Entries Tagged 'I Love Irony' ↓
February 13th, 2013 — Book Thoughts, I Love Irony, Politics Blogs
According to former Vice President Dick Cheney:
The performance now of Barack Obama as he staffs up the national security team for the second term is dismal.
I love the irony of Dick Cheney denouncing what might happen in the future. Does he think we don’t know what happened in the past?
At the 1:45 mark of the The Daily Show (February 12), we get Jon Stewart’s less nuanced explanation of why we should not listen to Dick Cheney.
February 4th, 2013 — Book Thoughts, I Love Irony, Politics Blogs, Teacher Reads
I love these stories about bad teachers. This one is especially juicy because it involves the waste of more than $1 million over thirteen years. Teachers have the right to what lawyers call “due process.” In states with teacher bargaining rights, all the technicalities of this process are spelled out in the Master Contract, which is agreed to by the school board and the teacher union.
So, let’s be clear about who is responsible for this person receiving more than $1 million in salary. It is the school administration and the school boards that agreed to the Master Contract language.
Have we learned anything from this gross misuse of resources? Apparently not. The last statement in the video is, “No major plans to change the policy have been announced.”
Many others have weighed in on this issue. You can search on the key words and find more analysis — blah, blah, blah . . .
If you don’t need to know more than (1) we have this situation that needs to be changed, but (2) it is not being changed, you can stop reading here.
But if you want to know how we got to this point, here is the short story:
Collective bargaining involves lawyers in crafting language and strategies aimed at getting what they want for their side — either the school board or the teacher union. For many years school boards sought to hold down teacher salaries, so they gave teachers what they wanted in the “language” part of the Master Contract, which includes procedures for supervising and evaluating teachers. Board members agreed to many unwise language provisions so they could go back to the taxpayers and say, “I kept teacher salaries low. Re-elect me.”
So, all of you who revere the democratic process, how is that working? Do you like that we are paying this person more than $1 million to not teach? Do you like that we have no plans to change the policy? If not, why do you like the democratic governance of public education that got us into this situation?
Or is there somebody out there who wants to replace democratic governance with educational governance — governance that models the six virtues of the educated person? If not, we will continue to have uneducated school board members elected by uneducated citizens. Of course some of our most “uneducated” board members and citizens have multiple college degrees. I love irony.
February 1st, 2013 — Book Thoughts, I Love Irony, Teacher Reads
Educational researchers, school administrators, and policy makers don’t believe in the six-virtue definition of the educated person. It’s not that they evaluated it and found it wanting; it’s that they believe “educated” is the same as “schooled.” To them an “educated” person is one who earned degrees by scoring high on school tests.
Even professors of education don’t distinguish between “educated” and “schooled,” but they know the importance of precise definitions when doing research. For example, they know that a study on a teaching method’s “effectiveness” must start with an operational definition of “effective.” It has no meaning, until they give it one.
Educational definitions are important, which is why education is grounded in philosophy, not social science. Even educational researchers start with philosophy — with the inductive thinking that asks, “What is ‘effectiveness’ in this study?”
The most common way to define “effective” is in terms of higher test scores. So why do researchers, school administrators, and policy makers say their data show an increase in student achievement, performance, success, or learning, even though no studies have ever measured student achievement, performance, success, or learning? They use these euphemisms because it sounds shallow to say, “Our data show an increase in student test scores.”
And, if they said that, the logical next questions would be: (1) How much of an increase? (2) How many more correct answers does that increase represent?” When the answer to the second question is less than one more correct answer per student, the shallowness of the achievement is apparent.
(1) Educators equate “educated” with “schooled.”
(2) They measure “schooled” with test scores.
(3) They hide the shallowness of “schooling” by saying test scores reflect student achievement, performance, success, or learning.
But these are multi-dimensional concepts that defy measurement by test scores. I love irony.
December 28th, 2012 — Book Thoughts, I Love Irony, Teacher Reads
Americans agree on what it means to be “schooled” because of our common school experiences. We agree that highly “schooled” people are those with academic knowledge, academic skills, diplomas and degrees. If those same school experiences had been educational, we would also agree on what it means to be “educated.” Since we don’t, evidently we weren’t. I love irony.
December 22nd, 2012 — Book Thoughts, I Love Irony, Teacher Reads
You believe your job is to apply what research has found to be “effective.” I believe your job is to appreciate your subject matter and students. We believe in different job descriptions for the same reason — your experiences taught you to believe in yours, my experiences taught me to believe in mine.
Professors of education taught both of us that teachers should be professionals who apply what research has found to be “effective.” The difference in our experiences comes before that. You were taught to embrace what is taught in school, I was taught to challenge it.
Even though you can’t describe a time when applying what was “effective” had the desired effect, you will continue to believe that is your job because that is what you were taught. When we believe things we can’t support with experience or reason, we “just believe” them, anyway.
In this case, though, the results are disastrous for the improvement of education. Because 99% of teachers “just believe” what is not true — that teaching is an applied social science — schools have not improved over the last 50 years. If you believe they have improved, describe how they are improved and describe the social science findings that were applied to achieve that improvement.
BTW — when you had classes with education professors, did they describe the research findings they were applying? Did you ever wonder why they didn’t? Now you know why. I love irony.
September 29th, 2012 — Book Thoughts, I Love Irony, Politics Blogs
Those who want me to vote for Mitt Romney purchased a billboard in our area that refers to the presidency of Barack Obama this way: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Republicans must think I can’t remember 2008, when it was apparent that we were already fooled twice — in 2000 and 2004.
Their billboard says we were fooled in 2008, but not even the staunchest Republican knows that for sure, since we are still trying to dig our way out of near economic collapse. We all know for sure, however, that the 8-year administration of George W. Bush brought us to the brink of economic collapse. That is beyond dispute. A Republican President was handed a surplus in 2000; and in January, 2009, he handed President Obama an economy in free fall. The billboard sponsors must think I have forgotten that history.
Thanks to their attempt at being clever, I ask who should be ashamed if we are fooled a third time? I love irony.
August 9th, 2012 — Book Thoughts, I Love Irony, Politics Blogs
MSNBC is now the liberal distorter of conservative views, just as Fox has always been the conservative distorter of liberal views. When Jon Stewart claimed this equivalency in November, 2010, I disagreed.
Continue reading →
August 6th, 2012 — I Love Irony, Politics Blogs
On Hannity’s show former Vice President Cheney said this about current President Obama:
“I think he’s been a terrible president.” I love irony.
July 30th, 2012 — Book Thoughts, I Love Irony, Religion Blogs
All these years I thought Chick-fil-A had a “Closed on Sunday” policy because it’s a Christian establishment. Now I learn that it’s not. I love irony.
July 11th, 2012 — Book Thoughts, I Love Irony
Recently, NPR hostess Diane Rehm discussed “Wait: The Art and Science of Delay,” with author Frank Partnoy. At the end of the show the discussion turned to the technologies that demand our attention:
And here’s a final posting on Facebook from Donna who says, “Personally, I’m no longer a multitasker. I’m tired of rushing and being rushed. I value my quality of life more at this point than, quote, ‘getting stuff done for the sake of being productive.’ I think I’m finding a good balance between productivity and procrastination. Thank you to Frank Partnoy for addressing the social mania for getting things done.”
Well, that’s beautifully expressed. And I think it’s a hard lesson for all of us to learn, but I learned a bunch about it researching “Wait.” And I hope that it will help other people to achieve the balance that she just mentioned.
That was the last comment, just before the announcer said, “Visit drshow.org for audio archives, transcripts, podcasts and CD sales.”
I love irony.