Thursday, March 19, 2009

Airport notes

I'm packed and on my way back to California to attend a meeting of school planners and architects. Yes, my bad left knee has killed my jump shot, but I'm still on the "dream team." Meanwhile, the state's teachers, parents and students impatiently wait on the federal stimulus to hopefully save the jobs of tens of thousands of teachers/staff currently on the chopping block.


Conservative think-tankers like Fred Hess and Diane Ravitch however, are joining the feeding frenzy on Obama education stimulus plan. Hess takes his jabs in the form of when-did-you-stop-kicking-your-mother? "questions" in the National Review.

Ravitch, posting on her Bridging Differences blog, superficially dismisses the boost in ed spending as "heaped goodies" on contending factions. She continues her absurd claim that there's no difference between Obama and Bush when it comes to public education. While Obama's recent statements on charters and merit pay are reflective of pressures from conservative factions within the DOE, fortunately, at least from my observations, the think-tankers' assessments of his first two months in office don't resonate in resource-starved schools, early-childhood educators, and in urban communities where the differences remain clear.


Quote of the day comes from Deb Meier, who debates national standards with Ravitch and has her own critique of Obama/Duncan and the "business model."
The big business mindset, so destructive nationwide, is being offered a free hand in our schools. Schools are “delivery” systems, teachers are deliverers of curriculum, principals are CEOs. It’s an intensification of the old factory-model for new technology factories. Local empowerment in today’s schools usually means more power to the principal and less for the line workers, students, or parents—now seen as obstructers of progress.

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