LisaGreenwood (Lisa Greenwood)

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Gov. Brownback's plan to post teachers’ rankings causes outcry; GOP senator describes plan as 'toxic'

...and Foreign Language? Special Education teachers? Guess we'll all just have to work on being popular since our pedagogical skills are not important to the Governor. Oh, that's right...part of the plan even says that if you know science, technology, or math you don't have to know HOW to teach if you want to be a teacher. Yeah, that's going to improve the state of public education in Kansas.

January 26, 2012 at 9:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Gov. Brownback's plan to post teachers’ rankings causes outcry; GOP senator describes plan as 'toxic'

...and Foreign Language? Special Education teachers? Guess we'll all just have to work on being popular since our pedagogical skills are not important to the Governor. Oh, that's right...part of the plan even says that if you know science, technology, or math you don't have to know HOW to teach if you want to be a teacher. Yeah, that's going to improve the state of public education in Kansas.

January 26, 2012 at 9:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Gov. Brownback's plan to post teachers’ rankings causes outcry; GOP senator describes plan as 'toxic'

What about the half of our certified teaching staff whose content area is not on a standardized state test? Library Media Specialists, Counselors, Art/Drama/Music/Business/Tech/FACS/PE - where does the 50% of our evaluation come from??? Someone didn't think this one through...

January 26, 2012 at 8:48 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lower expectations

I would go one step further and say that "E" is the equivalent of hitting the ball out of the ballpark and scoring a home run on a consistent basis -- not just a one-time event.

September 18, 2011 at 11:17 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lower expectations

Nothing about standards-based education says that kids don't have to do their work.

Standards-based grading includes the premise that if a student doesn't complete the work, the student is held accountable until the work is completed. In the "traditional" grading system, many teachers try to "teach" students responsibility by automatically scoring zeros for work not completed ( I used to do this), instead of teaching responsibility by holding the student accountable for actually completing the work. By automatically assigning zeros we are not encouraging students to shoot for the stars -- we are enabling them to take the easy way out instead of doing the work and demonstrating the learning, especially among those students who are not motivated by grades. If I let a student off the hook by just assigning a zero, what is the incentive for that student to develop work ethic?

Read Ken O'Connor's work on standards-based grading, especially "Fifteen fixes for broken grades."

September 18, 2011 at 11:14 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Theatre Lawrence asks city for $100K

In the decade I've been involved with the community theatre, I only recall "Annie" being produced once (last year) and never "Oklahoma," "Cats," or "Death of a Salesman." Perhaps you don't prefer the choice of plays, but the theatre offers much more in terms of community outreach, educational programs for children, classes in improv and dance open to anyone, and an acting company for seniors (who also do literacy programs in the elementary schools). The impact of the theater on our community goes far beyond just what you see on the playbill.

September 3, 2011 at 2:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

restaurant battles....Yesteryear edition

Burger and best ever milkshake at the Glass Onion before it went "green."
Potato pancakes, breakfast burrito and cinnamon roll at Paradise Cafe.
Reuben at Mass St. Deli.
Anything at Tin Pan Alley.
Dump Truck Sundae at Molly McGee's.

July 28, 2011 at 9:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Feds deny Kansas' request for waiver on No Child Left Behind requirements

Most of the teachers I know despise NCLB for several reasons that have little to do with measuring teacher performance.
*It forces teachers to 'teach to the test' rather than teach their students at their professional discretion -- for example, a math teacher cannot slow down and cover a skill or concept in depth for a class that needs extra instruction because he/she has to be certain that all material gets crammed into their heads before the testing date.
*In our building, testing takes up all the computers for weeks, forcing teachers to adjust curriculum and experiences according to when they can finally schedule computer availability. Hard to make use of all the 21st century tools that make learning interesting and relevant to 21st century students when those resources are all tied up for testing for weeks on end.
*It takes away one element of local/state control of schools and shifts the power to the federal level. That's not the American way...
*AYP does not take into account how one specific group of students improves over time (which would make statistical sense) but instead compares one year's class of 8th grade scores to the NEXT year's class of 8th grade scores (which makes no sense to those of us who understand and work with students).
*A shift in priorities that skews more resources toward math, reading and science and away from other equally valuable departments might not be directly related to NCLB, but I have heard the phrase "not state-assessed" in reference to some of those other curriculum areas which would seem to indicate that unless your curriculum IS state-assessed then it is not as much of a priority when it comes to allocating resources. Take my 1994 communications textbook, for example...

By the way, do you say that a doctor has failed a patient when the patient makes poor choices about sleep, diet, lifestyle outside the doctor's office? Do you say the doctor has failed when the patient cannot afford the prescription? Pointing fingers does not solve the problem, and yet so many are so willing to lay all the blame on teachers when there are numerous factors that contribute to a child's success in school that are beyond our control. Whatever happened to the idea that education takes a village?

(Also, your comment should be punctuated "teachers' performance". Sorry, couldn't help it since I've been grading papers this weekend.)

May 14, 2011 at 2:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Brownback points to legislative progress; Democrats say social issues wasted time

"...liberals have no morals, so they are unlikely to support any effort to make society a fairer, more moral place for us all to live."

I am puzzled by this remark. Must look up some words in the dictionary...

Liberal: (adj.) pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform
Progressive: (adj.) favoring or advocating progress, change, improvement, or reform toward better conditions
Moral: (adj.) concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong
Fair: (adj.) free from bias, dishonesty or injustice OR civil, courteous

“I think that word does not mean what you think it means.” – Inigo Montoya

Name-calling: (noun) the use of abusive names to belittle or humiliate another person in a political campaign, an argument, etc.
* One of many propaganda techniques I teach my students that people resort to when they fail to make any other logical argument.

May 1, 2011 at 10:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence's Central might include 'Liberty' in school's name

The committee is made up of parents, students, and staff. The committee does not have more sway than the constituents -- it's purpose is to gather information and present the response of the constituents to the Board.

February 19, 2011 at 8:14 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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