Go Back   Bloggingheads Community > Diavlog comments
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Notices

Diavlog comments Post comments about particular diavlogs here.
(Users cannot create new threads.)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-24-2011, 10:48 PM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
BhTV staff
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,936
Default Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-24-2011, 10:50 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Heartland Conservative
Posts: 4,933
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition

This should be interesting.

Meanwhile, check it out: 3 of 4 tea partiers take the liberal (make that "commie") position on Social Security reform.

__________________
"All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind." -- Adam Smith

Last edited by TwinSwords; 01-24-2011 at 11:12 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-25-2011, 07:59 AM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,460
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
This should be interesting.

Meanwhile, check it out: 3 of 4 tea partiers take the liberal (make that "commie") position on Social Security reform.

instead of raising taxes or lowering benefits, I would choose to not pay goverment workers their pensions until they are the same age as private sector/social security recipient retirees. Goverment workers are living the good life in the country by being able to retire at age 55 with full benefits. Reduce the deficit by many tens of billions by not starting their pension benefits until age 65.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-25-2011, 08:06 AM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,460
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
This should be interesting.

Meanwhile, check it out: 3 of 4 tea partiers take the liberal (make that "commie") position on Social Security reform.
another way to save social security without raising taxes is to tighten eligibility for social security disability. Currently, if you attend AA and get high too much, you are on the fast track to lifelong social security disability payments. Basically, the goverment rewards you for living a basketcase lifestyle. Once you have harmed yourself enough to meet the eligibility standards, you are guaranteed a monthly check for the remainder of your life.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-24-2011, 11:12 PM
Freddie Freddie is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 110
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

Man, it's true, the process for firing teachers is long and complicated. Almost as if the output of their labor is notoriously, uniquely difficult to measure empirically!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-25-2011, 12:04 AM
harkin harkin is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,169
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

Be careful messing with the teachers. They are liable to engage in violent rhetoric. In New Jersey when the governor had the gall to ask teachers to pay a greater portion (A teacher earning $60,000 now pays $900 a year toward a plan that costs $22,000) of their salaries towards their own cadillac health plans, the teachers unions actually sent out memos with prayers for the governor's death.

It wasn't something implying violence like the horrible crosshairs Sarah Palin used, it was merely a call for the death of the governor.....but still.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-25-2011, 12:38 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Heartland Conservative
Posts: 4,933
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

Quote:
Originally Posted by harkin View Post
You seem to have a problem with honesty. You've twice used plural (prayers, memos) when you should have used singular. There was a single memo. And what it contained was not a real prayer, but a joke -- one joke.

The truth is never good enough for you, is it, harkin?

Here's the "call for the death of the governor" that has harkin so agitated:

Quote:
"Dear Lord Ö this year you have taken away my favorite actor, Patrick Swayze, my favorite actress, Farrah Fawcett, my favorite singer, Michael Jackson, and my favorite salesman, Billy Mays. Ö I just wanted to let you know that Chris Christie is my favorite governor."
Now, if there was a mass movement under way of teachers carrying firearms to public events ... of teachers carrying signs threatening murder ... of teachers calling in death threats to elected officials ... if there were constant calls for real violence from school teachers ... then this simple joke about Gov. Christie might cross the line from dumb joke to irresponsible and possibly dangerous rhetoric. But none of those conditions prevail on the left, do they?

No, they don't. Those conditions exist exclusively on the right.
__________________
"All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind." -- Adam Smith
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-25-2011, 09:33 AM
harkin harkin is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,169
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
You seem to have a problem with honesty. You've twice used plural (prayers, memos) when you should have used singular. There was a single memo. And what it contained was not a real prayer, but a joke -- one joke.

The truth is never good enough for you, is it, harkin?

Here's the "call for the death of the governor" that has harkin so agitated
A memo sent out and forwarded is plural, sorry if you don't like facts.

But I guess you got me. If Sarah Palin had sent out a memo including a prayer for the death of Gabrielle Giffords, the left media would have jumped en masse, in a sort of 'giddy, almost punch-drunk excitement' on getting out the narrative of (and I quote):

"was not a real prayer, but a joke -- one joke"

Yep! I'm sure that's exactly how Olbermann, Maddow, TPM, Hufpo, the Clique etc would have treated it...........

LOLOLOLOLOL
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-25-2011, 12:45 AM
HLeaf HLeaf is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

Freddie:
Quote:
Man, it's true, the process for firing teachers is long and complicated. Almost as if the output of their labor is notoriously, uniquely difficult to measure empirically!
This is misplaced sarcasm. If you really think that the function tenure performs is to allow more rigorous analysis of teacher performance, you've missed every piece of news or statistics on what it actually does.

Three small examples from California, "http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teachers3-2009may03,0,679507.story?page=4":
Quote:
"The district, which has about 30,000 tenured teachers, fires 21 a year -- well under 1 per 1,000 -- according to district statistics for the last five years. Long Beach fires 6 per 1,000, and San Diego fires about 2 per 1,000."
Do you think any industry, anywhere, has ever had a .1% rate of incompetence that deserves firing? Steven Brill has even worse statistics, and examples, in his notorious Rubber Room article, and its followup.

You're left-wing, and you care about unions. But presumably you care about unions because they're supposed to have positive effects on the disadvantaged or forgotten. Tenure, at least is it's currently constituted in most states, does the opposite. Changing your mind on this would be the hard left thing to do.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-25-2011, 12:52 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Heartland Conservative
Posts: 4,933
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

Quote:
Originally Posted by HLeaf View Post
Three small examples from California, "http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teachers3-2009may03,0,679507.story?page=4":
By putting your URL in quotes, you prevent the forum software from converting it into a hyperlink, making it more difficult for anyone to actually go to the page.
__________________
"All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind." -- Adam Smith
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-26-2011, 01:06 PM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Palm Desert, CA
Posts: 811
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

Quote:
Originally Posted by HLeaf View Post
Freddie:

This is misplaced sarcasm. If you really think that the function tenure performs is to allow more rigorous analysis of teacher performance, you've missed every piece of news or statistics on what it actually does.

Three small examples from California, "http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teachers3-2009may03,0,679507.story?page=4":


Do you think any industry, anywhere, has ever had a .1% rate of incompetence that deserves firing? Steven Brill has even worse statistics, and examples, in his notorious Rubber Room article, and its followup.

You're left-wing, and you care about unions. But presumably you care about unions because they're supposed to have positive effects on the disadvantaged or forgotten. Tenure, at least is it's currently constituted in most states, does the opposite. Changing your mind on this would be the hard left thing to do.
There are good arguments for and against tenure. The best against it is that it protects bad teachers. The best for it is that teaching is a pedagogically complex profession and due process places limits on onerous administrative authority.

But I think the whole premise is flawed. There are thousands of amazing schools, all of them with unions and tenure. They are primarily located in higher-SES neighborhoods. The quality of students make the teachers and staff look wonderful.

So good teaching matters more in poor schools, but the job is also much harder. Fighting tenure and unions is a very punitive way of addressing what is obviously a larger social problem. And it isn't clear that doing either is going to do much good, but it will certainly do a lot of bad.

There are solutions, and I think they wouldn't be that expensive. But they need to be targeted to the specific needs of poor schools, so that the job we require of their teachers is realistic and fair.
__________________
my blog
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-26-2011, 03:53 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,921
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

Quote:
Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli View Post
There are good arguments for and against tenure. The best against it is that it protects bad teachers. The best for it is that teaching is a pedagogically complex profession and due process places limits on onerous administrative authority.
I agree with you that the premise of this is flawed. I think the idea that unions and specifically the difficulty in firing teachers is the real problem with our education system is silly. It's mostly just that unions are a hobbyhorse for some.

That said, I think some of the individual criticisms have merit, and that the unions tend to be politically reactionary when reforms are discussed.

But basically, I'd like to put discussion of the unions aside, and focus in on the tenure thing (and I gues the issues of merit pay and ease of firing, as brought up in the diavlogue).

One thought is that the protections against people getting fired demonstrate that one effect of a highly unionized field is job security (and pensions), more than salary increases. I wonder if that plays out (my guess is that it would) more generally -- what people (at least those who don't expect to get rich) tend to want is secure jobs and safe returement and health care, above all.

It is true that people (like me) who have spent their lives in the private sector (well, outside of some fields or some large companies) tend to see that as very different than what they are used to, where employment is at will and so on.

I don't have a problem in theory with unions negotiating for different types of contracts, but if we are to talk about the pros and cons of tenure apart from whether it's something that employees in a field may bargain for (and employers may refuse), I am not convinced there's a basis for it, so would like to understand the counter-argument.

I get the concept in colleges -- basically it's not about evaluation being difficult, but academic freedom being protected. It doesn't seem like that's what's being argued for here, and it would be tougher, as the school board has been held to have the rights when it comes to curriculum, not the teacher. It is true that I have concerns about teachers being the victim of angry parents (who want teachers who give bad grades to be fired, or perhaps who assign books that offend some subset), but on the whole I think that happens anyway, and that you could protect against it without tenure.

So I guess I'm giving you the opportunity to explain why tenure is a good thing. (For the record, I tend to agree with Conor's POV, that without it there wouldn't be a huge difference in turnover, as shown by schools without it, as well as non-tenure-based jobs in all kinds of fields.)
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-27-2011, 12:17 AM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Palm Desert, CA
Posts: 811
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
I agree with you that the premise of this is flawed. I think the idea that unions and specifically the difficulty in firing teachers is the real problem with our education system is silly. It's mostly just that unions are a hobbyhorse for some.

That said, I think some of the individual criticisms have merit, and that the unions tend to be politically reactionary when reforms are discussed.

But basically, I'd like to put discussion of the unions aside, and focus in on the tenure thing (and I gues the issues of merit pay and ease of firing, as brought up in the diavlogue).

One thought is that the protections against people getting fired demonstrate that one effect of a highly unionized field is job security (and pensions), more than salary increases. I wonder if that plays out (my guess is that it would) more generally -- what people (at least those who don't expect to get rich) tend to want is secure jobs and safe returement and health care, above all.

It is true that people (like me) who have spent their lives in the private sector (well, outside of some fields or some large companies) tend to see that as very different than what they are used to, where employment is at will and so on.

I don't have a problem in theory with unions negotiating for different types of contracts, but if we are to talk about the pros and cons of tenure apart from whether it's something that employees in a field may bargain for (and employers may refuse), I am not convinced there's a basis for it, so would like to understand the counter-argument.

I get the concept in colleges -- basically it's not about evaluation being difficult, but academic freedom being protected. It doesn't seem like that's what's being argued for here, and it would be tougher, as the school board has been held to have the rights when it comes to curriculum, not the teacher. It is true that I have concerns about teachers being the victim of angry parents (who want teachers who give bad grades to be fired, or perhaps who assign books that offend some subset), but on the whole I think that happens anyway, and that you could protect against it without tenure.

So I guess I'm giving you the opportunity to explain why tenure is a good thing. (For the record, I tend to agree with Conor's POV, that without it there wouldn't be a huge difference in turnover, as shown by schools without it, as well as non-tenure-based jobs in all kinds of fields.)
I think that's a perfectly reasonable question, and honestly one I've gone over in my head many times. I will also say that, before even considering it, I find it extremely unfair that it is being used as a whipping post (is that a thing?) for those who want to end the achievement gap by hammering on teachers at poor schools. Forgive me if my response to this is brief, but I've expended most of my evening's left-over brainpower responding to this element of the ed debate in the McCardle-Goldstein dialogue here.

For me, tenure is something I was vaguely inspired by when I decided to go into teaching. While my Dad was a teacher and I knew full well his sacrifice (even though not at a poor school), the idea of tenure, as well as summers off and a pension really made the career that much more palatable. I've ended up OK so far, but in my somewhat brief career, I've been through enough crap that if it weren't for my absolute passion for education (not to mention the enormous time/money sink at university), I would have quit already, and likely never have entered the profession to begin with. Being asked to do the impossible on a daily basis isn't very rewarding.

But, anyways, here's a link that sets out my feelings on tenure probably as well as anything I might write. I know it's kind of at best a dodge and at worst a false equivalency (in that the case on one side may be much stronger). I don't know, I've personally been in a non-union school where teachers were fired at will, very capriciously. So, I'll lay my bias right out there. I now have a couple more years before I get some security and I'm definitely having to play it real straight. As you might imagine, I'd have a lot I'd like to say to principals and administration at my school but there's no way I'm rocking the boat!
__________________
my blog
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-28-2011, 01:00 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,921
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

Quote:
Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli View Post
I think that's a perfectly reasonable question, and honestly one I've gone over in my head many times. I will also say that, before even considering it, I find it extremely unfair that it is being used as a whipping post (is that a thing?) for those who want to end the achievement gap by hammering on teachers at poor schools.
I agree with you on this, as I said. I think talking about it as an answer to how to fix the achievement gap is wrong.

However, I think the movement toward supporting reform and being frustrated with the efforts by the unions to basically block all suggested reforms that you currently see in the Democratic Party, from Obama's relatively mild positions to Corey Booker and others and the various things tried in large cities, are not based on a false idea that teachers are to blame for the achievement gap. I think it's experience with children at school, especially in large cities, and thinking about the problem as what would I want, what do I think is necessary.

In any case, I don't want to tie the discussion of tenure (I read the site you linked, btw) to the achievement gap, as I think the latter is a much harder problem. I don't think we can compare performances of dissimilar classes or schools and think we've identified good and bad teachers (even apart from the great many reasons it's harder to get teachers to teach at the most disadvantaged schools). I suspect that anyone familiar with evaluating employees in any other field knows that the effort to find a quantifiable metric (especially if based on test results of students) is foolish. However, I also know, from that same experience, that it's pretty easy to tell who is doing a good job at one's job and who isn't, if you want to know, even if it's hard to quantify and prove.

Quote:
For me, tenure is something I was vaguely inspired by when I decided to go into teaching.
This is interesting. I wonder how much of an effect it plays. My parents aren't teachers, so maybe that's why, but I don't think I was ever aware of such things (outside of college teaching) when I was thinking about careers.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-25-2011, 09:44 AM
harkin harkin is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,169
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

btw - as long as you're willing to make excuses for every death wish forwarded by liberals (Hundreds of anti-war protestors towards Bush, selected Journlisters, Bill Maher, the Palin haters etc), for calls for violent, deadly riots by radical professors, then all you're doing is creating a false universe where your delusion that:

"Those conditions exist exclusively on the right."

makes some kind of sense.

Good luck finding your way back.


ps - I'm still laughing over the 'hey, it was just one death prayer forwarded by the teachers union' - thanks - best laugh since another board declared that Olbermann's departure meant 'we've lost our Murrow'.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01-25-2011, 11:08 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: eastern sierra
Posts: 5,413
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

Quote:
Originally Posted by harkin View Post
ps - I'm still laughing over the 'hey, it was just one death prayer forwarded by the teachers union' - thanks - best laugh since another board declared that Olbermann's departure meant 'we've lost our Murrow'.
I bet James Thurber's ghost is sad, too.
__________________
"By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it." Adam Smith
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-25-2011, 01:55 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. Saģah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

Quote:
Originally Posted by harkin View Post
... all you're doing is creating a false universe where your delusion that:

"Those conditions exist exclusively on the right."

makes some kind of sense.
The only false universe being created here is by you. Virtually no one anywhere has said Democrats or the left have never used violent rhetoric. The differences are that such talk comes disproportionally from the right, and even more crucially, that it comes from the top voices on the right -- the most prominent Republicans and conservative media figures.

In your flailing about to try to establish equivalence, you're forced to resort to finding isolated examples. That you are down to howling about one "memo sent out and forwarded" should make this clear, even to you.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-25-2011, 10:07 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Exiled to South Jersey
Posts: 2,436
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

Conor's point about the flugelhorn vs. the piano is badly flawed. Most flugelhorn players aren't dedicated flugelhorn players; they play the trumpet and then switch to the flugelhorn for certain pieces. It would have worked much better if he'd picked a more unusual instrument that people tend to play exclusively: say, the bassoon.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01-25-2011, 11:05 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: eastern sierra
Posts: 5,413
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

The biggest impact on our educational system which ever happened was women's liberation.

I disagree that there aren't ways to be innovative in the classroom but I agree that the teacher training apparatus is deeply flawed. That is where innovation should be occuring. But, as always, there is a vested interest in the way of changing anything. This is not even so much the teachers' unions as the University system which is built around degrees, advanced degrees and all sorts of useless hoops people have to jump through to get ahead.

The educational system is not built around what is best for the student.
__________________
"By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it." Adam Smith
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01-25-2011, 03:11 PM
bkjazfan bkjazfan is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South Los Angeles, Ca.
Posts: 1,192
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

Quote:
Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
The biggest impact on our educational system which ever happened was women's liberation.

I disagree that there aren't ways to be innovative in the classroom but I agree that the teacher training apparatus is deeply flawed. That is where innovation should be occuring. But, as always, there is a vested interest in the way of changing anything. This is not even so much the teachers' unions as the University system which is built around degrees, advanced degrees and all sorts of useless hoops people have to jump through to get ahead.

The educational system is not built around what is best for the student.
I assume you mean that 50 years ago the best and the brightest women generally had two career fields that were open to them: nursing and teaching. Now, they can pursue any career they want to. Yes, that must have had a negative effect on K-12 education. I have never seen it quantified but I would put it at least in the 20% range.

In the small incorporated inner Los Angeles city I live the schools are almost a total disaster above the elementary level. It appears that many of the students run out of gas after the 6th or 7th grade.

John

Last edited by bkjazfan; 01-25-2011 at 03:15 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 01-25-2011, 12:10 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: eastern sierra
Posts: 5,413
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

I don't understand Katherine's antipathy towards watching the Keith Olbermanns of the world. I consider watching the other side (or any side, for that matter) one of the greatest forms of entertainment we have in this society. We get to see the way the base is wooed, the kind of rhetoric that is being tried out and, if successful, is used over and over. One of my favorites is watching the way talking points make their way through the news cycle. You can almost recite them word for word after a while

I understand that cable news is a lowly thing and it is much better to be reading Democracy by Tocqueville but in a pinch or when you're just too tired to turn the pages, it can be an education.
__________________
"By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it." Adam Smith
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 01-25-2011, 02:51 PM
Magic Flea Magic Flea is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 51
Default Flugelhorn and Piano Lessons

If you want to be the best flugelhorn player, you still have your work cut out for you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSGEmIhUCkY

The diavloggers seemed sort of puzzled by the big deal with piano as opposed to other instruments. Commenting as a musician who plays several instruments, the big deal is that piano actually does demand a high level of focus and coordination right from the start (and thereafter). Band students, on the other hand, will essentially spend their first year learning how to make a sound on their instruments. Learning piano is much more of an intellectual exercise. For anyone at the point of considering these things with their children, piano also has the potential to be more personally rewarding in the long run because of the wealth of great literature written for the instrument by history's great composers.

I'm all for band or orchestra, too. However, piano is a very different instrument, and its rewards are unique.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 01-25-2011, 02:59 PM
BornAgainDemocrat BornAgainDemocrat is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: near Chattanooga
Posts: 826
Default New Ideas on Public School Reform

This was an intelligent discussion between two attractive and obviously well-educated young journalists. Still, there was a lack of fresh thinking on the subject of public school reform. Let me briefly mention two new ideas -- new to me anyway -- that I think deserve more attention.

First, I saw a proposal -- I wish I could remember who made it -- for a new kind of central high school in our biggest cities that would be more on the model of our community colleges: very large student bodies (15,000 or more), open enrollment, self-tracking, and an a la carte curriculum that included a rich assortment of vocational as well as academic offerings. Beyond minimal standards of literacy and numeracy, students would be free to choose those courses and teachers which they found most attractive, with few if any restrictions on maximum class size. (Particularly popular classes might require t.v. monitors and multiple teachers' assistants for the grading of homework.) The idea is that if the schools were more like small cities and students (along with their parents) could choose their own courses of study, there could be a better fit between student aptitudes and opportunities without charges of discrimination.

The second idea was a proposal to put web cameras in all class rooms in order to monitor student discipline and teacher competence. As it is now it is impossible for parents or administrators to accurately assess either of these, which has led to a breakdown in institutional responsibility.

As for teachers' unions (or public employee unions in general) it has been proposed that pay and benefits should be set, not by collective bargaining, but rather on the prevailing standards that exist in private industries in the area. (In the case of big central high schools allowance might also be made for the number of students teachers educate as a measure of teacher productivity.)

These are complicated ideas, obviously, with numerous ramifications and costs as well as benefits. All I'm saying is that they deserve to be explored.

Last edited by BornAgainDemocrat; 01-25-2011 at 03:10 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 01-26-2011, 01:26 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: eastern sierra
Posts: 5,413
Default Re: New Ideas on Public School Reform

Quote:
Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat View Post
This was an intelligent discussion between two attractive and obviously well-educated young journalists. Still, there was a lack of fresh thinking on the subject of public school reform. Let me briefly mention two new ideas -- new to me anyway -- that I think deserve more attention.

First, I saw a proposal -- I wish I could remember who made it -- for a new kind of central high school in our biggest cities that would be more on the model of our community colleges: very large student bodies (15,000 or more), open enrollment, self-tracking, and an a la carte curriculum that included a rich assortment of vocational as well as academic offerings. Beyond minimal standards of literacy and numeracy, students would be free to choose those courses and teachers which they found most attractive, with few if any restrictions on maximum class size. (Particularly popular classes might require t.v. monitors and multiple teachers' assistants for the grading of homework.) The idea is that if the schools were more like small cities and students (along with their parents) could choose their own courses of study, there could be a better fit between student aptitudes and opportunities without charges of discrimination.

The second idea was a proposal to put web cameras in all class rooms in order to monitor student discipline and teacher competence. As it is now it is impossible for parents or administrators to accurately assess either of these, which has led to a breakdown in institutional responsibility.

As for teachers' unions (or public employee unions in general) it has been proposed that pay and benefits should be set, not by collective bargaining, but rather on the prevailing standards that exist in private industries in the area. (In the case of big central high schools allowance might also be made for the number of students teachers educate as a measure of teacher productivity.)

These are complicated ideas, obviously, with numerous ramifications and costs as well as benefits. All I'm saying is that they deserve to be explored.
I read your post yesterday and wanted to respond but my internet was not cooperating.

I love the idea of housing high schools in large campuses like community colleges. Have there been any experiments along these lines? My only problem would be keeping an eye on the little rascals. A lot of high school students are notorious for not being self motivated or controlled. I'm not sure how much freedom they should be given.
__________________
"By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it." Adam Smith
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 01-25-2011, 05:01 PM
brucds brucds is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 940
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

To tie two issues in this diavlog together, a deranged gunman was captured on a local freeway on the way to shoot up a foundation that sponsors the volunteer tutoring/mentoring program in my neighborhood "urban" school. He went on his vendetta - by his admission - because Glenn Beck targeted these folks as part of the plot this media weasel has contrived of "progressives" (coincidentally or not, mostly Jews by Beck's lights) to "destroy America." Beck has named names of folks he's argued need to be "shot in the head." Yes he's said that on his show. This isn't something I made up - Beck's schizo-paranoid ranting, which has made him a multi-millionaire, has been linked to this attempt at political assassinations by Joe Scarborough, among others. So "this time it's personal" - and no, "both sides" don't pull crazy shit like calls for violence, repeated serially by GOP pols, wanna-bes and popular "conservative" media stars.

Contemporary "conservatism" has become a gutter phenomenon.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 01-25-2011, 05:16 PM
chamblee54 chamblee54 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 319
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

The supply always seems to outpace the demand.
chamblee54
__________________
Chamblee54
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 01-25-2011, 07:39 PM
sapeye sapeye is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 391
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

This comment by Katherine is telling and, from my perspective, troubling.

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/338...2:32&out=22:48

So many of the things we did when we were young we give up as we mature. Our lives often become narrow and repetitive. I sometimes spend long periods alone in the wilderness and one of the things about it I find most rewarding is the opportunity and the need to do everything for myself, including survival activities, psycho-spiritual exploration and reflection, aesthetic experimentation. Jacks of all trades are not generally appreciated in our culture, and specialization in a single field is the accepted career trajectory.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 01-25-2011, 08:14 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,569
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

I am sorry- Olbermann is pretty obnoxious (ditto Ed Schultz), but neither are as bad as Rush Limbaugh, who routinely makes pretty blatantly sexist and racist remarks (Yes, Olberman has made sexist remarks- that wouldn't come close to Rush's- but at least he's had the good grace or sense to apologize for them). I don't know how it was decided that blatant bigotry was okay, and not part of a moral or value metric for evaluating public personalities.

As well. There is absolutely no mainstream equivalent of Glenn Beck, on either side. STuck in a hotel and watched his show.

Wow. He is literally psychotic.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 01-26-2011, 12:54 AM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,332
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

I would add that as obnoxious as KO can be, I would place a heavy bet that any comparison on the number of verifiable facts vs. obvious falsehoods between his show and Rush, Beck etc., would show KO to be the victor from any even remotely journalistic perspective (not that I would rank him high as a reporter.)
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 01-26-2011, 01:21 AM
violetcrown violetcrown is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 17
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

Katherine Mangu-Ward thinks she never considered being a teacher because it sucks? Too bad she doesn't know what she's talking about. I had more freedom to innovate during my years teaching high school than I ever have at any other job. What job doesn't have older people comfortable in their jobs who make more than you did when you were just starting out?

She never considered being a teacher because she's a selfish libertarian. A lot of my teacher friends are the happiest people I know career-wise, and it's not because their job is "safe." Lots of good ideas were discussed here, but no mention of the fact that private schools that are far less touched by the hand of government perform about the same as public schools.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 01-26-2011, 03:36 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,921
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

General comments, way late.

Olbermann and left vs. right news media -- I thought this was an okay discussion, if they didnít say anything particularly new. Katherineís point about how people think of themselves being reflected in their media preferences made sense to me; I think thereís at least a grain of truth to it. (Itís also one reason I get so frustrated with the right, as I think their constant chip on the shoulder approach is delusional and also simply an approach that I find really off-putting.)

Tiger Mother Ė I initially was not interested in this topic, but I thought Conorís point about what a focus on just success would mean in our culture was good, and the sports comparison good.

I think Katherine was right to say that itís a concern of a tiny percentage, but isnít the broader question whether our standards and expectations are too low. Do we assume itís too hard for people to become adequately literate and numerate and so on, make schools too easy? My question is whether this is contrary to the idea that more kids should be tracked into jobs vs. college-prep oriented secondary programs. I donít actually think it needs to be.

Moving into the school topic Ė school choice debate. Conorís point is right Ė involved parents is the difference, and it is good to give those people an out (but definitely not a real solution to the education problems in the US more generally). I also agree with him that itís good to experiment with different models, not because of the state run bit, but because I donít think the same model will be good for everyone. I am open to looking more at other countries than the school choice people seem interested in.

On the other hand, did Katherine really say she wants to explore outsourcing teaching to India? Iím all for alternative models, but thatís just nutty and supports my fear that a lot of the support for choice is really about attacking the current system, not having better options in mind. On the other hand, I totally agree with Conor re barriers to entry for teachers being one of the real problems (and one I think the unions play a role in). My experience is that the best teachers Iíve known (and had) were alternative path people, not ed majors.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 01-29-2011, 05:50 AM
johnatthebar johnatthebar is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 28
Default Re: Flugelhorn Edition (Conor Friedersdorf & Katherine Mangu-Ward)

Conor is one of my new favorites. I like Katherine here, too.
Reply With Quote
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:38 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.