Friday, June 28, 2013

NAEP scores going stagnant?

Diane Ravitch is a prolific blogger.  She posts frequently and includes lots of links to media outlets or other blogs.  I can't keep up with her and don't always agree with her, but her blog does serve as a nice repository of education policy being considered across the country.

In a recent blog post she does a quick analysis of the most recent NAEP report.  If her analysis is correct, the last 5 years have not been good for our nation's children.  Here in our district, we've made significant achievement gains in the past 5 years.  I know others have as well.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Calm in the chaos of change

Remember the Arab Spring?  I recently read something referring to the spring of 2013 as Education Spring, a time when folks started to stand up to the testing and accountability movement.

In some respects it has been chaotic as legislatures and courts push out new mandates under which schools must operate.  Given the political landscape, more changes are likely coming.

In the midst of it all stands our nation's teachers.  Each and every day they gather their flock of learners and guide them to greater knowledge in a safe, caring, supportive environment.  Teachers and their way of life may be under attack, but teachers remain committed to their students.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Must be an advocate

Recently I was reading a blog post on Parent Revolution meeting with teachers.  Here is an excerpt:

                   "I sort of knew the entire thing would go the way it did. They get paid
                   very well to advocate what they advocate, and weren’t there to listen to
                   community or teacher voices. The teachers and myself don’t get paid at
                   all to advocate alongside our communities, and that’s part of the point
                   isn’t it? On the other hand it was important that we showed up since
                   they would have been able to take the high ground and say they made
                   overtures that went unanswered. It also probably did them some good
                   to talk to real classroom teachers, something they almost never do."

What strikes me is these outside groups have funding to pay smart, young adults to advocate a position/ideology in a legislature and/or community.  Educators get too busy teaching to have time to be an advocate for their profession. 

The time has come for educators to be advocates too.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

June Paddle

We had planned to paddle the salt marshes of Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina, but it was pouring rain from buckets at our tour reservation time.

Our tour was to be conducted by a state park naturalist so we could learn more about the flora and fauna of the area.  The steady rain made it difficult to see and there was no sign of wildlife because they were hunkered down for the storm.  We had also paddled in the rain the weekend prior and the family wasn't thrilled about doing that again so soon.

Oh well, perhaps another day...

Two days later I got the chance to paddle in Murrells Inlet, just north of Huntington Beach State Park.  It was quite windy, but at least there was no rain.

From the dock I paddle north along the bank of restaurants and home lining the inlet.  I find it better to paddle against the wind early while I have more energy rather than trying to paddle back in the wind when potentially exhausted.

I had been wary of paddling the inlet alone because aerial maps gave me the impression one could easily get lost.  Fortunately I departed from a large structure that was easy to spot from a distance.  The maze of grasses was interesting to navigate though.  I would ease my way through breaks in the grasses only to find dead ends.

Overall it was a nice morning of paddling in a new location.