The reaction to the town hall was mixed. There were some good points scored by the Markell administration and there were some that were dodged.
One of the principle dodges was over charter schools posting their minutes as required by HB 119 of 3 years ago.
Most charter schools do not do this. This is a violation of state law, and was passed over by Markell and Mark Murphy, Secretary of Education as would a cop say… “naw.. we won’t arrest anyone over that..”
The reason this is a hot topic, is because in the minutes of one failing charter, it was reported that they should see if their insurance company would cover the losses their finance person stole. Losses their finance person stole? This is the first we’ve heard of it. The website was immediately scrubbed, and the failing charter school was not investigated, If you can imagine what a “white-wash” is, well, that is what happened.
Both say there was no resolution to the man’s question.
But I wanted to riff off another question that got asked…. Here is the first person account before I continue….
I want to focus on the difference Mike brought up between inequities and inequalities…. That is the first I’ve heard that distinction and it began spinning wheels. “Schools should not be treated equally, because they aren’t”
Being sucked in to the Common Core discussion, I have noticed a trend across the nation. Most people are not out of favor with broad standards or guidelines over what a person should know upon graduation. Most people are bent out of shape because the reality of what they are getting, is inferior, not only to the promise, but to what they already have in existence.
Common Core in implementation, is a step down, a full stride backwards.
It is kind of like the broad brush concept of communism. The idea that you don’t have rich and poor, and everyone pulls their weight and shares all, sounds great to the uninitiated. But the implementation of that great idea, is pretty awful and certainly is worse than what occurred before for almost everyone except the new boss.
The Common Core we get; is not what we were promised.
There has to be a better way, and Mike stumbled upon it.
The goal to changing education can be realized with implementing an 11:1 student/teacher ratio. However, that is not always true. I learned Physics and Bio in classes of 200 spread across the auditorium. Most old-school Catholic schools put out good products with a student/nun ratio of 50:1. with, of course, the addition of one ruler constantly carried in the nun’s hand. I did say “old school.”
If one has all good students, one can lecture and the students will learn. A problem occurs when one does not have all good students.
We need the 11:1’s in areas of high need. The reason for the 11:1 ratio is that the teacher has time to learn how each student learns best, and also has time to adapt the lesson into the method that student learns best, whether it be seeing, hearing, or doing.
If we are going to be serious and focus on the children, we need to begin implementing more teachers in high needs schools immediately. We also need supplies.
This concept is not new. Magnet schools have been around for a long time. However, using this approach to focus first on any school that has over 50% free lunch eligibility, would go a long way to turn the educational process into something fun again.
When things are fun, students stay focused, and when students stay focused, they learn what they are focused upon.
So if we want to get impoverished children a chance to climb out of poverty through education, screaming at them to do better, or firing their teachers over each child’s performance, simply won’t do a thing.
Instead, applying the principle that Charters were “supposed to” deliver, putting ample investment into teaching children who are suffering from poverty, and “investing” in our inner city schools both with personnel and tools, is where we need to focus our attention.
The money spent on standardized testing, analyzing, comparing, ranking, and then compiling, is pointless when you didn’t have the tools in the first place to teach them what the test would measure.
Raise the amount of money per student, for every school that has over 50% eligible for free lunch! This extra amount should come from the state funds laid down in our state educational budget, as does the vocational school money’s which are unrelated to the taxes assessed upon people’s properties…
And slapping this down as a giant program as was done Common Core?… let’s not do that. let’s pilot this new concept first, to see what the result might be?
Simply because it makes good sense, Something tells me, this is the future of American education….