1) Have successful teachers come up with the plan. Seems simple, doesn't it? Not the administrators, or the academics. The good teachers.
2) Ask the kids. Kids seem to have an uncanny ability to pick out good teachers, I think. I remember that the good teachers I had over the years were not considered the "easy" teachers. They were respected and, actually, also well-liked. Kids wanted to be in their classes. Very much the same in college. They had a knack for requiring "obedience" from students in class, but also knowing how/when they could give more "space". Seems like many of the qualities one sees in effective leaders.
3) I don't think that testing the kids with standardized tests is so bad. Before you can become a rocket scientist you must learn about arithmetic! Not just 1 + 1 = 2, but how and why. Calculators cannot teach you that. But it is very handy to be able to learn the basics by rote ... the times tables, valences in chemistry, the theorems in geometry. I still think geometry is one of the best tools for learning how to "think" logically.
4) Put cameras in the classrooms to watch teacher/student dynamics. The cameras would be turned on all the time, but they would be "monitored" randomly. No teacher would know when their classroom was being observed ... so their performance would have to be uniform.
5) In truth, sometimes a good teacher was a poor student; a student who was "bored" n class or had to "work" at getting good or passing grades. Those teachers maybe understand how the students' minds are working, and can offer more creative ways of presenting course material.
There are many different kinds/styles of good teachers ... the results they get can show up in two ways: student performance on standardized testing and students' enthusiasm for the course material or learning process.
"Know in your heart that all things are possible. We couldn't conceive of a miracle if none ever happened." -Libby Fudim
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Unfortunately Gerry the Union won't allow most of your points unless you have an administration willing to fight the Union during their next contract negotiations.
Thanks to Mitch Daniels and his administration Indiana now has open enrollment which means your kids can go to any school as long as the school is not at capacity and you can provide transportation for them. This is the second year we are at a new school for all three kids. The school we left has the highest paid teachers in the county yet the school is on academic probation which is the lowest possible designation before the state takes the school over. The new school is an Academic Excellent school for the past five years which is the highest designation for schools. Both schools are K-12 schools all in one building. The difference is the school we left is all about the teachers. The new school is all about the kids. There is no comparison. At the old school the principle had to give the teacher notice a day ahead of time before he could observe in the classroom. That is in the contract. They couldn't fire a music teacher because he had tenure. The kids didn't like him as he was a very belligerent teacher. So what did they do, they laid him off which meant that they had to go two years before they could hire another music teacher. No music for two years or make the high school teacher teach K-12 music. Who suffers? The kids and of course the one music teacher if they went that route.
What is happening is a lot of the smarter kids are leaving for better schools. We didn't have 4 or 5 years for the school to turn around as our oldest daughter was going into the 8th grade. It makes more work for us as parents. We are lucky as my mother in law is able to pick the kids up after school. Not everyone has that option. But in the long run choice and competition are great ways to force schools to get better or they will be gone!
Last edited by duckheads; 08-28-2012 at 11:01 AM.
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"The thing I admire about the rat tail is that it takes commitment. It's not like one day you just decide you want one, you have to grow out that bad boy and you have to repeatedly convince the hairdresser to trust you because it's a great idea."
I'd vote for a tax dodger over a traitor any day.
PS not a Romney supporter
We seem to have strayed a bit from the original post and to get back on track a bit, I would pose this question. Would those of you who are objecting to Romney availing himself of LEGAL means of reducing his tax burden (including donating very generously to charities) think more highly of him if he instead increased his contributions to the government and then reduced his charitable donations by an equal amount?
Any doctrine that weakens personal responsibility for judgment and for action helps create the attitudes that welcome and support the totalitarian state.
Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company.
Gig'em Aggies!! BTCO'77HOO t.u.!!
"I'm gonna lean up against you, and you lean up against me. That way we don't hafta sleep with our heads in the mud"Forrest Gump, 1994
I grew up in the same town...just by a different name. Thanks for sharing that. It is obvious people there care. It's different in these big cities where a lot of money and power are at stake. Teacher in these big cities need a union....if not, the system will suffer at the expense of bad management by the city officials.
I'm not saying that the union does not make mistakes, but they are looking out for the interest of the teachers, unlike in your town, the village is looking out for them.
The oil will eventually run out, what has your little town done to reinvent itself? When my little town's farmers began consolidating & the population decreased, transport improved, it's been a downhill slide.
As I wrote to the considered for ? Senator John Thune - the state needs to quit exporting it's talent (meaning the intelligent young people going elsewhere) & start adding value to the products it sells. You might ask your friends, Mr & Mrs Do-It-All if that thought ever entered their mind. Keep the young folks home, they are everyone's future.
You may answer this - Getting the last word is only something you attempt when you don't like the person & you do sound likable .
Everyone's friend is No One's friend
Someday your life will flash before your eyes. It's your responsibility to make sure it's worth watching!