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Archive for February, 2009

I have come to the conclusion that this blog needs to change. I don’t have a lot of new information on SL to report, but I do have plenty to say about the state of education; education in this country and the education taking place in my classroom, district, and state.

Reading an Education Week article about President Obama’s stimulus package, I came upon this tidbit:

“Every school district throughout the United States will benefit from this increase in special education funding,” Sen. Collins said. “That, in turn, will help communities retain support staff and teachers in the classroom because, after all, they cannot cut back on funding for special education because [of federal law].”

But Sen. Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming, the top Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, worried that the bill wouldn’t do much to jump-start the economy.

The legislation “spends everything we have on nothing we are sure about,” he said during floor debate. And he worried that the spending hikes would be difficult to trim down the road.

“Lawmakers [will] simply come back to the well in a few months and exert even more pressure to maintain the new programs and keep these new jobs and keep the bloated spending that supports them. There is nothing temporary about that kind of spending,” Sen. Enzi said.

What the ????? No wonder our education system is BROKEN! Why can’t these fools understand that education in this country has been woefully neglected in lieu of mandated (and expensive) testing that serves to destroy the kinds of real constructivist learning our students need? And that is just a tiny part of what is wrong.

There is no more “fat” to cut! Programs that were mandated by NCLB were underfunded or not funded at all, district and site programs and PD have been eliminated, teachers are losing their jobs at the expense of our childrens’ education, and our districts (in California) are facing multi-million dollar deficits.

I am over the politics, lies, and B.S, sick of administrators and politicians playing games at the expense of the good teaching and learning that needs to happen. I have also come to the sad conclusion that one person cannot make a difference given these restraints. The best I can do is shut-up and give-up trying to change anything outside of my own classroom. All I can do is to be the very best learner and teacher I can be for my students.

Unfortunately, a recent poll on the Google Certified Teacher blog by KJ, exemplifies the fact that I am not alone, and that there are brilliant teachers out there doing everything they can to uplift teaching and learning just to be ignored, cut off, and shut down. We pay for our own PD and trips to conferences, volunteer to deliver PD at our sites, and when professional educational associations accept or request our presentations, our administrators discourage us and/or do not give props or credit for the excellence we exhibit. Someone please, tell me what more we as individuals can do?

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