Monday, August 19, 2013

In the news today

New York is one of the largest states, so issues in education often have a far-reaching affect:
“N.Y. Test-Score Plunge Adds Fuel to Common-Core Debate”
“The release of New York state test scores showing steep plunges in mathematics and English/language arts proficiency from last year has state officials and educators grappling with the growing influence of the common core on standardized-test performance”.
“Education officials in the Empire State say this year’s scores, released Aug. 7, on tests aligned for the first time to the Common Core State Standards, give schools a more accurate and honest picture of whether students are being adequately prepared for both postsecondary studies and the labor market”.
“But others in the K-12 community believe that as common-core-aligned tests roll out over the next several years, such scores will be used to attack educators, and ultimately hamper students’ development. The process, they say, shows that there is a focus on standardized testing that is hollow and pernicious”.
This is an example of politics (on both sides) getting in the way of helping students. Here is a novel idea; think of the students first not the politics:
“GOP Delivers on Activist K-12 Agenda in N.C.”
“After taking simultaneous control of both chambers of the legislature and the governorship for the first time in 140 years, North Carolina Republicans have moved aggressively on K-12 policy this year, with swift—and divisive—action on school choice and teacher policy against a backdrop of continued statewide budget woes”.
“In addition to creating a new $10 million statewide voucher program, GOP lawmakers and Gov. Pat McCrory ended teacher tenure, cut teacher bonuses for master’s degrees, and expanded Teach For America funding by just over $5 million”.
“Explaining the state’s changes in teacher policy, for example, Senate President Phil Berger, a Republican, told the state chamber of commerce in an Aug. 1 speech: “Our focus shouldn’t be on ensuring that bad teachers keep their jobs. Rather, it must be on making sure students can get a job after they graduate””.
Lastly, have we learned nothing about diversity and racial sensitivity? Is there a reason why some of the nation’s “top schools” keep having issues of moronic acts? What are you trying  to prove? Do you really think it was appropriate?
“Frat's 'Ghetto' Party Sets Off Debate at Dartmouth”
“Dartmouth College is debating an appropriate response to a fraternity's "Bloods and Crips Party," at which the names of those gangs were the kickoff for a "ghetto" party at which participants (overwhelmingly white) mocked ghetto life in racial ways, The Boston Globe reported. College officials said that they were working with Greek leaders so that theme parties in the future would reflect "the Greek community’s commitment to hosting inclusive events." The party took place two weeks ago but the controversy didn't grow until campus blogs published invitations and information about the event in the last week. One blog, Big Green Micro-Agressions, noted that Dartmouth has been debating offensively themed fraternity parties for years. The blog featured a 1998 New York Times article about a ghetto party at at Dartmouth fraternity. In the article, a Dartmouth student from New York City was quoted as saying: " 'I live in a ghetto... For Dartmouth students in general to mock a situation that I was lucky enough to get out of by the grace of God just seems to me very snotty and very ignorant, because my next-door neighbor couldn't dream of being here right now. The party touched a nerve in me.' ””
Education industry , educators, and people; we need to think critically, not react, and we need to have better judgment.  Remember it is about the student.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

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