Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"New Direction for Education Policy in the House"

One can hope that this will begin the process of bringing about a reversal of current trends.

Here are a few excerpts from statements made by Minnesota Representative, John Kline, the new chairman of the House Labor and Education Committee. 

In a press release statement earlier today, Kline stated:
My goal for the federal programs and agencies that oversee our schools and workplaces is to provide certainty and simplicity. We must ensure federal red tape does not become the enemy of innovation, and that federal mandates do not become roadblocks on the path to reform.
Earlier this year, Kline pushed against national education standards and assessments, which would encroach upon state and local authority to determine what children are taught in the classroom. He stated:
This is the U.S. Department of Education, putting [out its] view of what needs to be done. … It’s not the states deciding. It’s not local control.
Furthermore, he noted:
That’s not our [the federal government’s] job. … If you’re starting to put the federal government in charge of assessments, standards, you’re moving in a way that I don’t think Americans want.
Read the entire article HERE.


  1. Thanks for posting this. I was at a school meeting for Red that included: his teacher, special ed, occupational therapist, district rep, mh practitioner and us, the parents. Speech therapist couldn't make it. I'm a little confused on his schedule but suffice it to say he has plenty of people working with him. All are pleased with his progress EXCEPT his teacher. I assured her that we are satisfied with services and his progress. I said that he is learning - maybe not what she wants him to learn and not at the speed - but he is surely learning.

    She said she's hoping for the "drip down" effect that he's catching stuff - but he certainly isn't doing well on her scheduled assessments for learning. She said he is not progressing in his education. I said "not that you are seeing, but truly he is."

    After the meeting I spoke with the Special Ed teacher - a very nice lady. I said that I didn't understand why the teacher was upset and I was worried that she was going to peg Red as a dummy when he really wasn't - just that it was going to take him a bit longer to get to where she wanted.

    Sp Ed lady says "she's driven by the data. Red is not fitting in to where the data should be. It's all data driven." She continued and said that the rest of his team wasn't concerned about data. The part of the team that wasn't worried about data think Red is progessing very well.

    Let's just teach the kids!

  2. Driven by the data and the "measurable results." Assessment has become THE buzzword in education. If progress can't be measured through assessment, then teachers and schools can't prove that they are being successful. And teachers and schools that can't prove their success, can lose their money. So the kids suffer. I agree, Brownie. Let's just teach the kids!!

  3. I was "driven" by the administration at my last high school to raise all “F” grades and “D” grades to “C” grades in order to make the school look better on state reports. I knew that was going to be called on the carpet. Many teachers were hauled into off-the-record meetings with the principal. One of my colleagues gave me advanced warning. I analyzed the attendance and grades of all the students who had earned an “F” or a “D” in my class. The average failing student was failing four other classes besides mine and had missed ten or more days of school. Our class periods were 90 minutes long, so 10 absences was the equivalent to missing 20 standard school days. I explained this to my principal when he called me to his office to discuss grades. He replied that I was ultimately responsible for the poor grades because I had not made enough phone calls to parents concerning their child’s performance. Apparently, it was my fault that parents didn’t make sure their children attended school because I never called them. It was my fault that students failed science, history, and math because I didn’t call parents and talk to them about their child’s grade in my English class.

    I was such a bad teacher.

    I dedicated a lot of prep time to calling parents. The most common response I received was, “Okay, I’ll talk to him (or her).” More than a few replied, “So, what do you want me to do about it?” A lot of messages went unanswered. Ultimately, I returned to teaching and recorded the grades that the students had earned. Very few grades changed by the end of term. I figured that if the administration wanted higher grades, they could go into the computer system and change them. I didn’t.

    Now I homeschool.

  4. wow Arby - I didn't realize that teachers were pressured to change grades like that. That is idiotic.

    Maybe Red will pass kindergarten after all. ROFL!!!