You have to almost love the way Memphis sullies a strong word like "Unified".
I don't know whether to cry or laugh.
I had a teacher use the facilitation method in one of my advanced high school courses. It was fantastic.
I don't know that most teachers or even most classes can handle that kind of structure, but at least some portion of that type of work can be very beneficial. Working through problems in small groups can help students pick up concepts quickly. I experienced it first hand.
Back on the poverty issue, my point was that it was the value system, not the poverty itself that's the problem. Throwing money at the problem is fine, but it doesn't solve the problem. I don't know how you teach a community to value education. If someone can figure that one out, you've figured out how to break the cycle.
I like to pin you down so that you will admit to the truth.
I give references to what I post whether it agrees with my thinking or not. I don't play favorites.
I have said that this nation has been struggling with the education of urban impoverished kids for many years. That is why these schemes like charters and state takeovers don't work. They have been tried before. The problem is with the mindset of the families. These families have no long term thinking, let alone planning. They live in the now for their lives and their mothers and fathers lives and even back further has been about daily survival. Your family have probably never experienced that so it is hard for you to understand.
It is too simplistic to say the key to the door is in their hands. They have no idea of what you are talking about. That is why it takes years for improvement to be seen once the cycle of poverty is successfully addressed. It seems to them that every time they try to progress, "the man" throws a wrench into it. Some of it is overt and some of it is subliminal. When desegregation was being pushed, it was the blacks that did all of the sacrificing. It was there schools closed down and their children bused to white schools. This sent an unmistakable message to blacks that their schools were not good enough and that their children were not good enough for whites to be bused to them. The subliminal message was that black children were inferior. Once bused to white schools, blacks were further segregated by being put into special classes while whites continued in regular classes. Btw, this happens even today. Now, under this conservative U. S. Supreme Court majority, it is happening all over again. Whites all over the nation, particularly in the south are breaking away from integrated schools and forming segregated msds. Shelby County is, by far, not the only place it is happening. That reinforces the message that blacks are inferior and should not share the same stage as whites in an equal manner.
I can understand why people get upset at my posts for it is hard to accept the truth, especially when you have never experienced the backhand of poverty and injustice at the same time. Solutions to problems that seem practical is just the opposite to a people that have been mired in the muck and mire of prejudice, poverty, injustice, indifference and diadactic disdain. An example of what I am saying is the practical matter of the school budget. Cuts had to be made. Outsourcing made sense in a practical way, however, when coupled with the past and even present treatment of blacks, it, to them was just another way of depriving blacks of a decent living with benefits. Yes, because of your privileged status, you understand it, but, I guarantee you that impoverished blacks don't. Being practical to the black custodial workers would have been a cut in pay, more percent of their health care cost required, a reduction in pension or even going to a 401K. That could have been done and still achieved the desired results. But no, to them, it seems as though you pulled the rug completely out from under them. The irony of all of this is that you and I will pay more taxes to supplant the loss of wages and benefits that these workers used to have, food stamps, Medicaid, housing subsidies, etc. In essence, the short and long run, you have not saved anything.
Yes, a lot of what you (not personally) are doing is only making things worse. You still refuse to understand that teachers need training in how to teach these students. You can't say that this teacher is good enough for my child, he/she should be good enough for those kids. That too is too simplistic. Numerous studies have shown that this way of thinking is wrong.
AP, from time to time, I will refer you to more articles and/or studies that buttress my way of thinking.
Thanks for the learned and informed reply.
When I read articles slamming charters, vouchers and ASDs it is amazing how often they are written by teachers unions. Or others with a vested money interest in the status quo.
I don't know the springboard to drive innovation in education, but I am guessing that competetion for students, and the funds that go with them, is a real good place to start.
There is the 3-5-7 rule. Advanced students need to see a concept three times and they can usually master it. Normal kids need five times and children with disabilities (read low IQ) need at least seven. (this is a very simple explanation of the theory)
Many of the at risk kids - bubble kids - kids that have low poverty, subgroup issues, etc, are now being placed in classrooms where they get more time. Algebra I kids are meeting for two class periods to master the subject material. Kids at risk for English (ESL) are getting two class periods. This is one reason that every high school in town in going to 7 class periods. Since they only need 22 credits, that pretty much gives every kid a study hall or extra time to spend in their at risk class.
As for the sciences, MCS was smart enough to realize that all AP science need to class periods a while back. The ones getting cheated are the honors kids. There is barely enough time to finish the regular curriculum let alone go any deeper. And honors classes really have a huge span in abilities. The biggest problem is the amount of material they want us to cover in any science.
I wouldn't say that it takes special training to work with urban kids or kids in low poverty. I would say that it first takes an awareness and acknowledgement of their situations. Many teachers do not want to "get involved". I would also say it takes flexibility. Again, not a trait common in teachers. A teacher will get into a mode that is comfortable for them and then that teacher is very unwilling to change. Good teachers adapt to the students.
Another short coming that I see often is the lack of real world experience. Many teachers that come straight from school lack any life experience. Their world view is based on a very narrow set of experiences and exposures. I think this limits what they have to offer - especially in high school. Elementary teachers walk into a classroom with only their personal education experiences, their college education, and their training. My end of year surveys all have statements about my life experience stories. Kids need that "why do I have to learn this" and someone never in the real world really can't answer that sometimes.
Charters provide a way to fill that gap. They use a lot of a video with great teachers and realistic classrooms. I have yet to see a video from MCS that is even remotely realistic or applicable to my teaching circumstances. All white teachers and little color in the kids in the classrooms. Not realistic at all! In the last one, my group had a very hard time agreeing on what was and was not effective.
And OTP is right, just because a kid passes a test doesn't mean they learned the material. Just because you know what two times two equals, doesn't mean you understand the concept of multiplication. That applies to teachers also. Charters have recognized that colleges and universities don't universally or consistently create good teachers. Charters put significant resources into fixing that. All that Gates money has NOT gone towards teacher improvement. Even the STEM community has recognized this and they are putting together some tremendous professional development.
The administration failure that I see is the lack of sharing best practices. There is tons of education research that shows the best "methods" to teach subjects. For instance, science is best taught through group study. Many experienced teachers feel that group study is a form of cheating. Studies show that when teachers act as facilitators rather than instructors, the kids learn more and they enjoy the learning. Kids that are allowed to discover without being told take ownership of that knowledge. And many times kids can explain to kids better than an adult. It's that language/generation thing. A teacher is really more of a manager helping them stay on task and directing them towards answers rather than telling. Lots of teachers feel they have to be a know-it-all and are uncomfortable giving up control.
Charters do not get all the public funds that a regular public school kid gets. There are trade offs. They usually move into preexisting buildings, for certain in the case of ASDs. They still have to pay MLGW and they get charged for food services and other things they get from the system. Technically MCS is only supposed to charge them cost. I'm not buying that one. Charters are good at looking for federal funds. Because of their clientele, they get lots of Title I, IV and V funding. They work at keeping the overhead low so the money is going to the classroom or invested in the teachers, this is how they can offer better pay and incentives. MCS hasn't figured that one out yet. SCS was much better at sending money to the classroom, but even they had more admin than necessary. 26% isn't nearly a big enough cut!
I still can't tell you what the answer is. I don't know anyone who can. In general, charters and vouchers can't be much worse than what large urban districts offer.
What I do know is that charters, ASDs, and vouchers are creating competition. Public school officials have had complete control of funding and they knew they had consistent clients since most could not afford private school. They had the money and they did as they wished with little regard for the kids. The admin types had no incentive to improve. Now that their kingdoms are at risk because there is choice, they are forced to make improvements.
I live in W PA & love the Laurel Highlands.....beautiful country in any/all seasons!
The animal abuse at MAS continues for just one reason - because our mayor doesn't care!!! None of this is news to him.
Concerned citizens and taxpayers - PLEASE join this peaceful protest so the mayor will know that Memphians will not tolerate this abuse any longer
Thanks for confriming what I thought.
Seems to me this country has been making a concerted effort to try and fix those poverty and injustice problems for over fifty years now. Administration after administration, backed with billions of tax dollars and aided by the courts have tried mightily. That effort continues unabated.
And with some pretty good results, too.
And yet, for all the opportunities afforded, for all the grants of money, set-asides, Afirmative Action initiatives, all that money, time and treasure spent, there are still those, an ever shrinking subset, who just will not reach out and take advantage of what is offered to them.
That good, basic, quality and free education you keep talking about.
It is right there in front of them.
So isn't it about time the black community stop whining about poverty and injustice and start being responsible for themselves?
The rest of us can provide great schools, the best teachers and learning materials, free books, freee transportation, all of that.
But we can't make that black child's parent a good parent. We can't make that child's parent read to him, teach him his colors or his ABCs or supervise his homework, or go to PTA meetings, or attend teacher conferences, or in general give a damn about their child's education.
You say that much yourself.
So what do you want us to do about it?
Give them more free stuff? Like GR says, that will just result in more free stuff, not in better education results. Free stuff does not change hearts and minds. Until those blacks you talk about change their value system, nothing much is going to happen. They will continue to exist in a prison of their own making. The real pity is that the key to the cell door is already right in their hand.
Your family values education. My family values education. Many, many other families of all racial backgrounds value education.
Why don't they?
I met sammy haggar there in the 1975
Respect both answers. I was curious more than anything. The funny thing is everyone is so prideful of Memphis, but not enough pride to really push to make a difference. Not saying that you two aren't doing anything to make a difference. Just saying that in general we are not doing enough as a whole. Anyway, I hope the both of you can enjoy the second half of your lives here in the midsouth.
I have the references to back me up. I have seen nothing from you but your thoughts. So far I have only used a few references whereas you have used none. There are plenty more references and/or studies that I can direct you too.
All you and others do, Grove, is make assumptions and excuses with no research or studies to back you up.
As studies will show, generations of poverty and injustice cannot be fixed in a few years. Once the poverty and injustice is fixed, it takes years to come up to par, with each successive year better than the prior.
OTP, the problem is not that children are in poverty. The problem is the value system of those in poverty.
That socio-economic status may be closely linked to the school performance, but it isn't a money issue. You could put money in the pockets of all of those residents, and it wouldn't change the values of the parents.
And yes, everything with this school issue for you is about race.
You seem to think that I am obsessed with race when it comes to this school situation. It is not an obsession, but a reality of what it is.
The Power of White Privilege in Racially Mixed Schools
Then, here is some more on state takeovers:
OTP, I have no doubt that the folks in your flock believe "there is no there, there", but I assure you the American people, as a whole, do not realize that. This will become obvious to you in 2014.
What I don't get is why incentives aren't offered to teachers regarding numbers of hours per week. Some subjects, Geometry for example, take a LOT more time and the students would benefit from classes that are 2 or three times as long as an American History class. Something along the lines of physics or chem labs would be a step in the right direction. I know that many students would benefit from an extra three or four hours a week with a good teacher on many of the more advanced maths. Lots and lots of people would benefit from the inductive logic that is explicitly taught in geometry, but often they believe it to be "too hard" when really all they need is more time and a teacher.
Is there anything like that in the pipe anywhere?
I wouldn't too much be worried by what Fox News rave about. In the scheme of things, their viewership is rather small as is other cable news sources, MSNBC and CNN. The vast public outside of the beltway are not the least bit focused on Benghazi, the IRS or other so-called scandals. They are too busy worrying about the economy, jobs, healthcare, education, etc. Look at it this way, if Fox News were that powerful, Obama would never have been president and the senate would be majority gop.
The fact remains that the late Ambassador Stevens was offered enhanced security (18 man special forces team) as added personal security, he refused it. The fact remains that Stevens, as an expert on the ground, did not have to leave the security of the official embassy (Tripoli) to travel hundreds of miles to a consulate in Benghazi.
The IRS scandal, well, the IRS hires over 20,000 workers. It is no way possible that any president could monitor their activities. Hell, the director could not even do it. No large company director can be on top of everything that goes on in his organization.
The American people, as a whole realizes this. So, let Fox News blow their horn as loud as it wants to, only a small sliver of the population is listening.
Is that Fred Phelps' daughter Shirley behind the sunglasses and above the caption saying she never stopped singing? Her picture is all over the internet; she is on TV; and she's been before the Supreme Court. I don't think she really believes all that stuff. It is a means to an end. It must be exhausting to make yourself infamous.
I will always remember meeting John in 1993 at Memphis In May. And, I will forever carry his words of advice in my heart and head, "It' ain't braggin' if you can do it!" Thanks John for being such a great man and character. Those of us in the barbecue community will do some cooking in your honor. Memphis, you have truly lost a GREAT MAN!
Actually the GOP and their propaganda branch, Fox News, deserve some credit for removing the attack on the Cairo embassy from the Benghazi narrative. The attack in Egypt which was occurring at the same time was clearly based on the anti-islamic video on YouTube. It was an elementary judgement in the immediate aftermath to connect the two attacks and declare that video was the catalyst for both. However, the GOP and Fox News have now successfully spun the facts to make it appear that the video as a catalyst for the Libya attack was a total fabrication. They also have successfully transferred the fact that the Libyan embassy is in Tripoli to it being in Benghazi. The true failure of the Obama administration is allowing the GOP and Fox News the ability to successfully go Goebbels.
You continuously amaze me by some of your comments. This time you were close to being right.
I have no doubt that the things that went on in club 152 are true. What I do question is how pervasive was it. How many were actually exhibiting these type of actions publically? If one would read the reports, it would give the impression that the club was an out and out drug house.
Have you ever noticed that, on Beale Street, when one club out performs the other clubs, something happens to that most popular club. I wonder why?
I regress back to the time when I worked one summer for the Memphis Country Club. Sure it was a private club, a highly distinguished private club with the crème de la crème of Memphis society. Some of the things I witnessed there would make your head swim, but, it never made the press.
How does one police a club that has millionaire NBA players, VIP's, etc, youngsters from affluent families from Memphis and the suburbs from having dope? I have found in my lifetime that people that want no part of an atmosphere that does not agree with them use the self-policing concept, they leave and don't come back to that particular establishment.
I think that this is an overblown incident brought about by the envious other club owners on Beale Street. Club 152 will weather this storm and will be open again within 2 weeks.
By Louis Goggans
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