Monday, August 30, 2010

Who's Looking Out for Your Children?

Parents in Morton, WA are speaking out against the rehiring of a teacher who plead guilty (albeit an Alford plea). One would think that the teacher’s union would see the folly in their support of such a criminal. Well, maybe they will once they consider the fact that the teacher called in sick the first day of school due to protestors outside of the school. Oh, did I mention that parents have been calling the school prior to the start of school in order to pull their kids from his class? Yeah, parents do care but there are still those in the teacher’s union who believe that parents are misguided and prejudiced when it comes to their children…duh! What do they expect and would they really want any less?

This point was driven home today as I listened to NPR on a little portable radio and had to resist the temptation to just throw it out the window in utter frustrations. What would cause me such distress you ask? Well, it started with the host discussing the LA Times article regarding an investigation of teacher performance data with the reporter who was involved in studying and writing about their findings. He broke it down and explained how the data was taken over a 7 year period in which they analyzed the data with a value added formula. This allowed them to see who were the effective teachers, the middle of the road teachers, and the ineffective teachers. You can guess which group was having the biggest issue with their findings.
Hallelujah! What a great way to evaluate and recognize the good and the bad, make changes, acknowledge the obvious, and improve the education of thousands of children. But hold on, the teacher’s unions are upset. Notice that the headline says “Teachers” are upset but read the article and it says “Teacher Unions” are upset…is anyone surprised? Not really and especially the teachers, the good ones at least.

NPR then brought on a representative from the teachers union to offer a counter point and one of her main reasons for these results being made public not being a good things was that it would allow parents to make decisions for their children in the school based on information. This in turn would give them the power to make informed decisions when requesting certain teachers over others. Again, what is the problem? She went on to explain that this is a problem because parents don’t see the big picture and are unable to recognize the needs of the schools, administration, and the district when placing kids each year. The one group not listed in her rundown of who matters was the children. I just thought to myself, “Keep digging lady!” As a parent who does homeschool their children, I believe she was making an excellent case for parents who do care about their children’s well-being and education …this is the definition of parent, in my mind! Why would anyone NOT want to homeschool their child after hearing this? Children, as individuals are not their (Teacher Union's) priority.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Downside to Homeschooling...

While on vacation in Canada without the kids my husband and I saw this commercial. Let's just say we both thought it was wonderful and that for anyone who has children we think you will be able to find the humor in it while your kids just glare at you. Enjoy!

Nathan's Native American Button Blanket

Nathan's Native American Button Blanket
Eagle patterned button blanket designed for beauty and warmth. To see more pictures of how he made this click on the picture above.

Rick Miller - Bohemian Rhapsody