Fermoyle's Five Favorite Edu-posts 7/15-21/06
I hope people don't think I'm being presumptuous by doing this, but hey--it's my blog and I can do what I want with it. I'm going to start listing the five educational posts I've read during the week that most appealed to me. In a lot of cases, it will be posts that I agree with, but they might also be ones I disagreed with but made a good point. Heck, I don't know what they'll be because I haven't started doing it, yet. In any case, here they are in no particular order: Fermoyle's Five Favorite Edu-Posts for the week of July 15-21.
Tolerance for School Shooter in Nevada, by Ms. Cornelius at Shrewdness of the Apes.
I love this post because it shows something that I firmly believe: many people in positions to make decisions that effect public schools are oblivious to what those effects will be. And no one has been more guilty of that for the last forty years than judges.
The Spellings Report: Live From South Bend Indiana, at Education Wonks. (What a fantastic blog!) I'd have to list this as my favorite for the week, and definitely one of my favorites for the summer, so far. This post shows how incredibly unrealistic some of the people in power are, who are making key decisions affecting us all. I don't know that much about our Secretary of Education's background, but I have to assume from this that she has never been in charge of a classroom. This statement makes me want to scream:
When I hear people say they don't think it's possible to have every student reading and doing math on grade level, I always wonder... does that mean they're volunteering their child to be left behind? I certainly don't want that for my daughters, and I'm pretty sure most parents agree. I know you do, too.No one is volunteering to have their children left behind, and no teacher wants to leave kids behind. In my school, I can confidently say that the only kids who get left behind are those who simply refuse to come along, and I think that's the way it is in a lot of other schools, too. Quite frankly, the above statement by Ms. Spellings is stupid and insulting.
By the way, the only problem I have with checking out the Education Wonks blog is that it is so good, it makes me feel embarrassed about mine.
Public Schools Perform Near Private Ones in Study, by Peter Campbell at Transform Education. The title of this post makes it pretty self-explanitory, and there have been a number of different posts on it. Anyone who has been reading any of my stuff shouldn't be surprised that it appeals to me. I'm not aware that there were any accusations of bias in this study, but it doesn't surprise me that conservative types are questioning the methods. I'm sure people like Jay Greene will now conduct their own research and get results that are the opposite of this one. After reading Greene's book, I get the impression that researchers are able to set up studies in such a way to get whatever results they want.
I just started checking out Peter Campbell's site a few weeks ago. What an eloquent and effective spokesman he is on behalf of the cause of public education. I am definitely more "old school" than Peter is, but I wouldn't want to get into an argument using facts and figures with him. For me, that would be a little like getting into a home run hitting contest with Barry Bonds.
Mommy! by Mr. McNamar over at The Daily Grind. A good post about parents who want to coddle their children--a problem every teacher has had to deal with at one time or another, especially if they've also done some coaching. I went to school at a time when teachers could still get physical with students. I remember getting slapped by our junior high school principal, and my one thought was, "I hope my parents don't find out about this!" In the last fifteen years, I've had two separate incidents in which students have done something blatantly wrong, and when I looked at them with obvious displeasure, they each said to me, "If you hit me, I'll sue you." And by the way, Mr. McNamar's father is my kind of guy!
This Isn't the Post I Had Planned over at History Is Elementary. This tribute to her mother by Elementary History Teacher doesn't deal with education issues, but how could I leave it out. It was a wonderful post, and all the comments of support she got made it pretty special.
So there you are: my five favorite posts for the last week. I hope to have a little fun with this, and if there are any great posts on educational issues that you think I missed feel free to let me know.