Friday, December 31, 2004

New Years Eve and Test Scores

It was nice to have a day off from the wars.

Nothing much to report on the home front. Momma Bear is home and will return to the Nursing Home tonight. Then back tomorrow and the trip will repeat on Sunday. Then school starts again.

Just finished reading the article in the Dallas newspaper about the potential cheating taking place on the Texas educational tests. Color me surprised - NOT ! There was another article from Arizona about the same kind of problem. This will be a tough problem to deal with. I seem to remember a movie - was it "Stand and Deliver"? James Olmos played the math teacher - who was accused of cheating because there was no way his kids could learn calculus? Well perhaps we shall know more in 2009 and 2010. I do agree with the District pronouncement that there is something wrong with the scores. If my memory serves me correctly, we will start every year testing of grades 3 thru 8 at the end of the school year in 2006. I know we are part of the "practice test" that will be given this year. All of our students in grades three thru 8 will be tested. Actually that only means that 5th and 6th grades will be added. Grades 3,4,7 and 8 are tested each year without fail.

I must say that I am torn about this issue. I have seen many fine, fine teachers in the last 14 years. People who go the extra mile and really "dig" teaching their students. I have also seen the other side - folks who if they did their jobs in the private sector the way they do their teaching they would be out the door at the end of the day. Sad to say that both are rewarded the same and treated the same. If I were put on the rack, I would have to say that the true problem in a majority of the public schools is the "lack of institutional discipline". They are truly run by the "cult of personality" and not by policy and procedure.

Some wag came up with the observation that "teachers are afraid of principals; principals are afraid of superintendents; superintendents are afraid of school boards; school boards are afraid of voters and the students are not afraid of anyone".

The cat is secure

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