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Schools aren’t people; they are full of people

A school, finally:

During the nine years I have been teaching at my public school, the school has received grades of D, C, B and finally this year we achieved an A. Next year, due to the state of Florida changing the grading standards (which they have done every year since they decided to grade schools) we are projected to become a C school.

Schools can’t take tests or study for tests and yet they still get bad grades.

What happens if schools receive bad grades?

Just like many students, they get grounded and lose privileges like their “allowance” and having free time to explore programs that interest them.

Instead they have to stick to the basics.

Study and learn.

Although, I love personification, this is too far.

Schools aren’t people.

They are full of people.

And those people are being grounded and losing privileges because of personification taken too far.

It’s Worth the Sweat and Tears

I’ll never tire of reading (and writing) about the struggle to have a student-centered classroom.

My shift to a student-centred classroom has been a roller coaster ride, but well worth the work and effort

The standardization movement is making this transformation process even harder for teachers. Rather than reward shifted or flipped classrooms administrators are actually calling those teachers in and asking them to “tone it down.”

If you are beginning on this journey, make sure you have some student samples to back yourself up!

For the most part, my students are engaged and have started to take responsibility for their education. We view knowledge as a process, not a product. I think the most valuable skill my students have acquired is the ability to learn, unlearn, and re-learn.  Given today’s constantly changing world, this is one of the most important things they’ll take with them when they graduate.

Let’s join these students and unlearn what legislators have said produces student achievement and relearn what our students really need to succeed.

NCLB’s Looming Deadline

With NCLB’s 10 year anniversary, the Obama administration is looking for a way out. Reauthorization would cause an outcry from teachers and administrators, so instead the federal government has offered a waiver program:

The waiver plan has drawn a critical response from California state schools chief Tom Torlakson, whose office estimates that complying with the waiver requirements would cost his state at least $2 billion over time. Some of the costs would come in speeding up the state’s implementation of the common-core standards and developing strategies to improve struggling schools, including teacher professional development.

States should be wary about this plan because it saves the federal government money of the necessitated “take over” that is a part of NCLB if a school is labeled “failing” for consecutive years.

Surprisingly, with these deadlines looming, education has been sorely missing from the nominee debates.

The Brilliance of the Occupy Movement’s Marketing

As I was listening to NPR yesterday, I was struck by their analysis of the occupy movement.

They commented, quite surprised themselves, that the occupy movement is

already more creative and popular than many other social movements

In asking why, they actually provided important marketing advice for new affiliates. The occupy organizers thought through their plan before they even began. They didn’t absentmindedly pursue many different avenues, but stuck to simplicity.


They chose brash logos.

They chose the word  occupy that can be used in a variety of different contexts.

They chose a catchphrase We are the 99% that is so inclusive that it appeals to almost everyone.

They chose to communicate through social media.

In a closing statement, one of the organizers commented

We will take whatever form we need to take to get where we need to go.

Are affiliates willing to do the same?

Are affiliates willing to change and adapt to the ever increasing use of mobile devices?

Seems like we could learn something from the occupy movement.


A Big Shake Up

The world of education has changed drastically since the passing of No Child Left Behind. Since that legislation was passed, schools have slowly and systematically shifted to standardization. Teachers were consulted about the legislation or the resulting curriculum purchases to ward against a debilitating “failing” label.

My teaching career began just one year after the legislation was passed, so test scores and student success being determined by test scores has always been a part of my experiences as a teacher, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t fight against it in my own way.

The buzz about SOPA has my antennae up and attuned. Is affiliate marketing headed for the same federal involvement and top-down mandates as the world of education has been experiencing for the top 10 years?


Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

I fought hard to try to increase teachers’ awareness of the reliable resources that could be accessed through Google and to get them to open their minds to the possibility that web resources were just as valuable as internet resources, so this is hard for me to write, but I was wrong.

Well, at least I was partially wrong.

SOPA is a game changer for affiliate marketing, but will is also hold repercussions for the world of education? Does this mean that scholarly articles will also be considered copyright infringements?

It would be easy to read the news about SOPA and revert to the tried and true mantra, “I’m sticking with print resources,” in the world of education.

However, this news doesn’t deter me from the world of affiliate marketing or my strong belief that digital literacy must be a part of classrooms in 2012. In fact, it only makes that belief stronger.

Students (and affiliates) have to be digitally literate. They have to be able to detect and determine the difference between recreating and copying. And those of us, teacher and affiliates alike, who understand the limits have to be able to articulate the fact there are expectations for giving credit where credit is due.


Individualized Experiences

When I was trying to work on implementing a one-to-one program with iPads at my school, people often asked me why iPads.

After answering this question numerous times, I resulted to this

It creates a unique individual experience.

And that’s the gist of it.

It’s not about the iPad or the technology behind the iPads. People fall in love with using an iPad because they discover that one app that saves them time or offers organization in a way they desperately need it.

For me, as a teacher of ancient history last year, it was the History: Maps of the World app and TimeLine app that compared events from different regions of the world. After several unsuccessful attempts to explain the difference between counting in BCE and CE, students manipulated the TimeLine app and said, “Oh I get it! It counts down and then counts up.”

This happens to fit beautifully into the argument for individualizing curriculum rather than the pressure to standardized curriculum.

To adopt a one-to-one iPad program is defying the current political pulse of the educational policy and yet schools are still doing it.


Because they recognize this is where learning is headed. This is the future of education.

Is the world of education ahead of affiliate marketing again?

From Teacher to Marketer: Chrysalis

Once you have read and crawled around in the world of affiliate marketing, you have to let the ideas simmer.

This is where I am in the process. I know the basic terminology. I know the reasoning behind affiliate marketing, but I am still working on where I fit in the world of affiliate marketing.

I have no doubt that there are going to be many more teachers marketers in the near future nor do I doubt that schools are going to have to market smarter is they are going to remain a viable entity within the world of private companies trying to capitalize on the perception that public schools are “failing.”

What I can’t predict is where this journey of discovering the world of affiliate marketing is leading me.

Well, except to Vegas!

Maybe I’ll Move to Germany

I found this jewel from Arne Duncan’s twitter feed:

Witham is an example of a rising number of public school teachers across the country taking extra jobs to make ends meet. . . .US public school teachers in 2010 earned 12 percent less weekly that those in other professions with comparable education and experience.

So glad that Arne Duncan chose to share this update rather than doing something about it.

Maybe I’ll move to Germany.