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OnesandZeros 
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Re: “Options for Little Rock schools

If you were King/Queen ... and could have a few inhibiting rules waived, what would be your perfect school? Qualifier ... w/i existing budgets? (hold your horses, next we will plan our ideal school with a few "donations")

Posted by OnesandZeros on 08/13/2010 at 9:22 PM

Re: “Options for Little Rock schools

Well, I don't know how we can return to a subject that was never left. And I do have to address a few points. Every public school, chartered or traditional...just like every publicly funded facility, must meet all ADA standards for accessibility. All public schools, chartered or traditional, must provided related services to PL 94-142 eligible students that are "necessary to show some educational gain" (see Supreme Court Rowley decision). That does not mean that parents have the right to demand any and every therapy that *might* help a child, or that will maximize a child's ability. That would be nice, but it is absolutely cost prohibited in a public school setting of any kind. Lots of parents don't understand that and believe that if it might help a child, they are legally entitled to it. RE: Before and after school care. Public education is an instructional day. In truth? anything more than that is foster care ... state custody and care of private citizen's children. Before and after school care is called parenting.

Why do so many talented people leave teaching? Because they are being asked to be health care providers/mental health care providers, day care providers...everything that parents used to handle and be responsible for that they now want to shift to underpaid, highly educated school personnel. Fixing to see a lot of "Jet-Blue-ing" if parents don't step back up to the plate. Sorry, rant over

Posted by OnesandZeros on 08/13/2010 at 7:25 PM

Re: “Options for Little Rock schools

No, Jake! You are exactly right. Even most of our "innovations" in public education are really just cycling new commercial whiz bang curriculum of the year. To me, that is what charter schools should do ... give true innovative ideas a small arena to experiment, with the foreknowledge that successful methods would be replicated on a larger scale in traditional schools and unsuccessful methods would fail quickly.

To your thoughts on the how we run education, what if the LRSD (or the PCSSD or the NLRSD) contracted with use to go into one of their most challenging primary schools. And allowed us to operate it as a PK4-2, ungraded school.

Grades up to 2nd are where children learn that symbols stand for other things; one pencil = the numeral 1 = the word one; words you hear are made up of letters that you see; colors that you see have names; etc. It is all symbolic learning that prepares them for third grade, when they begin to learn how to combine and interpret the symbols.

In our ungraded K4-2 what if progress was measured on scales of developmental tasks. Johnny understands the numbers 1,2,3,4,5 and know the symbols that represent those numbers, etc. all the way thru. Easy to explain to parents exactly where their child is and what she knows and is learning. Children promoted based on individual progress, not arbitrary dates on a calendar. Very bright children moved on quickly, slower children given the time they need.

Posted by OnesandZeros on 08/13/2010 at 6:50 PM

Re: “Options for Little Rock schools

Please grant me blanket forgiveness for typos and awkward sentence structure, I am really poor at proof reading. Thank you very much.

Posted by OnesandZeros on 08/13/2010 at 5:30 PM

Re: “Options for Little Rock schools

Jim makes a point in such a kind way that it might slip our attention. In Arkansas, the focus on parental input and local control has been unequally emphasized, which, in my opinion, may have led to perception of and actual appeal to middle class parents looking for something closer to a private school...but free. Often the students having the most difficulty in formal education settings are those from homes that, for whatever reason, are less supportive of education, and child development in general, just as Jim points out. All the parental participation and local control in the world will not make a significant difference in schools re-structuring for students from such homes. All of the administrative and instructional force and energy that can be mustered has to be focused on building and extending academic and developmental background for those students. All of the bake sales, focus groups, strategic planning sessions, PTA meetings, group hugs in the world will not only fix the situation, they will take away valuable, critical instructional time. That is not popular to say. But ask any educator, whether in the classroom or in administration fore their opinion and that is what they will tell you.

So, will our virtual team designing our AT eSTEM be allowed to have waivers from the current "parental involvement/local control" model of most of our existing charters? And would that make a difference?

Posted by OnesandZeros on 08/13/2010 at 5:27 PM

Re: “Options for Little Rock schools

Who says interest in Arkansas public education is not hot ... I mean, intense!

Posted by OnesandZeros on 08/13/2010 at 5:10 PM

Re: “Options for Little Rock schools

Lol ...will you be in charge of evaluation and measurements? :)

Posted by OnesandZeros on 08/13/2010 at 4:34 PM

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