Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What a d*ck.

This guy needs to get over himself.


Monday, November 15, 2010

A great HBO documentary about a Southern Town and its first integrated prom.

In 1997, Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman offered to pay for the senior prom at Charleston High School in Mississippi under one condition: the prom had to be racially integrated. His offer was ignored. In 2008, Freeman offered again. This time the school board accepted, and history was made. Charleston High School had its first-ever integrated prom - in 2008. Until then, blacks and whites had had separate proms even though their classrooms have been integrated for decades. Canadian filmmaker Paul Saltzman follows students, teachers and parents in the lead-up to the big day. This seemingly inconsequential rite of passage suddenly becomes profound as the weight of history falls on teenage shoulders. We quickly learn that change does not come easily in this sleepy Delta town. Freeman's generosity fans the flames of racism - and racism in Charleston has a distinctly generational tinge. Some white parents forbid their children to attend the integrated prom and hold a separate white-only dance. "Billy Joe," an enlightened white senior, appears on camera in shadow, fearing his racist parents will disown him if they know his true feelings. PROM NIGHT IN MISSISSIPPI captures a big moment in a small town, where hope finally blossoms in black, white and a whole lot of taffeta.


Click on the link below. Just click on it and be astounded. (via Gawker)

Openly Gay Student Defends Teacher at School Board Meeting
Jay McDowell, a high school teacher in Howell, Michigan, was suspended last month for disciplining an anti-gay student. At a recent school board meeting, openly gay 14-year-old Graeme Taylor came to McDowell's defense with an incredibly articulate/inspiring speech. Watch inside.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rich, Black, Flunking - from the East Bay Express direct link below

Cal Professor John Ogbu thinks he knows why rich black kids are failing in school. Nobody wants to hear it.

By Susan Goldsmith
The black parents wanted an explanation. Doctors, lawyers, judges, and insurance brokers, many had come to the upscale Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights specifically because of its stellar school district. They expected their children to succeed academically, but most were performing poorly. African-American students were lagging far behind their white classmates in every measure of academic success: grade-point average, standardized test scores, and enrollment in advanced-placement courses. On average, black students earned a 1.9 GPA while their white counterparts held down an average of 3.45. Other indicators were equally dismal. It made no sense.

When these depressing statistics were published in a high school newspaper in mid-1997, black parents were troubled by the news and upset that the newspaper had exposed the problem in such a public way. Seeking guidance, one parent called a prominent authority on minority academic achievement.

UC Berkeley Anthropology Professor John Ogbu had spent decades studying how the members of different ethnic groups perform academically. He'd studied student coping strategies at inner-city schools in Washington, DC. He'd looked at African Americans and Latinos in Oakland and Stockton and examined how they compare to racial and ethnic minorities in India, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, and Britain. His research often focused on why some groups are more successful than others.

But Ogbu couldn't help his caller. He explained that he was a researcher -- not an educator -- and that he had no ideas about how to increase the academic performance of students in a district he hadn't yet studied. A few weeks later, he got his chance. A group of parents hungry for solutions convinced the school district to join with them and formally invite the black anthropologist to visit Shaker Heights. Their discussions prompted Ogbu to propose a research project to figure out just what was happening. The district agreed to finance the study, and parents offered him unlimited access to their children and their homes.

The professor and his research assistant moved to Shaker Heights for nine months in mid-1997. They reviewed data and test scores. The team observed 110 different classes, from kindergarten all the way through high school. They conducted exhaustive interviews with school personnel, black parents, and students. Their project yielded an unexpected conclusion: It wasn't socioeconomics, school funding, or racism, that accounted for the students' poor academic performance; it was their own attitudes, and those of their parents.
article continues


Kids studying the same thing for 12 years? direct link to WaPost article below...

Want smarter kids? Make them study something - one thing - for a long time.

By Kate Julian
Sunday, November 7, 2010; 12:00 AM

Into the rancorous wars over school reform steps Kieran Egan, who wants to make students experts on beetles. Or tea. Or dust.

His idea goes like this: Assign each student a single, specific topic, which he or she will study over and over again, from every possible angle, from early elementary school through high school. Egan, a professor of education at Canada's Simon Fraser University, hopes that by the time such students finish high school, they will be world-class experts on their topics - as well as more effective citizens and better people.

"People who know nothing in depth commonly assume that their opinions are the same kind of thing as knowledge," Egan writes in his forthcoming book "Learning In Depth: A Simple Innovation That Can Transform Schooling," which will be available in January. He also contends that "a central feature of becoming a moral person is to learn to become engaged with something outside the self."

Egan knows that his proposal could be a tough sell. He spends a third of the book heading off obvious criticisms, chief among them the threat of boredom - or, as Egan puts it, the specter of "little Nathan howling in misery because he has just been told he has to study dust for the next twelve years."

Egan, wisely, doesn't start with dust. He begins with apples. He imagines a young student first drawing apples, then cataloging apple varieties, and later collecting stories about apples (from the Garden of Eden and Johnny Appleseed to William Tell and Isaac Newton) and figuring out why apples float.

Dust, meanwhile, could take a student from house dust to the Dust Bowl, from the origins of the color khaki ("khaki" is Urdu for "dust"; how it came to refer to a color is a long story involving British camouflage uniforms and Afghanistan) to the origins of the planet.

Egan thinks his plan has the potential to cross the usual school reform battle lines: Those with more traditional views on education will like it because it emphasizes in-depth mastery; progressives will like the idea of letting students learn at their own pace, according to their own style.

In the past few years, Egan has sold a number of educators on his plan, starting in British Columbia and now extending to classrooms in the United States, Australia, Japan, England, New Zealand, Romania, Greece and Iran. All in all, a couple of thousand Egan-inspired students are busy becoming experts.

"The doubts that some expressed that students would get bored with a single topic . . . seem to have been disconfirmed," he wrote in an e-mail. "No child, apparently, has asked to drop out or change topics, [and] the students seem to be finding it their favorite activity in schools."

But what about parents? Won't they recoil at the prospect of having to listen to their child talk about dust for 12 long years? Egan says no: "Parents are often the most enthusiastic supporters of the program."

At least they are now. Check back in 12 years.


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

leave us little one and be free...

From Blogger Pictures


Monday, November 08, 2010

opus - how we miss you...

Picture of manboob


Homework helpers... direct link below

Like a Monitor More Than a Tutor
Published: November 7, 2010
Homework helpers are part of a growing niche industry. But educators wonder if this is another facet of “helicopter parenting.”


Gov. Christie tells Trenton teens teachers union is to blame for lack of school supplies, aid cuts - direct link below

blaming the teachers...


Monday, January 18, 2010

Just like when I taught there...



Sunday, January 17, 2010

don't forget the flat-earthians!

Picture of manboob


Remind you of anywhere pt. 2

Picture of manboob


Remind you of anywhere?

Picture of manboob


Saturday, January 16, 2010

say no to drugs

Picture of manboob


respect my authoritah!!!

Picture of manboob


the sad sad truth...


from www.wetherobots.com 


A great article from commondreams.org about the Finnish educational system... direct link below.


Published on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 by The Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
Lessons From Finland: The Way to Education Excellence

by Walt Gardner

When Finland's 15-year-olds recently placed No.1 in math and science on the recent Program for International Student Assessment, the news of the coup was received in Helsinki with characteristic reserve. For the Finns, whose schools are considered the best in the world, the scores stood as a redundant confirmation of the success of their policies.

But in the U.S., the frustration was palpable. Despite persistent attempts to bring equity to the wildly uneven quality of our schools, reformers have not been able to produce the intended results. That's why they've begun to look even more closely in this presidential election year at Finland for lessons that can be applied here. What they will find in the end serves as a cautionary tale for strategies that we proudly consider cutting edge.

At the heart of Finland's stellar reputation is a philosophy completely alien to America. The country of 5.3 million in an area twice the size of Missouri considers education an end in itself - not a means to an end. It's a deeply rooted value that is reflected in the Ministry of Education and in all 432 municipalities. In sharp contrast, Americans view education as a stepping stone to better-paying jobs or to impress others. The distinction explains why we are obsessed with marquee names, and how we structure, operate and fund schools.

The headlines notwithstanding, misconceptions about Finland's renown as an educational icon abound. The Finns spend a meager (compared to the U.S.) $5,000 a year per student, operate no gifted programs, have average class sizes close to 30, and don't begin schooling children until they are 7. Moreover, Finland is not the homogeneous nation of lore. While still not as diverse as the U.S., the number of immigrant students in Helsinki's comprehensive schools is exploding, with their numbers expected to constitute 23.3 percent of the city's schools by 2025. At present, about 11 percent are immigrants, compared with just 6 percent in 2002. According to the City of Helsinki Urban Facts, by 2015 there will be schools with more than half of the student body from abroad.

Not surprisingly, in a land where literacy and numeracy are considered virtues, teachers are revered. Teenagers ranked teaching at the top of their list of favorite professions in a recent survey. Far more graduates of upper schools in Finland apply for admission to teacher-training institutes than are accepted. The overwhelming majority of those who eventually enter the classroom as a teacher make it a lifelong career, even though they are paid no more than their counterparts in other European countries.

One of the major reasons for the job satisfaction that Finnish teachers report is the great freedom they enjoy in their instructional practices. As long as they adhere to the core national curriculum, teachers are granted latitude unheard of in the U.S. The scripted lesson plans that teachers here are increasingly being expected to follow would be rejected out of hand as an insult by teachers in Finland and by their powerful union, which has a growing membership of some 117,500 members.

If none of these facts are enough to raise doubts about the policies the U.S. has in place or on the drawing board, Finland's testing practices should raise a final red flag. The Finns do not administer national standardized tests during the nine years of basic education. Instead, the National Board of Education assesses learning on the basis of a sample representing about 10 percent of a stipulated age group. Individual school results are strictly confidential, and schools are neither ranked nor compared. The data collected are available only to the schools in question and to the National Board of Education, which use them to help improve instruction. The naming and shaming that No Child Left Behind relies on in its obsession with quantification would be unthinkable.

What ultimately emerges from studying Finland is the realization that the reform movement in America is based on a business model fundamentally at odds with the education model used by a country with the world's finest schools. While it's always risky to attempt to apply findings from one country to another, particularly when the two are so different, it's a mistake to turn our backs on Finland's approach.

Walter Gardner taught English for 28 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District and was a lecturer in the University of California at Los Angeles Graduate School of Education.
© 2008 The Providence Journal Co.


Post shamelessly pilfered from Judi Rose's blog Writing English... direct link below...


ORIGINAL POST: I have to share these “funniest analogies” with you. They came in an e-mail from my sister. She got them from a cousin, who got them from a friend, who got them from… so they are circulating around. My apologies if you have already seen them.

The e-mail says they are taken from actual high school essays and collected by English teachers across the country for their own amusement. Some of these kids may have bright futures as humor writers. What do you think?

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a ThighMaster.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth.

16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.

18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long it had rusted shut.

19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.


An amazing speech from a couple of years back by a great teacher about the erosion of personal liberties...


homework truths - link to a great article by Alfie Kohn



the drugging of our kids and students


Kid destroyed....

Picture of manboob


Friday, January 08, 2010

Never going to happen.



Simplistic view but somewhat accurate to a point.



Missing the point completely...



Not silly...