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Teachers should have the power to evaluate their principals. Right now, the evaluations are done by the superintendent, I believe. Guess how much face time the superintendent has with the principals? Almost none. Teachers, on the other hand, are affected drastically by what principals do yet have no say in giving feedback. That's a stupid system. It allows the principals to fly blind: enact rules and policies, hire and fire teachers, without ever having to be accountable to them. As a manager, I always built 360 degree evaluation systems. The school system does not. Stupid.
Misunderstanding the title, I thought this column would be about education. No, it was about having to contribute too much to schools! My concern when my daughters were in school was having them graduate with an ability to do well and a record of having done excellently. It never occurred to me to be second-guessing Kleenex boxes. My daughters became an actuary and a chemical engineer, both employed. I wonder what would have happened if I had focused on the Kleenex boxes rather than their educations?
May I be so bold as to ask if No Child Left Behind was a progressive policy? No. As I recall, it was the policy and the law of a President I voted against, a policy I decried for its obvious flaws (e.g., put all our effort into improving the test performances of those who were just failing minimal proficiency tests and ignore the middle and high performance students), That President, George W. Bush, was no progressive. As I recall, his aim was to make it so that students in schools which did not have high enough percentages of students passing the minimal standards could leave their schools and go to private schools with vouchers. The policy was to establish accountability. Accountability was established by requiring more days per year testing the students and teachers teaching to the tests. My youngest daughter went to high school during the Bush administration. My wife went to teachers of AP and calculus courses my daughter was enrolled in and urged them to teach for maximum performance, not minimum. They said, initially, that my daughter would be overwrought. After teaching her for a week, the teachers time and again found she responded to the highest expectations. When she went to Tech, she found other students went to schools with more AP courses than Eastside, so she was behind. Responding to the challenge, she finished first among chemical engineers in her graduation year. She got ahead because my wife convinced her teachers to go beyond No Child Left Behind, a Republican, conservative, accountability-based program. The program responsible for the flaws that Mr. Meadors and Mr. Ryan purportedly point out is a Republican, conservative program. That is an interesting strategy, though, decrying the results of the law your party proposed, passed, and implemented but blaming it on others.
In conclusion, contrary to what Mr. Meadors avers, I do not blame the results of my daughter's education and results on others. Contrary to what he implies, my educated parenting policies did not result in high taxes (the current tax rates are lower than at any time since 1900 except for the periods 1925-1932 and 1988-1992), poor performing schools, nor gangs. Both my daughters raised the performance of their schools and neither of them were in gangs.
I like Mr. Meadors but he needs to cite facts, not fantasy.
I am the father of a daughter completing her internship at MIT. She graduated as Valedictorian and Star Student at Eastside, with an average score across every course she took at Eastside of 104. She then went to Georgia Tech and graduated as the top chemical engineer in her class. At MIT graduate school, she was no longer the best student. The year after she graduated, two students were admitted to Harvard.
But there is a problem in Newton County. I have recently returned to the School Board meetings, which are far more receptive than they were from 2003-2010 when I attended and finally gave up. Before my other questions, let's think who the stakeholders of the school system are. Parents, students, teachers, administrators, businesses, students, social service agencies, churches, etc., right? How many parents do you think were at the meetings I attended (not including School Board Members and administrative staff)? How many businesses do you think attend the meetings? How many teachers? How many social service agencies? How many ministers? The answer to all of those questions is zero.
This reflects no problem if we expect the superintendent and school board members to understand and know everything parents, students, teachers, etc. know and need for the educational system to be effective. Is that what we expect? If not, we need to ensure our input and get responses from the school system. Right now, that is not the situation. If we want things to improve, I suggest we need to get into the Board meetings and the schools and ensure changes in our homes and communities that are conducive to education. If not, is it reasonable to expect improvement or is it a fantasy? I submit that it is a fantasy.
Last login: Friday, December 28, 2012