Strong American Schools

Observant visitors to TeacherJay’s blog may have noticed a new button (down towards the bottom of the left-side column). It is to the ED in ’08 site and their campaign sponsored by the group, Strong American Schools. Today’s post gives an overview of the organization and their primary goals. Read the rest of this entry »

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Spellings Test

While searching for some funny clips of politicians, TeacherJay found something a bit unexpected… to date, the only (active) member of the Bush administration to appear on Comedy Central’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart was Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, on May 22, 2007 (Wikipedia). Although she is one of the evil architects authors of the No Child Left Behind Act, TeacherJay was interested in the interview and in today’s post gives his reactions to the clip. Read the rest of this entry »

Paying for An Education

Don’t be confused, this post is not about the differences between private and public schooling… TeacherJay has already put forth his opinions on that over at Karl Frank Jr.’s blog. This post is however about pilot programs that are paying students for good grades and test scores, as well as the high test scores on economics that are showing up nationwide. In a school near you, students may soon be paid actual cash just for coming to school and doing what they are supposed to be doing… learning. Is this an innovative method of getting kids interested in going to school or just a ploy to turn them into capitalist drones? Read the rest of this entry »

You Can Bring a Student to the School…

…but can you give him equal access to education? Instead of fixing schools in poor neighborhoods former North Carolina Senator and 2008 Presidential Candidate John Edwards’ idea to increase the level of economic diversity in schools is to help families move elsewhere, along with busing inner-city students to the suburbs and creating inner-city magnet schools to attract suburban students into the city. The Supreme Court has repeatedly shot down districts who try to use race as the only factor in integrating schools. Due to the economic climate of the nation, they are now able to use economic status in its place and accomplish the same goal – but what does that mean for education system? Today’s post looks at some “solutions” to the lack of diversity in America’s schools and whether or not they are being fair to give all students equal access to education.

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NCLB Not So Horrific…?

Andrew Rotherham’s Eduwonk brought up an interesting point yesterday… is No Child Left Behind really as “horrific as it is made out to be”? When you get right down to it though isn’t NCLB’s goal to help children and reform schools? Okay, the rhetoric that went into may have been flawed and it’s implementation certainly needs some work, but should we, as educators who see a need to improve America’s schools, be so negative against a piece of legislation designed to do that just because it is not perfect… NCLB needs to be reauthorized every few years and that provides an opportunity to update it and refine it. TeacherJay was tempted to jump on the bandwagon here and become an NCLB-basher, too, but he does feel that the effort, at least, is a step in the right direction.

Democrats Bash NCLB

Is Bush’s No Child Left Behind legislation going to serve as the same political fodder that the Iraq War has for Democratic candidates in the 2008 presidential election? Teacher Magazine, a publication of Education Week, reported that Democrats “came out swinging” on Monday’s annual convention of the National Education Association.

Just as they have done with the Iraq War it would seem that the Democrats already vying for a 2008 are doing whatever they can to distance themselves from the current Bush administration. In fact, in a strikingly similar parallel, the Democratic Party, which broadly supported the law 6 years ago, now disagrees with the way it is being carried out. Major changes are being sought in Congress in order to revise the law before it can be reauthorized later this year. TeacherJay’s question is: are these politicians sincere in their claims that they want to reform education in this country by reducing the pressure on teachers to have their students score well on a standardized test?, in order to achieve that goal many teachers find themselves having to take valuable teaching time away from other subjects, or are the candidates merely trying to curry favor with Bush-haters?

Of the top three Democratic candidates, Clinton is the only to even make mention of NCLB on her official website, Obama does not list as one of his top issues, and neither does Edwards although he has stated before that because he has school-aged children he is personally attached to the issue. Making the statement is nice, but let’s see some action from these candidates.