If pay is based on students' scores, teachers will vy for the best pupils.
Back in LBJ's Great Society days, I taught the next-to-the-bottom-level of 12 levels of third grade. All my students knew they were in the "dumb" class.
When I gave out B's, or even A's for extraordinary effort, considering their inate intelligence, they, and/or their parents didn't
understand why they couldn't move up to a smarter" class.
One very intelligent child stood out in my class, but he was troublemaker. I convinced the principal he should be moved up, and the highest-level teacher admitted he belonged in her classroom.
With merit pay, would a teacher keep him down, so he would raise her classroom average?
If you want better teachers, put large one-way glass panels in classroom walls, and encourage parents to drop in any time to just to observe. That would help administrators to keep an eye on things, too.
Having a bathroom in each elementary school classroom, and a large blackboard at the front and back also lets the teacher know where everybody is; students can move around safely, and help each other out. Expensive? That $369 State subsidy to Scripps still sticks in my mind.
Good attendance should be rewarded in some way, for both students and teachers. And hopefully children with vision or hearing problems are helped earlier than in my day.
I always wished there were more ways to help parents. One student was absent 1/3 of the time, because mom needed his help with 2 younger siblings. Another was shunned and embarrassed because of his body odor and unclean clothes.
And all the emphasis on standardized tests?
How many adults do you know who had a miserable time in school, who make a great living and/or contribute mightily to society?
Remember when Bill Clinton was going to fire cruise missiles at Osama in Afghanistan in 1999? John Gibson on Fox said the reason he pulled back, was one of the emirs from the U.A.E was there hunting with Osama. His American-built C-130 was parked next to the tent.
Now George Bush is making deals with these emirs, giving them our ports? When his reason for sending 2,286 Americans to their deaths was his belief in Saddam’s connection to Al Qeda?
The comedian Bill Maher pointed out that Saddam would have been our bulwark against Muslim extremists, as previously he had been our bulwark against Communism.
Bill was fired for saying the 9-11 perpetrators weren’t cowards; lots of Americans were as outraged as the Muslims are at the cartoons. Now he wonders that WMD gets all the attention. When the terrible lie was that Saddam was in cahoots with Osama.
“This ocean belongs to the United States of America”, says Senator Pete Domenici. And he wants more oil and gas out of it. He sounds like Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. And he gets to be the same sort of dictator, because New Mexico, population less than 2 million, has elected him for 30 years?
And his Republicans are in power, already giving away $30,000,000,000.00 in “earmarks”. Like Royalty, doling out favors. Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, population 656,000, is getting them $450 million for a bridge to nowhere.
But divvying up the sea, selling rights to kill life of all kinds? How can “conservatives” do that? Because they’ve manufactured rage against “mideast oil”? Most of our imported oil comes from Canada, I heard on TV.
Why the panic in the land of “Faith”? “God will provide”, I always heard in church. God has blessed America. Now we want to suck the planet dry?
“White House plans to open drilling off Florida Coast”. “the Bush administration unveiled plans...to open more than 2 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling”. (p.12, Stuart News)
So George Bush is like the parent who disapproves of his overweight children in public, but then stocks the house with “junk” food instead of preparing nutritious meals?
Or was his State of the Union speech just so “over”, as the search for Osama seems to be? The Prez keeps saying “terrorist”, as if he can’t remember who he’s looking for. Oh, wait, he found another plot to bring down a high-rise in LA. And a tape of Saddam telling how he hid the WMD. George seems to be leading us around in circles, like the Peter Sellers character in the movie, “Being There”. But with a smirk and that smile.
As Americans are coming home with limbs blown off, brains damaged, and in coffins all alone. George doesn’t want us to be like Europe, which provides health care for all their people. He expects us to donate money to build a state-of-the-art-rehabilitative facility for maimed vets? He’s not personally responsible?
Was Jeb Bush doing like a real estate agent, scouting land for Scripps? “The chief concern is that the 8 million square feet of space for the biotech cluster to develop... needs to be available and there needs to be concrete evidence that the space...will be developed as biotech...It can’t be left up to market forces.” That’s Jeb’s spokesman Russell Schweiss quoted in the Stuart News.
These are Republicans? A $369 million subsidy for Scripps is an earmark, and Jeb wants another $55 million earmarked for Space Travel, even as George Will and other Conservatives say Earmarks are the main source of corruption in our government.
Government should be run efficiently like a business, but should it be in business? A “Your View” letter today says “the ony thing that will end (the congestion at Kanner and Monterey) is to build both north-south and east-west flyovers...” If Jeb and the Repubs are looking for ways to spend “their” windfall, there’s a thought. Coordinating traffic lights, putting RR crossings above or below grade, etc. There’s an endless list of what govt. could do “for the common good”.