"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Sunday Education Weekly Reader 01.15.12

Welcome to the Sunday Education Weekly Reader for 01.15.12.  Today we feature:
  • Rahm Emanuel's bullying tactics to push his agenda for schools (we thought bullying in schools and work environments had been banished)
  • Sex education (a national curriculum) in the classroom coming soon to your school?
  • George W. Bush on his thoughts about the 10 year anniversary of No Child Left Behind

Nancy Pelosi should call astroturf out when it's evident from the left.  Here's a story about Rahm Emanuel and his method of operation he utilizes to ram charter schools through in Chicago.  

The most disturbing revelations of Chicago's Millionaire Mayor One Percent was the use of paid outside agitators to hold signs, march, and speak in favor of closing public schools and Board of Education officials forging documents to push out homeless students from one school. All of the revelations have come out since New Year's Day, although many of the details had previously been published in Substance, some as early as last summer, when Substance first exposed what is now widely known as Rahm's "Rent A Preacher" scheme.
 Things became even more serious on the evening of January 6, 2012. State Representative Esther Golar said she was at the meeting about the proposed closing of Walter Reed School in Englewood, which is set to receive Guggenheim students, and saw people arrive on a bus. She said she talked to them and discovered they were from a halfway house and were paid $25 to come to the meeting. 

It looks as if community organizing is still alive and well in Chicago.  That's one way to push charter schools through in Illinois.

 Education Week reports:

A new set of standards outlines the minimum that students should learn about their sexuality from their earliest years in school until they leave high school.

The standards, developed over the last few years by dozens of health and education experts, say that by the end of 2nd grade, students should be able to use the proper name for body parts, including male and female anatomy. By the end of 5th grade, they should be able to define sexual abuse and harassment. By the end of high school, they should be able to describe common symptoms of and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, according to the standards released today with the backing of four national health education groups.

Is this within the purview of your school and federal government to mandate such courses to teach to your child?  You might want to call your school board to determine if such a curriculum will be offered/mandated in your public school system.  Ask your superintendent if such a course will help your human capital to become STEM ready.


And finally, the best for last.  George W. Bush talked to TIME magazine about the 10th anniversary of the bipartisan and largely failed policy of No Child Left Behind.  It's a short piece but quite telling.  This paragraph caught my eye:

So when NCLB is finally re-authorized, what changes would you like to see?
Progress toward excellence. [Former Secretary of Education] Margaret Spellings recognized that in order to be able to accurately judge, you need to measure progress toward the absolute. But what I’m worried about is the pressure to have too many goals or measure the wrong thing.

With all due respect to the former president, this is one of the worst policies ever in education and has been a sorry blueprint for students, teachers and administrators.  It's been a colossal failure for increasing academic achievement and billions of dollars are down the drain.  He should not only be worried about too many goals and/or measuring the wrong "thing", he should be penitent NCLB was ever passed and these goals and measurements have been put in the hands of the federal government, the NGA and the CCSSO.  

Taxpayers are forced to pay taxes for services in which they have no voice.  And he's actually PROUD of this?


Education thought for the week:

Teachers open the door.  You enter by yourself.--Chinese proverb


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