Walk-A-Thon 2013

My children will be participating in the annual Rutland Area Christian School Walk-A-Thon next week and they are seeking donations/pledges to help them raise their goal or $1,000 to support the mission of the school. They have an outstanding team of teachers and staff who nurture all areas of their lives. Please consider supporting their education and the work of this great school.

Please click on the link above to fill out a form for a donation. Thank you!

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Since 1970, the public school workforce has roughly doubled—to 6.4 million from 3.3 million—and two-thirds of those new hires are teachers or teachers’ aides. Over the same period, enrollment rose by a tepid 8.5%. Employment has thus grown 11 times faster than enrollment. If we returned to the student-to-staff ratio of 1970, American taxpayers would save about $210 billion annually in personnel costs.

From America Has Too Many Teachers

Just thinking “out loud” here…

If you made $175/day to teach 20 students, how much of that money would you be willing to pay someone to take them off of your hands for 40 minutes to an hour so you could get a break?

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Thursday marked the second day on the picket lines for 270 teachers and the third day of marathon negotiating sessions in a nearly two-year-old labor dispute.

“We’ve been working hard all day to reach an agreement that enables students to return to school, but we’re not there yet,” said school board negotiator Timothy Holbrooke at around 10 p.m. Thursday.

That the two sides still hadn’t hammered out a new deal means 3,000 students will miss another day of school on Friday.

via WNYT.com – Bennington teachers strike continues; face-to-face talks Friday.

I just want to point out some math here. Assuming the numbers are accurate, 3,000 students  divided by 270 teachers equals 11.1 students per teacher.

I believe very strongly that if the country gave each parent a voucher for forty-four hundred dollars that they could only spend at any accredited school several things would happen. Number one schools would start marketing themselves like crazy to get students. Secondly, I think youd see a lot of new schools starting.

via Smithsonian Oral and Video Histories: Steve Jobs.

“We’re never going to give up,” said Marilyn Rolfsmeyer, 56, who serves as the 300-student Argyle School District’s only art teacher. “What part of it don’t they understand? There’s hope here. I feel it. You feel the energy, the intensity. Somebody’s got to be out there feeling it, too.”

http://www.foxnews.mobi/#r_http%3A//politics.foxnews.mobi/quickPage.html%3Fpage%3D23888%26content%3D49346604%26pageNum%3D-1

I have nothing against art teachers (I even like a few of them), but this line from this report struck me as though it were intended to garner sympathy for the ‘poor’ art teacher who had to teach 300 students art all by herself. All of the art teachers (and music teachers and gym teachers) that I know teach at least that many students. It’s their job.

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One reason the Common Core fared so well is that its authors eschewed the vague and politically correct nonsense that infected so many state standards (and earlier attempts at national standards).

via The Common Core Curriculum – Chester E. Finn, Jr. & Michael J. Petrilli – National Review Online.

I currently count myself among those leery of just about anything that the federal government has a hand in.  I’m not really sure how I feel about this new Common Core Curriculum being adopted.  I know that locally they are being studied, but I don’t know what will come of it.

I like the idea of setting standards and measuring students based on how they perform compared to the standards.  However, I am concerned that the curriculum standards will become a tool that will be used to bludgeon teachers and students in the future when they fail to measure up to the standard in some way or another.  I lean toward the implementation of the Core Curriculum to as local a level as possible.  If a school chooses to focus its energies on how to save the planet by recycling Capri-sun juice bags, then that’s fine.  However, let them live with the consequences of that philosophy and for heaven’s sake, please don’t tie it to money from the federal government.

This is brief summary of the money spent by the Department of Education:

ED currently administers a budget of $63.7 billion in FY 2010 discretionary appropriations (including discretionary Pell Grant funding) and $96.8 billion in discretionary funding provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009—and operates programs that touch on every area and level of education.

from the U.S. Department of Education website

According to my 4th grade math skills that equals $160.5 billion.  (whistle)

According to this site the average student to teacher ratio was 15.7 in 2006 with a total of 49 million students enrolled in public schools.  That averages out to about 3,121,000 teachers.

So, what if we just took the $160 billion and just gave it to teachers as their salary?  That would be just over $51,000 per teacher.  If we have to have a federal department of Education (which I would dispute), then lets just give the budgeted money directly to the teachers.  We certainly wouldn’t be spending the money less efficiently.