Juan Williams on Education Reform

5 Comments

  1. I’m a Conservative who supports school choice. However I do not support tying the teacher’s evaluation to the standardized assessment. Clearly Juan has formed an opinion, not on fact, but on his false assumptions. Does he even realized that teachers are forced to use faulty materials in their class? Forced to use pedagogy that they know will fail their students?? Forced to do things they know is not good for the students, but they have no choice. The bureaucrats have decided what’s best for the students and if teachers know better, they are often times overruled.

    All one has to so is look at the math wars going on right now. Fuzzy math that dooms a student to failure forced upon students because the bureaucrats think fuzzy math is good. Many teachers know it’s lousy but they’ve been told they have to use it.

    These are the details that always go ignored.

    As much as I despise the Marxist teachers unions, I do understand the war on teachers right now coming from the Obama Admin. Sadly the unions sold out the teachers in this reform movement and no one seems to understand that we are driving good people out of the public schools because the bureaucrats and people like Juan Williams are clueless

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  2. As a Libertarian leaning Fiscal Conservative working in a secondary school, it was entirely refreshing to view Juan’s comments, and Juan and I rarely agree on much. I especially enjoyed his full understanding of the criminal (my adjective) failure of today’s (mostly public school) educational institutions. He clearly duplicates the love any responsible parent has for his or her children or grandchildren or whatever the relation, and the eventual tsunami of this inexorable force. He is headed in the right direction when he talks about taking the money away from the bureaucrats and putting it in the hands of such parents. That is certainly no panacea, but it is a key first step in disemboweling the current system, its dictators, and their sycophants.

    Unfortunately, there are few schools or alternative systems that universally, reliably deliver an education today, be they charter or magnet or private or home. So few of them actually address the technology of study before they attempt to deliver curriculum. Most of these alternative systems still cling, even if unconsciously, to methodologies that advance a student via time-on-subject or time-in-classroom rather than mastery of the subject matter.

    And here, really, is where the rubber meets the road. As Juan so perfectly points out, that teacher in that classroom has to deliver mastery, even if Juan never used the word. A teacher’s students have to be able to read the words on their diploma. This is mastery. Her students have to be able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. No teacher has to work in system that supplies faulty curriculum, but – and Juan is headed in the right direction – every teacher has a duty to take a student through to mastery of the subject matter, no matter how long it takes. Some students will only get mastery only through geometry, because their ambition it to be a surveyor. Some students will require mastery beyond that as their personal ambition pushes them toward science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. But mastery of what it takes to address each student’s personal ambitions is the irreducible minimum. Mastery means the ability to apply and achieve the desired result.

    The real world is going to run this test on our children. Better tested in school first, frequently, failing safely, having the methodology of study to find the source of that failure, correcting what was missed, retesting, and thus ensuring that mastery has been achieved. Today’s standardized tests may not be perfect, but they are a measure of mastery. And mastery, no matter how long it takes, is what we have to deliver to our children, or as they fail in life, so have we failed.

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  3. The reading curriculum is ineffective to the point of actually retarding learning to read.
    Curriculum must be addressed above all else. Even some of the charter schools making gains are beating up kids with curriculum that makes it extraordinarily difficult to learn to read. That is why the longer hours, Saturday school, etc.

    The brain research has been done supporting phonics. Please tell Juan to read my column at the above website. It includes links to the reading research. Math is the same. Fuzzy math never worked.

    Remind him I am the Juan Williams groupie in Nebraska. Thanks

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  4. It is so much more than what the teachers and schools do – poverty and lack of appropriate parenting also needs to be addressed. Not an excuse, but what are teachers to do with kids who bully, have no role models at home/in their communities and have no prospects for work that is meaningful – UGH!

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  5. It is so sad that the “right is wrong wing”, always, is afraid of anything or anyone, especially progress and anything good. Not supporting public schools is BIGOTRY and Anti-American, nothing else, like “school choice”. Support Your Schools, take some responsibility in this country.

    I predicted this would happen after that irresponsible Prop 13 in California was passed by the ME generation, those thieves. This lazy ignorant generation retired at 55 in the 80s and are now in the casinos putting their Social Security checks in slot machines and living into their 90s, that is unforgivably irresponsible, no debate.

    I thought this Choice Media was an OK idea when I first heard of it. Then I see that Choice Media is a bought and paid for arm of the irresponsible republican anti-Americans. The only reason the world is so screwed up is because of the republican fascists/corporate socialist ideology they have spewed since the early 70s. Anything to bring people, especially kids down to the lowest level and to force their anti-Christ dogma onto the masses. “Who would Jesus Hate”, that’s their motto.

    Now it’s tear down public schools, just to break unions! You don’t want to support the children you have brought into this world or their kids. You don’t feel responsible or even care for the children you force to fight your stupid wars because they can’t get a good job. All just because you’re greedy racists and bullies.

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