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Ironic argument

At least much of Obama's large expenditures will be spent on us, and not sent overseas to be squandered on people who really don't appreciate it.

April 7, 2009 at 5:18 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Driving danger

The other day I saw a car with no bumper stickers driving down the middle of the road. I assumed they were making a political statement.

April 2, 2009 at 6:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Do you support an Idaho high school teacher's idea of selling advertising for a local pizzeria on her tests and class handouts to raise money to buy classroom supplies?

"The idea that school funding has been cut is a myth. In 1997 the per-student funding in Idaho was $5102 (or $6567 in 2007 dollars). In 2007 the per-student funding in Idaho was $6648. (from nces.ed.gov). The funding has remained about the same, yet the quality of the product is decreasing. Hooray for government!"

Ohhh, a whole $61 difference! And since then it has been mandated that we assess students up to 4 times a year. 3 or more times, so that we can make sure they are prepared to take the state assessment. Then we must implement programs (unfunded by the federal government who forced it on us) to make sure slow students improve their scores on the assessment. Does this measure how good the education is? Not really, we are just training the kids to take tests. A real life skill (sarcasm intended, and if you don't know what sarcasm is you would probably not do well on the state assessments). These assessments cost lots of money. Yes, they have created jobs for universities, who usually develop the state assessments and private testing firms, such as the Iowa Basics and MAP testing. And they have created jobs at the state's Department of Education, so they can clarify and write standards. Then there are the subs needed, so the teacher's can make sure that the district standards are realigned with the state standards, or in bigger districts the 1 or more curriculum developers to do the job. Then they must buy new text books, so that the books are covering the standards. And that doesn't include the time and money spent making sure the school is accredited by NCA, which gets more complicated every year. It also doesn't include all the paperwork the spec. ed teachers must fill out, which takes up time they could be working with their students. And they aren't allowed to have anyone else fill it out, so they work on paperwork, while paras help the students. All of this costs a whole lot more than $61/student.
Oh, and then they change the state standards and then we start over.

By the way, if your measurement of education is the state assessment, then most schools are improving. They keep throwing up hoops to jump through, then when teachers jump through them, they get upset, because some politicians want to destroy public education.

Your ignorance of what is going on in schools can be cured by working as a sub (and for free, so it won't cost the district money, or by volunteering in the school (you'll see the sweet, but poor students who have dead beat parents, or parents who want to be "buddies") or by attending regular school board meetings.

Also, if you were able to read this long post, thank a teacher. If you weren't, don't preach to educators about education.

March 27, 2009 at 7:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Teachers group backs candidates

Agreed, spiderman. The NEA and KNEA are focused on education. I had one teacher tell me that he wouldn't join, because the NEA doesn't condemn homosexuality. I asked him if he would honestly refuse to teach a student who claimed to be gay? Would he refuse to conference with parents who were gay? A good teacher will teach their subject and be good role models for respectful behavior. A good teacher does not refuse to teach a student just because that student or the family doesn't fit into the teacher's idea of morality. I've taught students who parents are drug addicts and violent. I don't tell those students their parents are irresponsible low lives, even though I might feel that way. I wouldn't be any better than those parents if I did that, and I would certainly not reach students, because they still love their parents. I teach the students. By modeling respectful behavior, I hope to show them there are alternatives to their home lives. I sincerely hope that parkay is not an educator of any kind, and does not have any role in shaping our children with his hatefulness.

July 18, 2008 at 11:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Teachers group backs candidates

Professor Marvel,You give a lot more power to KNEA than even they think they have. Members do look at the recommendations, but they also follow their own thoughts and vote for whomever they want. Educated people do not just vote on one issue. When are the moderate GOP members going to take back their party? The radicals like Kobach run the party now. That's how the creationists board members were elected in the first place. Voters don't often pay much attention to positions like state school board members before the election, so they just vote for their party affiliation. The extremist slipped in this way, but when they started making the news, the moderate Republicans sat up and took notice and either found moderate candidates or voted Democrat. I personally vote for both Democrats and Republicans. I have never voted a straight ticket until maybe this year. The Kansas Republican party has been overrun by people with an extreme, anti-American agenda. I don't even like to call them conservatives, because they have stolen a title that does not define them. They believe in changing our laws and constitution to serve only their beliefs and are intolerant of others. If you want an independent like me and moderate Republicans to vote for GOP candidates, then take back your party.

July 17, 2008 at 10:22 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Teachers group backs candidates

The KNEA goes through a long process before endorsing candidates. They send out a questionnaire and interview the candidates. They also weigh in the voting records of those who have held office before. All questions are centered around a candidate's support or lack of support for public schools. Then they make their decision according to who they feel will support public schools. That would only make sense, after all, would the NRA support someone who was in favor of gun control? Just like NRA members, NEA members do not have to vote for the endorsed candidates, and you may even opt out of paying the lobbying part of the dues.The Kansas Association of American Educators is an alternative, but I've heard they support vouchers which would destroy public education. The NEA's goal is to provide a good public school for every child. Also kaae does not have bargaining status, and yes, it is your local NEA which has managed to get teachers more money than they would have ever gotten without negotiations. Also, despite the opinions of some people, NEA does not advocate keeping bad teachers on the job. They want to give the teacher a chance to improve, but any administrator worth their salt can give a teacher an honest evaluation, and if those evaluations justify getting rid of the teacher, then NEA is all for it. But you get lazy administrators who won't document the problems. They can't be allowed to get rid of teachers, just because they gave your precious kid a bad grade. Teachers are protected from unjustified firings, because there are people who want to blame them for the fact that their kid is too lazy to do the work. Just because you don't like a particular teacher doesn't mean that teacher is a bad teacher. All the principals have to do is justify firing a teacher and they can do it.

July 16, 2008 at 11:06 p.m. ( | suggest removal )