Wednesday, April 15, 2009

So what is happening?

Why is one section of the news saying how much the government wants to push teachers, education, and stimulus money. Yet the other side is talking about layoffs, budget cuts and deficits. The big one in the news right now is the L.A. school system. They are starting to back peddling and not layoff round 2,000 elementary teachers, yet around 6,000 teachers and staff are on the chopping block. Detroit is also chopping teachers but I think that is the least of their worries.

Another "great" news story now: Does Money Lead to Real Reforms

U.S. Education Secretary
Arne Duncan has said repeatedly that he wants to use the economic stimulus aid for education to accelerate improvement in schools. He has even volunteered some ideas that he knows are not very popular. Speaking to about 400 students at a public school in Denver this week, Duncan said that kids need more time in school. "Go ahead and boo me," he told the crowd of middle and high school students, the Associated Press reports. "I fundamentally think that our school day is too short, our school week is too short, and our school year is too short." He went on: "You're competing for jobs with kids from India and China. I think schools should be open six, seven days a week, 11, 12 months a year." Instead of boos, the AP reports, the students offered Duncan "bored stares."

The schools don't have enough money to pay teachers right now for the time they are in the classroom and limited supplies how do they think they will pay the teachers for additional days or longer hours! What are they going to teach with, how are they going to pay for more electric bills and add air conditioners to the schools that don't have them. He commented on the lack of enthusiasm from the students, why you would then talk to a bunch of kids toward the end of the year about keeping them in school longer. What do you expect them to do cartwheels I don't think they would even do that for Jonas Brothers and Miley was singing it to them!

Here is another article about Duncan but I do like his views on the voucher system "I'm a big believer that students and parents should have a choice what school they want to go to," he said. Yet I think he needs to really look at the education system, I don't think expanding days and hours is going help that much in the long run, nor will the merit pay, and I am not even going to get started on Kindergarten testing I'll save that for another blog.

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