Thursday, January 27, 2011

Is Suitable Good Enough

In these days of economic hardship, at least in the state of Kansas, school funding is really taking a hit from the state legislature. I suppose this is normal and we should take a cut if the money is not there. However, the buzz out of Topeka is what is a suitable education and what does it cost? The term suitable is what really bothers me.

Does our governor want to be a suitable governor? Does our representative and senator want to be suitable? Does anyone tell their child we want them to aspire to be suitable? I think not. What ever happened to good and/or great?

If you have a parent that moves into an area and is deciding between two school districts, district A says we will provide the best education we possibly can and district B says we will provide a suitable education which would you choose? I know which district I want my child in.

I do not believe that money is the only measure of a quality education, I think quality classroom teachers are, but the term "suitable education" really goes up my backside. I can assure you this we will do whatever we can for the kids in our district, and suitable will not be good enough for me.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Is This Why We Test?

We have had a good couple of years at Pleasanton on our state assessments, in fact we have had the highest scores we have ever had. We all have walked around with our chests out and being very proud of our accomplishments, including myself. Now for the reality.

Our 4th grade teachers have started their classes blogging and it has been fun and reflective plus they love doing it. Whenever possible I respond to each student. One of our teachers asked the question of how the students felt about the upcoming state assessments. Their responses nearly floored me.

I never read so much fear, anxiety, and apprehension in kids. I made a group response and told them that they would be adequately prepared, and to just do the best they can and who cares anyway. They are our kids, we love them and their success or failure has nothing to do with test scores. I just couldn't believe that the two words "state assessment" would strike such a response in 4th graders. By the way the teacher puts no pressure on these kids, and echoed my sentiments in a group response.

Is our goal to strike fear in these kids, I don't think so. It almost broke my heart when I read their answers, and made me question "is this why we test?" No kid should feel that type of pressure, especially in the 4th grade. So you can chalk me up as one who is now opposed to this ridiculous practice in name of educational excellence.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Random Thoughts

Well it seems there hasn't been much to write about, but thought I'd better get back in the habit or I would keep putting it off until I would eventually quit and I don't want to do that. If you noticed I have changed the look of my blog, actually my youngest daughter did it. She said my previous one looked boring, I said good reason for that it reflected my personality.

The bowl games are over, maybe thats the reason for my writing funk, I'm depressed. Some great games, some not so great, and some average. When you have two 6-6 teams how can you expect anything but average? Are there to many bowls, yes, do schools mind taking the money, no, so I guess we're saddled with the 30 some we have.

The 3 year players have been declaring for the NFL or returning to school. Cam Newton is going NFL so he and his father can now take money legally. Look out Auburn the NCAA is fixin' to invade you. Some of the athletes returning to school really surprised me, but I loved college I know it was all I could do to cram 4 years of college into 6.

Cover up the politicians are back to work, and I'm sure that will make our lives better since they care for us so much.

Pray for the people in Arizona.

The real reason I'm writing is to see if I remember my bitly address or if I have to look it up before I post on twitter.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It Shouldn't be Like This

I am like many administrators, in that blogging is new for me and I do enjoy having a chance to share, vent, and evaluate some of my thoughts in regard to education. I have tried to write twice a week, once covering an educational topic and once writing Random Thoughts, which is my stab at satirical humor.

While being out on Christmas break I kept thinking what am I going write in my educational blog when we come back, and I was drawing a blank. I found myself growing anxious on what I was going to write, as if many read it anyway (there I go with satire again). It shouldn't be that way, and its not going to be for me anymore.

When topics come up then I will write about them, I definitely am not going to pressure myself into writing something just for the sake of writing. Perhaps I'm not as creative as the next blogger, but I didn't start doing this for the next blogger, I did for me and when I have something to share, for you. I know this I'm not going to spend another second on becoming anxious on what to blog about.

When I finally realized this I relaxed I may write once, twice, or however many times the urge strikes and I feel I have something to add. I will continue Random Thoughts weekly and really enjoy writing it, and now I will enjoy writing the other blogs equally as much. I think I'll have to name that column, as soon as I can come up with one.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Random Thoughts

Several items as we get prepared to resume the school year next week, I had a good Christmas break and trust each of you did also.

The commercials during bowl month intrigue me, especially the ones about the two schools playing and what they look like and stand for. When are they going to show the real school, such as frat guys throwing up in bushes and students sleeping in and missing class. I'm guessing that won't happen.

The Ohio State president's comments on Boise State and TCU being in the hunt for BCS games stating they didn't deserve a shot since their conferences are not strong. My guess is Boise and TCU will play Ohio St. at any time, so jump on them big boy. Do you think the commercial for Ohio State would feature students selling things to get a discount on a tatoo?

Which brings us to another NCAA contradiction, student-athletes cannot receive any kind of entitlement form anyone, however, they all receive a gift bag from their respective bowl reps. The bigger the bowl the bigger the gift bag, mind explaining that?

Congrats to the UConn women's basketball team 90 in a row is a major accomplishment and truly unbelievable feat. They did not replace UCLA in my opinion, one is the men's record and one is the women's record, they are separate. If they weren't we would play one tournament and not two, that said it doesn't diminish what they did at all.

The California flooding was horrendous and very well covered by the news. Wait until spring and you will see a repeat in the midwest somewhere, hope it receives the same coverage.

New Years resolutions are an interesting item and who ever came up with this tradition anyway? They are basically the same for most people and will last a short time, then we go back to our previous behavior. That just human nature. I quit doing them because I don't like lying to myself. Well that answers the question of where they came from, if lying is involved I'm sure the US Congress invented them.

Ok the media is all over the Big 10 because of yesterday's games. I'm betting the Iowa and Illinois fans don't care, both beat Big 12 schools, and I know I don't care as long as the Sooners won of which they did to get the BCS Monkey off their back. It will be a good year.