Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Opus 2011-278, More Money for Education?

I am a teacher in the California public schools.  One of the mantras of public education is “more money for the children.”  The teachers’ unions seem to think that there is a never ending source of funds that they can draw from without being required to put their own house in order. 

I never vote for increased taxes or any other type of funding for education.  There is already plenty of money in the system.  It is just being spent foolishly.

Let me give some examples that came up in our faculty meeting this week.

The first up on our agenda was a counseling service that has permanent residence on our campus.  They are not available to all students, only to those who are on Medi-Cal.  In other words, it is an extension of welfare, your tax dollars at work.  I am sure that they do some good work but a lot of your tax dollars have been spent remodeling a portion of our campus and paying salaries to offer counseling services.  Is that what public schools are for?  Not in my book.

RTI.  This is brand new this year.  Six people on campus were payed to go to special training and will be going again.  That cost money.  The consultants that were doing the training were paid.  The consulting firm was paid.  We had a nice handout that hints at more to come.  This is not free.  One of the brilliant points was that we need to avoid negative consequences and smile more.  Excuse me, didn’t I hear that last year?  And the year before?  And the year before?  Next time you are being robbed at gun point, make sure you smile.

English language learners had a presentation.  We have a fully paid teacher who is given 2/3 of her day to work with the English language learners.  Today she showed us the old party game in which you have the first person write a noun, fold the paper, have the second person write a verb, fold the paper, and so on.  This is a copyrighted idea called Foldables®.  This is cutting edge educational theory at work.

Then we had a presentation of Thinking Maps®.  Sounds good, right?  Who doesn’t want the kids thinking.  This cutting edge innovation can be found in any book on management under titles like “flow charts.”  We have an expensive, glossy notebook that shows us all these great diagrams.  The one that the rest of the world calls a flow chart is labeled, “Flow map.”  And it is copyrighted.  Again we had many people sent to training and fees paid for the use of this innovate thinking.

Then we had a session pushing cooperative learning.  For the 25th year in a row we were told how effective is it to let the kids work in groups of four with one advanced student, one slow student and two average students.  It hasn’t worked in 25 years but this year is different.  Suddenly the kids that are so good at copying the advanced student are going to be motivated to excel.  We are expected to access an expensive data processing program the district has and process all kinds of data to implement this revolutionary idea.

Then we have the Bully Prevention Curriculum.  Again we have a glossy notebook with a DVD to help us deal with this crippling problem.  We had an assembly with a multimedia presentation where we learned that civilization is coming to an end because of “cyber-bullying.”  The kids who are not supposed to have their phones turned on at school are text messaging insulting remarks to each other.  You can imagine what this is doing to self esteem.  Again we see large amounts of money being spent on this.

None of these have much to do with learning the basics to succeed in life.  All of them cost big bucks.  At the same time we don’t have enough money for books and supplies.  We are being told that we have to eliminate one teaching position at our school which will disrupt most of the students in two grades and cause teachers to start over again after five weeks.  Last year the teachers got a pay cut and increased cost in benefits.  And this poverty stricken district just had the superintendent of schools retiring at $275,000.

No, education does not need more money.  They, we, need to get their houses in order.  The good news is that you vote on your local school board, but that is a topic for another day.

homo unius libri


  1. Seems like we work for the same education department. Throw more money at the problem and it might go away. Our Department of basic education has tried for almost two decades to implement OBE, (Outcomes based education). This has now been scrapped in favour of another acronym, (CAPS), won't bother to go into detail, but they've basically gone back to the three r's. Brilliant new invention, so they think. Lots of fancy "work shops",(keeps teachers out of class for days on end), to teach grandma how to suck eggs.

  2. It always amazed me how many of the veteran teachers used to ignore this stuff. When they came out with "whole language" many just kept teaching kids how to sound out words. Imagine the ignorance level today if it wasn't for that. Part of the problem we are having is that so many of the teachers we have today came up through this nonsense.

    I recently had a parent call me "old school." He meant it as a put down. I considered it a compliment. I told him that one reason I was "old school" was that it worked.

    What a world, whichever end you live on.

    Grace and peace.

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      Grace and peace.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.