Friday, March 25, 2005

Two excellent blogs

I've been expanding my horizons -- thanks to the organizational efforts and passion for public education of Joe Thomas -- and reading a few new (to me) blogs.

One of them, by Professor Angela Valenzuela of my very own UT-Austin, had a very interesting post today reflecting on the school shooting in Minnesota. It appears that Red Lake High School will not make AYP. Here's a very clear example of how focusing on testing can lead to truly terrible results.

Now, don't get my wrong. I'm not blaming Bush or Spellings for Red Lake, but the point remains: too many kids are being left behind, and it has nothing to do with academics. They're falling through the cracks, escaping notice, dropping out, and sometimes turning violent while schools are required to singlemindedly focus on the all-important tests. As this tragedy reminds us, they aren't all important.

On a different note, I also love the Super's Blog, an educational blog devoted to satire. What a great idea! Check this out:

President Bush this week has named a blue ribbon panel of teachers and other educators to a National Poundtable Committee. The purpose of the committee is to establish higher ethical standards and to raise the profit margins of American businesses.

President Bush said, under condition of anonymity, "We think this will be a very successful format. It worked so well having the business CEO's develop educational agendas for this nation, that we thought we would try it on the economic front. We have been very disappointed in the economic efforts of our businessmen and feel that our economy will never improve without rigorous accountability measures. We lead the world in many ways, but our economic growth rates are flat. Our educational leaders will show us the way."

The committee will consist of superintendents, principals and teachers who will meet in Orlando, Florida for three weeks, vigorously hammering out the standards and agendas on which business will be evaluated.

The cornerstone initiative is reported to be legislation titled NBLS (No Business Left Standing). "The idea," said, NBLS spokesperson, Margaret Smellings, "is that by 2013-2014 we will require 100% of all employees in all divisions of every business in America to meet Adequate Yearly Profit (AYP). Each employee must demonstrate that they are personally responsible to bring in more money than they cost the company. We will separate the employees into various subgroups and evaluate the entire business on the basis of that subgroup in that division of that business. If the employee fails, the division fails. If the division fails, the business fails to meet AYP. Everyone must be proficient to meet the challenge and maintain our standing in the world."



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