Plenty of Stupid in PS Too

4 10 2006

Florida has a state blog for resisting what standardized test mania does to kids and education (thanks to Nance’s volunteer efforts.) 🙂

I support this resistance and BECAUSE I do, I sometimes argue with my fellow resisters, that we need to be smarter and think through what we’re saying, anticipate how certain arguments might come back to bite us rather than further the cause.

Here’s an example, my response to a letter to the editor complaining about the heir apparent to succeed Gov. Jeb Bush this fall.

First the letter:
Pay attention to candidate’s words
Andrew J. Meyers
Boca Raton

September 16, 2006

. . . Crist is an ardent supporter of rewarding schools for good performance on the fill-in-the-bubble Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. As a parent of two public school children, I know most parents and teachers are hugely critical of the FCAT system. Because school budgets are affected by FCAT performance, great attention is paid to short-term memorization and retention, rather than teaching the fundamental lessons necessary to serve as building blocks for long-term academic excellence. Crist does not have children. Grading schools for FCAT performance sounds good in theory. Were Crist personally invested in the public school system, or any school system, he would understand the practical flaws.

Finally, Crist boldly states, “I want to lower your property taxes, and your homeowner’s insurance needs to go down.” Crist is not a homeowner. If he were, he’d say he wants to lower “our” taxes and insurance costs, not “your.”

The costs of home ownership and how to fix our deficient public schools are the biggest issues facing Floridians. Crist thinks Floridians are “prospering” largely because he does not have to live with these problems. That doesn’t make Crist a bad person. It does, however, make him a bad choice to lead Florida.

MY RESPONSE to the ps supporting test resisters:

Completely apart from the (letter-writer’s) conclusion, I’m not wild about it as analysis or reasoning — public school support should appear correlated with good thinking skills, don’t you think? Read the rest of this entry »

Will Smart Beat Intelligent?

4 10 2006

“A smart battle against intelligent design” appears in the fall 2006 issue of Paradigm Magazine, published by the Whitehead Institute for Biological Research, a leading biomedical research and educational organization in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

So says the National Center for Science Education.

Low Expectations

4 10 2006

Better than none?

Well, it got a chuckle out of me anyway. 🙂


What a Stupid “Homeschool” Exchange

4 10 2006

It was in fact too dumb to blog!

Except to say I remember now why our local homeschool discussion list — isn’t.

And that some Thinking Parents — aren’t.
Maybe random parents who happen to home-educate shouldn’t expect to have anything more substantive in common than random parents whose children go to school?