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02 May 2012


Russ Steele

I have serious doubt that we will ever be capable of fixing our failing K-12 education system. My brother-in-law was with the Federal Department of Education. His department was responsible for new initiatives for improvement. For two years in the late 1980s we carried on a debate about the future of the US education system. He sent me report after report generated by blue ribbon panels that had studied the problem and recommended changes over 15 years. He sent copies of internal studies, and studies by third party agencies. I kept all these documents on a book shelf and spent hours reading and studying the work of some America’s dullest minds and some of our best and brightest thinkers from our best academic institutions.

At the end of this personal effort, I ended up with a stack of studies and reports that was over 2 feet tall. It was littered with sticky notes and notes in the margins. I had dozens of phone calls discussing the issue with my brother-in-law. This was pre-email. After two years, I finely concluded that the only way to fix K-12 education in the US was to kill it. Drive a willow stake through the heart of the system and kill it and start over. Every attempt to fix the system had failed.

Our personal solution for our own children was to get involved. Ellen joined parent panels, I worked with teachers to being more science into the class room, arranged for Seven Hills to have a NASA Satellite Link, and taught a class on how to make telescopes out of PVC pipe and surplus Xerox copier lens cells. We turned every family vacation trip in to an educational experience. And, challenged the systems to make sure our children were placed in the classrooms with the best teachers in the school, and in one case worked hard to have one high school teacher removed from the classroom. We were not popular people at NU.

After our children move on to University, we became supporters of the Charter School movement. Through my work with the Nevada County Community Network, we brought the Internet to those Charter Schools that wanted to have a connection. It was our hope that the Charter Schools would provide the competition that would spur change in the State run schools. That did not happen. The unions resisted any attempt to change the system, and are still trying to kill off the Charter Schools in the Legislature. They cannot stand the competition. Now I support the the SESF TechTest and TechTest Jr program to raise students aspirations.

The real question is where do we go from where we are today. What can we do to change the system? The consequences of not changing the system are unacceptable.


Unfortunately, I think even testing is a waste at this point... maybe not a complete waste, but pretty close. My 3rd grader just did her state testing and I'm completely disgusted by the material that was covered and the material that wasn't. Why give equal weight to her ability to abbreviate the months of the year and her reading comprehension? Why on Earth test her to see if she can measure centimeters (as in, is the flower petal 1 cm, 2 cm or 3cm) with her fingers alone? California standards-based math for elementary school students is a complete joke - all about tricking the kids into memorizing steps instead of teaching them concepts. We use texts that teach mathematical principles, then spend a couple weeks at the end of the year "catching up" on the stupid state standards before the annual test. I wonder every year if there's any reason to bother with the state test... And I also wonder how the unions are benefiting from these crappy curricula. I can't stand to teach my kids garbage. It's just as much work to teach them garbage as to teach them valuable skills. Why do the work and skip the reward? Does someone have a vested interest in keeping kids stupid?

Russ Steele

Runts 10:17am

You asked "Does someone have a vested interest in keeping kids stupid?" The answer is yes! It is much easier to manipulate those with no thinking skills. Liberals and progressive are know more for feelings, rather than thinking. Liberal elites would rather deal with a population that is more into feelings, rather than thinking. I think they are succeeding!

Douglas Keachie

STEM cells do seem to have replaced brain cells here.

Examine please:


The engineers' view of the world.

From a nearby thread, Ryan Mount observes:

"What a fiscal hawk wants to know, is what what does a dove economy look like? What does a liquidity solution look like? And where does it end? And what does it mean if, let's say, the Dollar isn't the reserve currency anymore. Noble laureate Professor Krugman seemed very uncomfortable with this line of questioning."

And from above we get the following fantasy:

"A forty point increase in our PISA score (see chart) would generate “… results (that) are stunning. The improvement in GDP over the next 80 years would exceed a present value of $70 trillion. That's equivalent to an average 20% boost in income for every U.S. worker each year over his or her entire career. "

I'm not sure where these figures were wiped from, but I have reason to doubt that if every student in the USA was educated to be a top of the heap, PISA-wise, engineer, that the figures would be so abundant. Or, on the other hand, that if the select few were so anointed, that any of the money would "trickle down" to the unwashed, ill-housed and health uncared for, masses.

I notice that the elephant in the room, poorly socialized kids entering the system from incomplete families, full of anger issues, was completely ignored in the previous thread, except by me, where the resident genius signed off with, "Since I am not a teacher, why should I care if CalSTRS goes bust with unfunded liabilities?"

The problem all engineer types posting here seem to have is one that was identified by Mario Savio nearly fifty years ago.

"I ask you to consider—if this is a firm, and if the Board of Regents are the Board of Directors, and if President Kerr in fact is the manager, then I tell you something—the faculty are a bunch of employees and we're the raw material! But we're a bunch of raw materials that don't mean to be - have any process upon us. Don't mean to be made into any product! Don't mean - Don't mean to end up being bought by some clients of the University, be they the government, be they industry, be they organized labor, be they anyone! We're human beings!...There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can't take part. You can't even passively take part. And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all." Sproul Hall Steps, December 2, 1964[6]."

In short, and referencing the diagram I started with, engineers see people as a raw material, That Is Uniform in Nature, and thus subject to a simple equation along the lines of "student ignorant of subject into classroom, teacher teaches subject, student exits classroom, knowing subject." To the extent that student exits the classroom still ignorant of the subject, the the obvious point of failure is strictly considered to be located in one of three areas: the teacher, the teacher's union, and too much money spent in that classroom. That is the only set of factors considered by the engineer types here, and is so nearsighted as to render them blind to the real issues of society that result in the mix of students that shows up in front of the teacher, 35 strong in elementary school, and 180 strong in high school, every year.

Students are willful creatures, and are definitely NOT raw, inert, materials, mined from the earth. And 310 million engineers will not turn the USA into a Golden Goose, and the path chosen by followers of Schultz & Co will do major damage to our current regular goose, so wise up and man up, the issues are far broader than the teachers, the teachers' unions, and too much money in the classrooms.

Think about a society that spends bazillions making advertizing like what I read on my grocery bag from SaveMart, "EARN 5 CENTS/GAL FOR EVERY $50 YOU SPEND." At least they ended it with a period, but what the heck does that mean?

A society that spends fortunes convincing everyone that they should be unhappy unless they buy a particular product is doomed. I don't spend $100 month on SAT tv to see programming. I spend it to slightly time shift my viewing, and eliminate the 20 minutes of every 60 that is spent showing ads. I am currently looking to find the cheapest way to get HBO and slightly time shift (commercial kill) everything else. Any suggestions? I am going to experiment with high high super antennas as well, and may go to OTA if I can get it working. Channel Master no longer makes a CM7000 OTA HD VTR, and now they are selling for more than new on eBAY.

Douglas Keachie

BTW, George, the "Schultz" above was a result of trusting the spell checker, and not double checking the article, and thanks for acknowledging me as a mere "here."


Updated California curriculum focuses on STEM education... the only catch being that 'science' focuses on global warming propaganda.



Douglas Keachie

An the remarks about the California school system? You mean the one where qualified and very bright Californians, who happen to be too poor to afford the rising tuitions, are being replaced by stupider but wealthier out of staters? You mean that one? I guess all the engineering grads from UC and the state colleges are being passed over in favor of engineers from abroad, who will work for 1/2 the salaries, and are smarter to boot? Is that the end result of the California educational system you are talking about?


What Can You Do With an Engineering Degree?

The Bourns College of Engineering prepares its students for a wide variety of careers. The breadth of knowledge provided from the program's curriculum creates well-rounded professional engineers who are ready to take on the challenges of any industry in a global world. Working with a dedicated career coach and the UCR Career Center, our students have received offers from all types of different companies and industries from around the world.

Ryan Mount

I would love to see a focus on STEM education, however there is certainly room for the Liberal Arts as well. I'm am less convinced the issue is about the courseware content and/or the teachers, but rather more about *how* we instruct.

I would like to see more vocational/project-based education woven into the curriculum. I would also like to see more curricular mobility for students. For example, if a 3rd grader is reading at an 6th grade level, shouldn't s/he have access to that curriculum? Generally speaking I find our K-12 grade system a remnant of the 19th Century and I would welcome any reforms in that area along child developmental lines.

BTW, imagine a high schooler's surprise when s/he gets to Chemistry only to discover, "oh, huh. Quadratic equations from the 7/8th grade."

And Mr. Keachie-

I have no idea why you quoted my Krugman blurb above. Why did you do that?

Douglas Keachie

Ryan, because you asked a similar question, but for the other side, to what George Shultz was answering, for his (and possibly your?) side.

Douglas Keachie

Now, Ryan, time to try a meatier, and less deflective question, dealing with the issues I've brought up. Discounting is only good for bargain basement brains, and you're not one of them.

Ryan Mount

I have no idea what has warranted the personal attacks here. It's very peculiar. I don't get it. But perhaps you're correct. I maybe of some bargain basement stock. But my Mom still loves me.

Anyhow, I was directly answering Russ's comments above regarding "What can we do to change the system?" I offered my opinion on that topic, which is frankly a more open curriculum. I would prefer to see teachers more as facilitators and less as experts in public K-12 education.

And I am in agreement with you that simply throwing (that's an admitted distortion of what Mr. Rebane and others are proposing) engineers our at country will fix anything. I need engineers to build things that the market needs. That's it. The quickest way to kill a deal is to bring an engineer on the sales call. They scare the prospects away.


Now for the record, I'm Krugman supporter because he has the data. The Austrians tend to do good in the long game, but piss-poor and impractical in the short run. I am also a Milton Friedman supporter, as is Professor Krugman, although they have/had their disagreements particularly around monetary policy.

cc: mommy.

Douglas Keachie

More for the engineers to contemplate:

MathProblems copy

Douglas Keachie

Ryan, I only commented on your last line. With respect to the rest, the voc depts were discoed because the were expensive. Lots of real estate per kids, expensive tools, cost saving measure, "let the kids learn on the job" was the attitude at the time. I taiught a video class in a machine shop. Huge amount of space and high ceilings, loved it. They packed my classes with up to 44 students, middle school. Had a great principal, asked her about evaluation. She said, "I've already done it." "They love great fiction downtown, and don't have a clue." So much for adult supervision, when you get a principal who remembers what it is like to have been a teacher.

Gingrich just supplanted an NFL suicide, and is quitting the race, so who will he endorse, if anyone? CNN 12:16 pm.


I wonder how much time George Shultz and others of his ilk have spent lately in an inner city class room with the type of problems involved in classroom management. None of the above dialog addresses this issue which is so important in the classroom and demands so much of a teacher's energy and time. Nor is the issue of "hunger" addressed, which is that inner drive of a student that makes them strive for success. Instead, Mr. Rebane, you simply attack teacher's and demand some form of meritocracy. By whom and by what standards? And Mr. Steele, your comment that liberals and progressives care more about feelings than teaching thinking skills is nothing more than a biased, emotional outcry. Of course there are serious problems with the educational system, worsened by Bush's idiotic NCLB monstrosity. But so many of society's problems have been dumped into teacher's laps to handle which have nothing to do with the teaching profession, which is why new teachers quit, on average, after five years.


Ryan and Mikey, as usual, the one with the least knowledge has the most column-inches.

The Grass Valley School District has had math scores in the basement since state testing started anew circa 1997. They are an embarrassment that have been unchallenged.

Kids who belong, in a very feudal sense, as serfs to the GVSD because of where they live deserve a math education that *can* lead to high school graduation and a Bachelor's after four years in a math intensive subject. Unfortunately, the GVSD's test results show they continue to fail.

We were able to rescue our son from the near math-free math curruculums at the GVSD but were unable to raise either the rabble or The Union, who was more interested in pushing the Lake Woebegone reports of all our schools being above average, buy a house and move to the Foothills!


Russ, "Runts" is a brand spanking new sock puppet. Smells like Keachie.

The Math content standards are quite good but under attack from the usual suspects.


Rather than believe an anonymous attack from a teacher wielding a mean sock puppet, read the document yourself.


"Edward" is also a brand spanking new sock.

George Rebane

DougK 1035am et al - You and your fellow ideologues seem to have missed the point and attacked a hill that wasn't even there. The school system of today has been fashioned by progressives since about 1965. You are producing product that satisfies all your specifications. Using hyperbole about a the benefits of a country full of engineers advances no point raised in this post.

Of the 4.3M annual emigres of our educational system (1.3M of them are high school dropouts), the overwhelming portion of them are educated in the terms that should please you and yours. And the result is an America that can no longer supply the workers needed to create the wealth to keep us competitive, let alone pay for all the social engineering programs and mandates that pour out of every government jurisdiction in the land. Those just happen to be the facts of the matter.

The motive for keeping the educational system in stasis has been covered in this comment thread and multiple times in my previous posts. And I do have an intimate view of the state of STEM education in Nevada County. It is indeed as described above.

Only an idiot (formal definition) would expect, let alone prescribe, a universal STEM curriculum for all comers. As this blog has demonstrated for years, such topics are not broadly accessible. Nevertheless, the elements of numeracy should be topmost on the list of demonstrated skills for all high school graduates, else they will make bad decisions, have little/no understanding of the issues, and vote like they now do.

Finally, as a social problem, we do need to look at students as 'products' from our educational system with certain performance characteristics. Susie may be your sweet daughter and little darlin', but to the rest of us such Johnnies and Susies are soon-to-be adults who will either earn their own living, or demand that we earn it for them as they become wards of the state - working for it, incarcerated by it, or out there occupying something.

For now you may rejoice, for you have prevailed over all previous attempts to improve the system.


No sock puppet here, just some who, taught in the toughest, gang filled school in Santa Ana--also others--who came across this thread. I saw the remarks from people who have never been "there", so felt duty bound to educate you. But, I don't waste a lot of time with fruiless debate on blogs.

I speak a simple truth. Ya gotta be hungry.

Douglas Keachie

Greg, I have never have, and, unless I get the threats I got while posting on The Union, never will be a sock here, as George has promised no censorship, especially since I am far too entertaining. Edward and Runt may be one and the same -person, but neither of them nor both of them are me, and I have no idea who they really are.

Elementary school teachers get the active attention of a student in a learning setting at most 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. High school teachers, as individuals, get the attention of their charges at most 5 hours per week. Last time I looked there were 16 waking hours times seven in a week, 70 + 42 for a total of 112 hours a week.

The socialization of a child/teenager is NOT the primary responsibility of the teachers. Your elementary school teacher further divides up what little time there is among 30 - 35 kids, and the high school teacher among 180. Social problems are not a "Finally," they are front and center with each and every kid who enters the classroom from one of your fellow taxpayers.

The current economic "system," the wages and health benefits associated with it, and advertising mentioned earlier, all contribute to the openness of the minds that enter the class to learning.

I agree STEM is important and a worthy cause, and I'd love to see it working to make sure that the bright little Suzie or Johnny who accidentally is born into an economically stressed household gets a scholarship or at least a low interest loan, instead of having Ritchie Rich and Dumber from out of state steal their slot. I noticed of late an upswing in rtwing commentators student loan bashing, for example, Lars Larson last night. Net result, less MERIT BASED competition for socialized California engineering schools. Are you in favor of that situation, George?


"No sock puppet here"

"Edward", of course you're a sock. A brand spanking new persona which, to date, has only made two posts to any blog. This one.

I speak a simple truth... the Grass Valley School District does an horribly inferior job teaching math to middle class kids who speak English as their first language.


Gregory, I've been reading Rebane for quite some time, this thread just happens to be very interesting to me because I have 5 kids, 3 of them school age, and I'm trying to educate them.
Take a look at Saxon Math or any of the other popular CA elementary school "math" texts and compare them with Singapore Math. The CA standards are all about memorizing maddening series of steps and worthless facts. Why the heck would you waste 5 minutes trying to get a 5 year old who can't remember the difference between yesterday and last week and tomorrow how to use a calendar? Saxon spends 10 minutes of the daily 20 minute lesson trying to teach Kindergartners how to use calendars. Once a kid's brain is ready for the concept of a calendar, he'll pick it up without even trying. Why not stick to teaching kids mathematical principles that actually affect their reasoning process instead of wasting time and sanity on ridiculous bull honky? If you look at a reasonable, rational program like Singapore, you'll find a lot less pictures of children of many races holding hands and singing songs about equality, way less frenetic jumping from subject to subject, and plenty of meat and potatoes mental math, word problems and almost zero spelling-out-every-step-to-take. I'm with George; if we can't teach our kids basic math, we're doomed. Not everyone is an engineer, but math taught right structures your brain to approach problems logically, builds creativity in problem solving, and gives kids confidence that an answer can be found with a little time and effort.
For instance, if you had a decent math education, it might occur to you that a subject like education might draw in a few lurkers and motivate them to comment.
Sock Puppet

Douglas Keachie

The school systems of today have been fashioned by tax paying (or not paying) voters and school boards since the beginning of time. The teacher work with what they have been given, and even turn in, in part, their own salaries, to make up for the obvious budget shortfalls. They also go forth and bring in new and fresh materials, and, in my own case, go way over and beyond to design and install a network, in the early 1990's, where none had been before. I paid my dues, accepted a lower salary than private industry would have paid, and now you all want o kick me in the teeth by gleefully reducing my pension? Sheeeesh!


"I agree STEM is important and a worthy cause, and I'd love to see it working to make sure that the bright little Suzie or Johnny who accidentally is born into an economically stressed household gets a scholarship or at least a low interest loan, instead of having Ritchie Rich and Dumber from out of state steal their slot."

If the bright poor kids don't manage to become proficient or advanced in Algebra by the 8th grade (or the 9th at the latest), it's too late. They won't have the intellectual capital to go to college and study a rigorous science and graduate within 4 or 5 years.

There is a hierarchy in mathematics knowledge and the California Math content standards does a good job of laying it out in a K-12 path.

Douglas Keachie

Well Greg, I agree with what you said, but don't see the bearing it has on the quote from my writings that you picked. I've already assumed these kids made it through and are proficient, but their families are broke, financially.


Dear Sock,

Yes, the Singapore books are excellent, but for Algebra, Geometry and Trig, the "Dolciani" Structure and Method books (now Holt McDougal) are both aligned with the California content standards and solid. Friends of mine at the University level who are among those who formulated the content standards and reviewed the textbooks recommended Dolciani when my son and I decided to homeschool in math the summer before his 8th grade year after spending his 7th grade year bored stiff, complicated by the grief from his mother dying at the end of his 6th grade year. He took off, with remarkably little guidance from Dad, and learned a valuable lesson... how to learn from a good book without a teacher to spoon feed at the pace required to keep the entire class moving along. He is now working on a Ph.D. in chemical physics.

The Dolciani books remain an embarrassment to the fuzzies, but they are still available. At the bottom of the page:

I've never been a big fan of the Saxon books, but for kids who have already been damaged by the likes of Mathland, Connected Math or the horriby mislabeled College Preparatory Math, the spoonfeeding and spiral model of Saxon is a decent remediation. Not as good as Singapore, but the likes of the GVSD would never go for Singapore.


"Calendar" is in the Calfornia math content standards in just one place. Kindergarten, section 1.2. Seems about right to me.


I'm Megan Mavy, by the way. I didn't realize my name didn't show up until you so tactfully pointed it out.
Thanks for the recommendation. My eldest is 8, so we haven't had the opportunity to broach higher maths yet. I'm hoping I can find a good tutor in the next few years, but I have yet to meet anyone who's able to teach math and has time to tutor. Turns out people who have math skills are valuable.
I'm a victim of Saxon, and I almost think I would have been better off starting from scratch in college with basic arithmetic. Saxon sucked the life out of me and made me hate numbers. I only started to enjoy math at all when I signed up for a statistics class in college, hoping that I could somehow get a C by living in the math lab. I ended up really enjoying it, and pulled off an A with a little help from my boyfriend. I really feel for kids in the public school system who have the spiral method to deal with. It's a crying shame. I don't know what the solution is for the population at large, but homeschooling is the answer for my family.


Megan, if you think Saxon creates victims, you've never seen Mathland. Truly wretched, it's what my son faced in 1994/5 and the Grass Valley School District has yet to recover from it... when my son's cohort reached the 3rd grade the new STAR testing began, and half the kids at Hennessey School tested in the BOTTOM quartile. The best thing about Saxon is that a student whose teacher is truly not competent to teach math can still make some progress.

Since you found Singapore, you do have a clue. If you've not already found it,
has a lot of good information, and nothing to denigrate Singapore Math.


Bookmarked - thank you!

Douglas Keachie

George, deletions noted, but why no deletion of Greg's FALSE accusations ABOUT WHO MAY OR MAY NOT BE A SOCK PUPPET?

Account Deleted

Education is one of my fav topics. I had some GREAT teachers. (Russell Sherwood, Core, 8th grade) and some mediocre ones and some drunks. I had an art teacher discuss reality with some smart mouths in HS. "You want to know about reality? Come up here. It's going to involve a smack in the mouth". Sherwood took care of a trouble maker in the class by moving him to the back wall (brick). The kid continued to mouth off and Russ took him by the collar and bounced his head off the wall a few times and told him he was a snotty little kid. Wah wah wah. Try that now-a-days. My daughter tried to be a teacher and made it as far as student teaching in Jr High in south Sac. One young "progressive" responded to all queries with various F-bombs. My daughter hauled her to the office, where upon she was told that it was her problem to deal with. Caning her was out of the question, so she dragged her back to class and put up with it for the duration. The highly paid "university expert" back at Sac State had no answer whatever as to how she was to deal with this beyond lectures as to how some students come from different backgrounds and we need to be sensitive to their needs. "She needs discipline" my daughter said. Long story short, she walked away from disaster and married an intelligent chap that had a crap childhood but decided to better himself (with out the govt helping) and they are living quite well on a carbon spewing life style. She was the type of teacher that is needed and was driven away by the lib boo-hoos and no-nothings. Attack teachers? As long as the teachers happily belong to the unions, I will attack at will. Constantly. Pull their pensions? Where's the cord? Please, where's the cord? As the school teachers' union pres in NY said "when the children pay dues, I'll worry about the children".

Douglas Keachie

"Attack teachers? As long as the teachers happily belong to the unions, I will attack at will. Constantly. Pull their pensions? Where's the cord? Please, where's the cord? As the school teachers' union pres in NY said "when the children pay dues, I'll worry about the children". "

Your perception of cause and effect is astounding!

Unions do not promote the modern policies that drove your daughter from teaching, and keep both of mine out of the field. That is the Vox Voting Populi as parents, armed with attorneys, browbeating administrators and school boards, who then take it out on the staffs. Again,how many hours do the teachers have to effect good learning and socialization, vs the rest of society? Way too few to have the effects with which you'd like to scapegoat them. (see, I can do gud english, even when it zounds storpid.)

Check out channel six right now, (10 p, Wed) and find out from where your problems are coming.

Douglas Keachie

I see no counter arguments explaining just exactly how, and Why, teachers and their Dark Force Unions are engaged in a terrorist plot to turn our nation of little darling curious and eager to learn angels, into slothful, book and teacher hating unemployable monsters. What exactly would you attribute the motivation for this exercise in evil?

Could it be you don't know?

What exactly would take a person who finished 4 years of college and 1.5 years of graduate work, (supposedly the type of student you want them to produce),into precisely the kind of student you claim they are intentionally producing? You know, a slothful, money grubber who lives to make donations to the Democratic Party, and doesn't want to do any work to get the cash to do so?

I mean, this is certainly worthy of a book or two, and some serious investigation. Are they hexed the first time they walk into a classroom of their own? Why don't we have some studies on this mysterious Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde transformation? After all, it, and it alone, is costing us hundreds of billions and America's future, and until we know what causes it, no matter who we hired is likely to be affected by it. maybe we should call it Dr. Gregor's Effect, since it maybe be a genetic defect, shared by the lower end of all college graduates. At least that much has been identified and backed up with plenty of data, according to at least one person here, who can joyfully relist it for the benefit of the newcomers.


Keach, you're doing a fine job of illustrating the problems with teachers. Carry on.

Douglas Keachie

Well, I certainly seem to have taught you well the "Duck and Cover" drill.


I would support school choice. Let the market (competition- gasp!) lead us out of the education rut.
One route:
In CA roughly 55% of the annual budget is education related. Simple provide taxpayers (parents, grandparents, etc) the option of paying for private education that is 55% tax deductible. Problem improved (if not solved).

Let the parents choose whether they want an artsy education, technical education, balanced education for their children...

Best 1st step to improved education is the weakening of the teachers union.

Douglas Keachie

I'm surprised no rightwing think tank has not funded a complete makeover of a ghetto school, with salaries for math BS grad 10% better than what private industry offers, guaranteed with appropriate increases, for 10 years. Then we would have proof that the smarter college graduates are the only ones we need to attract, and a better quality of nectar/pollen is needed. Of course you would also need to replace all the other teachers at the school to keep things fair, and there should be no preferential hiring by race, etc.

Maybe we could buy the President of a private college, paying him accordingly, 10%+ bonus, ten years guaranteed, to be the principal, and show proper leadership.

Love to see those test scores? Wonder how many of those "teachers" would drop out by the fifth year, would there be any left by the tenth year?

Where are the Koch Brothers when you need them?

Douglas Keachie

Double negative is ghettospeak for "absolutely!"

Douglas Keachie

Charter schools pay on average, less than public schools. That's how they get smaller class sizes. The teachers in such schools are not happy with larger class sizes, especially not if they contain "problem" children. So they accept the lower salaries as a tradeoff for better working conditions. Charter schools that thrive have parent participation way over and beyond what a single mom with two part time jobs can afford. In short, your successful charters have successful parents, as intact high income 2 earner families. Making a school a charter school for the sake of having charter in the name, which is what would happen if all schools were charter schools, would accomplish nothing, Musical chairs on the Titanic, would be the appropriate image.

They stuck the word "Academy" in the names of a bunch of poorly performing ghetto schools in San Francisco, hoping that some magic from the name would rub off. No such luck. And I notice the latest school to go "charter" locally is doing so to circumvent problems with inter-district transfers, so as to keep enrollment up, as they are losing to the parent intensive local charters.

Douglas Keachie

And BTW, I have it first hand from an administrator that his particular charter school hasd informal ways of discouraging students who will not be "easy to teach," or who have possibly hostile parents, from ever enrolling in the first place. Somewhere along the line, with some charter school somewhere, this issue will show up in a courtroom, bigtime. It's the dirty little secret, of at least one charter school, and I suspect many others.

"We don't think your child will be a good fit...."

Edward Peritz

I'm sure I posted yesterday using my Google account and have no idea why just my first name appeared, so leave Doug alone and don't be so quick to jump to faulty conclusions by attacking first and learning the facts later. It's a bad habit of those always looking for someone to attack, a costly educational lesson from the prior administration you seemed to have missed.

I'll be brief. Mr. Obermuller, your anecdotes prove nothing except perhaps you believe the way to control students is by smacking them around. Very thoughtful, although where I taught, violence between students and teachers was inevitable at times. I've broken up fights between enemy gang members, been hit in the face, taken numerous shots to the head, had a number of my students murdered or wounded, etc., etc. But such incidents all came from a very small percentage of the kids, as at least 95% I had formed a fond a workable relationship with.

You can rant and rave all you want about teachers, but it's your group that looks for someone to blame, not having a clue about the realities of being in today's classroom. I'm not as patient or willing to continue discourse with ideologues of the right as Doug is, maybe because of my conservative Republican upbring and familiarity with that mindset and all its ideological underpinnings and numerous flaws. Your vicious attack on teacher's unions infers you'd prefer students be taught by anybody and paid criminally low wages as in years gone by. I was not a life long teacher and my pension is rather meager, compensation for service incurred disabilites while a combat Marine in Vietnam being my other source of income. I suppose you resent that, too.

And Mr. Rebane, if your clarification of your use of the word idiot was a jab at my use of idiotic, it missed it's mark, as my use was perfectly correct.

I'm not a regular blogger, but only commented because of the issue at hand.

Paul Emery


Are you suggesting that the curriculum you suggest should be a national mandate? Sounds like big government to me.

George Rebane

EdwardP 1148am - No, my use of 'idiot' was wholly within the context of my comment. Nevertheless, you do seem to have some strong feelings about teachers and the education industry. Is there anywhere in your assessment of the matter a solution to what ails us beyond continuing to do the same thing only with more funding?

PaulE 1247pm - I take it you either misread my 229pm, or believe that I am one of the referent idiots to mandate a STEM curriculum. Nevertheless, I do believe that a minimal proficiency in numeracy should be mandated, but only to the extent that an equivalent proficiency in reading and writing is mandated. And as far as "big government" in public educuation is concerned, it could not get any bigger at the current level of funding. That could be why commenters like Mr Peritz are so disturbed, they want more money to pay for more government in education.

George Rebane

A correspondent sent me a link to a TEDx presentation that argues against online learning, cyber charter schools, and their impact on the public schools from which money is then diverted. Its main argument does not involve the relative performance of the online schools (cost/benefit per student), but what impact it may have on notions like equality and social justice.

Ryan Mount


The Federal Department of Education is smallish relative to the scope and funding relative to the States. Although it's been growing substantially during in the Bush II years reaching it peak of $100 billion in 2008. (undoubtedly due to the appropriations required to feed NCLB) Currently I think it's around $66 billion in the 2012 budget.


I think Paul was asking you if there needed to be National Standards and how would we fund/enforce those without inflating the size of the Department of Education. I suppose we could Federally mandate the standards, and then make the States figure out how to pay for them?

George Rebane

RyanM 249pm - None of that is necessary. Today we teach reading and writing under whatever mandates and funding and national standards and etc. We can do the same thing with numeracy. And the $66B for the DOE, no matter how relatively small, is still a huge amount that is pissed away every year.

The main problem that we will have is the supply of numerate teachers.


George, that TEDx (meaning not exactly TED quality) former 3rd grade teacher is a current PSU College of Education professor, and part of the problem, not the solution.

If a parent thinks a cybercharter serves their child better than their local public school does, I've no problem with it. Making sure the kiddies can join hands in community and sing Kumbayah with a local teacher isn't on the short list of educational outcomes most parents feel is important.

Money should follow the student wherever the student goes as long as the academics measure up to the lowest acceptable public school.


Ed, Keachie has a history of inventions, both of fact and persona. When two brand new posters chime in without any history, it's a reasonable bet it's Keachie. He earned his reputation.

My father got a nice promotion from Counselor to Vice Principal after his best friend, the former VP, had a student hold a switchblade against his throat and said something to the effect of "I'm goin to kill you, mother****er!". The kid didn't do the job but Joe decided he'd had enough and got himself kicked upstairs to the central office. I went to public K-12 in the same district.

Before California teachers unions had collective bargaining over wages and benefits, my dad, a credentialed teacher with a BA from Whittier College and later a Masters from USC (GA Bill) was able to raise a family and take us to the doctor as needed. Your characterization of those days as "taught by anybody and paid criminally low wages as in years gone by" is absolutely ridiculous. Fantasyland. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Now, with the CTA being the 800lb gorilla in state politics, California teacher's salaries and benefits are among the most generous in the country, while our student achievement is almost rock bottom. This is not progress.

Another friend of mine, a retired public school music teacher, has told me he was a lifelong conservative but kept this well hidden when he was working. He'd seen careers destroyed when it was discovered they had Republican leanings. Nothing overt, just no doors opening, grants not granted, requests denied, quality programs denigrated. So he kept quiet. Read the National Review at home and made sure never to take it to school. Bigotry is alive and living in California public schools.

Douglas Keachie

"they want more money to pay for more government in education."

Just what exactly is "more government?" The US proposed education budget for 2013 is just under 70 billion, or roughly 10% of the defense budget of 700 billion. I suppose the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines just want more money to pay for more government in defense?

"Money should follow the student wherever the student goes as long as the academics measure up to the lowest acceptable public school."

Gee, Greg, I didn't think ANY public schools were acceptable in your book. What is the lowest acceptable level, and wouldn't that vary from year to year based on the students who picked a particular school? Kinda like red turpentine bark beetles picking on a particular tree? Admittedly, not necessarily the most hopeful of analogies...

You mean we don't have numerate teachers in innumerable supply?

Russ Steele

Yet again another report on the failure of California's education system that will be collecting dust on another shelf somewhere, until it is upated five years from now.

Five years after a team of researchers at Stanford University issued a massive study of California's public schools, concluding that the system needed much more money but also major reforms, a followup report from the University of California says there's been a lot of talk but not much progress.

This report commemorates the fifth anniversary of the Getting Down to Facts project, which sought to provide a thorough and reliable analysis of the critical challenges facing California’s education system as the necessary basis for an informed discussion of policy changes aimed at improving the performance of California schools and students. The report focuses on the four key issues that received emphasis in the Getting Down to Facts studies: governance, finance, personnel, and data systems. The authors review what has changed and what has not in the five years since the original studies were completed, and reaffirm the importance of a long-term agenda for reform in California’s education system that is guided by solid evidence and rigorous analysis.

Details HERE.

Douglas Keachie

Maybe we could get a joint defense/education project going. Each state gets to adopt an F-35 fighter, and learning about it and how it works and the mathematics involved is used as an inspiration for students. It could fly from airport to airport and the students could be bussed in to get to see hitech up close and personal. Schools with the greatest gains could have a shot at one of their students getting a ride.

Douglas Keachie

After all, these things cost a quarter billion a piece and we need to make sure we get our money's worth, every way we can; There a lot of physics that can be taught too, and social studies teachers can have a field day explaining why we are selling more of them elsewhere, when today's friends can be tomorrow's enemies, in far less than the 50 year 1.5 trillion dollar life span of the craft, not to mention what a great use of society's limited resources these planes represent.

The United States intends to buy a total of 2,443 aircraft to provide the bulk of its tactical airpower for the US Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy over the coming decades. The United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Canada, Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, Israel, and Japan all will equip their air and/or naval forces with the F-35.[8][9][10][11][12] However, the Japanese have warned that they may halt their purchase if the unit costs increase. Similarly, Canada indicated it is not fully committed to purchasing the aircraft.[13][14] The United States is projected to spend an estimated US$323 billion for development and procurement on the F-35 program, making it the most expensive defense program ever.[15] The total lifecycle cost for the entire American fleet is estimated to be US$1.51 trillion over its 50-year life, or $618 million per plane.[16] Testifying before a Canadian parliamentary committee in 2011, Rear Admiral Arne Røksund of Norway similarly estimated that his country's 52 F-35 fighter jets will cost $769 million each over their operational lifetime.[17]

Douglas Keachie

Ooops, I read the box at the Wikipedia article which gave three different years and three costs, all around 236 million each. Now I notice in the body of the article that the cost suddenly balloons up to 618 million per plane. I assume Lockheed is in charge of the F-35 Lightning page, and has two wildly different numbers for a reason. Just like a school budget....

Douglas Keachie

Let the students design the necessary external wingpod that can carry them for the ride of a lifetime. The F-35 has a crew of one, like the previous Lightning, the P-38.

George Rebane

DougK 430pm - Please connect your last four comments to the topic at hand. You seem to continue the policy of posting the most comments with the least content. Do you have another agenda working here??

Douglas Keachie

Yes George, it is called the slow reveal, great for gunnysacking suckers like you know who. The last three plainly have to do with a call for enrichment of our school programs with stuff that society and the govment obviously feel are important, ten times more important than education, by Federal budget dollars, and by scope (ever see any 50 year education plans, which is what the F-36 is)? If you don't look at the Big Picture, i.e., where society does spend its money, you can't solve the littler problems.

Russ: "The report focuses on the four key issues that received emphasis in the Getting Down to Facts studies: governance, finance, personnel, and data systems."

What, no mention of Unions? Then the rest must be trash.

George Rebane

DougK 443pm - IMHO your "slow reveal" comments afflict RR readers with a case of instant ennui, skipping the sublime and going directly to the ridiculous. Try to straighten out and fly right; I'm in a quandary as to what to do with such inanities.

Douglas Keachie

"The main problem that we will have is the supply of numerate teachers."

How about using starving undergrads with loans to pay who have already proven their mathematical abilities by passing with "B's" or better Greg's "hard science" math courses? That should work, and could work cheaply, if they are located on the other side of the planet. If cost cutting and numeracy proficiency are your only goals, that should fit the bill. Oh, they know the stuff but can't teach a dog to spot a tree? Too bad, back to the drawing boards. OK, a free (to the student) cloud copy of Wolfram Mathematica for every student. The smart one can definitely learn from that.

Note that for content here, I reference your post, go on to make a suggestion, see a problem with the suggestion, and then make an alternate suggestion. Surely some part of 66,000,000,000 can go to Wolfram for this purpose.

Todd Juvinall

Good luck George!


"Gee, Greg, I didn't think ANY public schools were acceptable in your book."

George, I consider that both without factual basis and slanderous. Would you please delete Keachie's 4:10PM?

George Rebane

DougK 457pm - This comment is like so many of yours where you play out both sides of an argument, fabricating the losing side out of whole cloth and attributing it to another commenter, then in conclusion declaring total victory to your side. A more credible approach is to actually address the other commenter's words as written.

Your idea about numerate grad students is weak on two counts, 1) numerate grad students usually have an employable major under their belts and would not look for a teaching job, and 2) even if they did, the unions would not let such people without appropriate teaching credentials (and California's C-best) into classroom, even if they had a PhD in engineering and computer science (and volunteered to teach for free).


George, Keach just free associates his way through the blogosphere, erecting straw men left and right, putting names to them in a constant libelous exercise. He is a serial blog vandal, RR is just another wall on which to write.

He has mentioned he's been banned from The Union, RR should take a clue from them. Your traffic stats would go down but the quality would go up.

I do again request you delete his 4:10, I just don't want to deal with yet another lie about me from Keachie for the net to remember.


"Try to straighten out and fly right; I'm in a quandary as to what to do with such inanities."

He's here because he's given the freedom to post such inanities. Adult supervision is needed.

Paul Emery


To what extent do you support local autonomy for public education?

billy T

Local schools should be run by local boards, period. Does anyone with 2 brain cells left think some bureaucrat sitting 40 hours a week at some desk in Washington DC knows what is best for every single k-12 pupil in Kansas or Georgia or Northern California? I say demolish the Federal Department of Education. Well, keep them around for overseeing Pell Grants, but get them out of our middle schools. Think it was around 1998 when Newt G said "If the government wanted to study the American Bison, they would have 5 people sitting in an office in Washington DC and 2 guys out in Wyoming" And we know those 5 public servants in DC are gone before 5:01pm Monday through Friday. The business of education has evolved into what is best for the teachers' union. Just like the TSA, it has become nothing more than a giant personnel department. Speaking of teacher's unions, this caught my eye: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/rich-california-fund-sues-wal-020935605.html

Douglas Keachie

What I say I think is not slander, it is just an opinion. Since you have stated that I am wrong, I accept that, as soon as you list a couple of quantifiable public schools that meet your minimum standards.

George, who said anything about graduate students?

"How about using starving undergrads with loans to pay who have already proven their mathematical abilities by passing with "B's" or better Greg's "hard science" math courses?"

I assumed it was obvious that they would not be in the classroom, but rather would be online, student would be in a computer lab at school, or an IPad room, as undergrads would only be available in person in our university towns.

George Rebane

PaulE 850pm - billyT's 954pm about says it all. Schools should be run as close to the parents of the attending kids as possible.


Keach, couching a slander as an opinion doesn't change the slander.

I've never, ever, written anything like 'public schools are unacceptable'. A pure invention of the mind of Keachie thinking out of the Reality box. Locally, I've been approving (and have written about) the Pleasant Ridge district schools and the Nevada City schools. The GVSD and Pleasant Valley districts are, in contrast, failing academically, and the two local high schools have severe problems...

Acceptable to the ed bureaucracy is any accredited school. If an online school meets that, and the parents have reason enough to believe it is a better choice than the local public school their kid(s) would otherwise be forced to attend, why should anyone object?


Billy's 954pm doesn't say it all. If there's "local control", meaning a local school board spending local money, but collective bargaining with a state or national union, there really isn't local control. The deep pockets would belong to the union the schools will be dancing to the tune called by their leadership, and it's likely the school board would be loaded with candidates that were acceptable to the union in the first place.

Douglas Keachie

"Money should follow the student wherever the student goes as long as the academics measure up to the lowest acceptable public school."

The implication here is is very plain, some schools are unacceptable to Gregory Goodknight. He wrote this, and made no mention of any other judges of "lowest acceptable public school."

"I've never, ever, written anything like 'public schools are unacceptable'."

Oh really? Would you like to talk about slander and FALSEHOOD, written by Gregory Godknight, try this on for size.

"Russ, "Runts" is a brand spanking new sock puppet. Smells like Keachie."

Greg is into weird stuff, like smelling socks (and getting it WRONG) by his own admission.

"Acceptable to the ed bureaucracy is any accredited school" Your clarification about who is doing the accepting is very late to the party, nice try, but your litter box has a problem. How does it feel to be on the receiving end of your typical writing style?

Local control I sure will find a way to have boards that are 100% "numeracy literate." at a level satisfactory to both Greg and George, such that they can make decisions about which calculus books and software to buy.

Douglas Keachie

Now, let's get to the heart of the matter. MATH IS BORING TO 95% of the population, and so you need not only teachers who know the subject well, you also need to have teachers who can, one way or the other, make it exciting and interesting. Please note, there is No Magic Formula here. Sacramento paid a fortune to bring "Stand and Deliver teacher, Jaime Escalante, and, whatever magic he could work in East LA, he was unable to bring it off up here. It may have been a simple case of aging, not that he had changed, but rather the prejudices the young have about older strangers. The arrogance of youth is only tempered through time.

Douglas Keachie

"Schools should be run as close to the parents of the attending kids as possible."

Do you have any idea how this would play out in a ghetto area? Charter schools that pay for "parent involvement as tutors", even if the parents don't show up at the dim bulbbed garage where the kids are kept prisoner, in its most extreme form.

I wonder if Greg has compared the demographics of the two areas he identifies locally as being good vs fair to midd'lin?

Douglas Keachie

"The GVSD and Pleasant Valley districts are, in contrast, failing academically," "I've never, ever, written anything like 'public schools are unacceptable'" ~Greg Goodknight~

So schools that are "failing academically" are acceptable to Gregory Goodknight? The bulk of your writings would suggest otherwise.

Douglas Keachie

Greg excels at logic games, and fails at communicating in the English language using the common vernacular, as near as I can tell.

George Rebane

Gregory 650pm - By local control I did not mean (nor did I think that billyT meant) partial local control. If you don't control the money, you control nothing.

BTW, lest there be any doubt, I do NOT think that the US public school system is acceptable to any society that wants to survive. Capice?

Douglas Keachie

"If you don't control the money, you control nothing." and if you do control the money, you also control who does and does not get educated, and to what degree. I think we explored that in "separate, but equal" some time ago. Hillsborough get one level, and East Palo Alto another. Areas with greater numbers of special needs students will be shortchanged by one student, one unit of average daily attendance, unless additional protections are in place. I'm surprised no one called me on it, BTW, the FEDs are only 7% of the California school budget. Seems like more government in schools, if it is local, suits you just fine.

Douglas Keachie

And Greg got me off into writing slander, when in fact he (and I, subsequently) should have used the word "libel."

George Rebane

DougK 923am - "Seems like more government in schools, if it is local, suits you just fine." Yes indeed, it seem that now you understand (but not necessarily agree) that the collective works best on small and distributed scales, i.e. locally. And the beauty here is that local government need not grow at all to implement local control.

If the richer are to subsidize the poorer through,say, the state government, then the education funding should come down to the school districts with the absolute minimal strings attached. Let them sort out how to spend it at the local levels where the parents and other residents have the most say on what and how they want their kids taught.

Imagine what benefits will accrue when schools and school districts can decide and buy educational materials, services, programs, etc from third party commercial suppliers. (see also subsequent post on 'edX ...' http://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2012/05/edx-a-revolution-in-education.html )


Let me repeat an old question... would anyone here want Keachie teaching their kids, or anyone else they care about? If so, what subject? If I wasn't here, what would Keachie write about? He'd have to find someone else and intentionally misunderstand what they write, constructing straw men as he goes.

He lied when he wrote I didn't find public schools acceptable in general, and then used the fact there are individual public schools that have failed academically as support for the earlier statement. BTW Blog defamations can be considered both slander and libel, as they are both written, and conversational in nature.

George, you can control the money and still have a union which is statewide, or larger, and the union will dominate.

A friend of mine was Escalante's favorite math prof at CSULA, and I know enough of the story to say Keachie slanders Escalante almost as easily as he slanders anyone else. There was no magic at Garfield, just solid curriculum, starting with solid general math and algebra, leading up to calculus only after a number of years.

George Rebane

gregory 1006am - how could a union dominate if we had 'right to teach' school districts??

Douglas Keachie

I did not slander Esclante, I mereley repeated what he himself said about himself. Greg in so stating slanders/libels me, Good God, give it a break, GG!

"The state's superintendent of public instruction, Delaine Eastin, had similar praise for Escalante.

"Everyone who has seen 'Stand and Deliver' or has visited his classroom and seen him stand and deliver, has a profound respect for the wonderful impact he has made upon his thousands of students over the years," Eastin said.

In his seven years at Johnson, Escalante did not achieve the same dramatic results with students that he did at his former high school in Los Angeles. But according to Benjamin and other educators, he made a strong impact at the campus.

At Garfield High School in Los Angeles, Escalante came to fame for encouraging hundreds of students to enroll in Advanced Placement calculus classes. Students who pass the grueling AP tests may receive college credit.

The critically acclaimed "Stand and Deliver" documented Escalante's experiences in 1982, when his class of inner-city students performed so well on the AP calculus exam that the Educational Testing Service invalidated his students' scores. In the moving film, the 18 students retook the tests and passed again.

At Hiram Johnson, enrollment in AP calculus during Escalante's years there -- as well as student performance on the exams -- has gone up and down, said Annette Manolis, an interim vice principal. Escalante, who taught an assortment of math courses, taught AP calculus during five of his seven years at Hiram Johnson. During those years, nearly all his students took the AP calculus exam -- about 14 or 15 each year -- and about three-quarters passed each year, he said.

Escalante said he was not able to achieve the same levels of success at Johnson that he did in Los Angeles for several reasons, including a high turnover of vice principals that hampered his ability to build a comprehensive math program.

Another difficulty, he and others said, was connecting with the diverse array of families whose students attend Johnson. At Garfield, Escalante enjoyed smooth communication and an easy rapport with the families of his mostly Latino students. At Hiram Johnson, he found that many parents either didn't understand or objected to his demanding style and requests that students come for tutoring on weekends.

Escalante also said he found many of the teenagers of the '90s less motivated and more hardened toward adults and learning than those of a decade ago.

"My father is well beyond retirement age. The job had become a huge challenge for him," Escalante's son said. "We told him, there's no need for you to pull off 'Stand and Deliver,' part three or four. You've already shown the world what you can do."

From http://onenation.org/0698/061098b.html

Douglas Keachie

"BTW, lest there be any doubt, I do NOT think that the US public school system is acceptable to any society that wants to survive. Capice? "

"BTW, lest there be any doubt, I do NOT think that the US public school system, in its present form, is acceptable to any society that wants to survive. Capice? "

I agree, with my modification. Likewise the healthcare system. I just had a pair of new glasses come back and SECOND time, with the wrong perscription, and was told my eyes would adapt. Since the bifocals in the pair are supposed to match my reading glasses, and they are 30 degrees apart, I KNOW there's a screwup.

Douglas Keachie

What would I do if Greg weren't here? Have civil and intelligent, humorous and mind stretching conversations with the remaining inhabitants, who tend towards those things, instead of wasting their energies trying to play, "King of the Sock Hop," a task best left to sophomores who never grew up.

Douglas Keachie

Slander of character is a false statement about an individual, which casts that person in a negative light. This type of defamation may also be made against an organization or a company. For the accusation to be considered criminal, it must be implied or stated to be truth when it is, in reality, a lie. It must also be made with malicious intentions.

And when you carefully qualify everything such that it is merely your opinion, and may or may not be true, you muddle the issue but good. I learned the technique from watching Greg, thanks! Besides, there is not a malicious bone in my body, merely a need to educate he who would claim:

"Let me repeat an old question... would anyone here want Keachie teaching their kids, or anyone else they care about? If so, what subject?"

without indicating the fact that he himself was the author of the "old question." I suspect he himself is being educated by his attorney, who is lapping up the fees. I think I deserve a cut from said attorney....

Education is near and dear to my heart.


"Sacramento paid a fortune to bring "Stand and Deliver teacher, Jaime Escalante, and, whatever magic he could work in East LA, he was unable to bring it off up here. It may have been a simple case of aging, not that he had changed, but rather the prejudices the young have about older strangers."

Nothing in Keachie's followup quotes supports that
1) Escalante was "paid a fortune" to teach at Hiram Johnson
2) He failed there and
3) it was because he was old, or due to prejudice.

Delaine Eastin's empty praise was biting; she presided over the post-Honig crumbling of California public schools with an acceleration of the whole language debacle, and the introduction of whole math. A travesty, with the detritus of the constructivist experiments at the Grass Valley Elementary District still working its way through the high school. Quoting Eastin on Escalante is like quoting Obama on Cheney.


"how could a union dominate if we had 'right to teach' school districts??"

George, I think it's pointless to conduct gedankenexperimenten regarding a right to work or right to teach reform in California, and I'm not even sure I'd back your ideas on such things. Backing off the Jerry Brown V.1 'reform' giving public employee unions a right to collective bargaining would undo most of that damage, and requiring all union political expenditures be funded by opt-in payroll deductions and not general dues related to representation of the workers by the union, would do the rest.

George Rebane

Gregory 1133am - the whole discussion of ANY education reform is nothing but a hopeful and hopefully reasoned set of gedankenexperimenten. I don't think including the 'right to teach' stipulation is any more outlandish than finding right to work provisions in over 20 states today. Local control of money would be a half-hearted victory for education if 'right to teach' were not part of the reform.

Douglas Keachie

"and, whatever magic he could work in East LA, he was unable to bring it off up here. " ~Keachie~

"Escalante said he was not able to achieve the same levels of success at Johnson that he did in Los Angeles for several reasons, including a high turnover of vice principals that hampered his ability to build a comprehensive math program.

Another difficulty, he and others said, was connecting with the diverse array of families whose students attend Johnson. At Garfield, Escalante enjoyed smooth communication and an easy rapport with the families of his mostly Latino students. At Hiram Johnson, he found that many parents either didn't understand or objected to his demanding style and requests that students come for tutoring on weekends.

Escalante also said he found many of the teenagers of the '90s less motivated and more hardened toward adults and learning than those of a decade ago." ~Escalante~

"Nothing in Keachie's followup quotes supports that
1) Escalante was "paid a fortune" to teach at Hiram Johnson
2) He failed there and
3) it was because he was old, or due to prejudice. ~GG~

1) I was speaking metaphorically. If I recall correctly, they offered him a school setting tailored to meet his finest expectations. Of course, schools do not always deliver...
2) I never said "he failed there." GG, using his typical literal criteria, lies again.
3) Again GG miss-rewrites what I wrote, to alter the meaning originally expressed.

The author of the Escalante article wrote: "Escalante also said he found many of the teenagers of the '90s less motivated and more hardened toward adults and learning than those of a decade ago."

If everyone else on this blog were chasing their tails over these "straw men" that you've been creating, you might have some validity in your complaints. As it is, it is just so much whining, and I have no idea what inner psychological needs you are attempting to satisfy.

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