Saturday, March 27, 2010


Dear Reader/Followers,

The bullshit tachometer has hit the red zone and my gaskets are blown - which may be good. Perhaps this idea may be described as "out-of-the-block".

IF the state REALLY wants this thing fixed:

1) They will pay EVERY teacher $50,000 to start. The individual districts will add whatever they need to in order to attract who they need to. Contract length will be negotiated teacher by teacher - upfront. This will allow for advanced degrees and achievements. The additional funding will be based, of course, on their tax base. There are NO school district boundaries except for busing. No school bus service? HART-line or parent carpool.

2) Tests are
established by the state and based on state standards/outcomes. Every student who passes the end-of-year test the first time will add an additional $100 (state paid) bonus to the teacher. Second attempt $25 bonus. After that nothing.

3) Students have NO attendance requirements after 6th grade. If they don't WANT to attend or get sick - no harm, no foul. All classes are performance based: once the student passes the end-of-year test they move to the next curriculum level or class. The state will establish curriculum - like they do now. Schools may add to it and promote any specialties which must also comply with the same state requirements. The state establishes curriculum "tracks" (college-bound, basic citizen, vocational). Students may move among them at will. Art and Music? (see sports below)

4) If the student feels confident they can schedule a time to take the test at any time - on a Saturday. The state will notify the student within one week if the test has been passed and the student can then choose the next course offered. Until the class actually starts? Vacation has been earned. If the student does not pass the end of the year test early - the student returns to class and must wait until the actual end of the year for another opportunity. After a third attempt - over the summer - if the student does not pass: that's it - really it - maybe the talent or skill just wasn't there. Choose another class and give it a shot. The curriculum includes an array of vocational offerings.

5) Once state graduation requirements are met the student is invited to the schools graduation ceremony - unless they have already matriculated to college or advanced trade/art school.

6) Administrators and counselors, freed of the associated behavior crap, get paid $50,000 a year. State bonus of $10 per student paid for FIRST time passing only. They proctor - with a teacher(s) the Saturday testing session.

7) Sports? Hell, they are farm teams anyway. Coaches are hired by the schools and paid by a fee the student pays. Limited "sport-ships" are provided for students too challenged to afford the fee. Students must display a state established level of "academic performance" as reflected by their end of year testing success. Coaches will have a vested interest in supporting their athletes academic development and the athlete will graduate with the abilities to succeed in college or life.

8) Every student will look to getting the necessary education in 1st through 6th (which will also have state established end-of-year-tests without the high school option) since they will be "empowered" with the control over their future education. Have a graduation ceremony here too - make it an accomplished step and invite them into their own future enthusiastically.

9) Special needs students and teacher will have a similar template which (if the state allows some degree of reasonable teacher input) will provide a more mainstream approach to student needs and less focused on the "entertain and house" mentality that it so ofter deteriorates to. This should allow for more sincere parent-teacher support and evaluation of the special needs community and less "letter-of-the-law" - "check-this-box" compliance.
(Admittedly my special-needs experience has been limited but personal.)

I'm sure to get this thing ripped apart and fully expect the "flaming" to begin but my gaskets are blown anyway and like I said I've had it with the bullshit - let the rubber hit the road.


Anonymous said...

This is as good (maybe better!) as anything I've read Suzie.

Too Late said...

Teachers are screwed guys. They plan on getting rid of 5% a year. The principals will target the veterans and those that speak out.

Anonymous said...

I disagree it is "too late". We can vote them OUT this election. If we don't then (once again) we get what we deserve. As long as we take it we will continue to be trampled on.

We have got to STAND UP - at the polls.

Ask your friends, relatives, and neighbors to get out and vote.

Anonymous said...

"IF the state REALLY wants this thing fixed:"

They don't. It's not ABOUT education.

I stopped reading after that.

Too Late said...

Don't you see? The public isn't with us anymore.

We've all seen the trend toward not accepting responsibility among our students.

Where do you think they learned that?

The legislature has sniffed the political winds. Their sense of smell is much more acute than ours.

We have lost the support of parents. How many parents come to "parent conference" night? Few right? Think those folks support teachers? I think they are very happy that politicians have given them a villain.

The politicians have found an easy scapegoat. Sure we all know its temporary but for the next 5 or so years, the new paradigm will prevail. By that time 25% will be gone, and maybe NOT the worst 25%

Eventually the truth will win out. These new initiatives will have no effect on student learning and I suspect things will get worse, but for now, we are to blame.

The public will not rise up. They sure don't want the blame.

Most teachers will not rise up.

The ones that do will be targeted for dismissal. No ones scores will miraculously improve but the principal/mentors have 60% of the vote.

Times have changed.

My wife calls me a cynic. She's right of course. She's always right. She's an idealist but she is not a teacher.

"Idealism is what precedes experience, cynicism is what follows."

I am a cynic.

The teaching profession is in for a long cold winter.

Too Late

Goader said...


If those in district upper administration and at the state level had the decency to show respect to teachers by including them in policy decisions, thoughtful ideas like those you presented here would allow teachers to feel a part of a democratic process. Teachers have not been included in the process, which does nothing but foster resentment.

BTW, thanks for updating my Website's link.

Leondra said...

It has been a long time since I've listened in or commented. It is has now been played out, as predicted.

Geesh, I hear my friends and colleagues in research wonder where the studies are that even suggest that we CAN find reliable and valid measures of teacher effectiveness... and within 3 years? ..and in areas such as the arts, business, and GASP ESE? If it were doable, private industry would have gobble up, packaged, and would be selling back to us (with great profit).

Oh, slap on the forehead... is that what is really happening?

Suzie Creamcheese said...


I can't find the data anywhere. We're probably guinea pigs - at least in college we were paid to participate.
Check out "Hats Off To Larry" for some very thoughtful posts.


Too Late said...

Pardon the threadjack Ms. Creamcheese but have you noticed that April Griffins blog is all but ignored?

Her kind offer to "explain" the Gates grant has been totally ignored. I did respond to it but my post that she show some political courage and rethink the merit of it went unpublished.

She is not the leader I had hoped she would be and yet again Lee is right.

Finally the CTA has showed some fight. I was actually encouraged until it dawned on me that the fight against SB6 was actually a fight for the CTA's legitimacy.

Think about it. With SB6, the CTA will be an organization with out a reason for being. They will not have anything to bargain with.

For me, this has tempered my desire to stand with them as they save their jobs. They have already sold teachers out and now they are begging us to rally in support of their own hides.

Funny how things turn out. Make NO mistake about it, SB6 is as bad as Gates.

Hey Nick. How does it feel?

Lucy Lee said...

I agree with Too Late. CTA sold us down the river with the Gates affair. They were caught up in the hype. The Gates grant was probably the templete for SB6.