A New Year: Getting a spirit on. . .

Kind of strange how things work out. It’s been a little cold the past few days. In fact it is a season of cold, except for the kids.

My school I classify as industrial. We have over 1300 students, and about 74 classroom teachers. I have worked in both middle schools and a high school with about the same or a few more. these schools seem warm by comparison.

An industrial school lets kindergartners sit out in the cold, because teachers have to have their planning in their rooms, and there isn’t enough staff to watch them. An industrial school, has no paraprofessionals (i.e.-teacher’s aids) because they are poorly funded, so the kids don’t have enough adults to watch them during lunch, so teachers work in teams. One stays with two classes and as they eat lunch, while the other teacher eats lunch. Then during recess, the one that ate stays with the two classes, while the other eats. –Neat, huh?

Performing arts don’t exist in an industrial school, unless all of special area gives up their own time to support it. Teachers are too busy testing, or instructing for testing. Since Race to the Top* hit town, we are “data” driven. It would make Skinner proud. I don’t know how much more “right” the pendulum will swing. The Neo-behaviorists are alive and well. The county mandates instructional time and everything is based upon benchmarks provided by the state. Science has made a slight reemergence, only because we test for it. Social studies, the dreaded “Progressive” subject, devised by Dewey is just more of a report card grade. It is taught by younger teachers, whose grasp on the global is just a notch more, since they were also poor recipients of geography and history programs. God forbid, anyone should know where anything outside the U.S. is. And history, well we know from Lynn Cheney, that peach, has been taught by a bunch of commies since Roosevelt came into office. Probably, Teddy.

The right wing, when it couldn’t turn back the clock of civil rights desegregation, instead muscled in on education. If you can’t use it, abuse it. The Gablers rolled into town in Kanawha County with their creationist drivel and anti-communism. Next the right went after holistic reading programs and took over school boards. They embraced Nation at Risk, like it was the holy bible. By now they are after unions and dumping anything that cannot be measured. Except money, which there is never enough of, and seems to dwindle in the face of paying textbook companies and testing institutions $$$, as instructional time dwindles in the face of testing time. Parents should ask teachers, principals and school board member exactly how much time a child spend each year on standardized or norm referenced testing, instead of getting actual instruction?

Ever go to a school board meeting? More pandering than pimps on the street. If you weren’t going to retch before you went, you surely will after. But not in my county, as we say, One Vision/One Voice. –Dun’nit sound like something right out of a Leni Refenstahl movie?

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*Race to the Top, is brought to you by Barack Obama, who ran as a supposed antiwar/tax-the rich-commie type. As a big supporter of merit pay, he appears to be more in lockstep with the typical Right Wing anti-union drivel, than usual.

Oh, look it’s Barack and the Republicans! Pseudo-fighting out the tax thing, while diverting the fact that thousands of U.S. troops sweat or freeze their behinds off in some far off land, instead of being at home with their families this Christmas.

On things you should have done: My blog is filled with photos, almost all of which I have shot. There are a few exceptions. This one of Punch and Judy came off a blog by a young Englishwoman who did puppets. I went back recently to give her credit and could not fing the blog. But found dozens using this image. I blogged and found a news agency of sorts using it, so I will put credit there (maybe) if they are the source.

http://acrosstheuniverse.forumotion.com/t2739-punch-and-judy

I wish I could find the young lady who first posted it. It is not my photo, but has even made it on facebook.

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