Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lowest Common Denominator

No this is not a math class....this is the current trend of things in too may schools across both Texas and the nation.

In a knee jerk reaction to low performance on state mandated tests as well as drop out rates, schools are jumping on every possible solution regardless of whether it is practical - logical - or proven.

10% of all students are not doing homework ...... response - give them a longer day with more classes and study hall and expect a change in results.
Sounds to me like the 90% taking care of things just got punished for doing what was right.

Low scores on state mandated tests - so eliminate honors class for the high performing students - dump them in a class being taught to the level of the weakest student so you can claim you are covering every objective for the state test with every single student. Never mind that you are short changing the group of students most likely to graduate from a university. Do not challenge them so they are really ready for the first days at a 4 year university. This writer awards the AnalRetentive Master award to multiple school boards in the state of Texas following this asinine pattern of reasoning.

And because every single student in the entire system always is perfect and always cares and always put 100% effort into it, then any score below passing on a state mandated test is 100% the fault of the teacher.

With the requirements for being certified in critical areas like math - physics - chemistry - biology already very tough in Texas and only a few classes from a degree in these areas and at least $10k to 15K more in the business world,

The in vogue thing is to blame all failures in these subjects on the teachers.

Gee Einsteins...... lets see how this works ..... take the jobs the hardest to fill in public schools.....and usually filled by people who want to teach.......lay all the blame on them....all the while paying at least 10k less than what many of them would make in the business world.

And the geniuses in Austin and in Obamacation can't understand why every university in the state is not graduating scores of new math and science teachers.

Please someone invent a drug that induces common sense. Then lets spray every TEA employee, every state legislator, the governor, every superintendent, principal, and every school board member with it .

Sadly public education reasoning has become like the IRS and the old fashioned outhouse.

It is all about the paperwork....and most of it is crammed full of crap

Monday, May 3, 2010

Stupid Leadership.....Stupid Parents.....STOP THE STUPIDITY

This one has to be shared....

Community School - mid size..... somewhere in Texas...
Problem......Community Allowed/Sponsored Annual Liquor Party .
....during baseball season.

Coach decides to take a stand ....makes a contract with the players and their parents.. If you attend the party, you are off the team..... parents and players sign it. THIS IS A REAL COACH!!!

Everyone in the area knew the party was coming .
Responsible parents....kept their kids home that night....

Sure enough players attend the party...Someone takes pics with a camera phone..
Coach tells a number of varsity players (as many as 9 ?) - you are off the team.

Insert stupid AD...and idiot Principal ... Say .... Coach ...this is too harsh....lets suspend them for 2 games.

Then at AD and Principal's request....... one game game (rained out ) is counted as the second suspension.

All the players return to the team.....
(hand slap accomplished...behavior reinforced)

Then after some public backlash.....AD resigns....goes elsewhere....
(Yeah ....hope you do not get this loser.....)

Apparently the moronic principal was allowed to keep his job.

And meanwhile.....the community allowed alcohol party.....gears up for next year...

And we wonder why people think education has sank to new depths....

If this writer ever gets word of the date and location for this annual me - I will be more than happy to call every law enforcement agency in the area...Stick a few parents in jail...and end this stupidity.

we fail to hold the students & PARENTS...responsible

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


A little bit from the positive side.

One school district decided that it was time to fight back against kids who were choosing to routinely fail core classes.

So they reworked their daily schedule and added a tutorials time into the daily schedule.

When the door closes,there is no tardy attendance wise.
Miss once per 6 weeks - no questions asked.
Second miss is 4 hours of Saturday school.
Third miss from tutorials in a 6 weeks -
and the districts police officer will pull the student from class and issue a ticket.



Another school had a problem with excessive cell phone playing and use in the halls.

Implemented a hard nose policy:

If the phone is heard or even seen - even as a pocket outline - it is taken up

1st offense - phone returned at end of the next day.

2nd offense - $15 fine and parents must come pick up the phone.

3rd offense - phone is locked up for 30 days



Friday, April 9, 2010


The fountain of stupidity has given birth to yet another MIC (Moron in control)

Medium size school district.... known for athletics in the past but not as strong lately.

New Athletic Director...... talking to a middle school administrator

paraphrased quote:

"You guys are blowing too many of the athletes out due to grades and discipline.... these kids need to have the chance to compete. You need to keep them playing...regardless of grades so they can have a goal"

Thankfully the administrator has enough sense .....however - it is a fact that he who has the highest salary ....usually gets listened to..

Mr AD...... can you read my lips..... UIL SANCTIONS??? BREAKING THE LAW???
NO PASS NO PLAY .....applies to your students. regardless of how you feel about it.

Quit thinking you are god..... and try this one -
students (AND PARENTS) are held responsible for well as behavior..
(I kinda think the real world thrives on this performance and citizenship idea)

Oh wait a minute - you are wanting to make these guys into superstars - the kind not responsible for sleeping around...not responsible for carrying loaded guns...and not responsible for DWI..... cause after all ....they are athletes....they don't have to be responsible.

(Besides - the NBA has enough of this type for now ....should they run short - we will tell them you are scouting on their behalf)

In the mean time..... school district - toss this moron out before he puts your district into the really bad press releases. School district - be thankful/hopeful your administrators will not listen to this high paid idiot you got trying to run the system for his own behalf.

This guy apparently has more workout shorts than brains...


Well the insanity continues....

Take a medium size high school. Heavy Minority population. Dropouts and test scores have given it unacceptable rating for 2nd time.

New superintendent. Already appointed someone from the ad bldg to replace the principal at the high school.

Next up - Reassign or fire HALF of the staff. yes - HALF. Focusing on core subject teachers.

Background - heavy minority school - not in the top 25% salary wise.

New superintendent expects to replace core teachers.

With it evident - teachers are tied to test scores.

Pay is not attractive overall. Math and Science Teachers will receive a $7500 stipend to sign up.
(Actually the salary plus stipend does not make that system pay what other schools within 100 miles pay - who went 2 years advertising for science teachers and having no applications.)

Sounds like the super needs a reality check.

This writer knows teachers who work at schools like this one. Teachers who work at these kind of schools cause they choose to try and make an impact where many others would not even apply. Teachers who see this type of school as their personal challenge.

So ....not holding students responsible for things like dropping out - the knee jerk to grab Obama money - use it to bribe new teachers into the crossfire - and new / inexperienced teachers are going to grab that money.

And we force out or send those teachers who freely choose to work with this level of kid to work on a different campus.

And we are getting rid of the current Math and Science teachers...thinking we will replace them with experienced teachers willing to settle for a not very competitive pay scale, a longer than average school day(singled out against all the other schools in the district), the stigma of replacing people who were forced out ..... with math and science teachers who are willing to be tied to test scores...

At a time when schools across the nation are offering stipends to attract math and Science teachers which along with computer science teachers - the hardest to find in any state coast to coast. At a time when schools within 100 miles are paying as much as 6K above the salary and stipend offered.

If you could snap your fingers and make 1000 new science teachers and 1000 new math teachers - They could all have jobs within 24 hours....

So good luck Mr Superintendent with your plan....

When you are wiser.... you will realize that maybe some of those you are choosing to force out ...
were some of the best teachers you had..

And those of you being reassigned - MOVE - find a district that appreciates you ...and many in your area will pay you more and not question your abilities.

Mr Superintendent..... consider holding the parents and students responsible...

Oops ....there I go again trying to apply logic...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Clueless In Austin .....the insanity continues.

As mentioned previously, Texas is preparing to offer end of course tests in the core subjects. To this point, several tests are currently being field tested. Once again - Austin finds a way to screw up even more.

Currently the Vogue in Austin is online testing....despite the fact that previous attempts have been muddled with poor planning and preparation by Austin/and or testing companies. Little things like scheduling 1000 students to take a test at same time from an internet connection that was not powerful enough to handle 1/2 that.

Schools get "told" they must administer field tests and are expected to just make it happen. This is much easier with printed tests. You then need a room - someone to watch the students and time.

Now lets take a large school - say 4500 students. The school gets selected to administer an online field test for their entire sophomore class. Estimate there are about 1300 sophomores.
How many schools have 1300 computers in unused labs ready to give these tests? Ok - Half that number - have to do the test in two sessions. A fourth?

Now lets give that school - say 2 more online tests to field test. Another one for the sophomores and one for the 1210 Juniors. Total of 3810 online tests to give.

Now lets take all the computer class students out of their class labs and if this is an average school - you may have freed up as many as 500 computers.

Now if you are lucky - you handle this in 4 days - 2 testing sessions a day - but you have booted every Web, Computer Science, BCIS, Writing Lab, Animation, Digital Graphics, Video, and Multimedia student out of their class labs for at least 4 days.

So you have taken nearly a week away from the technology students...which affects maybe as many 400-600 students. This in a six weeks where a week is already sacrificed with TAKS tests. This in the weeks leading up to the semester exam when the students need to be in class.

This writer is familiar with a situation where an entire high school's computer labs are being taken over for 15 days. Half the six weeks - where classes whose primary work area is the computer - must sit and do something else.

I am not saying you can't test online - but before you dump 3 or 4 tests on a school and require them to take all of the tests online - consider the resources available.

Consider spacing the tests out between more districts - why put 3 or 4 on any one school.

Then again - I am trying to use logic... and sadly - logic is the first thing sacrificed in Austin.

Monday, April 5, 2010


HOUSTON ISD......despite pleas from teachers - documentation from other sources...and letters from industry giant Microsoft took a GIANT step backward. Given the choice to require the technology credit for graduation, HISD chose to dumb down once more and passed with a unanimous vote a decision to no longer require the technology credit for graduation.

Strangely enough - they require health and public speaking despite both of those being optional. Curious - is this a way of cutting technology dollars spent - no longer requiring the tech classes so they do not have to spend monies upgrading the computer labs. Sounds like a group with no plan for the future and more concerned about saving $$ than teaching kids....

Personally - I say vote em out.

Thank you HISD - you have started my list of schools not truly preparing your students for the future. Thankfully my extended family of children, nieces and nephews are all in schools with a little more foresight into what a student should be taking for graduation.

In my opinion - HISD has just entered the unacceptable zone.


Once again we enter that most ugly of times.....the TAKS Season. A few musings from a wandering mindset are offered below.

  • See any member of state government pass the Social Studies test.
  • See any member of state government make above 50 on the ELA test.
  • See any member of state government make above 50 no 40 on the math test
  • See any member of state government make above 20% on the science test.

  • Accomplish any of the above.....on the middle version of said test.
  • How many New jersey or was it Ohio people that are employed creating these wonderful instruments of educational disaster?
End Of Course....
oh yes - as the circus says send in the clowns...

First draft - this was 12 tests to be passed with a cumulative average of a 70....
Sounds good till someone figured out that passing all 3 English and all 3 Social Studies and making at least a 50 in the math and Science - could still work out to a 70.

Second Draft - this was to be all 3 tests within one subject with a cumulative average of a 70.
Smart kids figure out that an 80 on Algebra 1 and a 90 on Geometry lets you flunk Algebra II and still earn a 70.

Third Draft ...who knows what will pop out next....
(After all budget shows most of the legislature lacks basic understanding of algebra like what negative numbers mean)


One has only to return to the much beloved End Of Course Algebra test to fully grasp just how this wonderful state board can screw up and the $$ wasted on what has to be the worst produced test in the country. With a mainstream passing rate of somewhere around 15-35%....this test was not even passed by more than 60% state wide when dealing only with the elite students - the 8th grade honors algebra students ....students who are among the top 3-10% of the student body. 9th Grade honors algebra students faired slightly less better than their 8th grade counterparts.

Ok - a State wide EOC test - run for what was it - 5 years and never got to 50% state wide.

And guess who wrote that one.....yea - the wonderful New Jersey or was it the Ohio test people ...

Now we want to plan on giving them 12 EOC tests to what geometric progression will the number of bad ideas coming out of Austin expand by.

And for the freshmen - who are often so culture shocked at high school who flunk 2 or 3 of the 4 tests their first time have to look forward to ? 6 or 7 tests the next year - or just 4 and the knowledge that they have to score even higher to make up for past mistakes?

When it gets to 6 or 7 tests that must all be passed to return to being on target for long will it be before the weaker students throw up their hands and give up.
And when that happens - unacceptable will become a common rating statewide and the moron squads like Obama's Money Tree (if you tie scores to teacher ratings).....will be out again proclaiming how teachers must be the problem. And there will come that line in the sand where the better teachers will leave for private schools - affluent schools ...or college or just leave the profession cause all the blame and finger pointing will convince them it time to quit.

Personal Note - this is why I am telling my child to pursue a Masters if they wish to teach - and stay out of K-12. Sad coming from someone whose extended family includes 20+ K-12 teachers.

So yes - once more thank you Austin for all you do on Teachers and Students behalf.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Battle Lines

Time to start watching your state office holders and letting them know you want the technology requirement for graduation to be reinstated. Do not let them tell you they do not know about it. It passed UNANIMOUSLY despite the reassurances they gave some letter writers. Let them know you are willing to vote them out of office. Maybe we need to vote them out and make it clear that dumbing down the educational requirements for graduation benefits NO ONE!!

Sadly Perry was not beaten in the primaries. We can not count on him to help education since he signed HB3 despite the email and phone calls to his office.

(I will be reposting that number if/when the bill passes to him that repeals the previous stupidity)

Later we will address the stupidity of the end of course testing.