Categories
observations

Schools are finally realizing if you don’t have standards-based grading you really do not have a standards-based education.

No More A’s for Good Behavior – NYTimes.com 

This seems like something that should have been figured out some time ago, that grading and assessing mastery is more important that deportment and compliance. Maybe this is the first step to identifying kids whose lack of compliance — missed homework, inattention — is due to their not being challenged. 

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del.icio.us

That this question needs to be asked says a lot.

Link: That this question needs to be asked says a lot.

Was any school ever improved by closing it? Did students get better education or learn English because their school was closed?

Categories
observations

What Makes a Great Teacher?

Link: What Makes a Great Teacher?

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/01/what-makes-a-great-teacher/7841/

Just as soldiers know best what works on the ground, perhaps our educational system will re-focus on tactics instead of strategy. The top-down approach doesn’t work, given the sheer number of entities — school boards, citizens groups, unions, legislative committees, PACs, thinktanks, textbook publishers, test administrators — who have an axe to grind. As the old saying goes, everything works in Theory, but we don’t live there. 

Categories
observations

from A meeting of solitudes – Roger Ebert’s Journal

Roger Ebert reports on the human condition.

The bottom line is that so many of you were betrayed by life before you really even got started. How must it feel to be told by a parent that you are stupid, ugly, worthless? To be struck by such a parent? To be hated by the supreme authority in your young life? And then often begged to forgive and understand them? What’s that about? The cruelty is clear cut. But the pleas for remorse must inspire pity and contempt. The lesson is that people can be shabby and mean, and not to be trusted. People can be evil. No wonder you live in a shell. I still remember hurts and wounds from my early years, and know they were trivial. How must it feel to be struck by a parent? How can a parent be so cruel?

[From A meeting of solitudes – Roger Ebert’s Journal]

I could write a bunch on this, but I think his questions are better than my answers could ever be. You can imagine how it feels “to be told by a parent that you are stupid, ugly, worthless.” But I don’t have to imagine it.

I know the answer to his penultimate question (“How must it feel to be struck by a parent?”) but not the last one. Better to ask how people like that willingly become parents and don’t see the things they do and what they mean.