Monday, November 21, 2016

This And That

The president-elect is now considering Michelle Rhee for Secretary of Education.  (I find it interesting his actually going to keep it open because hard-core conservatives want it gone but then again, public education was of little interest on the campaign trail.)  Ed reformers love this because Rhee is all things ed reform (TFA, charters, etc.) 

But still I smile.  Conservatives had plenty to say about Hillary's baggage from her husband.  Well, Rhee has even worse baggage with her husband, Sacramento mayor, Kevin Johnson.

One of the most moving first-person narratives I have ever read, Academia, Love Me Back, by grad student, Tiffany Martinez.

I name these accomplishments because I understand the vitality of credentials in a society where people like me are not set up to succeed. My last name and appearance immediately instills a set of biases before I have the chance to open my mouth. These stereotypes and generalizations forced on marginalized communities are at times debilitating and painful. As a minority in my classrooms, I continuously hear my peers and professors use language that both covertly and overtly oppresses the communities I belong to. Therefore, I do not always feel safe when I attempt to advocate for my people in these spaces. In the journey to become a successful student, I swallow the “momentary” pain from these interactions and set my emotions aside so I can function productively as a student. 

This morning, my professor handed me back a paper (a literature review) in front of my entire class and exclaimed “this is not your language.” On the top of the page they wrote in blue ink: “Please go back and indicate where you cut and paste.” The period was included. They assumed that the work I turned in was not my own. My professor did not ask me if it was my language, instead they immediately blamed me in front of peers. On the second page the professor circled the word “hence” and wrote in between the typed lines “This is not your word.” The word “not” was underlined. Twice. My professor assumed someone like me would never use language like that. As I stood in the front of the class while a professor challenged my intelligence I could just imagine them reading my paper in their home thinking could someone like her write something like this?
STEM versus the Humanities - story from Scientific American.
Promoting science and technology education to the exclusion of the humanities may seem like a good idea, but it is deeply misguided. Scientific American has always been an ardent supporter of teaching STEM: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. But studying the interaction of genes or engaging in a graduate-level project to develop software for self-driving cars should not edge out majoring in the classics or art history.

The need to teach both music theory and string theory is a necessity for the U.S. economy to continue as the preeminent leader in technological innovation. The unparalleled dynamism of Silicon Valley and Hollywood requires intimate ties that unite what scientist and novelist C. P. Snow called the “two cultures” of the arts and sciences.

Jobs once declared: “It's in Apple's DNA that technology alone is not enough—that it's technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing.”
 From the Columbia Daily Spectator (the official daily newspaper of Columbia University) an op-ed on Teach for America.
Teach For America roots its mission in epistemological racism, recruits privileged people who will soon move onto more prestigious careers, preys on their desire to “make a difference,” boosts savior complexes, fails to provide adequate teacher preparation, overworks corps members into fatigue, depression, and alcohol abuse, indoctrinates low-income students in neoliberal ideology, displaces Black teachers in urban communities, drives down teacher pay and professionalism, bankrolls the expansion of charter schools, saps public schools of much-needed funding, and obsesses over advertising and promotion rather than addressing these problems, all while expanding worldwide.
Over the next three years, however, Teach For America's narrative of “teaching as leadership” unraveled before me piece by piece, myth by debunkable myth. As I familiarized myself with the existing research, spoke with experienced educators, and underwent my own teacher training in the Barnard Education Program, it became clear that I did not want to Teach For America. I wanted to teach for real
If you want to be a career educator, there are clinical-model teacher residency programs combining pedagogical theory with classroom practice as you gradually transition from co-teacher to lead-teacher.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

She's out:

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/politics/article/The-Latest-Trump-aide-suggests-he-wants-no-10629925.php

Former Washington, D.C., schools chief Michelle Rhee says she's not seeking a job in President-elect Donald Trump's administration. (more)

-McClureWatcher

Po3 said...

Have to say, I have a lot of respect for Rhee turning down the Trump administration.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, don't get too respectful. I think there are people who might yearn to have positions in the Cabinet but not THIS cabinet. They can see down the road and that's one with too many potholes, dead-ends, bumps and curves.

Anonymous said...

Humm so Rhee turned down the job.

Reminds me of the candidates for Superintendent that withdraw just before they are not going to be selected.

From the WaPo comes this report Rhee takes herself out of the running

I think that is code for Ms. Rhee realized she was not going to be selected for this job.

If this was the case - Good move Mr. Trump

We certainly need a US Secretary of Education that can be a positive agent.

Given the history of Duncan and King, I am hopeful but not optimistic.

Given all the contradictory things Trump says... I am clueless who he may select.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Out of the frying pan and into the fire. Trump nominates Betsy DeVos at Sec. of Education. DeVos is a staunch supporter of school choice (charters, vouchers), Common Core, and standardized assessments. She is a board member of the Foundation for Excellence in Education.

She should sail right through confirmation.

Horace