"Re-Branding" Reform – Arne Duncan lets me down

Clay Burell at Change.org again provides us with a great piece of education writing. Clay takes on Dunc’s mission to “re-brand” No Child Left Behind. Unfortunately for us, and me especially since I had high hopes for Arne Duncan, this will be no retooling of the criticized NCLB. The name is all that will be changed. No shift on what is being tested. No move away from multiple choice exams to written. Forget hopes of a problem solving analytical based exams too. The DOE believes it’s all in the name. That’ll get results.

from Change.org

Arne Duncan wants to “re-brand” No Child Left Behind by renaming it (but keeping its essence of high-stakes, high-pressure tests). He also wants, he says this week, to lengthen the school day, week, and year – six days a week, at least 11 months a year — if American students are to compete² with students abroad³ (says the AP).

So rather than increase the quality of education we should increase the quantity? Since when did “more of a bad thing” become a positive phrase? They are really down the rabbit hole at the DOE. Dunc, you let me down man.

If they are going to to run education like a business, wouldn’t it make more business sense to work smarter not harder? Eliminate waste and use resources more efficiently is good business. Companies that utilize their workers, technology, and administration properly succeed. Those who would follow a business plan like Dunc are bound to fail.

Enough with the verbal alchemy. Let’s do something substantial.


Trivial Nonsense – NY Housewife makes a huge faux-paux

I usually don’t waste my time with such paltry entertainment like the Real Housewives of New York. The show is a petty, out of touch, 45 minute cat fight. It is like watching Lady Macbeth, Iago, Don John, Tamora, and Kate that never became tamed run around New York’s high society. Yes I watch it for the Shakespearean undertones, that’s right…

Anyway, the latest episode had all the familiar two-faced niceties. You get used to how the women treat eachother after awhile. Nothing’s shocking. Or so I thought. I wright about this because it has to do with children and self-esteem. You’ll see.

Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, who is full of herself and MUST be address by her title, visited a local YWCA. The young girls at the Y were being treated to a bit of mentoring from the Countess. The Countess warmed the crowd up by letting the girls know how important her husband’s family was in building the Suez Canal, which everyone knows girls 8-17 just can’t hear enough about.

With all that out of the way, The Countess asked the girls what they wanted to do when they grew up. A doctor, a teacher, a babysitter. A model one girl answered. The Countess asked the girl to stand. She complimented the girl on her beautiful face and her height. The girl was a little husky, so The Countess reassured the poor girl that she had plenty of time to loose that weight. I’m glad to know that Ms. de Lesseps wanted to “donate my time and resources to this program because statistics show that girls who are supported by positive role models and provided with information on the physical and emotional changes that occur during adolescence have less depression, teen pregnancy, and substance abuse problems.”

When compared to the nurturing skills of The Countess, I think it’s safe to say I have secure that #1 Dad mug for father’s dad this year.