Friday, June 29, 2012

RISE and _____________________

Do you remember the old game show, Match Game?  Contestants tried to match fill in the blank answers with celebrities.   Here's how I imagine the game show would transpire if Indiana teachers tried to match the IDOE.

Host Gene Rayburn:  Alright Indiana teachers, you just need to match the IDOE in order to win a year's worth of confidence in public education.  RISE is the name of the new evaluation plan for Hoosier teachers.  How do you think the IDOE responded:  RISE and ______________?

Indiana Teachers:   We'll guess, RISE and SHINE!
(Applause erupts from a naive audience of Hoosiers.)

Gene Rayburn:  The Indiana Teachers think you would say, it's RISE and SHINE.  Well, IDOE, do we have a match?

IDOE:  We have RISE and FALL.  It's the RISE evaluation to see the FALL of  seniority, teacher unions, skill level and ultimately Public Education.  

Gene Rayburn:  That's what makes this game so hard.  You're sure it means one thing, and all along it means something else.  Good luck, teachers.  Sounds like you're going to need it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

“Greetings, Public Education! Welcome to (the backroom of) Wal-Mart!”

How Public Education will fit into the new business model

Dear Education Associates,

We’re glad to have you aboard finally.  We’ll need to tell you a bit about how we do business here so you'll know how things operate.  

Start by imagining school as a business. Those little kindergarteners are the raw materials.  Your job is to take that raw material and create a product out of it.  It’s a long process, but when you’re done, the product you make is a graduating senior.  Now, you should know we asked you to imagine this, because some of you are more idealistic about it.  Well, we’re here to tell you now, don't imagine. This is the way it is.

It shouldn’t come as some big surprise. We’ve hired important spokespeople on all sides to spread the word. 

“Mr. Romney’s plan for education reform ensures a chance for every child from kindergarten through their careers.”  --- Indiana State Superintendent Tony Bennett

“Last September, we opened an innovative new school in partnership with IBM that focuses on computer science… so students graduate with a Regents degree and an associate’s degree and they also get a place in line for a job at IBM.” --- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

"A world-class education is the single most important factor in determining not just whether our kids can compete for the best jobs but whether America can out-compete countries around the world. America's business leaders understand that when it comes to education, we need to up our game.”

If you don’t recognize that one, you really need to start reading your boss's main message board.  Do note what's not mentioned; life long learning, wellness, pursuit of happiness - you get our point.

Lesson #1:  School is business.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Value Added Measures Victory! First Lazy Bum Thrown Out

Jacksonville, FL:  George Hincklemyer, a self-professed lazy bum, was dismissed from West Ashley Middle School this year after fourteen years of staffing room 7A.  Hincklemyer had outlasted five principals in his time at West Ashley, but due to new Value Added Measures, current principal Melinda Harris snuffed him out.  

“We’re just as surprised as everyone else about this,”