Monday, September 30, 2013

Breaking Bad Causes the Federal Government to Shutdown

So admittedly the title of this post is intended to generate traffic but we are busy and do have lives outside of teaching and this award winning blog(that will be true when we win an an award of some sort).   There are at least a few notable events taking place around the nation connected to education.  As we await the fate of the outcome and a looming Federal Government Shutdown we ponder the demise of Walter White and Breaking Bad.  The members of the Underground had a conversation today that amounted to sarcastic banter for the benefit of a student teacher who was present.  But it went something like this;

"I'm trying to plan out this teaching thing but my brain is not really working anymore. I forgot how hard this teaching thing is." 
"Yeah, I thought after my first few years I'd have this thing all figured out, turns out it's still hard."

In other events there were a few pieces of news worth sharing.  

"Movies, Education...Same difference."
He says things like "charter schools (which are generally just public schools freed from union red tape"  -OK?    Basically he's a movie critic with a shallow understanding on education.  He has a loose grip on the subject and while smart  he is forced cite experts like Erik A Hanushek who deals with economic analysis of educational issues.His review of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is much better. 

the fact he has a website and has created a website with teaching advice makes it more scary than comical.  As simple as abolishing Public Schools sounds we might suggest such an effort is neither that wise or that worthwhile.  I'd prefer to abolish dumb as there seems to be plenty of that among our nations leaders.  Utter stupidity as David Gergen called it is often tough to watch but our nation's teachers dealing with reform are getting fairly used to it.  Sadly there is no shortage of people promoting books out there.  We here at the Tu might get to work on one at some point if we weren't so busy doing a crappy job as teachers I suppose.  And they are the ones adversely affecting the fate of us all.  While we wait some who will put Paul's plan into action we'll just keep teaching. 

New York State is holding the  Summit for Smarter Schools sponsored by the Partnership for Smarter Schools and three State Senators.   It focuses on the effects of the statewide testing and possible and common sense approaches for positive change.  Time will tell whether the ideas discussed gain any traction but there are hints of such ideas in many states including our own.  

Bill Gates tipped his hand about the efficacy of his reform agenda in an interview and I and most other teachers I know could likely provide a more substantive change with the funds he is pouring into education through his foundation.  We've talked about Bill Gates before in our How do you Make a Teacher Great post.  That answer remains a mystery but there is no shortage of experts on the matter.  Accountability...only for teachers and students I suppose,

With that we leave you to another week.  Our hope is that even if you lose faith in the Feds ability to get anything done, you keep a bit of faith in your local public school.  We'd appreciate the help. 

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