Friday, August 07, 2015

Friday Open Thread

I am going to allow comments to go up without moderation but I may have to go back to moderation if I see problems.  (To that end, SpedParent, I accidentally deleted your comment/question on SBAC.  Please resend it.)

Did you watch the GOP debate last night?  Very entertaining and I give FOX credit for asking some truly pointed questions.  Yes, Common Core DID come up and guess what?  Not much love on that stage for it.  (Speaking of presidential candidates, a checklist for progressive candidates on public education from Gadflyonthewall Blog.)

"What are THOSE?"  Do you know this new kids' meme?  I didn't until I saw this article.  Read and learn so that you won't be like Michael Jordan and be mystified.

PBS Newshour story on teaching students the realities of war via telegrams and love letters.  I myself have a couple of telegrams from WWII my father sent to his first wife and children, telling them that he couldn't wait to come back to them.

From the Wait, What? public ed blog, coverage of WA BOE's decision on SBAC.

Great NPR story on the guy who's the head of the Mars EDL (entry, descent, landing) team - he had a tough time in school before he found his way.  Good story to tell the kids.
Steltzner's path to becoming team leader for this new Mars lander was hardly direct. Unlike many successful engineers, he struggled at school. An elementary school principal told him he wasn't very bright. His high school experience seemed to confirm that.

"I passed my geometry class the second time with an F plus, because the teacher just didn't want to see me again," he says.
But then something happened. As Steltzner tells it, he was on his way home from playing music at a club one night when he became fascinated with the stars, especially the constellation of Orion.

"The fact that it was in a different place in the sky at night when I returned home from playing a gig, than it had been when I'd driven out to the gig," he said. "And I had only some vague recollection from my high school time that something was moving with respect to something else, but that was it."

As crazy as it sounds, that experience was enough to motivate him to take a physics course at the local community college. That did it. He was hooked.
What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

Current proponents of rigor - would have us fail to graduate this student (now head of Mars EDL). Evidently, high school geometry didn't matter much to his success. But, learning about astronomy in junior college got him going and was personally relevant to him. We were able to put people on the moon and develop the world's most vibrant economy - all without common core, standardized tests, or standardized anything. And with "meaningless" high school diplomas. Why fix what ain't broke? Why burn all this energy on things that really don't matter?

Sped Reader

Anonymous said...

Word is that SPS has proposed throwing out all sped IA ratios and letting SPS decide on a case by case basis. Who had details? I've seen a call for parents and sped advocates to join teachers at 11 am next Thursday at JSCEE to call BS on their ability to deliver adequate staging worth this model.

-Oy Vey

Melissa Westbrook said...

Oy Vey, yes this is true according to the SEA contract update. I have no idea how this would work and I don't believe it could be in the best interests of students. See my newest thread.

Anonymous said...

Hard to see how it would be legally complaint. Staffing ratios are in ieps. District always insisted on this. Changing the ratios means breaking IEPs, without an IEP meeting.

Sped Parent

dan dempsey said...

MW wrote:
Yes, Common Core DID come up and guess what? Not much love on that stage for it.

CCSS must be in real trouble as even Jeb Bush backed away. Jeb had been a big CCSS booster but not so last night.

n said...

I'm reading the NYT Magazine on Kansas and Brownback's attempt to eliminate the income tax. In the article, a small group is discussing ideas for cutting even more costs and this one came up:

Gene brainstormed with Dave Trabert, the president of the small-government Kansas Policy Institute, about whether there was a way to isolate the administrative costs in the state education budget, so Republicans could cut them without reducing classroom spending.

Looks like admin costs aren't just a problem in Seattle...