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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

They Count Off If You Don't Show Your Work!

Today Texas schools received a national rating of C+ which is better than the national average. Texas student achievement was considerably above the C+ average, but the state of Texas' score was lowered by the evaluating agency, not because the students failed to perform. It was lowered - wait for it...........


So let me get this straight.

We did a better job of training our kids, spent less money doing it and they counted off for it?

Texas got an "F" on spending even though on the stuff that we really should care about (like whether you can get a job with your education) we got grades like these:

1. Early Childhood education - A+
2. College readiness - B-
3. Economy and Workforce - B+
4. Standards, Assessment, and Accountability - B+

This is why statistics make me nuts!

It's like the history teacher that grades your essay, not on whether you understand the lessons of history and draw original conclusions, but instead obsesses over your punctuation and whether you quoted all the "right" historians. The report was written by people who survived as teachers in our educational system and lasted through the weeding out process where they break the spirit and will of anyone with a modicum of creativity.  Then, as a reward for their compliance, they were finally promoted to their level of incompetence and then became arbiters of what everyone else should be.

The best teachers I ever knew were fired. My last year as a teacher, I had 14 kids in 7 grades on 7 reading levels who started the year with achievement scores that were 3 grades behind grade level on average. About half or better were diagnosable with ADHD.

In that year, my room was a wreck, my classes unconventional and my kids were happy. At the end of the year, my kids tested at grade level - up an average of 3 grade levels. The parents were happy and holding prayer bands in their homes praying that I would stay. So, in it's infinite wisdom, the school's board asked me to leave and the chairman proceeded to destroy my reputation so I couldn't teach anywhere else in that school system. Why? Because I didn't teach the right way.

As one hoary old platitude goes, "It is insane to keep doing what you've always done and expect a different result."

Anybody wonder why people home school?

Just one man's opinion,


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