I'm afraid to say. Will this affect my tenure?
I'm afraid to say. Will this affect my tenure?
my mom teaches in orange county. just asking.
Ensign Intermediate in Newport Beach.
Wait, who is claiming that it's "required" to take Trig and Calculus in high school? It isn't -- at least not in California.
You only take courses like that if you're planning to go on to a four-year college. Otherwise, you can elect to take "alternative" style math courses once you pass Algebra II -- or simply not take math at all in your senior year.
Keep in mind that many students less gifted in math never even make it past Algebra II. They start with Pre-Algebra in 9th grade, Alegbra in 10th, Geometry in 11th, and Algebra II in 12th.
Everybody Wang Chung tonight.
Things have changed a bit, Archie.
All the 7th graders at my school are currently required to take Algebra.
Um, yeah, you guys have fun teaching junior high for the rest of your lives while I enjoy unemployment, do lots of drugs, make movies, and have more influence on the youth of our nation than 1000 of your fellow babysitters.
And on that note, I'm out.
I wouldn't presume to demean any of your educational experiences, Randy. It's an individual experience you went through, and it would be wrong of me to pass judgment on it. If it's true as you report it, you have every right to be irate. By the same token, though, I think it's pretty disgusting for you to tar all teachers with the same brush, as though we're all as lazy, vindictive, and cruel as the teachers you had years ago. You might at least recognize the narrow lens your experience has provided you.
I don't deny that there are bad teachers. You're also right that tenure is a significant problem; incompetent teachers should be removed from the classroom, regardless of how many years they've put in. But I also don't deny that much of the current system is flawed, almost beyond repair, and that is absolutely not the fault of the teachers working within this system. Before assuming that faulty instruction lies primarily at the feet of the teachers, it's worth remembering that the CA standards drive instruction and assessment, and as such some facts should be known:
1) The CA English/Language Arts standards for grades 9-12 were developed by a committee consisting of zero high school English teachers.
2) The wording of the twelve Literary Response & Analysis standards is so vague as to allow multiple interpretations (leading, in some cases, to questionable instruction based on a misunderstanding of what the standard is asking for), and often deals with either rote recitation of terminology, or enforces a flawed view of literature study not endorsed by anyone who actually knows anything about literary response and analysis. It's a guide to literary analysis written by a group of people who know nothing about literary analysis. The other strands are no better.
3) The standards are often enforced by district or site administrators, who frequently require teachers to cite the standards into their lesson plans or post the applicable standards for the day's lessons on the board (or an equally obvious place).
4) School districts adopt textbooks which now have every piece of literature and reading sequenced according to the standards, and individual activities tied directly to the corresponding standard. It is often mandated at the site or district level (in my experience) that teachers make the textbook their core source of literature, since this is the quickest and easiest way to meet the standards.
5) Meeting the standards in their lessons often becomes one of the criteria by which teachers are evaluated by administrators.
Do you see the problem here? You're condemning teachers for shoddy instruction that is, in many ways, endorsed by the state. The public wants good test scores; administrators want good test scores; the government punishes schools who don't receive good test scores. How do you receive good test scores? Teach to a group of standards that are either so vague as to be virtually meaningless, or demonstrate a fundamental ignorance of what constitutes quality English study. Is it any wonder that, under these circumstances, instruction suffers?
I'm not trying to pass the buck or condone poor teaching. As I said earlier, incompetent teachers shouldn't remain in the classroom. But I think a lot of people condemn teachers without really knowing the nature of the system they have to work within. Good instruction is entirely possible, and of course every teacher should strive to create a classroom environment that succeeds in spite of the standards. But for any widespread change to occur, it would require good teachers across the country to stand up en masse and refuse to work under a system that encourages and rewards shallow, superficial thinking. I'm sure that would go over extremely well in our current political and cultural climate.
Well fucking said. My mom was a teacher's coach for an all-hispanic elementary school just outside of Bakersfield and the entire atmosphere at the school has changed dramatically since the inception of No Child Left Behind. They do not distinguish between schools that are comprised primarily of native English speakers and those that are compromised of nearly all ESL students. They both are held to the same standards. And the administrators are becoming downright hostile and unforgiving of teachers that they're all bordering on breakdowns. The new, more profound influence of requiring standards be met regardless of a school's demographics and/or funding position just makes me fucking sick to my stomach.
And I'm not saying this to argue with LGM, because I really haven't been reading his essays. I just read what the good man Roberto just wrote here and wanted to give him props for pointing out what is, in my opinion, a grave situation for education.
Check out season 4 of The Wire - this is going to hurt the poor and at-risk the most.
I can't believe the amount of Democrats whose only complaints about No Child Left Behind is the lack of federal funding. The whole thing stinks.
2011 Wishlist: Soviet Soviet, Swans, Heroin and Your Veins, Lower Dens, The December Sound, Scarlet Youth, Faunts, Bad Lieutenant, The Besnard Lakes, The Raveonettes, Screen Vinyl Image, Sway
I appologize as I've not been carefully following this teaching discussion. The main thing I've wanted to post was a list of amazing women writers but I couldn't find anyway to contextualize it so as to make it relevant to the discussion. And I think I several have been mentioned here and I brought several up when Roberto was BMOTW.
Balance? You mean on my unemployment? I haven't filed yet.
One more final word about all the very thoughtful posts from Yabs and roberto--I don't see you guys as being disagreeing with me, actually. We're all in agreement that the system is fucked up and needs drastic changes. All I'm saying is that even before No Child Left Behind, the quality of teaching in general was shitty. Not all teachers deserve to be shot. Just SubBass. Although I still maintain that sociologically speaking, I'd feel more comfortable with students lashing out violently against authority figures (lord knows I had a couple in my life that I would've liked to make taste a barrel) than against each other. Rebelling against adults is what youth is for, it's what it's supposed to do, and my generation hasn't been doing it so far in any way--they've just been rebelling against each other, and that's worrisome to me.
Mount - think of yourself like you're at a great dinner with friends. Are you the type that just chimes in when the moment tickles you, or do you hold back and wait for the converstaion to come back 'round.
Mount, please remember that if Jane Austen's name is on your list you will be immediately discredited. And despite the opinions of the rest of this board, Ayn Rand and Sylvia Plath are also crap.
Yea, unfortunately it's the lost thoughts that could probably change the world.
More specifically two of those authors are in fact easily dismissable. The other, however, is necessary.
all possess a good quantity of output which is unfuckwithable.
I also am liking the Judy Budnitz short stories I just started but I'm not that far through. And Eurudice only has one novel but it's stunning.
I could add Brontes but I don't know them that well. I could add Alice Walker or Harper Lee but again I'm not that familiar.
BTW Yabs won me over with his analysis. He's been around here longer so it would be far more satisfying to knock him upside the head. That's far better than bothering with the other couple worthy candidates.
Have you read Moon Zappa's book?
I am famliar with near nothing from the Zappa family.
Balls to Harper Lee--Mockingbird gets too much credit. Amy Lowell I think is supposed to be all right but I forget why exactly. Virginia I'll give you. Toni Morrison? Really? Sorry, should've put Maya Angelou instead. Also, I urge everyone to seek out Amy Hempel. Some of the best short stories ever.
Nonetheless--if we actually went into a comparison of both sides it would be ridiculously one-sided. Courtney and I already resolved this debate, man. It's been equalized.
"I am famliar with near nothing from the Zappa family." Mount
My comment in essences was meant in jest, but no familiarity with anything Zappa makes me sad.
And yes, I think Courtney made the profound point of recognizing that years of writing has little to do with men being better at it. For god's sake, women had to publish under male names, pseudonyms or initials for too long before they could be taken seriously. Whateber.
Right, but that imbalance still exists today, so what the fuck? And once again, all this was just about the idea that girls develop language skills faster than boys, that's all it was supposed to be about. Shit's always gotta balloon with you folks.