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Looking at 5 countries with some of the best public education systems in the world, and—SURPRISE, SURPRISE—they all have teachers’ unions

This post will prove beyond a reasonable doubt—for open minds—that the teachers’ unions in the United States are not guilty of the alleged claims made by members of the manufactured, corporate-driven, fake-education, reform movement [MCDFERM].

There is an all-out war raging in the United States against public education, public school teachers and the teachers’ unions. This war started decades ago with the ultra-conservative Walton family supporting the school voucher movement, and the war escalated under neo-conservative President G. W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind [NCLB] mandating that 100 percent of children by age 17/18 must be college/career ready in 2014-15 [this school year].

Even though this goal has never been achieved throughout history in any country in the world including today, Congress approved NCLB—both Houses of Congress had a Republican majority, but 89-percent of the House and 91-percent of the Senate voted yes.

For instance, between 2005 and 2010, the Walton Family Foundation—an alleged member of the MCDFERM—gave nearly $700 million to education reform organizations. Specifically, the family provides lavish funding for voucher programs, charter schools, and policy and advocacy groups devoted to establishing and promoting alternatives to public schooling. The WALMART 1%

Then neo-liberal President Obama’s Race to the Top and his Common Core State Standards agenda—with help from more than $200 million in funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, another alleged member of MCDFERM—made the situation worse when the federal government threatened the states with the loss of billions of dollars in federal funding through the Department of Education if the states did not use the results of standardized student tests to rank and then fire teachers in addition to closing schools classified as failing—even though the American Statistical Association says: “Most VAM studies find that teachers account for about 1 to 14-percent of the variability in test scores, and that the majority of opportunities for quality improvement are found in the system-level conditions. Ranking teachers by their VAM scores can have unintended consequences that reduce quality.”

The main talking points of the MCDFERM are that there are too many incompetent teachers and that the teacher’s unions and tenure—due process job protection that does NOT guarantee a job for life—get in the way of firing bad teachers. It doesn’t matter that there is no valid evidence to support these often repeated claims by members of the MCDFERM.

To discover the membership of MCDFERM, I strongly suggest you read A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education by Mercedes K. Schneider.

Before moving on, remember that despite great wealth, the U.S. has the highest rate of child poverty among industrialized countries—about 23-percent.

Poverty impairs all aspects of a child’s development and can have lifelong detrimental consequences. Poor children are more likely to go hungry and are less likely to be read to during their early year. Child Poverty

South Korearanked second in the 2012 OECD international PISA Tests—with a population 46 million and a childhood poverty rate of 10.2-percent. [Rankings in this post do not count the Chinese cities of Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macao, the island of Taipei, and the Principality of Liechtenstein]

In 1989, teachers in South Korea established an independent union.  According to a report in The Wall Street Journal Asia, the union claimed support from 82-percent of all teachers. The Korean Teachers Union (KTU) has demanded that the government halt standardized testing, which is used in the country to determine school budgets—those with higher test results get more money from the government. In October 2013, the South Korean government threatened to ban the teachers union—sound familiar?

Finlandranked seventh—with a population of 5.4 million and a childhood poverty rate of 4.17-percent.

More than 95-percent of teachers in Finland are unionized, paying 1.2-percent of their gross salary to support the Trade Union of Education in Finland, OAJ.

The OAJ aims to influence policies that benefit educators. The OAJ negotiates on the national level with employer groups to create 14 universally binding agreements that spell out everything from minimum salaries to working hours for teachers and the length of the school year (currently 190 days).

In addition, Finland has only one standardized exam at the end of high school, says Pasi Sahlberg, a visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and an expert on testing in Finland—something we don’t see in the United States.

Canadaranked eighth—with a population 34.3 million and a childhood poverty rate of 15.06-percent.

The Canadian Teacher’s Federation was founded in 1920 and has 200,000 members who work in the public education system, most of whom have four or five years of college.

“What makes Finland and Canada’s school systems more successful, Hargreaves argues, is that both countries value teachers and professional training for them. Most importantly, perhaps, there is discretion for teachers to make their own judgments. … Education reform has failed in countries where the teacher voice is absent – and also where teacher unions are absent.”

Japanranked third—with a population of 128-million and a childhood poverty rate of 13.69-percent.

Japan Teachers Union (JTU), established in 1947, was the largest teachers union until it split in the late 1980s. The JTU has been an active force in education and politics for almost 40 years.

The membership encompasses teachers and other education personnel at all levels, including college professors and clerical and support staff, in both public and private institutions. However, JTU’s members are predominantly teachers in the public elementary and secondary schools.

Some of the education issues about which JTU continues to feel strongly include decentralization of control, school autonomy, freedom of teachers to write and chose textbooks, student centered education, greater teacher participation in decision making, and comprehensive high schools for all youths.

There is a long history of conflict between JTU and the government, with many complex political ramifications not readily apparent or easily understood by those outside Japan.

Switzerlandranked fourth—with a population of 8+ million and a childhood poverty rate of 6.8-percent

As part of the freedom of association, teachers in Switzerland are represented by trade unions and professional organizations. The representatives of the teachers’ unions are systematically included in all reform initiatives. They are very active not only in the negotiations defining teachers’ incentive structure and working conditions but also in producing proposals for policy development in a wide range of educational areas—something we don’t see in the United States.

In conclusion—15-year olds in the United States ranked fourth in problem solving on the 2012 PISA Tests—way above the OECD average, but you will not hear that from the MCDFERM.

We also won’t hear this from the MCDFERM—in mathematics performance among PISA 2012 participants, the U.S. mean score was ranked fifth.

There are many different ways to compare the countries that participated in the 2012 PISA tests, and if the MCDFERM wants to make public education in the United States look bad, all they have to do is cherry-pick select facts to make that happen. Their goal is to fool as many people as possible. To armor yourself against these false claims, I suggest that you carefully read the detailed key findings of the 2012 PISA.

After reading this post, why do you think the MCDFERM is ignoring childhood poverty?

I know that many in the middle class and those who live in poverty think it’s great to live in a capitalist country with an opportunity to get rich—all we have to do is work hard or buy a winning lottery ticket, right?

Wrong! About 50-million Americans live in poverty. That means there’s a 15.8-percent chance of landing in poverty.

But what are the odds of getting rich?

For instance, there are 492 billionaires in the United States—we’ll find the members of MCDFERM in that group—that’s 0.00015-percent of the population, and then there are 9.63 million households with a net worth of $1 million or more—that’s about 3-percent of the population. In addition, the odds of winning a lottery with one ticket are about 1 in 175-million.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

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Discovering the world’s best teachers—Smoking Gun: Part 2

To discover the world’s best teachers we have to look at children who live in poverty. Teachers who successfully teach as many of these children as possible are the world’s best teachers.

The US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health says: “It is well documented that poverty decreases a child’s readiness for school through aspects of health, home life, schooling and neighbourhoods. Six poverty-related factors are known to impact child development in general and school readiness in particular. They are:

  • The incidence of poverty
  • The depth of poverty
  • The duration of poverty
  • The timing of poverty (eg, age of child)
  • Community characteristics (eg, concentration of poverty and crime in neighborhood, and school characteristics)
  • and the impact poverty has on the child’s social network (parents, relatives and neighbors).

“A child’s home has a particularly strong impact on school readiness. Children from low-income families often do not receive the stimulation and do not learn the social skills required to prepare them for school. Typical problems are parental inconsistency (with regard to daily routines and parenting), frequent changes of primary caregivers, lack of supervision and poor role modelling. Very often, the parents of these children also lack support.”

What I’m about to share with you reveals the second smoking gun that leads from the Department of Education to the  White House through Obama’s Machiavellian Race to the Top and Common Core testing.

Gerald N. Tirozzi, executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) analyzed the most resent international PISA test and his results revealed that public school teachers in America are more successful teaching children who live in poverty than any other country on the planet. He did this by comparing PISA test results with comparable schools that had the same number of children who lived in poverty.

In every comparison, the US was #1 when it came to teaching the most difficult at-risk children on the planet. For instance, for a more accurate assessment of the performance of U.S. students, Tirozzi aligns the scores of American schools with those of other countries with comparable poverty rates.

Tirozzi shows the ranking of schools in the United States with less than a 10% poverty rate compared with ten countries with similar poverty numbers, and the United States ranked #1 with a PISA score of 551, and Finland was #2 with a score of 536 for those similar schools with similar poverty rates.

Did you get that?  Teachers in the U.S. were more successful teaching children who lived in poverty than teachers in Finland who are considered some of the best teachers working in one of the best public school systems in the world—and Finland doesn’t test its children and judge teachers based on the results.

Tirozzi then matches schools with a poverty rate of 10-24.9% with ten comparable nations, and once again the United States was #1 with a PISA score of 527. Canada was #2 with a score of 524.

No other developed country tested had schools with poverty rates approaching 25%, and the U.S. Census reports: “The U.S. poverty rate in 2012 for children under age 18 was 21.8% (16,073,000).”

At this point, I want to emphasize that teaching in a classrooms with high rates of children who live in poverty offers extreme challenges that don’t exist in schools with lower rates. The behavior problems are sometimes overwhelming. Many of these children hate school, hate reading, hate teachers and often come from dysfunctional homes in gang infested communities. And some of these children are gang members.

For instance, for most of the 30 years I taught, the schools where I worked had poverty rates of 70% or more—Tirozzi found similar schools in Mexico, where only a third of its adult population has a high school degree, and if we compare U.S. schools with poverty rates over 75%, the U.S. PISA score was 446 compared to 425 for similar schools in Mexico. (NOTE: Mexico is not considered one of the 35 developed countries)

To deal with poverty in the United States, what did the Obama administration do?  Congress passed Obama’s Race to the Top and Common Core standardized testing that punishes only public school teachers. That is all President Obama’s administration has done!

There have been no early childhood education programs from the Obama White House, and even the U.S. Department of Education admits “There is a tremendous unmet need for high-quality early learning throughout the country … the importance of early learning is clear. Studies prove that children who have rich early learning experiences are better prepared to thrive in kindergarten and beyond.” (Just in case, Arne Duncan has this page revised, I took a screen shot of it.)

Map: How 35 countries compare on child poverty (the U.S. is ranked 34th)

 Data source: UNICEF

 

This Machiavellian insanity started with President G. W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind, but President Obama’s Race to the Top legally defined public school teachers and the public schools as failures to be fired and/or replaced by private sector Charter schools that don’t have to teach difficult at-risk children who live in poverty.

President Obama, Arne Duncan, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, and Bill Gates, for instance, all demand that America’s public school teachers must teach America’s children so 100% are college and career ready by age 17/18 while ignoring the needs of more than sixteen million children who live in poverty—something that no other country has demanded of their public school teachers in history.

Do you smell the smoking gun coming from the Department of Education and the White House? I hope so.

Continued with Smoking Gun Three: Linking Education Fraud from Obama to GOP or return to Smoking Gun: Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 8/9

There are many reasons why “nonviolent civil disobedience” is acceptable when it comes to No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

One example is latchkey children. According to the U.S. Census, 15% were home alone before school, 76% after school and 9% at night. Presumably, the 9% have parents who work night shifts.

In fact, most homework is supposed to be done after school when 76% of children are often alone without proper adult supervision.

Without parental supervision, we have many American children that avoid homework, reading assignments and studying. Instead, many of these children spend more than 10 hours a day dividing the time watching TV, social networking on sites such as Facebook. playing video games, listening to music, or sending text messages to friends, etc.

And who is blamed when these children fail to meet NCLB benchmarks? public school teachers and their unions

Then there is poor nutrition, which affects a child’s ability to learn, and too much sugar consumption has been found to lower the immune system and affect short-term memory causing memory problems in addition to mood swings.  If a child’s memory is compromised, how is he or she supposed to do well on a standardized test or remember what teachers taught in US history, English, math and science?

And who is blamed when these children fail to meet NCLB benchmarks? public school teachers and their unions

Poverty also has a huge impact on a child’s ability to learn.

The National Center for Children in Poverty says nearly 15 million children in the United States – 21% of all children – live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level – $22,050 a year for a family of four.

Combine poverty, latch key children, poor nutrition and sugar consumption, and the challenge become almost insurmountable. Even the greatest teachers and the best lessons may not be able to overcome all of these challenges.


Street Gangs South L.A. Bloods and Crips – Impact on Education

However, who is blamed when these children fail to meet NCLB benchmarks? public school teachers and their unions

Even in China, with its Confucian influenced culture and deep respect for teachers and education, poverty plays a role in children completing school or dropping out. The drop our rate in rural China often reaches 70%, where most of China’s poverty and/or lower incomes may be found. In India, the crushing 40% severe poverty rate has resulted in a country with about 40% illiteracy.

However, unlike the U.S., which makes scapegoats of its teachers and their labor unions, China is struggling to solve this challenge instead of looking for idealistic, Pollyanna solutions.

Then there is the 800,000 strong American street gang culture, which is very anti education. Street gangs in the US are into drugs and violence that influence the learning environment in US schools due to poor behavior and bad attitudes.

In 2001, the US Senate was split evenly between Democrats (50) and Republicans (50) and conservatives held a majority in the House of Representatives while G. W. Bush, a neoconservative, evangelical, born-again Christian President, ruled the country from the White House. Due to this alone, it is not surprising that NCLB became a law in 2001 that in 2010 identifies millions of teachers and more than 50 thousand public schools as failures, because public education was set up to fail due to the language of the NCLB Act.

Democrats voted for NCLB because they naively believed that teachers were capable of overcoming all of the challenges mentioned in this series, while it is obvious conservatives wanted to set the schools up for failure so private school vouchers would win support from the public.

That leads to the conclusion that shows why nonviolent civil disobedience, such as changing answers on standardized tests or helping students to select correct answers or refusing to cooperate with the federal government as several states have done, is an acceptable way to protest the poorly designed, misleading NCLB Act.

There is more than one historical precedent for civil disobedience for unreasonable and unrealistic laws such as NCLB, which will be revealed in Part 9.

Continued on August 8, 2011, in Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 9 or return to Part 7

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 6/9

The first sign of nonviolent “civil disobedience” was when the media reported teachers either changing answers on standardized tests or helping students select the correct answers to raise scores.

The reason for this “civil disobedience” is that the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Law set a goal of having 100 percent of students proficient (according to each state’s standards) in math and reading by 2014.

However, the teachers/educators that helped change answers are not alone in their nonviolent “civil disobedience”.

Another example, according to Christine Armario and Jessie L. Bonner of The Associated Press (July 2011), reported that three states plan to defy the No Child Left Behind benchmarks.

AP said, “Idaho will no longer raise the benchmarks that public schools have to meet under No Child Left Behind, nor will it punish the schools that do not meet these higher testing goals, said Tom Luna, the state’s superintendent of public schools.”

“Montana and South Dakota are also rejecting the latest No Child Left Behind targets,” AP said, “while Kentucky is seeking a waiver that would allow the state to use a different method to measure whether students are making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) under the program.

“And more states could follow in seeking relief from the federal requirements,” the AP reported.

Mr. Morally Correct (quoted in Part 1 of this series) wrote, “Every teacher working in a substandard school should have quit after discovering they could not educate students for whatever reason including the students’ refusal to learn.”

According to an April 28, 2011 report by the Center on Education Policy (CEP), 38% of U.S. public schools failed to make AYP in 2010. There are more than 132 thousand public schools in the US, which means 50,000 are failing according to the NCLB law. Since there are about 5 million teachers that means about 2 million should quit according to Mr. Morally Correct and abandon the students in their school that are meeting the goals of the NCLB Act since some students in every school make the effort to learn and keep up.

In addition, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies found that only 32 percent of the general population rates the NCLB law positively, which makes Mr. Morally Correct a member of the minority opinion with almost 70% of Americans disagreeing with him.

President George W. Bush brought us the NCLB Act when he signed it into law.  He also brought us the Iraq War based on false claims of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) hidden in Iraq.

American military casualties (physical wounds) number more than 33,000 with another 320,000 veterans with brain injuries in addition to several thousand killed in action.  Iraqi civilian deaths, which are difficult to track, range from estimates of 100,000 to more than a million depending on the source, and about 3.4 million have been displaced from their homes

Then there was the 2008 global financial crises President G. W. Bush brought the US, which is estimated to have cost $40 trillion in global losses ($20 trillion in the US) and tens of millions of lost jobs around the world (for example – 9 million in the US and 20 million in China).

President G. W. Bush also doubled the National Debt from about $5 trillion to more than $10 trillion.

Continued on August 6, 2011, in Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 7 or return to Part 5

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

Will the NCLB Act go down in history as President George W. Bush’s fourth major failure in judgement?

Continued on August 6, 2011, in Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 7 or return to Part 5

 

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Blind Obedience – Part 4/4

After a volley of e-mails with the “e-mail critic”, he wrote, “What you’re attempting to say is that these teachers were put in an untenable position. Well, you are right. The public school system cannot educate America’s children and the NCLB act’s failure simply points that out. But don’t you realize these cheating teachers were hiding the fact that the NCLB act is a colossal failure? Instead of defending them, you should be castigating them.”

My response to, “The public school system cannot educate America’s children” is to point out at that more than 80% (more than 34 million) of those American children succeeded in the public schools. However, the NCLB Act demands 100% success (an A+) from America’s teachers.

The “e-mail critic” and the NCLB Act measures the failure of the American public schools by the portion of the glass that is empty and ignores the part that is full, which is close to the top.

How would you like to be measured against perfection every day or face being declared a failure?

Have we forgotten that humans, including teachers, students and parents, are not perfect?

According to studies, bad teachers represent between 1 to 7 percent of all teachers. If the average public school student has about 50 teachers from K to 12, that means .5 to 3.5 teachers were bad and the other 46.5 to 49.5 taught well.

Eighty percent of students succeeded because public school teachers were doing their jobs, which was teaching, and those students were doing what was required of them to learn.

In addition, I am going to go one step further and suggest that all American public school teachers during the 2011 – 2012 school year reject “blind obedience” and instruct their students to mark “C” for every answer on the annual standardized tests.

Let this protest show the nation that teachers are tired of being the scapegoat for poor parenting and the unrealistic demands of the NCLB Act, which was designed for teachers and public education to fail.

What would happen to our students if teachers demanded “A’s” on every assignment or be considered a FAILURE?

If most of the teachers can be successful with more than 80% of the students, then they have proven they are capable of teaching and the public schools are capable of success when students and parents do  their job.

There is something wrong when critics condemn public school teachers due to the twenty percent of students that fail to meet the NCIBA Act’s mandate and those students are mostly found among African-American and Hispanic/Latino students.

It is time to hold poor parenting and “other inequalities” responsible for failing students, and then find ways to deal with those challenges without blaming the teachers.

Maybe the parents of those failing students should wear dunce caps and signs whenever they are in public that say, “I am a poor parent. I do not support my child’s teachers and my child’s education.”

Return to  Blind Obedience – Part 3 or start with Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Putting the Blame where it Belongs — Part 5/6

The last step to input this data into the new API index would be easy.  Teachers would make a digital copy of the grades on a CD or a thumb drive or attached to an e-mail sent to an administrative site where the information was fed into a database.

If the law says we cannot reveal student names, then we use student ID numbers, which are kept confidential at the school site.

The district has information on ethnicity, age and sex for every student so that information is merged using the student ID numbers.

The result would be an index that reveals which students are working and those that aren’t. Teachers would only be responsible to teach, correct student assignments and record grades, while students and their parents would be responsible to see that the work and reading is completed.

To make sure that students are learning, there would still be the standardized test to measure growth but with students actually involved instead of watching TV, playing video games or sending the average 1500 text messages a month, there would be reading outside of class, doing homework and studying instead.

This puts the responsibility where it belongs—on students and parents. If a teacher is not doing a good job teaching, students are going to complain and administration is going to observe.

Every few weeks, I printed out a progress report for each of my students that told them everything I’ve mentioned in this series of posts and I required those students to take those reports home and have their parents sign them.

However, if our society is unwilling to hold students and parents responsible to cooperate in their education and we keep placing “ALL” the blame on teachers, America has failed and nothing will solve this problem.

On May 20, 2011, in Solving the API Dilemma – Part 6, we shall see a comparison between the actual API scores in California and my friend’s suggestion of how to show results on standardized tests without being racist when showing who is responsible for the results.

Continued on May 20, 2011 in Putting the Blame where it Belongs – Part 6 or return to Part 4

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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