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Mon Feb 27, 2012, 08:57 AM

Is pro-teacher school reform possible in this country?

The White House could use a little help from Aretha Franklin to boost its new education initiative.

The $5 billion plan aims to elevate the status of America’s teachers, and is dubbed RESPECT — although inspiring that particular sentiment may be wishful thinking. The name is an acronym for Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching. Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

The goal, according to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, is to make teaching “not only America’s most important profession — but also America’s most respected profession.” School districts and states are expected to compete for their part of the initiative’s funding, which is requested in the 2013 budget, to fund reforms to boost the teaching profession’s profile.

Good luck with that. Politicians, parents and students give a lot of lip service to the lofty ideal of teaching. Gold stars and shiny apples. However, in practice, the nation is far from embracing the esteem in which other countries hold the profession and the value they put on student achievement.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/02/17/3435775/is-pro-teacher-school-reform-possible.html#storylink=cpy

11 replies, 2824 views

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is pro-teacher school reform possible in this country? (Original post)
proud2BlibKansan Feb 2012 OP
vi5 Feb 2012 #1
proud2BlibKansan Feb 2012 #2
Starry Messenger Feb 2012 #5
Lifelong Protester Feb 2012 #3
Reader Rabbit Feb 2012 #4
mopinko Feb 2012 #6
YvonneCa Feb 2012 #7
mopinko Feb 2012 #8
muddrunner17 Feb 2012 #9
proud2BlibKansan Feb 2012 #10
WinniSkipper Mar 2012 #11

Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 09:11 AM

1. Arne Duncan can take a flying leap....

 

He and Michelle Rhea can take their charter school loving. union hating, standardized testloving asses straight to hell as far as I'm concerned.

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Response to vi5 (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 09:18 AM

2. There are numerous petitions being circulated

to have Arne removed. Personally, I'd rather be called a terrorist again. Rod Paige was bad but not nearly as dangerous.

Rhee is flaming out but doing it loudly. I predict she'll be no more than a bad memory in 5 years.

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Response to vi5 (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 10:07 AM

5. +1000

And Duncan's statements about Hurricane Katrina being the best thing that ever happened for education in New Orleans should automatically disqualify him from working anywhere near education. Or humans.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 09:34 AM

3. Right off the bat, if Duncan is for it

I would be suspicious.

And you are right, I don't need any more certificates, phony "awards", shiny apples.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 10:07 AM

4. It's pretty ironic that Duncan is pushing this.

His policies are among the primary reasons that teachers are being so disrespected and devalued. The fact that he simply does not understand the contradictory nature of this campaign and his obsession with judging teachers by data and test scores does not give me a great deal of hope for the future of the teaching profession, at least while he is Secretary of Education.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 01:26 PM

6. hope this succeeds

Last edited Mon Feb 27, 2012, 02:37 PM - Edit history (1)

from the article-
Education appears to have a high status in these countries, the report argues, “because the public at large has understood that the country must live by its human capital.”

And that spells RESPECT.

eta- nobody so far has answered this interesting question. please do.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 08:41 PM

7. What question?

The title? "Is pro-teacher school reform possible in this country?" If so, RR got it right:

The fact that he (Duncan) simply does not understand the contradictory nature of this campaign and his obsession with judging teachers by data and test scores does not give me a great deal of hope for the future of the teaching profession, at least while he is Secretary of Education.

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Response to YvonneCa (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 10:50 PM

8. sigh

honestly, and i do understand how people see the whole thing, but i honestly think that people are focused on a small part of the problem- teacher evaluation- at the expense of the full package. but to say that he is obsessed with that, i think that is not fair. i know arne duncan to have a broad understanding of the problems that are facing education and sophisticated solutions to offer. i understand folks think they are wrong, but to understand the history of school reform in chicago is to see what a risk he took, and just how much movement he made in a pretty frozen system.
i mean no disrespect to anyone here when i say that i think he does not get the respect he deserves, at least as someone who is willing to get out there and get his ass kicked in order to try to make the changes that he most earnestly believes in.
i would like to see democratic members of a democratic administration get, if not the benefit of the doubt, respect for their humanity. i wish that for myself here, now that i think about it.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 12:11 AM

9. The problem is that he is a one trick pony.

He continues to push inner city solutions on to rural and suburban schools. If we were serious about real education reforms, then teachers would have a seat at the table. Politicians have forced their solutions in an area where they have no expertise. Things often sound great, but do not work well when they're implemented. The reason: Teaching involves humans (teachers) interacting with other humans (students). Each encounter in unique. National solutions to education reform are no different than schools that look for the "magic bullet" program to help all students. It may help some students and be ineffective with others. It's time to find solutions that match the problems that each state and locality face.

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Response to muddrunner17 (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 09:46 AM

10. Exactly

The other problem is Arne's history of disrespecting teachers. This is why he's done as a reformer. Same for Michelle Rhee. Making outlandish statements like teachers are child molesters or that mass firings are appropriate just removes all credibility.

As long as these two are "leaders" in this reform movement are given credibility, many teachers will refuse to participate.

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Response to muddrunner17 (Reply #9)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 11:05 PM

11. I hope someone new can offer a point of view here

 

This is my third thread I have been involved in at DU. And it's in the education forum. If that doesn't tell you I think my teachers did great work I don't know what will.

I'm new - and I understand the sceptecism that accompanies me.

Quick background. I am married, no children. I have never been a teacher, other than SAT prep courses right out of college. Mom and her twin sister (they have always lived under same roof) are retired teachers. Mom HS Special Ed department head. Aunt 40 plus year early grade school. That was the environment I was raised in.

This post by muddrunner17 hits the nail on the head as far as why the teaching profession has impossible obstacles to overcome in the current structure of education. I will go so far as to say this - teachers, those who know the craft of real teaching, cannot practice it now, and will never be able to practice it again, "the way it should be". Not in today's world. Teachers from the minute they walk in the door each day are, IMO, asked to do the impossible.

And - the kids have changed. Kids born after 2000 will never know the times of solitude we had. Reflections or a moment to themselves. (Yes - somewhat hyperbolic, but not much)

Everything about today's world screams for local control of education policy. Let's say statewide at the highest level. I think that is where it is headed anyway. As people become accustomed to customization and specialization that technology brings in their every day life - State level will be the highest that can respond to those demands. US Dept of Ed is going to become symbolic at best.

And it will be provided to parents. Someone - Gates, Apple, Soros - is going to make it available. Ideally that will be done through public schools - but one way or the other it will happen. And it should. The key, and honestly the teachers strength and what they can bring to the table, is control over the content that is presented. Control over how to teach people to critically think. I think that is what anyone (at least anyone reading this board) wants.

I am a "There is what should be, and there is what is" person. There is a fundamental world that got left behind the day unlimited text and video, Facebook and Twitter came to life. It's a world I really liked. I grew up in it, and I think I turned out OK. If I grew up today, I would be a mess as a kid with all the noise. Ironically, my career is very much based in "all the noise".

So my "let me butt in to your conversation question". This is coming. And I see it as a great benefit and a great curse. Someone is going to have to get in bed with the devil. Has this been talked about much in the teaching community?



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