Friday, October 23, 2015

Underfunded Schools Forced To Cut Past Tense From Language Programs

From the Onion.

"With our current budget, the past tense must unfortunately become a thing of the past."

"For some, reading and writing about things not immediately taking place was almost as much a part of school as history class and social studies." 

"That is, until we were forced to drop history class and social studies a couple of months ago," Reynolds added.

Have a good weekend.


seattle citizen said...

It's a smart move. As Utah Senator Orrin Hatch says in the article, " 'Our tax dollars should be spent preparing our children for the future, not for something that has already happened' "

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. Cut two courses not measured by standardized tests, so we'll resolve the budget with no negative pings from the state or the feds.!


Anonymous said...

Haven't schools already undervalued the teaching of grammar? The discarding of the past tense is just the next step in a designed plan.

The motto may be "More Tech less Grammar"... we love vendors.
Is there a lobotomy vendor for forgetting the past?

Ain't Correct

Anonymous said...

Are you sure this is from The Onion and not the Center for Reinventing Public Education?

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Sorry to change the (hilarious) subject but could you re-post this link for David Elliot?

It took me forever to find it. I do not know Mr. Elliot nor do we attend QA but I HAVE personally witnessed the capricious firing of at least 3 excellent teachers and principals in the last 10 years because they put good curriculum and consistent learning above the ever-changing bureaucratic experiments of the central district administration. SPS parents have to make it clear that retaliation for standing up for our kids' education will no longer be tolerated.

-SPS parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

SPS Parent, I am attending Director Peters meeting and will put up a separate thread with this petition.

Anonymous said...

Hotlink to article:

Petitioning Seattle Public Schools: Larry Nyland, Superintendant

Seattle wants David Elliott back!

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

On the surface this sounds like a solution to education budget woes. However, the decision-makers (working in their usual silos) failed to consider the archival requirements and costs associated with this action.

Outsider said...

To me, the juxtaposition of the Onion story and the David Elliot saga is telling.

I went to a great elementary school long ago in flyover country, in a state which ranked 48th in per-pupil expenditure on public schools. The school didn't have a playground, or even grass. At recess, we played kickball or smear the homophobe on mowed weeds left over from when the school yard was a farm. The school had no art teacher, no music teacher, no PE teacher, no art supplies, and needless to say no iPads. Class sizes were a touch larger than the contractual limit in Seattle today. We hardly knew who the principal was, and when you found out, it was not in happy circumstances. I got a better education there than my child gets in Seattle now, and not by a small margin. The difference has nothing to do with funding.

Seattle schools might be better with an immediate 10% funding cut, or more. Then maybe they couldn't afford centralization; high-paid bureaucrats to crack the whip and enforce sameness on the schools; an endless parade of expensive new curricula and standards; endless task forces on social engineering and political correctness. Cut the budget until they can't afford anything but teachers in classrooms teaching according to their own preference, and enough rope in each school to deal with any principal who gets too "imperial."

Anonymous said...

Please steal Obama's grumpy cat meme!

"Admins are so down on the teachers...everything is terrible for them..."


Anonymous said...

OK ... if funds are cut for Past Tense, can we have a bake sale to finance the Past Perfect Tense... I have seen this coming.

-- Dan Dempsey

n said...

Such a great post, Outsider. As I left the workroom yesterday, I looked for a few seconds at something I've seen far too much off. Another adoption of books K-5 in beautiful condition still making their way to surplus. The money spent on curricula would be unbelievable if people really knew about it. Hardly used because we keep changing reading models. I've read every five years? Who put that rule in place. Same with math and social studies. I watched Storypath and Houghton Mifflen go out the door over the summer. I like Storypath, Houghton Mifflin not so much. Still, buy it one year and send it out three-to-five years later. Why? Oh my god, they have too much money down there. We would be better if we were smaller and poorer. We'd use our money so much better!

Anonymous said...

"n" you remind me of long ago. Thanks for that.

I began teaching 7th grade everything in a small Catholic school in Idaho (It was 3 times the size of the really really small public school). Very little money and wheat at really low prices $1.25 a bushel (It went to $5+ a bushel 6 years later)
I taught 21 seventh graders and was with them every minute of the day from 8AM to 3PM.

I went to the local high school to find surplus math books that might be better for my 7th grade class than Sadlier math. I found Hart Algebra I copyright 1946 (It was 1968).

Those 22 year-old books were excellent.. clear examples and excellent problem sets. No worry about covering standards as we were learning math at a rate that students could comprehend, with scaffolding and back-filling along the way. It was just me and the kids. Some were in the Algebra book and some not (it must have been ability grouping - but there was lots of time for math). [[Slightly more than half finished the entire algebra book by the end of 8th grade and learned other math topics as well]]

I thought about how leaving this really rural school for a district with more resources, which I believed would provide me with support for better instruction. Oh was I naive.

Larger districts often require lots of counterproductive nonsense that has little to do with improved instruction.

Professional Learning Community -- really - where would I find one of those? I see mostly top-down edict delivery mechanisms... orchestrated by those who know little about how students successfully learn math over a k-12 career.

A learning community is what the kids and I had in Idaho.

Today, for teachers more reading of stuff that largely misses the mark is required. The Danielson Framework is way more work than it is worth for this teacher.

I visited with one of those original 7th graders in 2007 and learned that he knew I really cared about him and trusted that his teacher (me), parents, and community would direct him in positive directions. He did what he was told because he trusted us (the adults). Sorry but I do not have Joe's same confidence in the Seattle Public Schools leadership.

Like "n" wrote: "Oh my god, they have too much money down there. We would be better if we were smaller and poorer. We'd use our money so much better!"

Amen to that.

-- Dan Dempsey