"This is a historic milestone decades in the making. With this agreement, the State and the three Pulaski County school districts can move forward to focus on the best interests of the students, rather than on costly, burdensome litigation.
"We look forward to presenting this agreement to the Court very soon."
Rapert said this is representative of a larger trend favoring STEM subjects at the expense of social studies, calling it “almost an indictment of the entire liberal arts curriculum in America.”
Also, as Senate Chair Johnny Key (R – Mountain Home) pointed out, geography teachers are not the only ones who feel this way: advocates of Arkansas history, the arts, and other curricula have complained of similar marginalization. Key suggested that groups who are “independently advocating for their subject of choice” may need to look into advocating in a broader sense rather than taking a piecemeal approach.The same committees got some preliminary reports on the number of students taking advantage of the nearly unlimited school "choice" law passed by the 2013 legislature.
“The standard of warm, safe, and dry is far too low to set the bar for determining adequacy,” Hutchinson says. “The state needs to assess and redevelop minimum facilities needs for today’s students in the age of technology. All students deserve equitable opportunities to learn—opportunities to enter college or a career on a level playing field with their peers.”
One way a shutdown makes the passage of a debt limit increase easier is that it can persuade outside actors to come off the sidelines and begin pressuring the Republican Party to cut a deal. One problem in the politics of the fiscal fight so far is that business leaders, Wall Street, voters and even many pundits have been assuming that Republicans and Democrats will argue and carp and complain but work all this out before the government closes down or defaults. A shutdown will prove that comforting notion wrong, and those groups will begin exerting real political pressure to force a resolution before a default happens.
It's worth noting, for the record, that it would be vastly better if there was no shutdown and no default and House Republicans stopped trying to enact an agenda that lost at the polls by threatening the country. But American politics is what it is right now, and given its sorry condition, a shutdown might be the best of very bad options.
But, pointing to the National Assessment of Education Progress, which has sampled math and reading scores every two years since 1992 and, in an alternate version, every four years since the early 1970s, Ravitch demonstrates that levels of achievement have been rising, incrementally but steadily, from one decade to the next. And — surprise! — those scores are now “at their highest point ever recorded.” Graduation rates are also at their highest level, with more young people entering college than at any time before.There's a good interview by Jake Silverstein with Ravitch, by the way, in Texas Monthly, a state that could use more facts about education and less faith. (You read, didn't you, about how the board that will pick the state's biology textbooks is packed with creationists?) Excerpt:
Black and Hispanic children, nonetheless, continue to lag behind. The black-white gap, as Ravitch documents, narrowed greatly in the era of desegregation, but progress has slowed as the hyper-segregation of our schools and neighborhoods along both racial and economic lines has come to be accepted once again as the normal order of the day. Market competition has not reduced the gap. Charter schools — Ravitch says we ought to ban those that operate for profit — have an uneven record. They “run the gamut from excellent to awful” and, on average, do no better than their public counterparts. Those that claim impressive gains are often openly or subtly selective in the children they enroll. Most do not serve children with severe disabilities. Others are known to counsel out or expel problematic students whose performance might depress the scores.
What passes for reform today, Ravitch writes, is “a deliberate effort” to replace public schools with a market system.
JS: In your new book, Reign of Error , you say that the well-meaning people who support these reforms—and presumably these are the people who used to be your allies—have “allied themselves with those who seek to destroy public education.” You really think the result of the reform movement will be the destruction of public education?
DR: I think that’s the direction we’re heading in. First of all, I have a lot of trouble with the word “reform” being attached to what’s happening right now. That’s why I call it the privatization movement. So if the privatization movement continues unchecked, then yes, it will destroy public education. There’ll be public education here and there in relatively affluent communities that are untouched, but it’ll be dead in the cities, and it’ll be dead in the inner suburbs. It won’t be completely privatized, but there’ll be a dual system.
The most sweeping new law is in Texas, where the Protection of Texas Children Act went into effect on Sept. 1. Teachers who want to serve as armed school marshals must have a license to carry a concealed weapon, pass a mental health evaluation and be trained specifically to respond when someone with a gun is inside a school shooting students.
The program is still being developed, and unlike the Arkansas effort, teachers would have to keep the guns under lock and key and only one school marshal would be allowed for each 400 students.
“The idea that a single relatively untrained teacher is going to bring this person who is heavily armed down is a stretch,” said Mark Glaze, the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. “The idea is to keep the guns from the hands of the shooter.”
Those who have spent their lives in the classroom have similar concerns.
“No teacher that I know of could ever receive enough training,” said Steve Gunter, a retired history teacher in Bentonville, Ark.
“If I had a gun in my room with some of these students where I taught? They’d get it from me and shoot me,” he said. “They’d say, ‘Mr. Gunter, you gave me an F? Here’s your F.’ ”
cato: I agree with you common law allows REASONABLE restrictions such as felons, mentally ill.
The most frustrating issue with the pipeline in Mayflower is that it brought a product…
A billionaire and a good guy? Pardon me while I wrestle with cognitive dissonance.
A&E Feature / To-Do List / In Brief / Movie Reviews / Music Reviews / Theater Reviews / A&E News / Art Notes / Graham Gordy / Books / Media / Dining Reviews / Dining Guide / What's Cookin' / Calendar / The Televisionist / Movie Listings / Gallery Listings