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Grant Williams 
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Re: “What Johnny Key won't tell you: The truth about teachers and D and F schools. Demographics are destiny.

Thanks for the revealing article Max and Dr. Mills for having the guts to write the letter. It's time for leadership that have a passion for education. The demographics reveal the common denominator of failures, and you can't blame educators as the cause of that association. It is sad, black, white, yellow green, rich or poor. To ignore the deficit they come with is to ignore your responsibility as government leaders. Too much delegation of authority to a 'department of education' and little direct involvement by those we elected. Too much expectation without authority nor independent means given to front line educators to solve the problem. They are the experts, trained for the job, not bureaucratic politicians. You provide the money, adopt a plan of classroom action (not some self declared new method of teaching by one self declared education expert, who charges for his sharing his 'wisdom') then support and keep those who have chosen to give their lives to the task of educating others --motivated. Just as in sports, the main task of the head coach is to see that those who play for you continue to be MOTIVATED to do the job. I did so for 36 year and there is no secret to successfully communicating a subject to a youngster, but to roll up your sleeves and involve yourself and your students in the process. It worked for generation after generation until politicians and educational 'leaders' came up with the 'alternatives' they recommended teachers use to motivate and educate students. It has not worked because it was non-traditional, illogical, expensive to implement with all aspects of technology crammed down educators throats tied to wasteful planning and paperwork to use the 'new methods'.. no continuity, a new method to be used every year , prescribed by someone far removed from the local environment and local classroom. Until a leader with a passion for traditional classroom experiences emerges in our state government, who can convince other legislators and a governor that fundamentals be returned, the downward spiral will continue. You can not expect to attract capable, individuals with a taste or passion for educating others unless the pay is worthwhile. The image of a teaching position filled by a traditional woman, who is only the secondary breadwinner in a family and thus should be glad to work for a little above minimum wage in a clean environment - has to be eliminated. You get what you pay for and this is a profession, like it or not legislators, and the profession that taught every legislator how to read, write, add and subtract and think ! They were probably the one who motivated you to become what you are today. They were motivated and thus, you were too. You need mentors, trainers, and proven motivational leaders working on the front lines with teachers, daily to help them to keep the fire burning for the success of their students. The fire goes out, the warmth rays of concern, and assistance where needed vanish and so will the success of learning in students. Education is not rocket science. It is consistent hard work in communication of knowledge, and skill to others. Evaluation should take place, but should not be viewed as the end result of successful education. The mistake of mandating 'tools for learning' be used in the communication process should be an enhancement feature in the process, not a substitute for basic verbal and written communications used every day. Electronics are not the key to a successful education , as our governor has insisted be taught in every school. They generally have more 'power' at home than schools can keep up with and should not be attempting to keep up with. More money has been wasted in school systems, trying to keep up with current computer technology that constantly changes. And what if those resources had gone to teacher salaries to attract and keep career educators. I think additional statistics will prove that career educators are a thing of the past, due to lack of treatment as professionals, and lack of support, and credit for knowing what to do. Government had intervened, with unnecessary mandated, and 'dummed down' the profession , as best I can express it. You are now told what and when and were and how to do everything you do. You no longer need a creative and motivated teacher , simply an hourly employee to follow directions of others in some level of administration or department of education. More parental involvement, at home cooperation is another key element to successful educational process. A missed link in the process of education that officials outside the realm of education choose not to focus on, especially in early years. And, with fewer and fewer teachers in the classrooms, by choice of leadership to save money, brings ups the need to reduce administrators for oversight and assistance of teachers. The 'team concept' of administrators and teachers is gone. It has been replaced by the concept that teachers are to be 'managed' . The concept of 'them verses us' is the prevailing mood in most schools in recent years. Another symptom of a failing school. Administrator training should be revisited as this condition is prevailing in unsuccessful schools. Another example of the lack of priority our state and our governor has places on higher education just recently is evident by the following. With very few large animal veterinarians coming out of vet school (after attending a vet school elsewhere than in Arkansas because we do not have one nor even have a goal of building one in conjunction with the U of A complex) our governor and legislature passed law that allows anyone to perform certain large animal veterinary procedures who pays a fee and has a licensed veterinarian to sign off that they have seen them successfully perform the work. This was a slap in the face of the few vets who went through higher education 8 years with a cost of approximately $200,000 to achieve their knowledge and skill. Thus, taking away one of the main streams of revenue a successful large animal vet has to make a living, and furthermore insuring that future informed students in this state will not pursue a career as a large animal vet in Arkansas. A the politicians who proposed it were friends of an individual wanting to do the work, without having the education and licensing of a veterinarian. One man's political clout, injured the future of a medical profession, thanks to the nearsighted few who voted to do this. It's all about leadership at the highest level and someone needs to take the reigns for the future of public schools, at all levels in AR. And the crossroads of private vs. public education, has taken it's toll, and will continue to do so untill commitments are made to return to what worked for decades. It's not rocket science and the time for 'experimentation' are over. They can not both be 'right' , one with strict unnecessary oversight and accountability and the other with relatively zero.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Grant Williams on 11/04/2018 at 1:20 AM
  • Re: Open line

    • Hey, hey, hey! Calling Trump an asshole is an insult to anal sphincters everywhere.

    • on April 21, 2019
  • Re: When police officers have their criminal records expunged

    • Hack with comfort and get your job done systematically with a bridge of security alert…

    • on April 21, 2019
  • Re: Open line

    • "Trump" as a synonym for "asshole" works for me, deadsea.

    • on April 21, 2019


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