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Re: The Effects of the Integrated Approach and Our Toothless Board of Education

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  • Heather Cindric
    pamythompson said: Sign a waiver and move your kids into these GT classrooms in middle school , it will alter their
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 20, 2010
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      pamythompson said:

      "Sign a waiver and move your kids into these GT classrooms in middle
      school , it will alter their lives . This is the answer, better staff . It is
      time we stopped harboring garbage in our school system . Ask what teachers are
      good and what teachers and administrators are poor and refuse those that do not
      produce ."

      I can tell you that signing up for GT classes is not the answer, nor is being white.  My daughter is both and she was just as poorly served by the school system as any poorer, more disadvantaged ethnic group in Cradlerock.  I did exactly what you suggest; I wrote a letter asking her to be put in all the GT classes in 6thgrade.  My reason at the time was her English teacher who was having a hard time controlling the class.  I wanted her out of that class and into a class where half the instruction time wasn't taken up with arbitrary and ineffective discipline.  The GT class did not have the discipline issues, but it had its own problems: a lot more work requirements for the same boring curriculum.  

      The County's approach to GT is

      1.      Identify the students who need less formal instruction and can learn with less help

      2.      Give them more work to "keep them busy and out of trouble"

      3.      Give them less instruction!

      Ta-Da! It's a win-win for admin and teachers.   They can do more with less.  In Howard County approximately 40% of the students participate in the GT program. From the administration's point of view, they could solve all their problems by fitting all students into GT. 

       All kids county-wide are subjected to the County's spiraling curriculum, a concept where each year's curriculum is a perfectly fit puzzle piece in a spiraling pattern; each year builds on the previous year.  Ideally, all teachers have highly focused lesson plans, designed to get the entire curriculum taught before the end of each year using performance-based objectives which promote"higher order thinking skills" and "mastery of assessment limits."   This spiraling system is touted as the best way to promote student achievement.  Promoting higher order thinking skills means requiring assignments that force the student demonstrate creativity, the highest form of thinking.  Now all students are to be "creative" on demand whether they have an interest in the subject or not.  It feels like slavery of the mind to me.  No longer is it sufficient to answer the question right and then daydream your way through the rest of a boring class and go home do something you love.  Now the teachers want those dreams too: on paper, so that they can grade them, finish it at home!

      It's a Top-Down rigid system with little room for variation. When vulnerable kids vary from the expected"normal," it is very noticeable and they sink quickly.  But everyone suffers even when it isn't apparent because we're human and we don't fit like pieces in a puzzle.  We need room.  

      GT students aren't excused from this cycle: they just work father up the spiral and are expected to do higher level tricks.  I can tell you that nothing turned my daughter off from school like having loads of special projects which required many hours of her time out of school.  She had no interest in them but they took upall of her time and energy anyway.  Iwish that I had realized this years ago. I blame myself for her missed opportunities.

      I don't like much of the Integrated Approach program because it exacerbates the problem of having no choice.   It takes up more class time and teacher's time, making even less room for individualized education.   It paints with a broad brush over the problems that kids have with the education system by "fixing" test scores for vulnerable students with easy fixes.  It's a quick and dirty way for a school to look improved without anyone actually teaching better or being more interested in learning. Everyone assumes that if all student groups finally advance to proficient MSA scores then school must be a success.  I don't believe that anymore.  Studying this problem first hand and listening to the illogical answers of school administrators has overstretched my credulity. 

      They used to say that the public school model was built on a factory model, where kids are trained just enough to be good factory workers; understand instruction, be on time, get the answers right and move on to the next item on the conveyor belt.  Now they talk about making changes to better prepare kids for the "new" economy.  Getaway from the factory model.  But they have only moved a little.  Now I would say it is more like a corporation: the school administrators acting as CEO,individual school administrators are region department managers, teachers are low level managers and kids are the employees performing most of the actual work.  The work is more challenging but still mind numbing.  Parents are the stockholders:as long as the bottom line looks good and stock price doesn't fall, they don't ask too many questions.

                      That model doesn't work for me either.  It's already outdated.  I don't want my kids to create another status quo; I want them to create the world of their dreams.  To do that they need to follow their interests, not concentrate their creative energy into the molds the school system gives.  We need more individualized education which is guided by the students needs and wants, not the administrators' MSA goals and curriculum.  




      --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "pamythompson" <pamythompson@...> wrote:
      >
      > I talked to some of the teachers that once worked at Cradlerock . First and foremost they blamed the administration for the problems . They went on to say because it was a hybrid , elementary/middle school , the test scores were not counted the same and hid the problems . They said the work was harder there , more time had to be devoted and as far back as the mid 90's there was an exodus of what they termed "good teachers" from the school . They very clearly expressed the problems at Cradlerock were hidden .
      >

    • pamythompson
      There are huge discrepencies in this county as through the state and they are clearly by color and wealth with the latter being the tool of choice for modern
      Message 2 of 14 , Jul 21, 2010
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        There are huge discrepencies in this county as through the state and they are clearly by color and wealth with the latter being the tool of choice for modern segrgation .

        You do make good points relative to the AP/GT program however a child moved into this arena is still far better served then a child in the main stream . Given your points , a revised AP/GT program is probably the target we should be at to proclaim proficiency . I can tell you my son who scores 5's on the AP exams graduated this year less educated then what I left PG schools with more then 30 years ago . You are quite correct , where there was an interest he excelled , however it was largely through his own efforts and where his interest waned he did not fare as well .

        Your best point is in what these children miss as they are forced through this system . My term for this is institutionalized to which you bring clarity to the definition , perhaps listening to the children and parents would more define this body of misery which needs to be avoided if we are goung to educate our children in a way that is not damaging . Here I believe we could better utilize our schools , opening the doors daylight to dark , 7 days a week with a vast assortment of activities solely for the benefit of the children .

        Wether the goal is to train factory workers or office workers the method is similar as well as grossly inadequate when the premises given is to educate . To educate is to prepare one for a journey of discvery , not train one for a life of slavery be it to one's government or the financial and corporate entities which dictates it's existance . Such an education is in direct conflict with the principles of freedom we so embrace .

        The administration , in essence the system , is more accurately a self feeding beast with it's own interests at heart . Fed by an endless suply of children . Without oversight or accountability the system has become one without morals . It is here I believe we have found the answer . As I wondered what the principal on special assignment does ? I was told that his transfer was lateral and that his exact duties have yet to be determined by Ms. Wise . I ponder if we could not secure those services (what ever they will be ) for less money or have someone else do them as part of their job or if we even need them ? I am told that among his duties will be school improvement . Well we the parents will do that for you for free I reply ! I am told that it is rather complicated . I want an explanation ? Then I read your post and there it was , the answer , "Demtstify The Education System" . Yes this is it , simplify the system .

        We need to implement this program "Demtstify The Education System". Each and every ranking employ of the HCPSS needs to hold a public meeting each year and completely and fully explain their job , answer questions and subject their position to the scrutiny and accountability of the stakeholders . Forget transparency , we need to remove the walls and replace them with complete openness . This will eliminate much of the office of public relations as we would be better served by them in this program . The HCPSS's in house attorney would be moved to this office as well where he would no longer defend the poor actions of the system but represent the interest of the children . The idea is a little rough but it is what the stakeholders need in order to access the system . The goal is education reform which ultimately will result in the public controll of the system .

        Jack


        --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "Heather Cindric" <hjcindric@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > pamythompson <http://profiles.yahoo.com/pamythompson> said:
        >
        > "Sign a waiver and move your kids into these GT classrooms in middle
        > school , it will alter their lives . This is the answer, better staff .
        > It is
        > time we stopped harboring garbage in our school system . Ask what
        > teachers are
        > good and what teachers and administrators are poor and refuse those that
        > do not
        > produce ."
        >
        > I can tell you that signing up for GT classes is not the answer, nor is
        > being white. My daughter is both and she was just as poorly served by
        > the school system as any poorer, more disadvantaged ethnic group in
        > Cradlerock. I did exactly what you suggest; I wrote a letter asking her
        > to be put in all the GT classes in 6thgrade. My reason at the time was
        > her English teacher who was having a hard time controlling the class. I
        > wanted her out of that class and into a class where half the instruction
        > time wasn't taken up with arbitrary and ineffective discipline. The
        > GT class did not have the discipline issues, but it had its own
        > problems: a lot more work requirements for the same boring curriculum.
        >
        > The County's approach to GT is
        >
        > 1. Identify the students who need less formal instruction and can
        > learn with less help
        >
        > 2. Give them more work to "keep them busy and out of
        > trouble"
        >
        > 3. Give them less instruction!
        >
        > Ta-Da! It's a win-win for admin and teachers. They can do more
        > with less. In Howard County approximately 40% of the students
        > participate in the GT program. From the administration's point of
        > view, they could solve all their problems by fitting all students into
        > GT.
        >
        > All kids county-wide are subjected to the County's spiraling
        > curriculum, a concept where each year's curriculum is a perfectly
        > fit puzzle piece in a spiraling pattern; each year builds on the
        > previous year. Ideally, all teachers have highly focused lesson plans,
        > designed to get the entire curriculum taught before the end of each year
        > using performance-based objectives which promote"higher order
        > thinking skills" and "mastery of assessment limits." This
        > spiraling system is touted as the best way to promote student
        > achievement. Promoting higher order thinking skills means requiring
        > assignments that force the student demonstrate creativity, the highest
        > form of thinking. Now all students are to be "creative" on
        > demand whether they have an interest in the subject or not. It feels
        > like slavery of the mind to me. No longer is it sufficient to answer
        > the question right and then daydream your way through the rest of a
        > boring class and go home do something you love. Now the teachers want
        > those dreams too: on paper, so that they can grade them, finish it at
        > home!
        >
        > It's a Top-Down rigid system with little room for variation. When
        > vulnerable kids vary from the expected"normal," it is very
        > noticeable and they sink quickly. But everyone suffers even when it
        > isn't apparent because we're human and we don't fit like pieces
        > in a puzzle. We need room.
        >
        > GT students aren't excused from this cycle: they just work father up
        > the spiral and are expected to do higher level tricks. I can tell you
        > that nothing turned my daughter off from school like having loads of
        > special projects which required many hours of her time out of school.
        > She had no interest in them but they took upall of her time and energy
        > anyway. Iwish that I had realized this years ago. I blame myself for
        > her missed opportunities.
        >
        > I don't like much of the Integrated Approach program because it
        > exacerbates the problem of having no choice. It takes up more class
        > time and teacher's time, making even less room for individualized
        > education. It paints with a broad brush over the problems that kids
        > have with the education system by "fixing" test scores for
        > vulnerable students with easy fixes. It's a quick and dirty way for
        > a school to look improved without anyone actually teaching better or
        > being more interested in learning. Everyone assumes that if all student
        > groups finally advance to proficient MSA scores then school must be a
        > success. I don't believe that anymore. Studying this problem first
        > hand and listening to the illogical answers of school administrators has
        > overstretched my credulity.
        >
        > They used to say that the public school model was built on a factory
        > model, where kids are trained just enough to be good factory workers;
        > understand instruction, be on time, get the answers right and move on to
        > the next item on the conveyor belt. Now they talk about making changes
        > to better prepare kids for the "new" economy. Getaway from the
        > factory model. But they have only moved a little. Now I would say it
        > is more like a corporation: the school administrators acting as
        > CEO,individual school administrators are region department managers,
        > teachers are low level managers and kids are the employees performing
        > most of the actual work. The work is more challenging but still mind
        > numbing. Parents are the stockholders:as long as the bottom line looks
        > good and stock price doesn't fall, they don't ask too many
        > questions.
        >
        > That model doesn't work for me either. It's
        > already outdated. I don't want my kids to create another status
        > quo; I want them to create the world of their dreams. To do that they
        > need to follow their interests, not concentrate their creative energy
        > into the molds the school system gives. We need more individualized
        > education which is guided by the students needs and wants, not the
        > administrators' MSA goals and curriculum.
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "pamythompson" <pamythompson@>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > I talked to some of the teachers that once worked at Cradlerock .
        > First and foremost they blamed the administration for the problems .
        > They went on to say because it was a hybrid , elementary/middle school ,
        > the test scores were not counted the same and hid the problems . They
        > said the work was harder there , more time had to be devoted and as far
        > back as the mid 90's there was an exodus of what they termed "good
        > teachers" from the school . They very clearly expressed the problems at
        > Cradlerock were hidden .
        > >
        >
      • pamythompson
        I must add this or it will drive a few here nuts . It is Demystify The Education System , whether it drives them nuts or I am nuts , poor spelling , typos
        Message 3 of 14 , Jul 21, 2010
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          I must add this or it will drive a few here nuts . It is "Demystify The Education System" , "whether" it drives them nuts or I am nuts , poor spelling , typos and blindness are no excuse as I am sure I missed a few but the apology is genuime .

          Jack

          --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "pamythompson" <pamythompson@...> wrote:
          >
          > There are huge discrepencies in this county as through the state and they are clearly by color and wealth with the latter being the tool of choice for modern segrgation .
          >
          > You do make good points relative to the AP/GT program however a child moved into this arena is still far better served then a child in the main stream . Given your points , a revised AP/GT program is probably the target we should be at to proclaim proficiency . I can tell you my son who scores 5's on the AP exams graduated this year less educated then what I left PG schools with more then 30 years ago . You are quite correct , where there was an interest he excelled , however it was largely through his own efforts and where his interest waned he did not fare as well .
          >
          > Your best point is in what these children miss as they are forced through this system . My term for this is institutionalized to which you bring clarity to the definition , perhaps listening to the children and parents would more define this body of misery which needs to be avoided if we are goung to educate our children in a way that is not damaging . Here I believe we could better utilize our schools , opening the doors daylight to dark , 7 days a week with a vast assortment of activities solely for the benefit of the children .
          >
          > Wether the goal is to train factory workers or office workers the method is similar as well as grossly inadequate when the premises given is to educate . To educate is to prepare one for a journey of discvery , not train one for a life of slavery be it to one's government or the financial and corporate entities which dictates it's existance . Such an education is in direct conflict with the principles of freedom we so embrace .
          >
          > The administration , in essence the system , is more accurately a self feeding beast with it's own interests at heart . Fed by an endless suply of children . Without oversight or accountability the system has become one without morals . It is here I believe we have found the answer . As I wondered what the principal on special assignment does ? I was told that his transfer was lateral and that his exact duties have yet to be determined by Ms. Wise . I ponder if we could not secure those services (what ever they will be ) for less money or have someone else do them as part of their job or if we even need them ? I am told that among his duties will be school improvement . Well we the parents will do that for you for free I reply ! I am told that it is rather complicated . I want an explanation ? Then I read your post and there it was , the answer , "Demtstify The Education System" . Yes this is it , simplify the system .
          >
          > We need to implement this program "Demtstify The Education System". Each and every ranking employ of the HCPSS needs to hold a public meeting each year and completely and fully explain their job , answer questions and subject their position to the scrutiny and accountability of the stakeholders . Forget transparency , we need to remove the walls and replace them with complete openness . This will eliminate much of the office of public relations as we would be better served by them in this program . The HCPSS's in house attorney would be moved to this office as well where he would no longer defend the poor actions of the system but represent the interest of the children . The idea is a little rough but it is what the stakeholders need in order to access the system . The goal is education reform which ultimately will result in the public controll of the system .
          >
          > Jack
          >
          >
          > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "Heather Cindric" <hjcindric@> wrote:
          > >
          > >
          > > pamythompson <http://profiles.yahoo.com/pamythompson> said:
          > >
          > > "Sign a waiver and move your kids into these GT classrooms in middle
          > > school , it will alter their lives . This is the answer, better staff .
          > > It is
          > > time we stopped harboring garbage in our school system . Ask what
          > > teachers are
          > > good and what teachers and administrators are poor and refuse those that
          > > do not
          > > produce ."
          > >
          > > I can tell you that signing up for GT classes is not the answer, nor is
          > > being white. My daughter is both and she was just as poorly served by
          > > the school system as any poorer, more disadvantaged ethnic group in
          > > Cradlerock. I did exactly what you suggest; I wrote a letter asking her
          > > to be put in all the GT classes in 6thgrade. My reason at the time was
          > > her English teacher who was having a hard time controlling the class. I
          > > wanted her out of that class and into a class where half the instruction
          > > time wasn't taken up with arbitrary and ineffective discipline. The
          > > GT class did not have the discipline issues, but it had its own
          > > problems: a lot more work requirements for the same boring curriculum.
          > >
          > > The County's approach to GT is
          > >
          > > 1. Identify the students who need less formal instruction and can
          > > learn with less help
          > >
          > > 2. Give them more work to "keep them busy and out of
          > > trouble"
          > >
          > > 3. Give them less instruction!
          > >
          > > Ta-Da! It's a win-win for admin and teachers. They can do more
          > > with less. In Howard County approximately 40% of the students
          > > participate in the GT program. From the administration's point of
          > > view, they could solve all their problems by fitting all students into
          > > GT.
          > >
          > > All kids county-wide are subjected to the County's spiraling
          > > curriculum, a concept where each year's curriculum is a perfectly
          > > fit puzzle piece in a spiraling pattern; each year builds on the
          > > previous year. Ideally, all teachers have highly focused lesson plans,
          > > designed to get the entire curriculum taught before the end of each year
          > > using performance-based objectives which promote"higher order
          > > thinking skills" and "mastery of assessment limits." This
          > > spiraling system is touted as the best way to promote student
          > > achievement. Promoting higher order thinking skills means requiring
          > > assignments that force the student demonstrate creativity, the highest
          > > form of thinking. Now all students are to be "creative" on
          > > demand whether they have an interest in the subject or not. It feels
          > > like slavery of the mind to me. No longer is it sufficient to answer
          > > the question right and then daydream your way through the rest of a
          > > boring class and go home do something you love. Now the teachers want
          > > those dreams too: on paper, so that they can grade them, finish it at
          > > home!
          > >
          > > It's a Top-Down rigid system with little room for variation. When
          > > vulnerable kids vary from the expected"normal," it is very
          > > noticeable and they sink quickly. But everyone suffers even when it
          > > isn't apparent because we're human and we don't fit like pieces
          > > in a puzzle. We need room.
          > >
          > > GT students aren't excused from this cycle: they just work father up
          > > the spiral and are expected to do higher level tricks. I can tell you
          > > that nothing turned my daughter off from school like having loads of
          > > special projects which required many hours of her time out of school.
          > > She had no interest in them but they took upall of her time and energy
          > > anyway. Iwish that I had realized this years ago. I blame myself for
          > > her missed opportunities.
          > >
          > > I don't like much of the Integrated Approach program because it
          > > exacerbates the problem of having no choice. It takes up more class
          > > time and teacher's time, making even less room for individualized
          > > education. It paints with a broad brush over the problems that kids
          > > have with the education system by "fixing" test scores for
          > > vulnerable students with easy fixes. It's a quick and dirty way for
          > > a school to look improved without anyone actually teaching better or
          > > being more interested in learning. Everyone assumes that if all student
          > > groups finally advance to proficient MSA scores then school must be a
          > > success. I don't believe that anymore. Studying this problem first
          > > hand and listening to the illogical answers of school administrators has
          > > overstretched my credulity.
          > >
          > > They used to say that the public school model was built on a factory
          > > model, where kids are trained just enough to be good factory workers;
          > > understand instruction, be on time, get the answers right and move on to
          > > the next item on the conveyor belt. Now they talk about making changes
          > > to better prepare kids for the "new" economy. Getaway from the
          > > factory model. But they have only moved a little. Now I would say it
          > > is more like a corporation: the school administrators acting as
          > > CEO,individual school administrators are region department managers,
          > > teachers are low level managers and kids are the employees performing
          > > most of the actual work. The work is more challenging but still mind
          > > numbing. Parents are the stockholders:as long as the bottom line looks
          > > good and stock price doesn't fall, they don't ask too many
          > > questions.
          > >
          > > That model doesn't work for me either. It's
          > > already outdated. I don't want my kids to create another status
          > > quo; I want them to create the world of their dreams. To do that they
          > > need to follow their interests, not concentrate their creative energy
          > > into the molds the school system gives. We need more individualized
          > > education which is guided by the students needs and wants, not the
          > > administrators' MSA goals and curriculum.
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "pamythompson" <pamythompson@>
          > > wrote:
          > > >
          > > > I talked to some of the teachers that once worked at Cradlerock .
          > > First and foremost they blamed the administration for the problems .
          > > They went on to say because it was a hybrid , elementary/middle school ,
          > > the test scores were not counted the same and hid the problems . They
          > > said the work was harder there , more time had to be devoted and as far
          > > back as the mid 90's there was an exodus of what they termed "good
          > > teachers" from the school . They very clearly expressed the problems at
          > > Cradlerock were hidden .
          > > >
          > >
          >
        • Heather Cindric
          Great post, with or without spelling errors. Your comments about demystifying education with public meeting, reminded me that some of the candidate for BoE
          Message 4 of 14 , Jul 22, 2010
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            Great post, with or without spelling errors.  Your comments about demystifying education with public meeting, reminded me that some of the candidate for BoE are talking about this too.  We need to follow up and support these guys.

             The following is an email from Brian Meshkin I received in answer  to my question "Would you fight to stop the Integrated Approach Experiment?"  He states how to get more participation from the public eloquently.  Also check out Dave Thalhiemer's website http://www.betterboardofed.org/home/positions

            --Heather

            Dear Ms. Cindric -

            Thank you for your email this morning.  

            As a graduate of the HCPSS who considers it an indelible component of my identity, I am embarrassed by the treatment that you received and I apologize on behalf of our community.  Unfortunately, you are not alone as most citizens who testify before the Board of Education are given the cursory "thank you" for the chairperson, an acknowledgement letter from the vice-chairperson, and general silent treatment to the concerns that they raise from the BOE.  It is this general disregard for citizen input and involvement, and the lack of accountability to the public who trusts their children and contributes their tax dollars to the system, which has inspired me to seek a position on the Board of Education.

            The fairly impersonal medium of an email is hardly the best form for me to convey my deepest sympathies for all you have experienced as a parent at the Cradlerock School.  The entire situation there should be an outrage to every parent in Howard County.  

            Specifically, within the limits of an email, I would like to address your concerns.  But understand that I am happy to speak with you further about this issue over the phone or in-person.

            First, I would like to thank you for sharing with me this information. I have already received some of this from the teacher's union (HCEA) which has endorsed my candidacy for many reasons, including my plan to improve the way decisions are made in the school system.

            Second, I would like to share with you what I think are the three big issues with how the HCPSS decision-making process is broken.

            It is my opinion that what has happened with the Integrated Approach, or the evaluation of Cradlerock, or most of the issues that have been raised with our school system the past few years boil down to a few issues:

            1. How the school system handles public input and involvement;
            2. How the school system approaches innovations; and,
            3. How the Board of Education views its role of oversight in maintaining accountability.

            Having served as Co-Chair of the Board of Education's Operating Budget Review Committee, on the Board of the PTA Council of Howard County, and on the Community Advisory Council to the BOE, I have had the chance to learn a lot about the school system.  While the HCPSS is one of the best school systems in America, we should not be blinded to the fact that there are real issues here, and most importantly, when we elevate our school systems' comparisons beyond how we rank against Baltimore City and Prince Georges County, we can see that we have a long way to go in order to deliver on the promise of a world-class education for our students.

            Simply, the way our school system makes these decisions is broken.

            Let me address the three issues mentioned above in terms of the Integrated Approach.

            1.  Public input and involvement – For some reason (and I can only speculate as to the reason why), there is a general apathy in the school system towards public input and involvement in the deliberations, decision-making and delivery of education.  It seems counter-intuitive.  After all, it is a public school system, spending public dollars, with an elected school board, in a county of very participatory, highly-educated citizens.  Nevertheless, the current BOE takes on the role of representing the HCPSS to the public rather than representing the public to the HCPSS.  I don't understand why, but I vehemently disagree.  The Integrated Approach is one of those programs that demonstrates this apathy.  There have been very specific concerns raised by teachers and parents about this program, yet they seem to fall on deaf ears.  As a BOE member, I will continue the efforts that I have been engaged in all my life, even since I was a Student Representative on the Board of Education years ago at Glenelg High School.  We must have more public input and involvement in the deliberations, decision-making, and delivery of education and services in the HCPSS.  Here's what that means: a) The public should have input into discussions about what to do before proposals are developed; b) The public should have input into the decision-making beyond 3-minute limitations on testimony given at antiquated public hearings; and c) The public should be involved as volunteers and other ways in the delivery of education and other services in the HCPSS.  With Integrated Approach, citizen representatives should be involved in discussions about the merits or lack thereof of the proposed program – before it is ever expanded beyond its initial pilot school.  Citizens should have a seat at the table while the decision is made about whether to expand such a program and how. And citizens should be involved in the actual roll-out of such a program.  Unfortunately, like most decisions by the HCPSS that are "rubber stamped" by the BOE, the public is excluded from developing the proposal, given the token chance to react to the proposal while the system defends it through inconvenient and antiquated time-limited forums, and then told to get out of the way while they do their job.  This is just wrong.  We live in the one of the wealthiest and most educated communities in the history of civilization, in the greatest country ever created.  There is nothing that we cannot do when we work together.  There are our children. They are spending our money.  And they work for us.   I will continue to advocate and implement programs that do exactly this as a BOE member, just as I have done as a citizen activist.  

            2.  Approach to innovations – There are some that feel that Integrated Approach works and there are others that object.  Based on the data that I have seen over the past few months, there is a substantial reason to be concerned about the data.  From a principle standpoint, I object in general to the retroactive adjustments we are making to the curriculum and instruction time targeted towards the "goal post" of raising standardized test scores.  Test scores are supposed to measure the results of good instruction, not adjusting instruction to get good test scores.  I know that we are missing the mark by "teaching to the test" which is going to have catastrophic outcomes.  No one does their job well, invents or discovers something, sells something, makes a difference in peoples' lives, or runs a business/organization by taking a standardized test.  We need to define the success of our school system based on post-graduate success, not test scores.  As Mark Twain said, "There are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics."   So, I always question data.  If elected to the BOE, I will continue to push for innovations like I have done for the past couple years, but more importantly, I will be a in a position to help the HCPSS establish a process to promote innovations. I believe that the HCPSS needs an innovation process that identifies innovations started in individual schools or proposed by central office, along with a process that funds pilots, evaluates the data, and then plans and funds the scalability of successful pilots across the system.  Right now, a perfect example of the current broken system of innovation is IA.  This was a program started at one school that central office thought was effective and then it was "thrown over the fence" to other schools without any appropriate process to pilot, evaluate, fund, and scale.  As someone who has instituted innovation processes in large corporations or as an entrepreneur, I have seen this done well and not so well.  We have many talented administrators and teachers, who come up with some great ideas.  But there is a difference between a good idea and a successful program.  We need to establish a process that would truly test programs like IA to ensure the effectiveness and if/how it should be expanded.  If we had a process like what I am proposing currently in place, the BOE could have acted as an innovation investment committee where internal staff could have identified Mr. Dickey's program as an innovative idea.  The committee could hear an investment proposal, along with a pilot study plan to adequately test the IA program at MHMS, a subsequent study proposal to evaluate the scalability of the program at another school site, and then a process to evaluate the successes and failures of the pilot to ultimately determine what worked, what didn't work, how it could be refined, should it continue, and if it should be replicated where and how.  This type of innovation investment process would allow the BOE to evaluate these new initiatives, have citizens give input, partner with the teachers to get their feedback, all in a structured process to not only evaluate these proposals, but compare them against other good ideas across the system to prioritize which ideas deserve the valuable time of our schools and the scarce money from our taxpayers.

            3.  Greater accountability – I have to tell you, when I heard about the report on the Cradlerock School from the teacher's union after it first leaked out the HCPSS and DiLosa/Daisey report back in late February from the union, I was heartbroken.  I guess as a parent of three kids, I am reminded everyday as they get older and older that they only get these years once – they will never get them back again (and nor will I as their dad).  And so when I see the HCPSS sitting around for 5 years while Cradlerock struggles and doing nothing, or I see the sloppy way that they try in a well-meaning way to implement this IA program to help students, I shake my head and say "How can they blow it so badly?"  But you see, I've come to learn that they do not look at it from a student perspective.  They look at it from an organizational perspective.  If the next five years are tough budget times, it's okay for them because things will eventually get better for them.  If Cradlerock struggles for five years, it's okay for them because they will eventually figure out how to fix it.  Well, for me, and for our teachers and parents, it's not okay.  Our kids K-12 educational experience is a once in a lifetime experience and so when my oldest son starts the 4th grade at the end of August this year, he will only get that 4th grade year once. When it's over, it's over.  There isn't a re-do if things aren't done right the first time.  We need BOE members that have this fierce sense of urgency to act now to fix these problems.  We need a BOE that holds the senior management of the school system accountable for its programs, and even more importantly, holds themselves accountable to the citizens, parents, teachers, and students that they have fiduciary responsibility to as our elected BOE.  I plan on being this type of BOE member.  We must hold everyone – including students – accountable for what happens in our schools. But you cannot hold people accountable without involving them at all stages of the process.  And accountability is not a "gotcha moment."  I am not hear to crucify Mr. Dickey.  I applaud him for having the passion and creativity to come up with an interesting idea in IA. I don't know if it worked or not because the data is questionable at best.  And even if it did raise some test scores, there is reasonable concern over the opportunity cost on actual learning and instructional time due to other subjects being forsaken.  That's a shame because IA has not only has affected kids at his school, but now kids at other schools. And because the system has not set up an appropriate process to evaluate IA, we are left with more questions or answers.  But if it does fail and does not work, we should not punish Mr. Dickey. Accountability just means that he takes responsibility for something that failed. It's okay to fail. It's okay to lose.  We need to foster innovation in our schools and sometimes that means that new programs may not work. But we need to fail fast and fail cheap to limit any exposure to our kids because they only get one chance (for the most part) in every grade during their K-12 experience.   Our BOE needs to hold our system accountable.  It's their most fundamental responsibility and I would do so as a BOE member.

            Hopefully, I have done a sufficient job within the limits of an email to explain how I would handle this situation.  I believe that the IA program should be halted immediately until these three proposals that I have mentioned are implemented.  If I was on the BOE, I would propose that we immediately assemble a task force now over the summer to retroactively evaluate the program and try to retrofit our review to an appropriate process going forward.  The clock is ticking and before we know it, another school year will be starting.  We need to have more public input and involvement. We need to have a structured process to identify, pilot, fund, and scale innovations.  We need to have a BOE willing to oversee the school system with greater accountability. Until these things are in place, we are stuck in a situation where things can be done and it may be five years from now, as in the situation with the Cradlerock School, before we know the damage that it caused.  I don't know about you, but I am not willing to sit back and wait.  That's why I am running for the BOE because I just can't be a community activist and participate from the outside anymore. I have to roll up my sleeves and be in a situation to implement, not just advocate, for what I believe in.

            Thanks again for your email and I wish you well in this effort. Please let me know what other questions you have and I would ask that you keep me updated with your efforts.

            Kind regards,
            Brian Meshkin


            Brian Meshkin
            Candidate in 2010
            Howard County Board of Education
            phone: 410-575-3070
            email: brian@...
            web: www.BrianMeshkin.com
            text: MESHKIN to 51684
            twitter: @meshkin
            facebook: www.facebook.com/bmeshkin
            - Show quoted text -




            On 7/15/10 7:51 AM, "Heather Cindric" <hjcindric@...> wrote:

            - Show quoted text -

            --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "pamythompson" <pamythompson@...> wrote:
            >
            > There are huge discrepencies in this county as through the state and they are clearly by color and wealth with the latter being the tool of choice for modern segrgation .
            >
            > You do make good points relative to the AP/GT program however a child moved into this arena is still far better served then a child in the main stream . Given your points , a revised AP/GT program is probably the target we should be at to proclaim proficiency . I can tell you my son who scores 5's on the AP exams graduated this year less educated then what I left PG schools with more then 30 years ago . You are quite correct , where there was an interest he excelled , however it was largely through his own efforts and where his interest waned he did not fare as well .
            >
            > Your best point is in what these children miss as they are forced through this system . My term for this is institutionalized to which you bring clarity to the definition , perhaps listening to the children and parents would more define this body of misery which needs to be avoided if we are goung to educate our children in a way that is not damaging . Here I believe we could better utilize our schools , opening the doors daylight to dark , 7 days a week with a vast assortment of activities solely for the benefit of the children .
            >
            > Wether the goal is to train factory workers or office workers the method is similar as well as grossly inadequate when the premises given is to educate . To educate is to prepare one for a journey of discvery , not train one for a life of slavery be it to one's government or the financial and corporate entities which dictates it's existance . Such an education is in direct conflict with the principles of freedom we so embrace .
            >
            > The administration , in essence the system , is more accurately a self feeding beast with it's own interests at heart . Fed by an endless suply of children . Without oversight or accountability the system has become one without morals . It is here I believe we have found the answer . As I wondered what the principal on special assignment does ? I was told that his transfer was lateral and that his exact duties have yet to be determined by Ms. Wise . I ponder if we could not secure those services (what ever they will be ) for less money or have someone else do them as part of their job or if we even need them ? I am told that among his duties will be school improvement . Well we the parents will do that for you for free I reply ! I am told that it is rather complicated . I want an explanation ? Then I read your post and there it was , the answer , "Demtstify The Education System" . Yes this is it , simplify the system .
            >
            > We need to implement this program "Demtstify The Education System". Each and every ranking employ of the HCPSS needs to hold a public meeting each year and completely and fully explain their job , answer questions and subject their position to the scrutiny and accountability of the stakeholders . Forget transparency , we need to remove the walls and replace them with complete openness . This will eliminate much of the office of public relations as we would be better served by them in this program . The HCPSS's in house attorney would be moved to this office as well where he would no longer defend the poor actions of the system but represent the interest of the children . The idea is a little rough but it is what the stakeholders need in order to access the system . The goal is education reform which ultimately will result in the public controll of the system .
            >
            > Jack
            >
            >
            > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "Heather Cindric" hjcindric@ wrote:
            > >
            > >
            > > pamythompson <http://profiles.yahoo.com/pamythompson> said:
            > >
            > > "Sign a waiver and move your kids into these GT classrooms in middle
            > > school , it will alter their lives . This is the answer, better staff .
            > > It is
            > > time we stopped harboring garbage in our school system . Ask what
            > > teachers are
            > > good and what teachers and administrators are poor and refuse those that
            > > do not
            > > produce ."
            > >
            > > I can tell you that signing up for GT classes is not the answer, nor is
            > > being white. My daughter is both and she was just as poorly served by
            > > the school system as any poorer, more disadvantaged ethnic group in
            > > Cradlerock. I did exactly what you suggest; I wrote a letter asking her
            > > to be put in all the GT classes in 6thgrade. My reason at the time was
            > > her English teacher who was having a hard time controlling the class. I
            > > wanted her out of that class and into a class where half the instruction
            > > time wasn't taken up with arbitrary and ineffective discipline. The
            > > GT class did not have the discipline issues, but it had its own
            > > problems: a lot more work requirements for the same boring curriculum.
            > >
            > > The County's approach to GT is
            > >
            > > 1. Identify the students who need less formal instruction and can
            > > learn with less help
            > >
            > > 2. Give them more work to "keep them busy and out of
            > > trouble"
            > >
            > > 3. Give them less instruction!
            > >
            > > Ta-Da! It's a win-win for admin and teachers. They can do more
            > > with less. In Howard County approximately 40% of the students
            > > participate in the GT program. From the administration's point of
            > > view, they could solve all their problems by fitting all students into
            > > GT.
            > >
            > > All kids county-wide are subjected to the County's spiraling
            > > curriculum, a concept where each year's curriculum is a perfectly
            > > fit puzzle piece in a spiraling pattern; each year builds on the
            > > previous year. Ideally, all teachers have highly focused lesson plans,
            > > designed to get the entire curriculum taught before the end of each year
            > > using performance-based objectives which promote"higher order
            > > thinking skills" and "mastery of assessment limits." This
            > > spiraling system is touted as the best way to promote student
            > > achievement. Promoting higher order thinking skills means requiring
            > > assignments that force the student demonstrate creativity, the highest
            > > form of thinking. Now all students are to be "creative" on
            > > demand whether they have an interest in the subject or not. It feels
            > > like slavery of the mind to me. No longer is it sufficient to answer
            > > the question right and then daydream your way through the rest of a
            > > boring class and go home do something you love. Now the teachers want
            > > those dreams too: on paper, so that they can grade them, finish it at
            > > home!
            > >
            > > It's a Top-Down rigid system with little room for variation. When
            > > vulnerable kids vary from the expected"normal," it is very
            > > noticeable and they sink quickly. But everyone suffers even when it
            > > isn't apparent because we're human and we don't fit like pieces
            > > in a puzzle. We need room.
            > >
            > > GT students aren't excused from this cycle: they just work father up
            > > the spiral and are expected to do higher level tricks. I can tell you
            > > that nothing turned my daughter off from school like having loads of
            > > special projects which required many hours of her time out of school.
            > > She had no interest in them but they took upall of her time and energy
            > > anyway. Iwish that I had realized this years ago. I blame myself for
            > > her missed opportunities.
            > >
            > > I don't like much of the Integrated Approach program because it
            > > exacerbates the problem of having no choice. It takes up more class
            > > time and teacher's time, making even less room for individualized
            > > education. It paints with a broad brush over the problems that kids
            > > have with the education system by "fixing" test scores for
            > > vulnerable students with easy fixes. It's a quick and dirty way for
            > > a school to look improved without anyone actually teaching better or
            > > being more interested in learning. Everyone assumes that if all student
            > > groups finally advance to proficient MSA scores then school must be a
            > > success. I don't believe that anymore. Studying this problem first
            > > hand and listening to the illogical answers of school administrators has
            > > overstretched my credulity.
            > >
            > > They used to say that the public school model was built on a factory
            > > model, where kids are trained just enough to be good factory workers;
            > > understand instruction, be on time, get the answers right and move on to
            > > the next item on the conveyor belt. Now they talk about making changes
            > > to better prepare kids for the "new" economy. Getaway from the
            > > factory model. But they have only moved a little. Now I would say it
            > > is more like a corporation: the school administrators acting as
            > > CEO,individual school administrators are region department managers,
            > > teachers are low level managers and kids are the employees performing
            > > most of the actual work. The work is more challenging but still mind
            > > numbing. Parents are the stockholders:as long as the bottom line looks
            > > good and stock price doesn't fall, they don't ask too many
            > > questions.
            > >
            > > That model doesn't work for me either. It's
            > > already outdated. I don't want my kids to create another status
            > > quo; I want them to create the world of their dreams. To do that they
            > > need to follow their interests, not concentrate their creative energy
            > > into the molds the school system gives. We need more individualized
            > > education which is guided by the students needs and wants, not the
            > > administrators' MSA goals and curriculum.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "pamythompson" <pamythompson@>
            > > wrote:
            > > >
            > > > I talked to some of the teachers that once worked at Cradlerock .
            > > First and foremost they blamed the administration for the problems .
            > > They went on to say because it was a hybrid , elementary/middle school ,
            > > the test scores were not counted the same and hid the problems . They
            > > said the work was harder there , more time had to be devoted and as far
            > > back as the mid 90's there was an exodus of what they termed "good
            > > teachers" from the school . They very clearly expressed the problems at
            > > Cradlerock were hidden .
            > > >
            > >
            >
          • cckkorn
            Now that the MSA scores have been released showing that Mr. Donyall Dickey s method apparently didn t even work for his own school (since it is one of the 6
            Message 5 of 14 , Jul 22, 2010
            • 0 Attachment
              Now that the MSA scores have been released showing that Mr. Donyall Dickey's method apparently didn't even work for his own school (since it is one of the 6 schools included for the "improvement plan"), the Integrated Approach should be eliminated from Howard County School classrooms. If Mr. Dickey can't make the program work at Murray Hill, why does the school board allow other schools to be tormented with the inane program? The current board of ed, with the exception of Mr. Dyer, rubber stamps whatever Dr. Cousin and Ms. Wise propose - no questions asked. Parents, stand up to the school board and tell them you no longer want your children wasting their education with programs that do not work!

              --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "pamythompson" <pamythompson@...> wrote:
              >
              > Ray ,
              >
              > You at least raise the point that I should be clear .
              >
              > Most people believe that our teachers are performing a job in which they have an educated background in the subject they teach . The knowledge they impart will raise our children to a level beyond our own capabilities . The reality is evolution has given us all we need to raise our children and yet as the original auther of this thread suggested , the raising of our own children has become a lost art . More then we need to demystify the education process , we need to realize that we too were institutionalized by this system . We have become dependent or more to the point , we have embraced stupidity . Only in modern history do you see the majority of mankind giving up their children to be trained . I have always said that if a child sits through 13 years of education then if they were truly educated they should be able to teach to the level they have achieved . Previously , children learned from the teachings and observations of their elders , looking forward as they aged and applied that knowledge in retrospect as they assumed the role of teaching those who were younger . Education was both of a forwad nature , for example , how to be a parent or a grand parent as well as contemplating their past as they observed those younger in the family . Only now do we have a system in place that isolates our children in large groups of a similar age with very few role models and no point of reference to their past . In the past a situation where you had a large number of people of identical age would have been indicative of a great tragedy such as famine or plague . In this situation it is far more likely that the few elders would revert and assume more child like behaviors , further limiting the process of education . Since teaching is now a choice it stands to reason that you will have individuals who are incapable of moving forward in life who choose to remain in this unnatural environment .
              >
              > Now for clarity ,
              >
              > After teaching soft ware apps for about 10 years one of Glenelg's teachers being confronted with the class being outdated and to be droped took a few summer classes so that they could teach the states voluntary Tech ed class which is now required . With almost no training in this area this person proceeded to educate our children . Daily the children questioned in class as to whether or not this person knew what she was doing and daily she looked up the meanings of what she was trying to teach and very often she was wrong in her instruction and corrected by children in the class . Many of the children discussed openly how the teacher did not know what she was doing and that they were not learning . Further none of these children ever knew what their grades were , grades would appear on their report cards although no work was graded . I brought this before the assistant principal and a conference was scheduled . The teacher pulled two of my children's work minutes before the conference and graded it . I opened my third childs work at the conference which was ungraded for the year and asked her to explain . The assistant principal told me he had taught drafting for 5 years as though to lend support to her plight . Near the end of the year I walked out of the school with all my children's work and it was all ungraded and another meeting was set up . At this point no one could explain why none of the work was graded or why this teacher attempted to hide it or why she was permitted to teach a class she had no experience in . At this point I asked the assistant principal where he studied drafting only to find he was trained as poorly as his teacher . After this meeting none of her students made any more entries in thier journal , their work was not available to be viewed . The teacher continued to alter grades on teacher ease over the summer and into the following school year . We made copies of these alterations which were dated and again brought them to the assistant principal . At this point he said he was instructed by the principal and his supervisor not to pursue the matter any further .
              >
              > This teacher has pretended to teach this class for 3 years which means about 300 of our children were cheated out of an education by these people . Let me be real clear here since this was on my mind when I first replied to this post . This teacher and her three supervisors need to refund the residents of Howard county the money and benefits they were compensated for this charade and be fired , further an independendent investigation should be done to determine how common this is in the HCPSS with similar measures taken against all involved .
              >
              > Jack
              >
              >
              > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, Ray Lischner <rl.edu@> wrote:
              > >
              > > pamythompson wrote:
              > >
              > > > Anyone that home schools will tell you the same thing , the state provides
              > > > the curriculum and the parent basically learns with the child . This is
              > > > natural and has been going on forever . ... I know of many teachers who
              > > > have no training in the subject they profess to teach as well as some that
              > > > went on to become administrators ... It was a pitiful combination that
              > > > hundreds of our children were subjected to.
              > >
              > > Why is it "pitiful" when a teacher has no training in the subject and
              > > teaches at school, but it is "natural" when parent has no training in the
              > > subject and teaches at home.
              > >
              > > If the untrained teacher is unwilling or unable to learn, however, that
              > > would be as much of a problem as a parent who is unwilling or unable to
              > > learn when homeschooling a child.
              > > --
              > > Ray Lischner
              > >
              >
            • david_thalheimer
              I agree with your assessment of G/T classes (at least in some cases). One of my kids went into G/T math, but the teacher just expected him to know information
              Message 6 of 14 , Jul 27, 2010
              • 0 Attachment
                I agree with your assessment of G/T classes (at least in some cases). One of my kids went into G/T math, but the teacher just expected him to know information he had never seen before with minimal instruction and lots of extra homework. This really only works when kids have tutors (or parental help) outside of school, which only shifts the instruction out of the school. It was too much outside work, which killed his interest in math, so we pulled him out. This is fine for some families that will happily oblige, but not for all.

                The problem is also the math program, which expects kids to learn their own way and help each other. When our school used Saxon Math, which is repetitive, but effective, my child gained back all the time he had lost the previous year.

                - David Thalheimer
                Candidate, Board of Education

                --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "Heather Cindric" <hjcindric@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > pamythompson <http://profiles.yahoo.com/pamythompson> said:
                >
                > "Sign a waiver and move your kids into these GT classrooms in middle
                > school , it will alter their lives . This is the answer, better staff .
                > It is
                > time we stopped harboring garbage in our school system . Ask what
                > teachers are
                > good and what teachers and administrators are poor and refuse those that
                > do not
                > produce ."
                >
                > I can tell you that signing up for GT classes is not the answer, nor is
                > being white. My daughter is both and she was just as poorly served by
                > the school system as any poorer, more disadvantaged ethnic group in
                > Cradlerock. I did exactly what you suggest; I wrote a letter asking her
                > to be put in all the GT classes in 6thgrade. My reason at the time was
                > her English teacher who was having a hard time controlling the class. I
                > wanted her out of that class and into a class where half the instruction
                > time wasn't taken up with arbitrary and ineffective discipline. The
                > GT class did not have the discipline issues, but it had its own
                > problems: a lot more work requirements for the same boring curriculum.
                >
                > The County's approach to GT is
                >
                > 1. Identify the students who need less formal instruction and can
                > learn with less help
                >
                > 2. Give them more work to "keep them busy and out of
                > trouble"
                >
                > 3. Give them less instruction!
                >
                > Ta-Da! It's a win-win for admin and teachers. They can do more
                > with less. In Howard County approximately 40% of the students
                > participate in the GT program. From the administration's point of
                > view, they could solve all their problems by fitting all students into
                > GT.
                >
                > All kids county-wide are subjected to the County's spiraling
                > curriculum, a concept where each year's curriculum is a perfectly
                > fit puzzle piece in a spiraling pattern; each year builds on the
                > previous year. Ideally, all teachers have highly focused lesson plans,
                > designed to get the entire curriculum taught before the end of each year
                > using performance-based objectives which promote"higher order
                > thinking skills" and "mastery of assessment limits." This
                > spiraling system is touted as the best way to promote student
                > achievement. Promoting higher order thinking skills means requiring
                > assignments that force the student demonstrate creativity, the highest
                > form of thinking. Now all students are to be "creative" on
                > demand whether they have an interest in the subject or not. It feels
                > like slavery of the mind to me. No longer is it sufficient to answer
                > the question right and then daydream your way through the rest of a
                > boring class and go home do something you love. Now the teachers want
                > those dreams too: on paper, so that they can grade them, finish it at
                > home!
                >
                > It's a Top-Down rigid system with little room for variation. When
                > vulnerable kids vary from the expected"normal," it is very
                > noticeable and they sink quickly. But everyone suffers even when it
                > isn't apparent because we're human and we don't fit like pieces
                > in a puzzle. We need room.
                >
                > GT students aren't excused from this cycle: they just work father up
                > the spiral and are expected to do higher level tricks. I can tell you
                > that nothing turned my daughter off from school like having loads of
                > special projects which required many hours of her time out of school.
                > She had no interest in them but they took upall of her time and energy
                > anyway. Iwish that I had realized this years ago. I blame myself for
                > her missed opportunities.
                >
                > I don't like much of the Integrated Approach program because it
                > exacerbates the problem of having no choice. It takes up more class
                > time and teacher's time, making even less room for individualized
                > education. It paints with a broad brush over the problems that kids
                > have with the education system by "fixing" test scores for
                > vulnerable students with easy fixes. It's a quick and dirty way for
                > a school to look improved without anyone actually teaching better or
                > being more interested in learning. Everyone assumes that if all student
                > groups finally advance to proficient MSA scores then school must be a
                > success. I don't believe that anymore. Studying this problem first
                > hand and listening to the illogical answers of school administrators has
                > overstretched my credulity.
                >
                > They used to say that the public school model was built on a factory
                > model, where kids are trained just enough to be good factory workers;
                > understand instruction, be on time, get the answers right and move on to
                > the next item on the conveyor belt. Now they talk about making changes
                > to better prepare kids for the "new" economy. Getaway from the
                > factory model. But they have only moved a little. Now I would say it
                > is more like a corporation: the school administrators acting as
                > CEO,individual school administrators are region department managers,
                > teachers are low level managers and kids are the employees performing
                > most of the actual work. The work is more challenging but still mind
                > numbing. Parents are the stockholders:as long as the bottom line looks
                > good and stock price doesn't fall, they don't ask too many
                > questions.
                >
                > That model doesn't work for me either. It's
                > already outdated. I don't want my kids to create another status
                > quo; I want them to create the world of their dreams. To do that they
                > need to follow their interests, not concentrate their creative energy
                > into the molds the school system gives. We need more individualized
                > education which is guided by the students needs and wants, not the
                > administrators' MSA goals and curriculum.
                >
                >
                >
                > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "pamythompson" <pamythompson@>
                > wrote:
                > >
                > > I talked to some of the teachers that once worked at Cradlerock .
                > First and foremost they blamed the administration for the problems .
                > They went on to say because it was a hybrid , elementary/middle school ,
                > the test scores were not counted the same and hid the problems . They
                > said the work was harder there , more time had to be devoted and as far
                > back as the mid 90's there was an exodus of what they termed "good
                > teachers" from the school . They very clearly expressed the problems at
                > Cradlerock were hidden .
                > >
                >
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