Dayton Public Schools untold stories: Thurgood Marshall HS

Here’s a good interview with Mr. David Lawrence, principal out at Thurgood Marshall HS in Dayton where I did my student teaching this past fall. For what my opinion is worth, I was impressed with the job he and his team are doing out there. I had hoped to be teaching there, but logistics didn’t work out that way. Regardless, I think that Mr. Lawrence will overcome the challenges that face him and his students provided they are given the chance.

Dayton Public Schools untold stories: Thurgood Marshall HS.

Robert Reich’s Blog: Addendum: The Job Numbers for September

I’ve got a bit of a love/hate relationship with politics; I have yet to decide how I ought to interact with it as a Christian. Regardless, I do find the intersection of economics, policy, and politics interesting.

Since I’ve started my own career transition, I have been particularly interested in the arena of education. If I remember my Steven Covey correctly, education is one of those Quadrent 2 activities: Important but not Urgent. These are the kinds of things that are easy to cut when time or money get tight.

Back in the summer when state library funding was threatened, I actually wrote a letter (email) to my state representatives. My first. I argued then was that education is essential to any recovery and libraries play an important role in education. Now is not the time to cut back on these services.

Today I read this statistic via Robert Reich’s Blog: Addendum: The Job Numbers for September:

State governments, meanwhile, continue to shed employees. Here’s one of the most depressing statistics I’ve seen (if you need any additional ones): Some 15,600 teachers didn’t return to work in September. They were laid off. So our classrooms are bigger, we have fewer teachers, and our students are presumably learning less — at the very time when they need to be learning more than ever.

Unfortunately, I am not surprised. Here’s hoping for some change in the next twelve months… and not just because I’ll be looking for a teaching position next summer.

NPR: Turn Students Into Investments

OK, I love the Planet Money podcast and would recommend it to absolutely everyone. While I haven’t yet listened to the podcast in question, I must say that my lunch began to curdle in my stomach just a little when I read this post: NPR: Turn Students Into Investments.

“What if teachers were paid based on the future income their students make… That way the students would turn into ‘investments’ for the teachers.”

No offense to Ryan C., who made the suggestion, but this is a disastrous idea.

A number of flaws are already expressed in the comments, so I didn’t add to those. The one’s I find most compelling aren’t the practical/logistical problems, but the moral/philosophical ones. What does this approach say about our values as a society? Capitalism, as an ideology, is reductionist and dehumanizing, whereas education has the potential to elevate people to the very pinnacle of their human potential, something the market is woefully unable to reflect.