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Currently Browsing: Vermont Education

Great Links Curriculum for Tuesday, November 18

If you aren’t already following me on Twitter, you ought to start. I link to and comment on education stories ’round the clock.

And if you’re new to Twitter or aren’t sure how to get started, check out TwiTip’s 10 Easy Steps for Twitter Beginners. Give it a whirl!

Now for the Great Links… and some real stinkers that also deserve attention.

Via EIA, Andrew Sullivan and Michelle Rheetwo peas in a pod? Believe it or not, yes. I suppose even Sullivan gets to be sensible every once in a while. Blind squirrel, broken clock, etc. etc.

There aren’t too many men teaching K-12, reports Eduflack. In MA, fewer than 25% of K-12 teachers are men. And it’s everywhere, too – in April 2007 I wrote a post about male elementary teachers in NY dropping to 9%, a 40-year low. Some folks like MenTeach have been trying to raise awareness for a while now. Check them out and subscribe.

Ted Tedesco of Woodbury, Vermont is a hero. He’s worked to restore the Pledge of Allegiance in that small school district. The admins’ solution to his request is ridiculous, but at least everyone sees it. That, and a generation of kids in Woodbury knows how important it is to defend their country and their culture. As I wrote in the comments of the Core Knowledge post:

“A few months ago I attended a reunion banquet for a tiny, rural high school that closed shop during the consolidation efforts of the 1950s. Their meeting included the Pledge of Allegiance. When the Pledge came up in the agenda, all of the ~100 in attendance rose – and some with great difficulty, as they were in their 80s and 90s – to recite it.”

You know where I stand on this issue, and there’s a reason why I call the Green Mountain State “The People’s Republic of Vermont.” [Sorry, Jessie.]

Across the pond, here’s why I like the Tories. They’ve got a plan to re-introduce a bit of rigor to GCSEs and A-levels. The GCSEs in particular have been gutted – remember this physics teacher begging the government via petition to return mathematical rigor to secondary physics?

“Hot Boys”? I’d prefer that EdSector’s Quick and the Ed bloggers had a bit more self-respect. I already have trouble taking them seriously – these post titles don’t help.

Schools suing bloggers? You betcha. PRO on HCPS links to a libel case against an unhappy parent. Well, if “libel” means “a school district seething when held accountable by the public.” Guess who won? [UPDATE: PRO on HCPS gives us a better link for schools suing bloggers.]

Litigation is expensive when you’re trying to fire a teacher, administrator or school employee. In nearby Utica, NY, Craig Fehlhaber’s hearings have cost the Utica City Schools $250,000 – and counting. If Fehlhaber wins, the district will likely have to reimburse his attorney’s fees as well. We went through the same process in Cooperstown several years ago. If you ever wondered why schools tend not to dismiss bad employees, now you’ve got one reason.

Dave at ‘Friends of Dave’ – a very sharp blog, subscribe with all deliberate speed – highlights some recent irony in California. The California Association of School Business Officers have a conference at which they’ll discuss our tough economic times and how their districts can cope. And that conference is at a hotel/spa/golf course in Newport Beach. Dave has a sensible take on it all, but c’mon, CASBO. He says, “It is a bit ironic that the people who are typically the ones telling their co-workers that they can’t have an extra ream of paper are the ones having a really nice time at a Hotel and Spa on the beach.” Agreed.

Victory in Iraq Day – November 22, 2008. ZombieTime has declared 11/22/08 VI Day and I’m with him 100%. Read his post to see why it’s appropriate to declare VI Day and you’ll see why I support it, too.

“Building a GREAT teaching workforce,” described by American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence’s Dave Saba. Saba/ABCTE sing the praises – rightly – of a new report on the effectiveness of alternative certification programs.

Free Video Lecture on China, India and the 21st Century Global Economy

global economy

There’s a lot going around re: the 21st century global economy – part myth, part truth, part sense, part insanity. I’ve written several times on the film Two Million Minutes and responded to a few articles about education and the global economy.

The Teaching Company just sent the following bulletin which offers a free video lecture about China, India and the 21st century economy. My experience with TTC has been excellent, and their free lectures are top quality. I’d recommend them to anyone.

There is substantial interest in the future of the global economy because of the rising influence of rapidly growing countries like China and India. As a thank you for being our customer, here is a specially commissioned video lecture on the future of the global economy: Will China and India Dominate the 21st-Century Global Economy? delivered by award-winning Professor Lee Branstetter of Carnegie Mellon University.

Economists predict that China and India are set to dominate the 21st-century global economy and become the new engines that drive economic growth. But how will this transition affect the standing of the United States within the global economy? What are some of the challenges that the United States will face in adjusting to the rise of these Asian economies? What are the opportunities for American growth and prosperity in this situation?

View this free video lecture between now and September 29, 2008, to discover what startling effects the rapid growth of these two countries may have on the economic future of the United States.

Will China and India Dominate the 21st-Century Global Economy? is delivered by Professor Lee Branstetter of Carnegie Mellon University. An Associate Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Professor Branstetter received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. His teaching skills have earned him the Thomas Mayer Distinguished Teaching Award and a Harvard University Certification for Teaching Excellence. Professor Branstetter’s award-winning research has been supported by the National Science Foundation.

Feel free to send the link to this free video lecture to family or friends who might enjoy it—it is free for them as well.

Sincerely,

Brandon C. Hidalgo, CEO
The Teaching Company

Vermont Students Want to End Women’s Suffrage

Vermont isn’t a hotbed of misogyny – indeed, it’s one of the more progressive parts of the country, as evidenced by the recent movement to secede from the Union [and no, the movement isn't even that recent].

The University of Vermont’s student body is, however, largely ignorant when it comes to basic knowledge. Watch this brief video from UVMtv that asks female UVMers how they feel about women’s suffrage: [RSS readers click here for video, opens in new window]

Many of these undergraduates confuse “suffrage,” the right to vote, with “suffering.” They’re different things.

These budding scholars say:

  • “I think it should be taken away.”
  • “That it’s bad and should never happen.”
  • “… guess that’s not really a good thing.”

Sure, some of them know what suffrage is and that equality and rights are a good thing – they’ve mastered a 7th grade curriculum. But isn’t there something charmingly sad, like watching a three-legged, one-eyed dog try to keep up with the neighborhood pack, about a ~21 year old girl who says about the victims of suffrage:

“I feel for them, ya know… as a woman myself, um… and hopefully they have good families and stuff to back them up and if they don’t then hopefully they have places they can go… shelters or whatever to help them out?”

UVM isn’t a bad school and, as far as public universities go, it provides a quality education at a reasonable price.

Having said that, I hope that more people understand after seeing this video why I’m not automatically impressed by a BA/BS [or any degree program]. It most certainly isn’t a certification of even the most basic knowledge that a product of higher education should command.

The larger question here: if a student at a decent school doesn’t have an understanding of one of the most basic social/political developments of 20th century America, how can they possibly tackle some of the complex issues facing the West?

May God bless the victims of women’s suffrage, but also those precious, tragically-ignorant darlings in the video.

[courtesy of the ever-vigilant phi beta cons]

UPDATE at 8.01.07, 3.33pm:

Thomas C. Reeves wrote on the National Association of Scholars Online Forum a brief essay on graduation days. In it he says, with all emphasis mine:

While a professor, I never attended a graduation exercise. I sought not only to avoid the hot air from the podium, but also because I knew that so few of the graduates had sought and been given a rigorous, intellectually demanding, and broad education for their money. Yes, there had been individual achievement in all areas; three cheers for the few. But who in those robes with the silly hats was committed to a life of learning and thought? How many would elevate their cultural tastes? How many among the graduates had even a vague interest in anything beyond making money, having fun, and being politically correct? Many of them had already sold their books. Seniors often told me how delightful life would soon be when they no longer had to study.

An appropriate comment on these UVMers, though the last line might express too much hope that those seniors have studied at all.

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