Technology for what?

Teachers aren’t trained to use computers to improve academic achievement, says a study in Louisville, Kentucky.

Most of the $30 million spent on computer technology in Jefferson County public school classrooms in the past decade is not helping students learn, according to a new analysis done by the school district.

The risk is that teachers will be told to integrate technology into lessons simply because the school already has bought the computers.

About Joanne

Comments

  1. Walter E. Wallis says:

    The unions are missing a bet, here. Just as bilinguals get more money, computer qualified might also.

  2. Shouldn’t the school district have had a clear idea of how these computers would be used in instruction *before* spending the $30 million?

    If I were a taxpayer in this district, I’d want to know who made this decision, what kind of due diligence they conducted in advance, and (if the answer to the second question was not satisfactory) when their termination date would be.

  3. Miller Smith says:

    In Prince George’s County, MD, we have a policy that holds the teacher absolutely responsible for the content that appears on the computer monitor. If a child finds a way around the nanny program and a naked woman shows up on the screen and another child sees it and tells mommy and mommy calls up the school, the teacher gets an official letter of reprimand. I kid you not.

    I have four computers in my classroom that are separated from the main lecture area. If students are using the computers, I am required to be standing over their shoulders looking at what they are doing. I MUST do active monitoring of the content on the screens. But I have 30 other students on the other end of the room. So guess what? Those computer have not been touched in the last three years…at all. Not even turned on.

    Then in response to the images problem (naked women) the school system blocked all image content for the entire school system (google images for example). I can’t even use my DLP projector to show my selected content I found at home in the classroom in my lecture presentations due to this shotgun approach.

    Then the school system will buy classrooom printers but no longer will buy ink cells or toner or paper. I kid you not. New printers lay unused all over the county. And training! Ha! We have one (1) in-service to teach us how to do attendance in the morning. That’s it.

    My school has almost 200 teachers with about 700 computers total. One teacher is the entire IT support and he has to teach 2 classes a day. I help with the teachers on my hallway and a few students volunteers also help some for community service hours. Guess what? System is always down or not working correctly.

    I love it when the admin complains that teachers aren’t using technology and then make sure that we can’t use technology.

    Sorry for this rant, but this is a very very tender issue with us. We have just about had it with admin mouth over this and we have been very disrespectful lately over this towards admin when they have the nerve to say a thing.

  4. Mike in Texas says:

    I could write a book about computers sitting unused at my school due to a lack of training.

    Our school district invested a small fortune in an educational program that integrates several different educational software series under one umbrella. The purchase included 3 days of very poorly done training for a small number of teachers, the idea being we would train the other teachers. We spent 2 and a half days learning how the studens would use it and less than half a day learning the management part. Flash forward 4 years and through trial and error I have learned how to use the various features. I am the only one. I have repeatedly offered to train the other teachers at my school but there is never enough time. The database is also a bear. Last year it took 6 weeks of every available non-teaching moment I had to get it up to date. In addition, the server used to run this program was down for 2 months last school year. For some reason our IT dept. always decides to work on it about 2 weeks before the state testing and inevitably it gets messed up.

    We also have a very cool CPS system developed by Einstruction that I won at a computer educator’s conference. It requires training and some time to set up for each teacher. I have volunteered to conduct that training myself for the start of the new year but have been told there’s no time.

    When it comes to software we are not asked for input on what should be on our computers. Someone else, ususally someone far removed from the classrooms, decides what to purchase. Requests for software are turned down, or worse, ignored.

    Our school websites are often not updated for months at a time. Last year my school’s website was not updated for 7 months and had the word “elementary” misspelled. Finally, my principal told me she wanted me to be responsible for it, but when I asked the Network Administrator to set me up for access to the server he told me I would have to get approval from the webmaster, a part-time college student. I was denied the purchase of the software I wanted or any training. One of the computer teachers from the high school, whose class does the high school’s website, sent over one of her students, we downloaded a trial version of DreamWeaver and he taught me how to do it. Now any updates I do have to be sent to the webmaster, who will upload about one of every 3 I send him. Currently, our website has been out for two weeks now, so I hope the admin. is not sending any vital information via email.

  5. Andy Freeman says:

    Yet, MiT insists that it’s a good thing that he can’t work anywhere else.

    I’m mean – I don’t have any sympathy for orphans who killed their parents.

  6. When I did my teacher training in 1991, we were required to take a class called ‘PC’s in Education’ What a joke it was – the first lecture was titled ‘The Keyboard’ When it came time for us trainees to design lesson plans, unsurprisingly, there wasn’t a single software package covering my area (Latin). I think that computers have been profoundly oversold as an education tool, and, naturally, great gobs of money have been swallowed up for a technology of questionable use in the classroom. Next fad, please…

  7. After the seventh year of spending class time being lectured on how to use MS Word — and this for a person who does not use Word — I realized that the very idea of having teachers try to show students how to use computers was ridiculous. Give me a program, and within a few hours, I’ll have ferreted out a decent amount of how to use it. Give my fifty-year old teachers a program, and they’ll be lost and give us a lecture on how to use the mouse.

  8. BadaBing says:

    I agree with ellie. Computers have been grossly oversold as educational tools. And when anyone uses the term technology, he doubtless means computers. Technology in the classroom = Computers in the classroom.

    The best thing about computers are the programs that teachers can use to generate classroom materials and grades. Kids use them to check email. They also log on to use a proxy to get around the district’s firewall so they can minlessly browse MySpace.com, which I hope undergoes some kind of supernatural, irretrievable demise.

  9. To the teachers in this comment thread who complain about lack of training: presumably you know how to read. Software generally comes with manuals or at least online help, and most people learn by opening the software and actually using it. In fact, there is no other way. And when they have questions, those questions are generally answered by playing with the software or by reading the help.

    This is how your students figured it out, except they probably didn’t read the help because the programs are designed to be easy to use.

  10. Mike in Texas says:

    MiT insists that it’s a good thing that he can’t work anywhere else

    And you’re an expert on the local teacher employment opportunities how?

    I actually live near a college that turns out 200 or so education graduates 3 times a year. There is no teacher shortage where I live. My school district’s admin. has told us many times if we don’t like something they can very easily replace us with a new graduate that will cost them less money. Despite the fact we have ALL-POWERFUL unions to represent us (sarcasm).

  11. Mike in Texas says:

    They also log on to use a proxy to get around the district’s firewall so they can minlessly browse MySpace.com, which I hope undergoes some kind of supernatural, irretrievable demise.

    Not likely to happen, since Microsoft is making a lot of money helping the Chinese govt. monitor and filter internet usage.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,162781,00.html

  12. Mike in Texas says:

    Whoops!! The Fox story is about MSN Spaces, not MySpace.com

    I apologize to the evil, er microsoft

  13. Miller Smith says:

    Boo, you’re missing the point. The entire issue is not use of computers by teachers for grades and production of class materials. The issue is using computers as an instructional method.

    Rushing computers to the schools and then not providing the needed software, the needed tech support to keep the system running, the proper policies that do not blame the teacher for student misconduct, policies that do not block use of entire sections of the web due to the stupidity of a few, hardware that is up to date and enough of it for entire classes without having to fight for time, high speed internet into the school for all computers so you can actually use the internet in class, and so on. These are issues outside of the teacher’s control.

    And the biggest problem is the fact that the school systems have no vision as to how the computers should be used…or that they even provide the educational benifits they hope. This incredible high cost that drains funds from the classroom (for me, we now are down to $500 a year for science classroom budget.)and delivers nothing is just sad. Very sad.

    To top this off get this inane crap. My school will be giving laptops to all teachers this coming school year. I went and picked them up and began my test drives of them so I could make a cogent presentation to the staff. There is no interent surfing program for use at home on them. You can’t add them either. You can’t add any programs at all. Why? The school system made sure the laptops will hook up to our network at school and would work. Any “outside contacts” are prohibited to protect the school system servers. You can’t use the laptop to check your webmail or to send webmail. You can’t get or receive email at home with these. You can’t even print to your home computer. You can’t copy to a floppy-no floppy drives! My key chain memory is not recognized as new hardware when I plug it in to copy files–admin lockout!

    I can teach 35 students how to do Lewis dot structures with chalk and a blackboard faster and cheaper than I can with 35 computers.

    DUMP THE TECHNOLOGY NOW!

  14. Andy Freeman says:

    > And you’re an expert on the local teacher employment opportunities how?

    MiT believes in/supports the public school monopoly. One consequence of said monopoly is that public school teachers only have one place to work in a given area. (And, I’ll bet that adjacent districts collude.)

    There’s no downside to treating MiT badly because he doesn’t have any alternatives and they do. As long as he opposes alternatives, he’s getting what he wants.

  15. Mike in Texas says:

    You’re wrong Andy, I could always go to work for a private school and make 40% less. Or maybe find a for-profit charter, but they also prefer to hire new, inexperienced teachers they can pay less. Veteren teachers cut into the profit margin.

  16. My principal asked me a few years back about using programs like Geometer’s Sketchpad for math instruction. I told him that the “overhead” associated with students’ mastering this program is so high that I would have to build the whole geometry course around this product. This means 1) new textbooks plus software, 2) daily in-class access to computers at a ratio of 1 to every 2 students and 3) training for anyone who would teach this course in the future. Also, somebody other than me would have to make sure these computers were working every day and were secure when I wasn’t using them.

    He said “OK” and changed the subject.

  17. Mike in Texas wrote:

    Or maybe find a for-profit charter, but they also prefer to hire new, inexperienced teachers they can pay less.

    Cite?

  18. Mike in Texas says:

    Cite?

    http://www.tfn.org/publiceducation/charterschools/teachers041705/

    Note the 50% turnover every year, that should tell you something impt. too

    http://www.newsroom.msu.edu/site/indexer/1908/content.htm

    http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199710/07_winterc_charter-m/

    I love these quotes from the article from Minnesota’s oldest charter school:

    “. . .every teacher makes $20,000. And they don’t get raises.”

    So much for paying quality teachers more.

    “The teachers who started the charter school four years ago said at the time that they were excited to be part of an innovative project. But ALL of those teachers have since quit” Hmm, wonder who runs the school now?

    http://www.uscharterschools.org/cs/r/view/uscs_rs/1754

    “teachers in the nation’s charter schools have half the experience of traditional public school teachers and are far less likely to be certified”

    “In addition, 73 percent of charter school teachers were certified, compared to 93 percent of public school teachers”

    http://www.ascribe.org/cgi-bin/behold.pl?ascribeid=20050630.063810&time=07%2051%20PDT&year=2005&public=1

    “Nearly half of the teachers in Ohio’s charter schools quit their jobs each year, with the majority leaving teaching altogether, according to a new study.”

    “charter schools had much higher pupil-teacher ratios and had teachers who were significantly younger, less experienced and less credentialed than their public-school peers”

    http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdechart/download/chsurv02-7.pdf

    “The average teacher salary in charter schools in 2001-02 was 30% less than the state average salary of $40,659. This salary gap has grown slightly since 1997. In that year, the average salary for teachers in charter schools ($26,802) was about 28% less than the average teacher salary in the state of Colorado ($37,240). ?

  19. Andy Freeman says:

    No, I’m not wrong because MiT “forgets” that the alternatives don’t have the same access to public funds. That’s the whole point of his monopoly advocacy.

    However, it was nice of him to admit that he values his salary over other things. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it does show that the “higher calling”, “bigger concerns”, “it’s all about the children” stuff is merely self-serving PR.

    And, there’s always MiT’s own charter. We’ve seen the numbers. Funding doesn’t end up in classrooms, so if MiT was willing to go without the overhead, the folks who he claims are so wrong, he’d get a raise.

    However, he’d have to be willing to go outside the monopoly that he protects so vehemently.

  20. Mike in Texas says:

    Andy,

    There was just a study done showing Texas charter schools are more expensive than public schools. They claim its b/c they have to factor in building costs while public schools don’t. Of course, they don’t have to factor in the transportation costs for students and public schools do. So much for being cheaper.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/060305dnmetchartermoney.10cb1aba3.html

  21. Mike in Texas says:

    BTW, since there’s plenty of evidence to show they pay their teachers less, than where IS all that money going? Could it be into CEO’s and executive’s pockets?

  22. Mike in Texas wrote:

    BTW, since there’s plenty of evidence to show they pay their teachers less, than where IS all that money going

    What evidence?

    After slogging throught the first five all I found was, at best, news stories, at worst, propaganda. Evidence consists of information from sources that have some claim to expertise and some claim to credibility. Your sources always fail on one, sometimes both, counts.

    Andy, you usually don’t have to look too hard to find the slant in any of Mike’s “evidence”. In the case of the latest offerring the money line is buried about eight or nine ‘graphs in. Here it is:

    There are about 200 groups running about 275 charter campuses around the state, most of them in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin.

    So, we now know that most of the charters are concentrated in the big cities which would tend to have higher operating costs then the schools in the boonies. Which means an state average would be a worthless comparison unless you’re agenda is more important then the facts.

    There’s another important reason why Mike likes this study and you can find it in the third paragraph:

    Charter schools receive more money – not less – than traditional public schools on a per-student basis, according to the Texas Center for Educational Research, a nonprofit group that recently released its seventh evaluation of Texas charter schools.

    So, let’s just google “Texas Center for Educational Research” and see what that old tattle-tale, the Internet, tells us, shall we?

    On their “Board of Trustees” page:

    Board members are appointed to three-year terms by the President of the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), the President of the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA), and the Chair of the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE).

    I won’t even bother with elaborate sarcasm.

    Texas Center for Educational Research was created by organizations which exist because of the current educational environment.

    The notion that such an organization could possibly be evenhanded in it’s research comes under the heading of “extraordinary claims”. The bland and inperturbable condescension that permeates the public education system may work to impress many people but it hardly constitutes the required “extraordinary evidence”.

    Thanks Mike. Take pride in your dissembling, it’s not doing much good.

  23. Mike in Texas says:

    That study was commissioned by the Texas Education Agency, the state office that controls public education. You kinda forgot to mention that didn’t you, Allen?

    Also, you forgot to mention this quote:

    “All this information came directly from PEIMS,” the state education database, Dr. Shapley said. “That’s the best source of data there is” on Texas public schools.

    So the study is commissioned by the state and examines numbers provided by the state. Maybe the Texas Center for Educational Research was chosen b/c legislators can’t bully it into changing its reports.

  24. ragnarok says:

    Mike in Texas said:

    “There was just a study done showing Texas charter schools are more expensive than public schools. They claim its b/c they have to factor in building costs while public schools don’t. Of course, they don’t have to factor in the transportation costs for students and public schools do. So much for being cheaper.”

    I cannot believe this. Mike and I had an exchange some weeks ago in which I disputed his claim that this study shows that charters are more expensive than public schools (by the grand sum of $17 per student).

    I pointed out that about half the charter schools enroll more than 70% at-risk kids, who get an extra $300 each, and that if you take this into account the public schools are more expensive. The study also points out that capital outlays are not counted for the public schools.

    I also gave Mike a link to the study (PDF) and even pointed him at the exact page which contains the figures in question *plus* the 70% at-risk clause. And yes, it’s for the 2002-03 school year.

    I can probably dig up the post, although Joanne’s most likely archived it, but it shouldn’t be necessary. Never heard back from Mike, so I assumed that he’d conceded the point.

    Mike, if I’ve made a mistake, I’ll gladly admit it; but I looked at the Dallas News story, and the figures are exactly those we discussed. If on the other hand I’m right, I think you might want to set the record straight.

  25. Mike in Texas says:

    Ragnarok wrote:

    the 70% at-risk clause. And yes, it’s for the 2002-03 school year.

    Do you have any at-risk figures for those same public school districts in those big cities? I’ve heard of some urban school districts with 90% at risk populations. The general population for the state of Texas is something on the order of 50%. My rural school district has 55% so I don’t see where requring charters to do at least 70% at-risk is that big a burden. PLUS, they claimed they could educate these kids cheaper and better. The cheaper didn’t work out and the better is in some doubt.

  26. ragnarok says:

    Mike,

    I’m sorry to say that you’re resorting to argumentum ad bait-and-switcherem.

    The point here is that I gave you explicit references that disprove your statement, and you went ahead and repeated your claim without even letting people know that it had been questioned.

    Basic intellectual honesty requires that later posts acknowledge the points raised by my link, *even if you don’t agree with them*.

    Now for some simple math. You claim that the at-risk percentage for Texas as a whole is ~50%, while half the charters are > 70%, and the other half are at 50%, so the average is 65%. The public school gets $8,208 per pupil on average, so the non-at risk student gets $7878. Using this with the 65% at-risk figures for charters, it’s trivial to show that the charters should get $8,073 – given their at-risk ratio – to be funded at the same level as the public schools. They actually get $8,045, so even with conservative estimates, and assuming your 50% at-risk figure for public schools in general to be correct, the charters are cheaper by $28 per kid – AND THIS DOESN’T INCLUDE CAPITAL OUTLAYS.

    Very weak argument, Mike.

  27. ragnarok says:

    Mike, you claimed that about 50% of Texas kids are at-risk. Here’s a link that says it’s actually 24%.

    Anything more?

  28. Mike in Texas wrote:

    That study was commissioned by the Texas Education Agency, the state office that controls public education. You kinda forgot to mention that didn’t you, Allen?

    And the implication is that an Ohhficial agency of the state of Texas, the Texas Education Agency has an chrome-plated reputation for honesty? Har!!!

    And an organization composed of groups that have a vested interest in keeping public education as nearly unchanging as possible, with the single exception of trying to do something about that intractable funding problem, is supposed to suddenly aquire a patina of credibility because they get a check from another organization that has a vested interest in keeping public education as nearly unchanging as possible? You wanna explain how that’s supposed to work?

    Maybe the Texas Center for Educational Research was chosen b/c legislators can’t bully it into changing its reports.

    Oh yeah. I’m sure you can hardly walk into their offices without tripping over the piles of Purple Hearts.

    But to get back to the central fallacy that the fount credibility, the Texas Center for Educational Research, is parading around.

    Your beloved TCER would have people believe that comparing state-wide averages to the averages of the primarily urban charter schools proves anything beyond that the TCER has an idealogical axe to grind. I suppose if people like you were their sole audience, they’d get away with it. Fortunately, this sort of educrap has been peddled for so long that it hardly does anything to sway the public, evidence the NCLB, the rise of charters, etc.

    You think that nationwide, grass-roots movement to overturn the NCLB will start to show up any time soon?

    Also, do you think those brave, Texas legislators will continue to be brave the next time voucher legislation shows up? How about the time after that? If I were you, I’d keep an eye on them and vote out anyone who shows signs of wavering. If you can.

  29. ragnarok says:

    Allen,

    Mike’s faking the numbers; charters cost *less* than public schools. See my previous post. Here’s the TCER report, look at Table 3.2 on PDF page 30, and the narrative immediately under it, which shows that schools serving > 70% at-risk students get an extra $300 per head.

  30. Mike in Texas says:

    Ragnorak wrote:

    . . .the narrative immediately under it, which shows that schools serving > 70% at-risk students get an extra $300 per head.

    Let’s exclude that $300 a head for a minute. That would mean the public schools are spending about $251 on average per child, while having to provide transportation for all public schools kids as well as charter school kids, something the charters don’t have to do. That still makes the charters more expensive if you throw in transportation costs. Also, besides being signficantly cheaper, which THEY claimed they could be, they also claimed they would be signficantly better. I have yet to see a study that says so.

  31. Mike in Texas says:

    Ragnarok,

    Intersting how you accuse me of dodging your questions, but I have yet to see any answers for the questions I posed above.

    By the way here are the actual figures for economically disadvantage, one of the indicators of at risk status for the state of Texas, from the state of Texas itself.

    http://www.tea.state.tx.us/cgi/sas/broker?_service=marykay&_program=adhoc.addispatch.sas&major=st&minor=c&endyear=05&format=W&linespg=60&charsln=120&selsumm=ss&key=TYPE+HERE

    Eligible for free meals 39.35%
    Eligible for reduced meals 8.25%
    Other economically disadvantaged 6.89%
    Not economically disadvantaged 45.51%

    That means 54.49% ARE economically disadvantaged, and that is only one indicator for at-risk status.

    This is the part where you and Allen claim the state of Texas is lying. That Washington think tank must have more accurate data on the state of Texas than the state of Texas, mustn’t it?

  32. Mike in Texas says:

    Ragnarak,

    Here’s a nice little link to the actual laws regarding charter schools in Texas. I have searched the pages and can’t find anything about charters having to accept 70% at-risk students. I did find an entire section on Open Enrollment Charters.

    Of course, its pretty dry reading so I may have missed it. But I didn’t miss this:

    MINIMUM TEACHER QUALIFICATIONS. A person
    employed as a teacher by an open-enrollment charter school must
    hold a high school diploma.

    http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/statutes/docs/ED/content/htm/ed.002.00.000012.00.htm#12.001.00

  33. ragnarok says:

    Mike in Texas wrote:

    “…here are the actual figures for economically disadvantage [sic]”.

    And worst of all, 99.9% are at risk of being forced to attend Texas public schools.

  34. ragnarok wrote:

    Mike’s faking the numbers;

    The devil you say! Mike in Texas faking up data to fit his agenda? I am stunned. Yes, stunned.

    Besides, in the story he linked there’s the little tidbit that let’s the secret out. The average per-student budget number for Texas charters is necessarily unrepresentative since it’s compared to the state average for district-based schools.

    Since the bulk of Texas charters are in urban areas, their cost of doing business is going to be higher then the state average for district-based schools. There are lots of rural, lower-cost schools to pull the state average down.

    The appropriate comparison should have been to similar, urban schools but accuracy doesn’t serve in this case so a bit of artless misdirection is used.

    Mike in Texas wrote:

    That would mean the public schools are spending about $251 on average per child, while having to provide transportation for all public schools kids as well as charter school kids,

    Proof?

    Also, the district-based schools have access to long-term financing which means building construction doesn’t come out of their operating budgets. Charters, unless Texas is very different from the rest of the nation, are forbidden access to long-term construction bonds and so must finance all capital expenses out of operating revenue. Puts a bit of a crimp in long-term planning but it does shade the numbers in the appropriate direction.

    A person employed as a teacher by an open-enrollment charter school must hold a high school diploma.

    Is this supposed to result in one of those “teachable moments” in which the realization strikes that charter school teachers haven’t been subject to the gentle ministrations of ed schools and thus are an inferior breed, foisted on an unsuspecting public by the greedy, running-dog lackies of the Wall Street oppressors who hope to line their pockets with the vast – but not nearly vast enough – funds that should go to the annointed, ed-school graduates?

    Don’t be so coy. I’d suggest finding an editorial at a union web site that proves charter schools prefer to hire felons on work-release since they can pay them in cigarettes. Write it yourself if you have too.

    If you’re going to lie, lie big.

  35. Mike in Texas says:

    Allen wrote:

    If you’re going to lie, lie big.

    If you can’t win with facts smear and insult.

  36. Mike in Texas says:

    Charters, unless Texas is very different from the rest of the nation, are forbidden access to long-term construction bonds and so must finance all capital expenses out of operating revenue.

    Who do you think you’re kidding? The charter supporters want to be given already constructed schools paid for by local taxpayers. The only charter in my hometown was already in existence as a learning lab for the local university. They have zero building costs.

  37. ragnarok says:

    Mike in Texas wrote:

    “If you can’t win with facts smear and insult.”

    When you corner a squid, it squirts out a cloud of opaque ink and makes its escape while you’re trying to figure out what the heck happened. Er… did I say squid? Sorry, I meant Mike in Texas.

  38. Mike in Texas says:

    Ragnarok wrote:

    Er… did I say squid? Sorry, I meant Mike in Texas.

    Ahh, another foe reduced to hurling insults. Perhaps you and Allen can comfort each other since that is something he often resorts to. But don’t feel bad, the whole “reform” crowd is known from throwing insults at people who don’t agree with them.

  39. Mike in Texas wrote:

    But don’t feel bad, the whole “reform” crowd is known from throwing insults at people who don’t agree with them.

    And the whole reform crowd is also winning proving that the cleverest dissembling is always a race against time. And you’re losing.

    The charter supporters want to be given already constructed schools paid for by local taxpayers.

    They do? The fiends!

    Just because a charter school is a public school what possible rationale could there be for a charter school to use a public school building?

    They have zero building costs.

    Really? You mean the university just let them move right in without any compensation? I know of three charter schools in my area that moved into unused district buildings and every one of them is expected to pay rent along with covering all building-related expenses including repairs.

    Seems a bit inequitable to me, the district retains ownership, does nothing to maintain or improve the property and collects rent.

    I guess things are different in Texas.

    I’d ask for some substantiation but that’s always proven to be a fool’s errand so we’ll just assume that Texan hospitality extends to school districts handing over the keys to charter schools.

    Ahh, another foe reduced to hurling insults.

    Wasn’t so much “hurled” as lobbed and accuracy differentiates an insult from a description. So, I wasn’t insulting you.

    I just figured that with all your dissembling, changing of subject, misrepresentation and, occasionally, outright lying, you’d appreciate being recognized for your efforts. You do work at it hard enough.

    I’d almost feel sorry for you with constant reverses suffered by the proponents of the status quo, district-based public education system – people like yourself. But then I remind myself what’s at stake and all my sympathy evaporates.

  40. Oh, and just so we don’t get too sidetracked by your descent into contrived outrage, how is a comparison of state-wide average per-student expenditures of district-based schools to per-student expenditures of the primarily urban charter schools valid?

  41. Mike in Texas says:

    Allen wrote:

    how is a comparison of state-wide average per-student expenditures of district-based schools to per-student expenditures of the primarily urban charter schools valid?

    So you can attempt to distract yourself from explaining why charters can’t do the very things they were set up to do?

  42. No, actually it’s to give the appearence of what isn’t in evidence.

    If a valid comparison had been sought, the comparison would have been between district-based urban schools and charters which, as has been noted, are predominantly urban.

    But thanks for recomfirming what you’ve proven over and over: it’s the status quo that’s important, not the education.

    By the way, you think Senator Kennedy will manage to get the NCLB extended to high schools? Seems likely, doesn’t it?

    After all, there really hasn’t been much in the way of resistence to the original bill and certainly nothing in the way of a coherent and broadly-based political backlash.

    You think the NEA will try to run a more reasonable Democrat against Senator Kennedy in the primary? Naw, he’s pretty much invulnerable. Certainly to a novice Democrat.

    I think the NEA has to do something, don’t you? But what?

  43. Mike in Texas says:

    Allen wrote:

    By the way, you think Senator Kennedy will manage to get the NCLB extended to high schools? Seems likely, doesn’t it?

    I think its very unlikely NCLB will be extended to high schools. Too many people see it now for what it really is; a plan to destroy public education not save it. Ted Kennedy probably doesn’t see it that way, but you know my opinion of him. I doubt if he can remember what he voted for last week, much less four years ago.

  44. ragnarok says:

    One fine day, the Devil looked out his window. The sun was shining, a cool breeze was blowing, and the public schools were working perfectly. He didn’t like the sunshine, and he hated the cool breeze, but what really enraged him was that perfect public school system. “Look,”, he said, “they’re doing *my* work. The kids are failing, the grounds are unkempt, the union members are marching in a union protest. Look at that marching rhythm, those baseball bats, those inspiring chants. Look at the imaginative ways in which they teach spelling and English – ‘Viola’ for ‘Voila’, ‘no where’ for nowhere, ‘veteren’ for veteran.”

    “That’s got to stop,” he said, “or I won’t have anything to do.”

    So he rammed NCLB through.