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Thread: Some Feel good news

  1. #1
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Default Some Feel good news

    Just read a piece in Parade last Sunday ...

    A West Point graduate, who served in Iraq and A'stan with an airborne unit, eventually ended up at a desk at the Pentagon. What he noticed was that more young people were being shot and killed in Chicago than we were losing in Iraq & A'stan.

    He retired from the military to pursue being a teacher. He had trouble finding a job without a teaching certificate. However, a charter school organization in Chicago, does hire some teachers who don't have "credentials" for teaching. They hired him.

    He's been teaching English for two years in inner-city Chicago (where HS drop-out rates are terrifically high). His students may often have to travel for an hour on public transportation to get to this charter HS, which is sponsored by the Chicago Bulls. Of course, his students do have an edge, as they have parents who want their kids to have a better education than they can get in the regular Chicago schools. One of his students in that very first year, with this teacher's help, has now been accepted at West Point. The student's parents were, of course, important to this. His natural father had been a big drug dealer, who was killed. His mother and stepfather wanted the best for their son, and supported the teacher's efforts to give this young man a "free" college education and a chance for opportunity.

    When the teacher first started at the school, this student, then a Junior, who was very physically fit, thought he would "show up" the teacher. He challenged him to a push-up contest. The student did 40. The teacher did 60 The teacher noted that this kid had a inner moral compass. He could have used some other challenge, but chose one that was non-violent and based on some sort of "merit".

    When one of this teacher's female students was thinking of dropping out, his wise words to her were (paraphrasing), "I've failed so many times that I've lost count. You cannot let failure define you. That is not who you are."

    The young man who is going to West Point is thinking that when his military service is over, he would like to follow in his mentor's footsteps of teaching.

    Makes me think how much good our vets could do as teachers on a large scale. Makes me also think of the great potential that is being wasted when there are kids like this who need the mentorship of teachers like this.
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
    "Know in your heart that all things are possible. We couldn't conceive of a miracle if none ever happened." -Libby Fudim

    ​I don't use the PM feature, so just email me direct at the address shown above.

  2. #2
    Senior Member .44 magnum's Avatar
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    Tenure is the big issue with getting good teachers... the bums who just show up for a paycheck can't be removed. A good teacher is worth ten times what they pay them. The burnouts are worth zip...

    growing up many a High School teacher were Veterans of WWII and they were very respected at the HS I attended.
    I like one-shot kills where possible and prefer to do all my hunting before I shoot. ..... Elmer Keith



  3. #3
    Senior Member swampcollielover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by .44 magnum View Post
    Tenure is the big issue with getting good teachers... the bums who just show up for a paycheck can't be removed. A good teacher is worth ten times what they pay them. The burnouts are worth zip...

    growing up many a High School teacher were Veterans of WWII and they were very respected at the HS I attended.
    Free Market Pay for Performance vs. One for all and all for one Marxism.....Non Union vs. Union!

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    Quote Originally Posted by .44 magnum View Post
    Tenure is the big issue with getting good teachers... the bums who just show up for a paycheck can't be removed. A good teacher is worth ten times what they pay them. The burnouts are worth zip...

    growing up many a High School teacher were Veterans of WWII and they were very respected at the HS I attended.

    There are ways to work around the tenure issue - Beyond that it is obvious that you know little about the education system.

    Gerry's story iOS cool!
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  5. #5
    Senior Member .44 magnum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marvin S View Post
    There are ways to work around the tenure issue - Beyond that it is obvious that you know little about the education system.

    Gerry's story iOS cool!
    Really .. you never know what background people come from... my Teaching certificate was earned in 1974 for secondary education..... from the State of Massachusetts.
    I like one-shot kills where possible and prefer to do all my hunting before I shoot. ..... Elmer Keith



  6. #6
    Junior Member 1goodog's Avatar
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    Default The Col and the battle fields of America

    I believe the fellow Gerry is referring to had his story told/was introduced at the Concert for Valor . He's a retired bird Col.
    An amazing man to live thru too many rotations into IR/AF fight, yet come home looking to make the world a better place for kids growing up in a part of Chicago where criminals thrive--and the good too often become "collateral damage.

    One of the kids in his class the 1st yr he taught got into West Point with his support. Fast results but the raw materials were there. The young man also looks like he has a bright future.

    I grew up the metro area and know the Chi Teachers Union is mob-like. Change has happened and more is to come.

    Congress--pay attention. This is a perfect program to offer vets leaving the service with exemplary records. Getting a teaching cert can be done at nite while you are teaching. Its an opportunity to make change on the battle fields at home. Sad that there are too many places in this country like the south side of Chitown where help is needed.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    1goodog, this was exactly the sense I got from the Parade article. Several factors come into play in this "lesson" in this story:
    1) A teacher who cares, and knows how to "lead" a group in a given direction. Military experience is a way to get the leadership element, that a whole lot of teachers will never see.

    2) Since it was a charter school (Noble Charter Schools; for profit group, I think), the parents also had to care about education and safety for the kids. In this case, even better, because there was both a father and a mother to lend support.

    3) Someone, his mother, step-father, or someone else, gave the kid some guidance into developing an inner, moral compass that could allow him to respect some type of "merit" involved in success.

    4) The charter schools are less likely to have the degree of violent students that the public schools allow to be present.

    The worst-performing schools are almost unfailingly also the most violent schools. I know, I've returned to this theme repeatedly. Head Start does good things, which are wiped away when those bright kids get into the melee of violent schools. Isn't it about time that we acknowledge violence in our schools and actually do something about it?

    I recall reading that there would be some positive results by making schools smaller ... splitting up the gang leaders, at least diluting the gangs' power to some degree. Probably not the only answer, but for the school, it would be easier to control a "mob" of 5 or 10 than a mob of 20 or 30. That seems a reasonable conclusion for keeping more control over the violent elements. There is some cost to this, for sure, but if it allows more kids to break the cycle and become workers & get off the welfare cycle, the dividends should outweigh the costs over the long haul ... which is something that the "war on poverty" has never accomplished.

    By making the schools smaller, it will be easier to direct schools toward students' special interests. Our first instincts have been to cut team sports at schools. Maybe there should be schools where team sports are actually nurtured? In a smaller school environment, more students would get to participate in the team sports than in larger schools. How many kids now become drug dealers who might have had a chance to play professional sports if removed from their violent schools? Surely not all of these kids will be good enough for the professional levels, but there are lessons to be learned from the hard work involved in physical sports, both individual sports and team sports.

    Not all charter schools are successful, but we could learn a lot from the ones that are successful ... and also learn a lot from the ones that are NOT.

    Off to work ...
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
    "Know in your heart that all things are possible. We couldn't conceive of a miracle if none ever happened." -Libby Fudim

    ​I don't use the PM feature, so just email me direct at the address shown above.

  8. #8
    Junior Member 1goodog's Avatar
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    Its surely a lesson on how-to improve the odds for "at-risk" kids. I grew up outside of Chicago but know all too well that the mean streets in Chitown are uniquely violent and provide zero safe harbor for kids who dont want to become a stat.

    Email to coming Monday. Look for it.

    Best
    b

    As long as we keep talking-shining light on America's problems, not throw only heat at one another, there is a chance that good things will happen.
    Last edited by 1goodog; 11-17-2014 at 11:36 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    1goodog, this was exactly the sense I got from the Parade article. Several factors come into play in this "lesson" in this story:
    1) A teacher who cares, and knows how to "lead" a group in a given direction. Military experience is a way to get the leadership element, that a whole lot of teachers will never see.

    2) Since it was a charter school (Noble Charter Schools; for profit group, I think), the parents also had to care about education and safety for the kids. In this case, even better, because there was both a father and a mother to lend support.

    3) Someone, his mother, step-father, or someone else, gave the kid some guidance into developing an inner, moral compass that could allow him to respect some type of "merit" involved in success.

    4) The charter schools are less likely to have the degree of violent students that the public schools allow to be present.

    The worst-performing schools are almost unfailingly also the most violent schools. I know, I've returned to this theme repeatedly. Head Start does good things, which are wiped away when those bright kids get into the melee of violent schools. Isn't it about time that we acknowledge violence in our schools and actually do something about it?

    I recall reading that there would be some positive results by making schools smaller ... splitting up the gang leaders, at least diluting the gangs' power to some degree. Probably not the only answer, but for the school, it would be easier to control a "mob" of 5 or 10 than a mob of 20 or 30. That seems a reasonable conclusion for keeping more control over the violent elements. There is some cost to this, for sure, but if it allows more kids to break the cycle and become workers & get off the welfare cycle, the dividends should outweigh the costs over the long haul ... which is something that the "war on poverty" has never accomplished.

    By making the schools smaller, it will be easier to direct schools toward students' special interests. Our first instincts have been to cut team sports at schools. Maybe there should be schools where team sports are actually nurtured? In a smaller school environment, more students would get to participate in the team sports than in larger schools. How many kids now become drug dealers who might have had a chance to play professional sports if removed from their violent schools? Surely not all of these kids will be good enough for the professional levels, but there are lessons to be learned from the hard work involved in physical sports, both individual sports and team sports.

    Not all charter schools are successful, but we could learn a lot from the ones that are successful ... and also learn a lot from the ones that are NOT.

    Off to work ...
    Gerry,
    Your item number 2 disturbs me. For profit school? Are all charter schools for
    profit? I don't know anything about them. Sounds like a good place for the kids, if the parent(s) can afford it. Please expand on how kids get enrolled in them.
    James Durfee BBQ pitmaster.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marvin S View Post
    There are ways to work around the tenure issue - Beyond that it is obvious that you know little about the education system.
    You are correct in your first assertion. Ban the teachers' unions and hang their leaders.

    An average of 2.2 teachers a year are dismissed for unsatisfactory performance in California, a state where 275,000 teachers work A California teacher has a better chance of being struck by lightning than being fired for incompetence.

    A dismissal proceeding can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The process is so cumbersome and expensive that few districts attempt it. Bad teachers, unwanted by principals, are bounced from school to school, often in impoverished neighborhoods, in what educators call "the dance of the lemons."

    Here's a link, to help you educate yourself. http://townhall.com/tipsheet/cortney...de-19-n1826813#!

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