will deliver his on Jan. 28, but, for my money, his secretary of education, , already gave it. Just not enough people heard it.
So instead of Obama fishing around for contrived ideas to put in his speech — the usual laundry list that wins applause but no action — the president should steal Duncan’s speech and claim it as his own (I won’t tell) because it was not a laundry list and wasn’t a feel-good speech. In fact, it was a feel-bad speech, asking one big question. Are we falling behind as a country in education not just because we fail to recruit the smartest college students to become teachers or reform-resistant teachers’ unions, but because of our culture today: too many parents and too many kids just don’t take education seriously enough and don’t want to put in the work needed today to really excel?
Is this the key cause of and persistent poverty? No. But it is surely part of their solutions, and it is a subject that Obama has not used his bully pulpit to address in any sustained way. Nothing could spark a national discussion of this more than a State of the Union address.
I’ll get to Duncan’s speech in a moment, but, if you think he’s exaggerating, listen to some teachers. Here are the guts of a letter published recently by The from a veteran seventh-grade language arts teacher in Frederick, Md., who explained why she no longer wants to teach. (She asked to remain anonymous.)
After complaining about the “superficial curriculum that encouraged mindless conformity,” she wrote: “I decided that if I was going to teach this nonsense, I was at least going to teach it well. I set my expectations high, I kept my classroom structured, I tutored students, I provided extra practice and I tried to make class fun. ... I quickly rose through the ranks of ‘favorite teacher,’ kept open communication channels with parents and had many students with solid A’s. It was about this time that I was called down to the principal’s office. ... She handed me a list of about 10 students, all of whom had D’s or F’s. At the time, I only had about 120 students, so I was relatively on par with a standard bell curve. As she brought up each one, I walked her through my grade sheets that showed not low scores but a failure to turn in work — a lack of responsibility. I showed her my tutoring logs, my letters to parents, only to be interrogated further.
“Eventually, the meeting came down to two quotes that I will forever remember as the defining slogans for public education: ‘They are not allowed to fail.’ ‘If they have D’s or F’s, there is something that you are not doing for them.’ What am I not doing for them? I suppose I was not giving them the answers. I was not physically picking up their hands to write for them. I was not following them home each night to make sure they did their work on time. I was not excusing their lack of discipline. ... Teachers are held to impossible standards, and students are accountable for hardly any part of their own education and are incapable of failing.”Continue reading the main story
# home-economics - Wednesday 3 June, 2015
# home-economics - Sunday 31 May, 2015
# home-economics - Thursday 5 June, 2014
# home-economics - Tuesday 8 October, 2013
# home-economics - Saturday 7 July, 2012
Here’s why all the Leaving Certs are ranting about eggs
Jun 3rd 2015, 8:03 PM 10,724 Views 3 Comments
The first big scandal of exam season is here.Share29 Tweet4
What did a Leaving Cert exam paper look like 80 years ago?
May 31st 2015, 9:00 PM 38,931 Views 93 Comments
We got our hands on the 1935 home economics exam to see how it compares to more recent papers.Share85 Tweet100
Leaving Cert students asked about how to cope 'on the Dole'
Jun 5th 2014, 10:38 AM 28,970 Views 23 Comments
That was the Higher Levels. The Ordinary Levels were asked one entire question about soup.Share109 Tweet41
9 signs you did Home Economics at school
Oct 8th 2013, 1:07 PM 33,966 Views 38 Comments
Of COURSE I know how to do a running stitch.Share440 Tweet
Save money on your grocery bill: YOUR tips
Jul 7th 2012, 9:15 AM 16,334 Views 11 Comments
Delicious and inexpensive recipes, clever ways with the shopping list… and some creative uses for household items.Share Tweet20