A small town school in Washington State (Bridgeport) has reached the final round for the possibility of having President Obama speak at its graduation. Bridgeport’s excellence in academics despite having the proverbial deck stacked against them has earned it this distinct honor.
However, instead of narrowing the decision based on merit and some set of criteria the schools must meet, a popular vote will help narrow the field. A small farming town of 2000 people must compete in a popularity contest with schools in Memphis, Newark, San Diego, and Pittsburgh (as well as Goldsboro, N.C.).
How is this even a consideration? Besides the obvious disparity in populations, why would an honor supposedly based on one’s laurels be decided on a popular vote? I guess education is becoming no different than NBA All-Star weekend.
No matter which schools lose the vote, they will have to live with the idea that they did not get chosen because they weren’t popular, not because they were unworthy. And that may hurt most of all.
Is anyone headed to the 2011 WEA-RA in Tacoma or the 2011 NEA-RA in Chicago?
Today during Harry Potter Day at my school, a student told me I reminded him of Dumbledore. I’m hoping that means I’m wise and not just old.
Last year a student gave me perhaps the highest praise I’ve ever received when he thought I was like Atticus Finch.
I like to think I’m fair, teach valuable lessons, and fight the good fight, so I’m going to enjoy the compliments and end the day on a high note.
I haven’t blogged much lately, and, to be honest, I haven’t been in the mood.
Here’s what my state is considering for teachers for the next biennium:
- a 3% cut in salaries across the board,
- the freezing of salary steps,
- the elimination of National Boards stipends,
- over $2 billion in cuts to education overall,
- the elimination of salary increases for advancing education (i.e. master’s degrees),
- larger class sizes across the boards,
- evaluations connected to budget reductions, and
- the legislature almost connected student attendance to individual building funding.
I updated my resume two nights ago and then spent two hours researching international schools. I’m starting to consider seriously going elsewhere to teach. All I see here is bad leadership, poor policies, and disrespect.
John Kuhn, a Superintendent in Texas, wrote what has become known as the Alamo Letter. It’s great, but even better is his Q & A here.
I wish he was my education leader.