Another educational fad invades an American school district: Part 4 of 5

22 Aug

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My friend’s e-mail went on: “I feel like teaching has become ALL science-based. Education officials [elected school board members and district level administrators] forget that teaching is 50% of an art-form and 50% science. This curriculum does not allow me time to conduct classroom debates, infuse my curriculum with health science-based activities and articles, and to teach grammar in a systematic way …

“I think the Synced Solution software program would be good for a first-time teacher. New teachers could use the guidance and structure, but I resent it. I think there has to be more flexibility. For example, I think the program should say which standards should be covered on a weekly basis rather than on a daily basis.

“My district wants to script my teaching; also, my district can now see if I am covering the standards using its timeline. We will have unit tests, and there is an area in the software program that we are supposed to check off (checking off the objectives and standards).

“The other teachers and I concurred that this software program will add at least an hour to our teaching day. Instead of technology assisting us, it is making our jobs even more cumbersome. Synced Solution is very cumbersome to navigate.

Teleparent is a program that teachers want and need. Who teaches students? Who makes the most phone calls to parents?

“I would rather have my school bring back TeleParent. I don’t know if you ever had this automated phone program when you were teaching [I didn’t], but we had it for two years, and then my school took it away.

“TeleParent allowed me to contact a group of students having the same negative academic behavior.”

“For example, 20 students forget their textbook. I could just go through my class list on TeleParent and check off the names of students who forgot their textbook. Then, I could check off the reason for the phone call, Forgot textbook. Teleparent would contact my parents in their primary language (Spanish, Mandarin, Tagalog, etc.).

“Also, it would use a different phone number so that my students would not know it was Teleparent; this prevented students from intercepting the corrective phone calls [which some students would do—believe me]. It exponentially increased my number of parent contacts. Negative classroom behaviors changed very quickly. Teleparent could easily raise the test scores for a high school. Every time my colleagues and I want a software program that makes our job easier, the district and/or my school rejects it. We wanted, but my school refused.

Another valuable tool for teachers that teachers want. is a powerful software program that detects plagiarism in essays and also in research papers. This software program would make my job so much easier. I would not have to hunt on the Internet to locate the research that a student copied into his paper.”

My friend teaches in the Chino Valley Unified School District.

Continued on August 21, 2013 in Another educational fad invades an American school district: Part 5 or return to Part 3

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to kill Americans.

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