In his continuing effort to be possibly a bigger idiot, Newt Gingrich now said this (in qualifying his previous remarks on having students act as janitors in schools to save money):
On Thursday, at a campaign stop in Iowa, the former House speaker said, “Start with the following two facts: Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works. So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of ‘I do this and you give me cash’ unless it’s illegal.” (His second “fact” was that every first generational person he knew started work early.)
Even if you believed this nonsense is putting kids to work at their schools the answer to any of these problems?
Start with the fact that most poor people DO work. Start with the fact that people with incomes of $25k give more of their income to charity (percentage) than people who make $200k.
The Republicans are really making Obama's job easier.
In the more dumb things said this week, this from Mayor Bloomberg:
Education is very much, I’ve always thought, just like the real estate business. Real estate business, there are three things that matter: location, location, location is the old joke. Well in education, it is: quality of teacher, quality of teacher, quality of teacher. And I would — if I had the ability, which nobody does really, to just design a system and say, ‘ex cathedra, this is what we’re going to do,’ you would cut the number of teachers in half, but you would double the compensation of them, and you would weed out all the bad ones and just have good teachers. And double the class size with a better teacher is a good deal for the students.
Really? Forty+ kids in a class in elementary? Fifty in middle? Seventy in high school?
Next up, the feds have issued guidelines telling school districts they can consider race in school assignments for integration. From the Times' article:
The guidelines issued Friday warned that students in racially isolated schools — which are on the rise nationally — often lag behind their peers at more diverse schools.
Seattle Public Schools administrators expressed surprise at the new voluntary guidelines, saying that for now they have no immediate plans to change school-assignment policies.
Two important issues to note. The Supreme Court decision four years ago involving SPS and its use of race in its enrollment plan did NOT say a district couldn't use race. (Hence the feds now saying you can.) It said the way SPS was using it was wrong. But then the question is - how to use it legally?
Second, I find it ironic that the Obama administration and Arne Duncan are worried about re-segregation of schools while they encourage charters. Many charters are very heavily segregrated and while small number succeed (KIPP but they also exit students out), most do worse. (More on this in another thread.
In a major revamping of a high school, in Denver in 2006 Manual High School was a failing school. They shut it down for a year but since its reopening graduated 89% of its senior class.
Now they are going even further. They added 39 days to their school year. From the Huffington Post:
The school has added 39 days to its calendar, officially making it the longest school year in Denver Public Schools, in an effort to continue closing the achievement gap and give students more time with teachers. According to Director of Community Engagement Vernon Jones, 25 days of the now-210 day school year will be dedicated to off-campus "experiential learning" -- at no additional cost to families.
The school day will run from 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Jones told the Denver Post that the school is still trying to raise funding for those trips because "money shouldn't be an obstacle" to families.