education, life

NCLB Dribble

NCLB is the worst policy that still stands. Find the data, test the child, re-test the child, find the data. Rinse, repeat but don’t leave them behind. Ever. While I do not have data to prove that NCLB has failed. I have observations. It has upped my stress levels, given no rocket scientist data points, or increased my value as teacher. The societal view of my profession has dropped, many our leaving, and our kids data is not stellar as compared to other countries, states, zip codes etc. I am a tester approximately 25% of the year and a data digger on my spare time. NCLB has done nothing for the state of public education and everything for the state of charter or private education. They test, yes they do. But for purpose not whimsy.

My educational fantasy is copying the English system. It’s ok to give them credit for a system that works (we won the war) and of course modify it so it is less class oriented. We should have exams, we should have top curriculum, we should have standards that truly point kids to university. But we don’t. Most of the world uses the Cambridge Curriculum and leveled exams that are administratered after all instruction has ended. Again, a fantasy. A few schools/districts are dabbling with Cambridge a system and curriculum with varied reading materials that don’t all come from a text. Real reading out of books. The idea. And their history comes from actual documents think Gilder Lehrman, not our washed out textbooks, which we continue to refurbish at great cost. Give me books and documents and I can create anything. But I am an antique. The new teachers unless they feel education in their bones do not have this gift. So give them a real curriculum to follow…Cambridge. If Arizona was brave and we spent the money once for this amazing stuff we would turn out kids ready for 100 level university classes instead of turning our 000 level students.

You get my idea. Less constant testing and a superior curriculum would have increased our overall numbers in our public schools. Instead, many districts will be closing buildings due to our parents fatigue with a system that is broken. All of this hurts my heart. I am an Arizona public school kid, a public school teacher and all I want is better. My question is how much longer are we going to wait?


Feeling Liberated

Our freedoms and personal liberties are what makes this country great. When taken away it leads to chaos, depression, and sheer madness with the countless petty rules that do not make sense. If we as a country are continuing on this path of “masking up” we need to have common sense rules that are inherent to our freedoms that we are granted by our constitution. With that said, yes Covid-19 is real but we can each make decisions that are practical and safe for our own health. We need to drop the heard mentality. It is not healthy and we will see long term issues for years to come.

The little big-town of Prescott does it right. The schools are open, safe, and working with their parents. While many families have chosen a virtual method, it is by choice not force. You can walk into a business without a mask and restaurants are booming with all the safety protection in place. It is a happy town filled with people living life by their own rules with most abiding by the choice mask for themselves or using the six foot rule. I felt safe, happy, and for the first time in almost a year I forgot about our personal liberties being robbed on a daily basis.

Yesterday, was the first day I strolled a store, outside of a market without gasping on my own recycled air in the mask of the day. It was fantastic and reminded be what life was like long ago. With the holidays around the corner we are being told not to gather, keep the elderly in their nursing homes, and are again stocking up for another shutdown. I think our founding fathers would be livid that we need to be told, forced, fined, and curfewed into personal responsibility. I argue that we do not. We need facts, high-risk groups need to hunker down, and we need to have respect not judgement for those that do not need to live in a bubble. Let them live. Let businesses thrive and not fade away.

While I will bubble up in the big city for my own safety. I will be heading out to my favorite escape more and more for a dose of everyday life and a reminder of the American spirit and personal freedoms.

May God Bless America!