The business of education: Is the trend troubling you?

In tandem with my earlier blog on the Fordham panel on digital learning, I want to direct you to a blog from Will Richardson, a former public school educator and author of several books on learning and technology.

Richardson writes in response to this week’s Education Innovation Summit at Arizona State University and begins with a series of tweets from educator and blogger Chris Lehmann about the Gates Foundation sponsored event. Lehmann is principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia and co-chair of EduCon.

Among Lehmann’s tweets about the summit: Educators – if you don’t see that there is a billion dollar industry wanting to take over schools using tech as the Trojan Horse, wake up…Jeb Bush has said: a) he does not read edu research. b) he does not care about anything that is not a test score. ProblematicThis is what scares me – those who do not believe in schools will use edu-tech-speak to dismantle the things we hold most dear.

In his blog, Richardson writes:

The strategy has become really clear: villify unions and teachers through policy and public outcry in ways that effectively compromise our voices when we push back, continue to frame education accountability in terms of our ability to compete against the world (as opposed to collaborate with the world) and, finally, promote more and more objective tests as the way to measure everything from “student achievement” to teacher effectiveness to teacher education programs to, oh, I don’t know, maybe how well the plumbing works. That is the recipe now to a) gain political favor and b) make lots and lots of money. And it’s working.

I’m not convinced anyone in the conversation wants to do harm to kids. But I am convinced that all of this is being driven by dollars. Tech is a huge part of this, not because it can enhance real learning in all of the ways we share in our network, but because it creates all sorts of efficiencies that are just now being realized. Want to really personalize learning in ways that a single teacher in a classroom can’t? Not a problem. Want to have kids write more, a lot more, while not having to grade any of it? Not a problem.

You get the idea. Remember this from last November?

This legislative juggernaut has coincided with a gold rush of investors clamoring to get a piece of the K-12 education market. It’s big business, and getting bigger: One study estimated that revenues from the K-12 online learning industry will grow by 43 percent between 2010 and 2015, with revenues reaching $24.4 billion.

And thereyago. “We need a grass roots rejection of this,” Chris Tweets, and I agree. We as a community of educators who see the learning world in quite a different light really do need to start discussing and debating this in meaningful, ongoing ways.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

190 comments Add your comment

Beverly Fraud

April 22nd, 2012
4:24 am

Edu CON sounds like what the “privateers” are trying to foist on an unsuspecting (rather NON discerning) populace.

Problem is, Edu CON is what the government is CURRENTLY FOISTING on the public, creating the vacuum that allows Jeb Bush/McGraw Hill and company an opening.

Peter Smagorinsky

April 22nd, 2012
6:14 am

Thanks to Maureen for alerting us to this meeting and its consequences. Is this the education you hope your kids get?

Elizabeth

April 22nd, 2012
6:28 am

I agree completely. I think the goal is to dismantle public schools as we know them and create somethng entirely different and not advantageous to kids.And it’s happening faster than I thought it would.

sloboffthestreet

April 22nd, 2012
6:31 am

Well Mr. Smagorinski, the question that needs to be answered is could it be any worse than the education our children receive today?

Survey says,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Probably not,,,,,,,, SAD FACE

VietVet

April 22nd, 2012
7:20 am

Sloboffthestreet,
Sorry, but privatized education can often be much worse than public, little more than American madrases, where ideologues essentially indoctrinate students. In some science is replaced with religion, history with mythology, critical thinking is outlawed and all material must support the worldview of the propagandists who run the schools.

Mary Elizabeth

April 22nd, 2012
7:21 am

“I’m not convinced anyone in the conversation wants to do harm to kids. But I am convinced that all of this is being driven by dollars.”
====================================================

When the bottom line in educating children becomes the dollar, whether the intent to “harm the kids” is present or not, ultimately the “kids” will be harmed because they will have been used to serve the mercenary interests of businessmen and women, instead of having public servants serve their (the students’) interests. This is why we must continue to rally support for public education.

Let me remind all, once again, that one of the primary goals of ALEC has been to dismantle public education for private education by having corporations work with state legislators throughout the nation, to accomplish this end. Notice the numbers of corporations who want, now, to invest in education. Interesting, don’t you think? Students used for profit, and teachers viewed as commodities.

As I just wrote in the last thread, “I believe every American has the right to a good public education, adequate health care, and the security of Social Security in his or her old age. This is what FDR believed, also, and these are reasons why I remain an FDR Democrat. I, also, believe that by supporting and securing these human rights for all Americans, we insure that America will remain a humane nation in which to live and raise our young.”

When the bottom line in America becomes the dollar, even in arenas in which public servants have previously prevailed, America, herself, is in danger of becoming less humane in her vision and in her consciousness.

Goodforkids

April 22nd, 2012
7:25 am

His summary gets to the crux of all that is going on. What worries me is his statement that those who know education should “start discussing and debating” the situation. Meanwhile, the business folks with money and influence are “having their way” with k12 education. A battle has been waged, and we don’t have effective strategy to counter the tanks that have already rolled in the buildings.

Tony

April 22nd, 2012
7:31 am

While the politicians and businessmen continue their quest to “standardize” all our classrooms through their “accountability” and “teacher quality” initiatives, they are flushing our kids’ education right down the toilet. Teachers know and understand the importance of relationships with children they teach. All this techno-babble by the politicians will not lead to better performance from our children. Technology is simply a tool, not the means.

Willie

April 22nd, 2012
7:41 am

Profit does not scare me at all. I don’t really listen to the people who get all excited about “evil” profit. The profit motive has been responsibile for a great deal of motivation, investment and good service. Too often profits have been channelled to buddies or inisders. I am a lot more excited about profit motives when parents are making decisons than when the government is making the choices

Goodforkids

April 22nd, 2012
7:41 am

Using the link to the education summit provided by Maureen above, I clicked on the summit tab and scrolled through the list of “presenting companies” and read their brief descriptions. Wow! Look how many businesses have their hands out…ahem, meant to say, are striving to help teachers and students.

Jordan Kohanim

April 22nd, 2012
7:55 am

Thank you for posting this, Maureen!

This is my biggest fear as an educator. Sadly, I have no hope the trend will be reversed in time.

crankee_yankee

April 22nd, 2012
8:08 am

I will focus on the state of GA. We are getting what we pay for. The few (very few) counties that supplement their education budgets, elect board of ed members who value kids’ education, support meaningful staff development and make decisions based on the needs of the kids send those kids to post-secondary schools where they are successful and subsequently enter the job market prepared. The rest do not. Look at what goes on in the counties that do not and you will understand why GA is a perennial low educational achiever nationally.

But now, the infection is beginning to spread. Look at the announcement from Gwinnett about Louise Radloff considering not running for the board of ed again, she cites one of the reasons to be the demographics shift in her zone as a result of GOP redistricting. There isn’t a more dedicated nor formidable proponent of kids’ education that I know of. She has spent 40 years helping develop Gwinnett become one of the few educationally sound systems in this state. So why was she redistricted? Maybe because she makes educational decisions based on sound educational research and not the political rhetoric du jour.

What say you GA, are you ready to stand up and fight for what is best for your kids? Or will you continue to listen to those who just want to pick your pockets in the disguised name of increased profits?

Maureen, please email me about something you should look into that is happening in another county. It reeks.

HoneyFern

April 22nd, 2012
8:17 am

Public schools as we know them don’t work, but the answer is not designing more of the same (i.e., Common Core Standards instead of the Georgia Performance Standards that replaced the Quality Core Curriculum) but to change the model entirely. Notice how the CCS came out just as all states had finally rolled out all levels of standards (a 5-8 year process in many cases)? This is re-packaging; new standards themselves will do nothing to improve education.

There is nothing new in education, just what works and what doesn’t. Public ed continues to cling to what doesn’t work, which, fortunately for edu-crats and business people, happens to pay very well.

And no, GA is not ready to stand up and fight for what is best for kids. We need education that doesn’t look anything like what we have now, and that is far too radical a change for most people. We are still educating factory workers; problem is, the factories are gone, and companies with highly-skilled positions cannot find workers (yes, I have a source, form the middle of the recession in 2010). We indicate our unwillingness to change every time we focus on test scores or explain away low graduation rates instead of treating the people behind the stats as, well, people.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

April 22nd, 2012
8:29 am

Mr. Richardson,

With all due respect, “all this is being driven by the dollars” has been true of GAPubEd for all the years I’ve been worked in and have otherwise been involved with it.

The money-grubbing GA educracy didn’t sprout Athena-like from the heads of GA taxpayers last week. Money-grubbing involving public schools is nothing new to The Peach State.

carlosgvv

April 22nd, 2012
8:29 am

“all of this is being driven by dollars”

Our Georgia legislature will do anything to keep the money flowing to their corporate masters.

Money talks and BS walks.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

April 22nd, 2012
8:31 am

MISTAKE: Line 3- delete “worked.”

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

April 22nd, 2012
8:31 am

MISTAKE: Line 3- delete “worked.”

Hey Teacher

April 22nd, 2012
8:32 am

I wonder where the CEO’s of the K-12 online learning companies send their kids? I would bet it isn’t the public schools they are targeting, but rather a traditional private school.

ScienceTeacher671

April 22nd, 2012
8:36 am

@sloboffthestreet: the question that needs to be answered is could it be any worse than the education our children receive today?,,,,,Probably not

I don’t know where your children go to school, but what I’ve found is that the education children receive in my area depends upon 3 things: (#1) the quality of the schools/teachers, (#2) the motivation of the student, and to the extent that it influences #1 and #2, (#3) parental involvement.

Our school is considered a “failing school,” largely because our black male and special education populations don’t do as well overall as the other students do, although we do have individual black males and students with IEPs who do quite well, thank you.

We also have students taking AP classes, and former students doing quite well at military academies, medical schools, etc. The students who have the intellectual capacity to learn and who value education do exceedingly well. Those who are just trying to get by and do the minimum amount possible, not so much, because the minimum the state of Georgia will accept is pretty darn low.

teacher&mom

April 22nd, 2012
8:53 am

Is the trend troubling you?

Yes.

I’m sharing this link from my small union cubicle *ahem*. (A little Sunday AM humor for those who still have a sense of humor)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vn-SfH15e70&context=C4ef23eeADvjVQa1PpcFPvgDec91xMp6kT4xfZRSGtparb4MpkpGs

Mary Elizabeth

April 22nd, 2012
9:01 am

Instead of writing off groups of students within public education, educators need to address accurately students’ individual instructional levels – whatever their grade levels happens to be – and educators need to make a concentrated effort to involve parents in the process of teaching these students where they are functioning. Addressing those two factors will do much to improve public education and doing so will help to motivate further students and their parents.

Also, informing legislators that programs to help impoverished citizens move out of poverty will help to improve public education, but that will take government funding. Legislators must realize that they cannot continue cutting government funding and address the poverty problem, adequately.

Mary Elizabeth

April 22nd, 2012
9:04 am

Correction: “whatever their grade levels happen to be”

bootney farnsworth

April 22nd, 2012
9:04 am

bother me? it scares the hell out of me.
all you gotta do is look at GPC to see how this crap can run amok.

1-a management topheavy with stupid titles promoting a culture of fear
2-students as “customers”? WTH?
3-rampant fiscal mismanagement favoring the top
4-a dehumanizing abusive approach to employee relations

there’s a reason only 1 public education entity made the AJC top 100 list

bootney farnsworth

April 22nd, 2012
9:11 am

@ Mary Elizabeth,

we’d love to deal with the students at individual levels.
we can’t.

students, our “customers” are the smokescreen we use for shameless
self promotion and social engineering.

unless an individual student happens to be a 1/3 black, 1/3 latino (preferrabley illegal), 1/3 US Indian who is in a wheelchair, blind, gay, with a male pattern baldness, transgender, who wants to play in the NAB.

then, maybe, we’ll treat them as individuals.

dekalbed

April 22nd, 2012
9:12 am

So who is profiting?
1. The overpaid out of school administrators/”educators” who receive “market” salaries despite any “market” checks and balances. Exactly, how many of these DCSS-or is it DCSD now?-are evaluated (or will be under RTT) the way a teacher (in many cases, more educated, experienced, and effective) making a half to a third less?
2. Testmakers. If AP exams are $80 a pop, then DCSS paid more than a half million dollars for students to take AP exams last year. For what benefit? In 16 of the 22 school, less than 20% of the exams taken earned a score of 3 or higher. And who tracks these AP students purported to benefit from taking these classes even if they don’t perform well on the exam? From what I can tell, it’s self-reporting data. And DCSS paid for every freshmen and sophomore, regardless of diploma track, class schedule, or reading level-to take the PSAT last year. So how much did college board profit just from Dekalb?
3. Computer companies that get to exploit “data-driven” instruction. Apparently, DCSS is going to direct some of the $34 million in RTT funds to a new data system, despite the current IDMS that allows every teacher (and any other administrator genuinely interested in using such information) to access students’ grades and test scores.
4. Textboook manufacturers that get to exploit the “newest” approach to learning. Apparently, we can bypass the fundamentals of basic grammar and reading.
5. Companies that get to create and score teacher evaluations. The more we require the more we need.

bootney farnsworth

April 22nd, 2012
9:13 am

or, of course, if they can run the ball for 100 yeards a game. make them ‘dawg worthy and they transend individual and become royalty

bootney farnsworth

April 22nd, 2012
9:18 am

@ dekalbed

I don’t object to management making more than me in theory. they’re supposed to be paid to make tough decisions for the best interest of the school

theory and reality don’t match however.

it is incomprehensible how management continues to get raises while everyone else’s pay is frozen or cut. its not like they’ve been earning the raises no one else is getting.

if we were really running ed like a successful business, most of them would be out for mismanagement. more than a few would be in legal trouble for mismanagement of funds.

yet the beatings continue until moral improves. by the outraged employee being beaten to death

Lee

April 22nd, 2012
9:25 am

@Slob, re “…the question that needs to be answered is could it be any worse than the education our children receive today? Survey says…Probably not…SAD FACE”

As a parent who sent one child through public and the other through private, that’s what many public education advocates fail to realize, a significant percentage of public schools are providing an inferior service. And in doing so, they are handing the proponents of privatization a cause on a silver platter.
—————————————

Folks, the Brown vs Board and subsequent integration decisions sealed the fate of American public schools. The idea of equal outcomes for two disparate ability groups was doomed from the start. Add to that the mainstreaming of SPED students and you have a recipe for disaster.

The solution would be to group by achievement level and provide instruction at a pace and level commensurate with each groups level. But, the politically correct pathogens will never allow this. To do so would illustrate the differences between the ethnic groups and that is considered the third rail of political correctness.

I’m saving money to put the grandkids in private school. Y’all can do what you want.

Ron F.

April 22nd, 2012
9:30 am

“it is incomprehensible how management continues to get raises while everyone else’s pay is frozen or cut. its not like they’ve been earning the raises no one else is getting.”

Many in education would, I think, agree with you on that one! And this isn’t in private business, which IMO would make it even worse. At least as a public institution those figures have to be public. Bring in the private enterprises to run the schools, and there will be absolutely no transparency or accountability for it. What we have now may not be working, for various reasons, but private companies aren’t going to be able to make anything better out of the same group of kids, no matter what glitzy program they have.

teacher&mom

April 22nd, 2012
9:34 am

For those who are interested….This site provides hundreds of links to articles throughout the country regarding Common Core (she is not a proponent), Business/Ed reform, Duncan, NCLB/RttT, etc.

Sign up for her newsletter. Whether you agree or disagree with her ideas, she does an exceptional job of covering pertinent education news across the U.S. When you read what is happening in other states and compare it to GA, you realize this is a well orchestrated movement…

http://susanohanian.org/index.php

ssteacher

April 22nd, 2012
9:36 am

It’s good to see that you are now reading and reporting and reporting the words and ideas of the real education reformers in the country. Will and Chris have been saying this for nearly a decade. There are many others who have yet to have a voice outside their blogs, actual education conferences, and TEDx events. Here’s an example of Chris’s philosophy of education in the 21st century. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FEMCyHYTyQ

Really?

April 22nd, 2012
9:38 am

@scienceteacher671 –”I don’t know where your children go to school, but what I’ve found is that the education children receive in my area depends upon 3 things: (#1) the quality of the schools/teachers, (#2) the motivation of the student, and to the extent that it influences #1 and #2, (#3) parental involvement. ”
————————————————————————————-
Exactly. I am a university professor in a science department. The success there really is not that much different for students. The problem is that the best and brightest do not go into education for a number of reasons including discipline in the classroom (not a s great a problem in college/grad classes), salary and unfortunately, prestige. Educators at any level are not held in high regard and in fact are denigrated (see most bloggers on this page daily).

Our greatest economic asset in the US is that countries send their best and brightest HERE to receive college and especially graduate degrees. This asset, however, is sinking fast as the students are returning to their home countries where increasingly strong universities are being built.

The US graduation rates are pathetic. The student preparation for the work force, college and post secondary degrees continues to be less that than of students in other countries (where they have government run institutions as well, so you can’t fault that as the problem here). The problem… parents really don’t care about their students education. It’s all about them (the parents), acquisition of wealth and new toys, many of which they rain on their kids to their own detriment (computer games, obsessions with tweeting, texting etc from smart phones etc).

The students from foreign countries coming here and first generation high school and college students make our own look pathetic. Why? Because their parents put education above the toys, above the sports and other extracurricular activities.

Sorry for the rant… it bothers me every single day… multiple times…..

teacher&mom

April 22nd, 2012
9:40 am

Could the AJC PLEASE FOLLOW THE MONEY?

This spring the GaDOE is shifting to system-wide computer administered EOCT’s in preparation for all whole scale computerized testing in the next couple of years.

How much do they estimate this will cost?

Who will pay to increase district-wide bandwidth to handle the volume?

How many districts will be forced to purchase additional technology?

Will this require districts to add additional technology support?

Why computerized tests? The old scantron system did work. The turn around time was less than a week.

Could this be the REAL reason we’ve heard so much about technology recently? Could the REAL reason be more about computerized testing and less about instructional technology? Could this be a “palatable” way to sell technology to the public? I’m just curious.
How much extra time will this require in testing?

Just one small example and only the tip of the money iceberg.

yuzeyurbrane

April 22nd, 2012
9:40 am

Traditional public schools will still be there for the underclass as trade schools for hardworking, thrifty poor. See Charles Dickens. Real reason. The educ. busn. will go where the money.

Dr. John Trotter

April 22nd, 2012
9:44 am

I have been saying for years that it’s ALL about the money. The school board members, legislators, and public as a whole are wholly naive about the motive of “the wise men.” The “wise men” are businessmen who see that public education is closer to a trillion dollar industry than a billion dollar industry. Heck, isn’t a billion dollars just a thousand millions? (I have always been pretty good in basic math. Ha! Is it failing me now?) Several schools here in Georgia have budgets of over a billion dollars, right? Folks, it’s always been about the cheddar. We at MACE have been saying this for years. Again, thanks for thinking our thoughts after us. Ha! Have a great Sunday!

Ron F.

April 22nd, 2012
10:00 am

“:The students from foreign countries coming here and first generation high school and college students make our own look pathetic. Why? Because their parents put education above the toys, above the sports and other extracurricular activities.”

I think for many education is a priority, but it’s that nagging 20-40% that move the achievement needle up and down that we just haven’t found a way to reach yet. I’ve said many times on this blog that when we can find a way to make education as much a necessity as food, clothing, and shelter (and electronics these days!), the numbers will move up. All the “education reform” in the world, whether public or private, can’t fix that problem.

Old timer

April 22nd, 2012
10:14 am

Though I do not like what schools are becoming….American schools much of the time are not successfully. Sometimes I think we need to start over. But, we do not need to jump on every band wagon…Whole Language…MiddleSchools….New Math……

northatlantateacher

April 22nd, 2012
10:21 am

This is my biggest fear as an educator. I work in a county where we are on the “cutting edge” of technology use. I have no idea how much taxpayer money has been spent or who is responsible for making the decisions about what is purchased, but wow. What a lot of unnecessary spending.

For example, we have a program that will grade essays! Doesn’t that sound remarkable? It isn’t…a student can write the same paragraph 5 times and earn high marks if their repeated paragraph is free of grammatical errors. We are expected to use this regularly because the county bought and paid for it, apparently without discovering this nasty little glitch. What a joke.

The more that we descend down the rabbit hole, the clearer the picture becomes. The teacher is seen less and less as the subject area expert or authority, and more and more as the “facilitator” of learning through technology. I’m not sure this has to be a bad thing, but the current trend is not looking positive.

And PLEASE. Follow the money! I find it very telling that the shift to a national curriculum has the Gates Foundation at the helm.

Being Censored by @Maureen

April 22nd, 2012
10:23 am

Chris Lehmann is in complete denial and is a total cynic. ” Educators – if you don’t see that there is a billion dollar industry wanting to take over schools using tech as the Trojan Horse, wake up.” Well, you all need to wake up, including Mr. Lehmann, because it ALREADY is a billion dollar industry! The only problem is that the 3 major textbook publishers have a monopoly over public schools, controlling more than 85% of the core textbook market for K-12. Do you still want your children lugging around 50lb backpacks of outdated textbooks?

The question is how do you allow new entrants and competition into the “system,” break down long selling cycles, and offer incentives to teachers to incorporate digital learning into the classroom environment? Don’t assume that all for-profit learning products are “bad.” If you don’t like a company’s mission, values and business practices, then don’t buy their stuff!

But for you to deny that a multi-billion dollar industry doesn’t exist, is just plain ignorant! It also seems that Mr. Lehmann is a perfect example of protecting the status quo and thinking that technology will ruin everything. Technology is an ENABLER, not a replacement for teaching.

Jane W.

April 22nd, 2012
10:24 am

The education establishment is in the unfavorable situation Will Richardson admits to because parents and taxpayers see a telling stagnation in test scores—and tests remain the only truly objective measure of academic progress.

Profess to hate them to your heart’s content—but that ITBS results envelope is STILL the one you rush to open when your own child’s test scores arrive home.

An education establishment responding to continuing failures with stubborn denial, legerdemain, excuse-making and the relabeled education delivery gimmicks of yesteryear … are no more likely to win over over a skeptical public than your own adolescent is to fool YOU with his/her homework excuses.

And why the war on capitalism and competition in this blog? Do some imagine themselves as laughably pathetic Occupy Wall Street losers?

bootney farnsworth

April 22nd, 2012
10:28 am

there is no arguement that private schools are more effective than us “worthless” public sector educators. but there is much more to the story than that.

right now, private school make up a small amount of the overall educational landscape. this lets them pick from a select pool of applicants for both employment and their student bodies.

their tuition costs tend to create a pool of more well to do canidates
who are of like minds when it comes to education and accountability

the day we cease to exist and the public sector takes over entirely, the quality of private education will drop like a stone.

there’s a Wal-Mart on every corner. when’s the last time you got really good service from one?

Georgia and Education, not compatible

April 22nd, 2012
10:29 am

@ Dr. John Trotter,
I agree. Outsiders don’t have clue. Most educators(these are the top level admin people who decide for your children) do not negotiate. The companies tell them how much something will be and guess what…the bill is paid. It’s just that easy folks. What company wouldn’t want to do business with any school system?

bootney farnsworth

April 22nd, 2012
10:33 am

@ being censored

we already know education is a big business spun out of control.
we deal with that every day.

you’ve not discovered a new planet here. you’ve pointed at Jupiter
and claimed nobody has ever seen it before.

as we have stated time and again, WE KNOW THIS. we deal with it every single day. it is a problem we can’t fix at our level.

bootney farnsworth

April 22nd, 2012
10:35 am

last I checked, U of Phoenix, the poster child for profit higher ed, has a nasty habit of leaving students profoundly in debt.

bootney farnsworth

April 22nd, 2012
10:43 am

educators do NOT negotiate contracts.

the county/state has very specific guidelines on who and what can and can’t participate, and what we can and can’t do in the process.

once upon a time at GPC, many of us had purchase cards. it was less costly and much more efficient to let departments buy what and as they needed.

then we had the purchase card scandal. and the state wonks responded as they always do, with hysterical overreaction. instead of holding individuals who did wrong accountable, we punished everybody and went
back to the insane state contracts.

now we can only buy certain things from certain people under certain conditions. question now becomes, who did what to land the contracts?

bootney farnsworth

April 22nd, 2012
10:44 am

(sorry, accidentally hit send)

we, the rank and file, have zero control over who we buy from and limited control over who we can bid from.

bootney farnsworth

April 22nd, 2012
10:47 am

lets be honest here:
even if Jeb Bush only looks at test scores, he is not the problem.
nor the people who might think like him.

the problem is much bigger, has been around much longer.

instead of casting stones at Jeb Bush, go find a mirror.

Being Censored by @Maureen

April 22nd, 2012
10:59 am

Bootney, I know all of this. You’re not telling me anything I don’t already know. Teachers have no control over what they can use in the classroom, are underpaid, improperly evaluated, and given insufficient levels of professional development. That’s part of the “systemic” problem.

But don’t go screaming that more technology is bad. It’s time we fixed a more than 100 year old system and started motivating students. With the graduation rates as pathetic as they are, especially in APS, we need to take drastic action so we don’t lose an entire generation of kids to the welfare system, and possibly, the penal system.

bootney farnsworth

April 22nd, 2012
11:04 am

@ censored,

I’ve got no problem with the right technology.

problem is, we often get the wrong technology forced on us. worse, its seen as a cure all to multiple problems when it usually isn’t.

appropriate technology can help make a good teacher great. note the word help. kinda crutial. inappropriate technology can drag a good teacher down, and make a bad teacher worse.

bootney farnsworth

April 22nd, 2012
11:06 am

all the technology in the world ain’t gonna fix APS.

their issue is one of a corrupt culture run amok.

and frankly, the current generation of APS kids was lost before they
ever set foot into 1st grade