

The board will propose dramatic new board procedures through approving a resolution that will form a one-time, ad hoc committee that will approve the new measures intended to cut into the Superintendent’s traditional role as Chair.

It’s no secret that the Governor and the CECI have wanted to remove Superintendent Ritz as Chair of the State Board of Education. In December, it was disclosed in a leaked CECI memo that Ritz being the Chair was perceived as a “problem” that should be addressed by the legislature. The goal then was to have the Chair appointed by the Governor.

This latest move coincides with efforts to seemingly make the Department of Education a minor administrative bureaucracy folded within one agency under the Governor’s office. 

Efforts first began when the Governor, with the stroke of a pen and without legislative approval, created and diverted funding for his duplicate education agency, the CECI.

We learned just weeks ago that the Governor’s Indiana Career Council has adopted a new strategic plan that includes consolidating more than 30 state agencies and programs, including the Department of Education, totaling more than $650 million, under one lead agency directed by the Governor.

This new resolution brought forth by the governor-appointed state board of education members is the latest in this fixation over gaining singular power at the expense of the authority of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Please contact the members of the State Board of Education and urge them to work WITH Superintendent Ritz instead of continuing on this path of disrespect for her, the office she holds and the 1.3 million voters who elected her.

Tony Walker - tony@walkerlawgroup.biz

Dr. Brad Oliver - brad4education@gmail.com

Dr. David Freitas - drdavidfreitas@comcast.net

Daniel Elsener - delsener@marian.edu

Cari Whicker - cwhicker@hccsc.k12.in.us

B.J. Watts - bj.watts@evsc.k12.in.us

Sarah O’Brien - sobrien4cd@yahoo.com

Troy Albert - talbert@wclark.k12.in.us

Andrea Neal - aneal@inpolicy.org

Gordon Hendry - education@gordonhendry.com