World class doofus on the costs of school administrator churn.
World class doofus on the costs of school administrator churn.
“Not far from the sites tourists already know, like the towering temples of the ancient city of Tikal, laser technology has uncovered about 60,000 homes, palaces, tombs and even highways in the humid lowlands.
The findings suggested an ancient society of such density and interconnectedness that even the most experienced archaeologists were surprised.”
Decidedly not a shithole civilization.
“The total population at that time was once estimated to be a few million. . . . But in light of the new lidar data, she said it could now be closer to 10 million.
‘To have such a large number of people living at such a high level for such a long period of time, it really proves the fact that these people were highly developed, and also quite environmentally conscientious.'”
Absent the United Fruit Company and the CIA, the Mayans’ ancestors would be a lot better off today.
“. . . schools were essentially juicing the books to make it seem like they were graduating more students. Scams included phony “credit recovery” programs, failing to count all students, and, as the District just found out, letting kids graduate without the qualifications required for a diploma.”
And on Michelle Rhee, the darling of right wing business mad “reformers”:
“. . . the produce-or-else testing culture that she fostered — tying portions of some evaluations to growth in scores and securing commitments from principals to hit numerical targets — created a climate of fear, in the view of many school employees.
It also coincided with evidence of cheating on annual city tests.
A climate of fear in a school has never been known to produce much of anything useful.”
4. Ethiopia’s regime flirts with letting dissidents speak without locking them up. Incremental progress.
“Imagine having no talent. Imagine being no good at all at something and doing it anyway.”
“Ever noticed how the bricks on newer British buildings are bigger, or stopped to appreciate hand-stenciled wallpaper, or enjoyed a sip from a fancy hollow-stemmed glass? If so, you may well be admiring a product of regulation and taxes as much aesthetic tastes. From basic materials to entire architectural styles, building codes and taxation strategies have had huge historical impacts on the built world as we know it.”
Add that to the ever burgeoning list of things I did not know. I’m sure DAByrnes did though.
“Dutch canal houses are another classic example of how rules and regulations can shape structures. Taxed on their canal frontage rather than height or depth, these buildings grew in tall and thin. In turn, this typology evolved narrower staircases, necessitating exterior hoist systems to move furniture and goods into and out of upper floors.”
What I’m reading. Janesville by Amy Goldstein. What happens to a place when a majority of people work for an automaker that closes shop? When people used to earn $28/hour with some overtime and now make somewhere between $0 and $16/hour. Here’s a part of the answer:
“In the shadows of town, hundreds of teenagers are becoming victims of a domino effect. These are kids whose parents used to scrape by on jobs at Burger King or Target or the Gas Mart. Now their parents are competing with the unemployed autoworkers who used to look down on these jobs but now are grasping at any job they can find. So, as middle-class families have been tumbling downhill, working-class families have been tumbling into poverty. And as this down-into-poverty domino effect happens, some parents are turning to drinking or drugs. Some are leaving their kids behind while they go looking for work out of town. Some are just unable to keep up the rent. So with a parent or on their own, a growing crop of teenagers is surfing the couches at friends’ and relatives’ places—or spending nights in out-of–the-way spots in cars or on the street.”
Robert Putnam on Janesville,
“Reflecting on the state of the white working class, J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy focuses on cultural decay and the individual, whereas Amy Goldstein’s Janesville emphasizes economic collapse and the community. To understand how we have gotten to America’s current malaise, both are essential reading.”
Shifting to thinking, I’m thinking about how artists talk about becoming artists and the implications of that for parents, teachers, and coaches. How do parents, teachers, and coaches cultivate true artistry or other specialized forms of expertise in young people? Specialized expertise that might enable them to independently make a living in the new economy. My thoughts are still in the subconscious primordial ooze phase, but I trust they’ll settle in some sort of coherent pattern sometime soon.
In short, here’s what I don’t hear artists say, “I took this really great class in school.” Instead, musicians for example, almost always say, “My parents were always playing the coolest music.” The word I keep returning to is “milieu” or social environment. In this data obsessed age, we’re utterly lacking in sophistication when it comes to the cumulative effective of the environments young people inhabit. Granted, formal schooling, think Juilliard for example, can contribute to artistic excellence, but meaningful learning is mostly the result of osmosis outside of school.
How do some families, in the way they live day-to-day, foster specialized expertise in children almost by accident, whether in the arts, academics, cooking, design, computers, or athletics? What can educators learn from those families to reinvent formal academic settings? What might “osmosis-based” schools look like? Schools where students watch adults actively engaged in learning and get seriously caught up in the fun.
Lower secondary (middle school) teachers spend 26.8 of their 44.8 hours directly engaged with students in classrooms. Among developed countries, that’s the most instructional time in the world. In other developed countries, teachers average 19.3 hours of instructional time out of 38.3 total hours.
In the U.S., the challenge is how to reduce the quantity of instructional time in the interest of improved quality of teaching and learning.
The data is here.
This weekend, be nice to your mother and a teacher or two.
There will be a quiz on Monday.
This graphic is worth several thousands of words. Among other things, it explains why parents are increasingly anxious about their children’s futures and why education policy makers are fixated on economic competitiveness often at the expense of “the whole child”.
For the record, my dad made about 10x more than me.
In reference to the recent post, “Numbers to Ponder“, a loyal reader, okay my older brother, wrote: