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Charles Dennis June 12, 2014 at 06:02 pm
In wealthy districts you will have few complaints about the quality of teaching and educationRead More because there are funds-private-that can bolster the needs of educational professionals. The majority of districts don't have this capacity, nor do parents have the means to address the myriad of needs of their children. They are just getting by, or not even getting by. The affects of poor nutrition, broken homes, and delinquency fall on the shoulders of teachers and school administrators. Teachers would have the opportunity to actually teach if their students' parents had-health insurance that didn't cost an arm and a leg, a steady well paying job that had reasonable hours and safe neighborhoods to live in. Increased funds for schools-currently California ranks almost last nationwide in per pupil funding no thanks to Prop 13-would also have a positive impact on the quality of education in our state. Teaching is challenging; anyone who comments on this blog and has not taught is really speaking out of ignorance. Teachers voice opinions; my most inspiring teachers, the ones who really got me thinking, had strong opinions, ones that might run contrary to parent's personal values. Tenure protects those teachers ability to express opposition. The author of this lawsuit is a wealthy CEO, someone used to getting his professional needs met by simply getting rid of opposition. That is not the way to solve our educational shortcomings in this state. Charter schools have not demonstrated significant gains in student test scores, if you think that student testing is the best way to measure success-another topic that needs discussion.
Allen June 12, 2014 at 06:26 pm
Tenure was originally intended to protect intellectual and political discourse. But a second gradeRead More teacher with 2 years experience?
Deanna June 26, 2014 at 11:29 am
Charles I get your point where classroom needs are concerned, but I can tell you with absoluteRead More certainty, teachers do not always get paid more in wealthy districts. In fact it's often quite the opposite. It is often true that teachers make 10 thousand or more less, but still have deal with the cost of living in wealthy districts.
Patch file photo by Renee Schiavone.
Michael June 11, 2014 at 11:06 am
there has got to be a way to control use of cell phones while driving via use of technology. ManyRead More humans will simply NOT STOP texting and using phones (holding) while driving. We as a society must find a way to protect ourselves from these thoughtless, selfish, dangerous people. Arrogance ("I will do whatever I want") and ignorance (idiots like Oakland's Mayor Quan who actually believe holding a phone while driving so she can check out directions is LEGAL!) are out of control related to cell phones and driving. How many more will need to die before we as a society act on this. Teens are only part of the problem.
novato 3per June 11, 2014 at 11:32 am
Michael, I agree that something must be done about the distracted driving epidemic, but am unsureRead More if we want to usher more technology into our personal spheres -careful what you wish for, NSA, BiG BROTHER, etc. I am no fan of Quan, however, a recent decision , SPRIGGS, did affirm the use of smartphone as GPS device was not a violation of the law. ( http://blogs.findlaw.com/california_case_law/2014/03/smartphone-gps-and-other-tinkering-while-driving-allowed-by-court.html. )
Hopkin June 11, 2014 at 01:26 pm
Michael, there no doubt is, but one issue with it would be that it wouldn't discriminate betweenRead More casual use and emergency use.
Patch File Photo
Dawn Urbanek June 10, 2014 at 07:01 pm
We have to make people aware that our State is run by public employee Unions and we need court casesRead More like today which ruled that the California Teacher Tenure rules are unconstitutional so that we can change laws and vote people out of office who do not represent the interests of the public who pay the taxes.
Spencer James July 11, 2014 at 01:19 pm
Something that is interesting to note is that high school grads are going to four year universitiesRead More and studying subject that isn't marketable. While on the other hand you have people getting vocational training at vocational schools that essentially guarantees them a job out of school that will make them 'x' amount of money. So it isn't that college degrees are worthless, some are. It is also said that sometimes trade school is the right choice! Spencer James | <a href='http://www.newmexicodentalassisting.com/' > http://www.newmexicodentalassisting.com/home.html</a>
Spencer James July 11, 2014 at 01:20 pm
Something that is interesting to note is that high school grads are going to four year universitiesRead More and studying subject that isn't marketable. While on the other hand you have people getting vocational training at vocational schools that essentially guarantees them a job out of school that will make them 'x' amount of money. So it isn't that college degrees are worthless, some are. It is also said that sometimes trade school is the right choice! Spencer James | http://www.newmexicodentalassisting.com
Roger May 1, 2014 at 07:06 am
Suzanne: I think the gap is the US with other countries, like Finland and Japan. I have been at RossRead More Common when that school ended for the day, and the students were all white. I think Novato's K through 3rd grade is half Hispanic this year.
Tina McMillan May 1, 2014 at 10:37 am
None of these schools has a significant population of English Language Learners or SocioeconomicallyRead More Disadvantaged students. We can see by API statistics that the real struggle in public education is effectively teaching ELL and SED students. If the only schools honored are those with the least diversity then the award is really a pat on the back for doing little with a lot. ============================================http://school-ratings.com/counties/Marin.html This link provides stats for all the schools in Marin so you can compare scores to different groups of learners. ============================================ Dixie: 5% ELL and 5% SED========================== Bel Aire: 2% ELL and 3% SED======================== Reed: 2% ELL and 2% SED========================= Ross: 0% ELL and 0% SED========================= Wade Thomas: 7% ELL and 13% SED================== ============================================Out of the schools listed Wade Thomas is the only one that has any relative population of ELL and SED students. In Novato, by comparison, Hamilton School is 33% ELL and 59% SED and Lynwood is 33% ELL and 65% SED. If you go to each Novato school you can see the significant changes to teaching that must go with a highly diverse group of learners. Until we acknowledge that curriculum reform is essential we won't be able to overcome the challenges our own district faces. ============================================ Awards that measure the success of schools with few to no impacts as a result of diversity and poverty, are simply telling us that education is successful when students come from families where food, housing and language are not an issue. The districts from which these schools receive funding are all basic aid which means their property taxes more than cover the costs of education while in Novato we rely on the state to make up the difference and so receive significantly less per pupil funding. =========================================== How about an award that measures success based on the challenges associated with teaching a diverse array of learners on a shoe string budget.
Hopkin May 1, 2014 at 11:10 am
No, Tina, they get measures that award more tax dollars!
Scott November 19, 2013 at 01:09 pm
"The Strike stems from a coordinated campaign of illegal intimidation and harassment from UCRead More Administrators..." "The overwhelming evidence of illegal conduct was extensive..." Stating as fact what is clearly an opinion, a very one-sided opinion with no opposing views presented, in a supposed "news" article is fraudulent. You should be ashamed of yourself Lindsey. This is all too common these days and represents why journalism as a profession is so discredited.
Pupils practice cursive writing. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
Clayton Smith November 14, 2013 at 11:18 am
Learning cursive requires a great deal of time and energy on the part of both the child and theRead More teacher. It also requires a teacher who knows cursive, an actually literate human being. There is the problem. I find it unbelievable that the so-called educators of this country would choose to so neglect the children in their charge as to not properly teach them how to read and write. Have they given up on us? This is truly shameless behavior on the part of our government and the parents and teachers who go along with it. Is this what government schooling has come to? Why?+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I would argue that a well educated population, versed in its traditions and imbued with a true sense of inquiry, which arises naturally out of the inherent curiousness of the child, is threat to Authority. And the principle function of government schooling, in the age of the modern Total State, is to instill in children predictable patterns of response to authority. Disconnecting children from their rightful connection to their traditions is an essential part of this. So, may it only possible for an elite esoteric few to be able to read in their original the documents of our past, such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, with its Bill of Rights. Additionally, cursive is very individual and personal in its endless manifestations. Cursive styles gradate from the crude to the artistic. My mother had beautiful handwriting and wrote letters to her friends and family until just before she died at the age of 88. Even when she endured the pain of chemotherapy, her cursive form never suffered. We all could tell that she was approaching the end of her life when her handwriting became increasingly haphazard. Her pen and paper were a thread that passed from one end of her life to the other. When I want to think of her and speak to her in my thoughts, I take out one of her old letters, and placing my hands on the page, I can see her own writing, the style, the ink still on the page where she placed it. The time and distance shrink and we can be together for a small moment again. It is deeply personal, unique and individual. It is far more spiritually profound than old printed out emails. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Our own thoughts, as expressed in our own cursive form on a piece of paper, are in my opinion integrally a part of our self identity, reflection, and personal understanding. It is a powerful tool in the toolbox of our individuality, a basic part of our humanity. Being in constant and sturdy connection with our humanity is critical to being in touch with our permanent rights, rights that are as a part of our nature as the skin that raps our bodies, and are codified in the Bill of Rights. Stripping us of that connection seems to be the goal of the government these days. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Common Core is really a continuation of the Bush Administration's "No Child Left Alive" program of harassing local school boards and parents in an effort to turn our once republican form of government and community into a fascistic Corporate State. The remedy for this at the individual level is that you must set your own standards. As a parent, you must step in and fill the gaps left behind by the school system's indulgence in these destructive fads. Doing so will instruct you in the self-reliance and independence of being that is necessary to truly fulfill your obligations as a free citizen in a modern and humane society.
Credit unknown. If you know the source of this image, please email Catherine.Crawford@patch.com
Clayton Smith November 11, 2013 at 12:27 pm
If Bush's "No Child Left Alive," teach to the test, paradigm was not bad enough, we haveRead More this new brain child from the educational bureaucracy. Everyone of these demigods that makes his way into the Presidency seemed to need to make his mark on posterity. This pathological expression of their vanity has of late focused itself on the shabby condition of government provided education. What worked well to provide the basic building blocks of an educated citizenry 60 years ago, when I went to school, has been cast aside for one fad after another. Having rejected the normal distribution in mental abilities, known as the Bell Curve, and adopted a radical agenda of equalitarianism, which is in itself a rejection of human diversity, we now have a school paradigm that is suited to whom? Perhaps some theoretical person, the invention of an idealized person that some bureaucrats hold up in their imagination as being the New Man, or Woman. Why are these people always at their drawing boards? Why am I compelled to pay for their folly?++++++++++++++++++++++My generation was able to build out the country, put a man on the moon, lay the foundations for the information age, and unravel the human genome. We were very well grounded in the basics, like Math, Reading and Writing, Machine Shop, Mechanics, Science, etc. Teaching the basics, however, requires knowing them. Do the teachers in the government schools even have sufficient knowledge of the subjects they are supposed to be teaching? Teaching the basics is a tough job, not something for the lazy, the incompetent, or the half-hearted. Perhaps, this is the problem.+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ My generation's parents had just fought a World War for Freedom and Justice. In the shadow of this immense suffering we were educated in Natural Rights and Civil Liberties. Consequently, we able to successfully fight the Civil Rights Movement and take to the streets to end the vicious and pointless Vietnam War. This is due in no small part to the fact that we were taught, during our schooling, the Founding, the Declaration of Independence (which we read out loud in its entirety every year), the Constitution's articles and separation of powers. Most importantly, we spent a great deal of time, in elementary school, in junior high school and also in high school reading and studying the most important political document in History, the Bill of Rights. This empowered us. What could be more important?++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++How is this Common Core Curriculum going to address the issue of preparing people for their life in Liberty? How is it going to strengthen the needed ability to constantly question authority, which underpins living as a fully free and responsible human being? Is this its first priority, or just some after thought? I ask any teacher or parent reading this, what comes first the child's humanity, or his or her obedience to an organizational hierarchy? Is this Common Core just a pathway to a new and oppressive Conformity? As we continue sinking into the cesspool of Imperialism, I can think of no more pressing question.
Mill Valley School District offices.
Robert October 4, 2013 at 05:24 pm
This "kid" is a menace to the learning environment of Tam High. How would you like to sitRead More next to someone in Algebra that may or may not open fire on you if you look at him the wrong way? Not only does he need to be expelled, he needs to spend a nice long stretch in juvenile hall. The JDC has a GED program so he still won't lose his chance at getting an education.
Elizabeth Brown October 5, 2013 at 07:14 am
If it's MVSD holding the meeting am I wrong to assume it would not be a high school student?
Jim Welte October 5, 2013 at 08:23 pm
That is correct, Elizabeth. It would either be a student at the middle school or one of theRead More elementary schools.
Tristan Naramore October 29, 2013 at 09:56 pm
We're discussing this with our 7th grader right now. She has been spending over 3 hours a nightRead More trying to complete homework assignments. She tells us it's the same for her friends. The school district has told us, however, that they shouldn't be spending more than 90 minutes. So what's going on? Is our daughter (an A student) not organizing her time effectively? Is she distracted? Not getting enough sleep. We, as her parents, suspect that these reasons are only partly to blame. The main reason may be simply that she's getting too many homework assignments.
Credit: Ellington-Somers Patch
Vladimir October 5, 2013 at 01:20 am
It is absurd to compare the American and Chinese school systems in any way. It is not surprisingRead More that China would consider banning homework as the actual time spent in class is nearly twice as long as an American student. If there is not enough funding to increase the number of actual hours and days an American student spends in class, reducing homework will only further lessen the possibility for them to compete in the world as adults.
Vladimir October 5, 2013 at 01:23 am
2013 at 01:20 am It is absurd to compare the American and Chinese school systems in any way. It isRead More not surprising that China would consider banning homework as the actual time spent in class is nearly twice as long as an American student. If there is not enough funding to increase the number of actual hours and days an American student spends in class, reducing homework will only further lessen the possibility for them to compete in the world as adults.
Michael July 9, 2013 at 05:04 pm
how many school districts do we need in tiny Marin anyways? There are 18 now... 18 separate schoolRead More districts for about 32,000 (public) students grades k-12. That's 1,700 students per school district using simple math. Each district runs up the taxpayer tab with layer on layer of management. Every town is oh so special they need their own school district don't they. And almost all of the districts have money problems and instead of addressing the core issues like reducing overhead and benefits they continue to go to the taxpayers for more money. And sadly the taxpayers just keep giving and never demand real reforms. Just throw more money at it right?
Magoo July 16, 2013 at 09:37 am
I agree with Michael 1,000%. In the "shared sacrifice" approach, some of the items theRead More teachers "conceded" apply only to newly hired teachers. Somebody mentioned (not the MVSD of course) that the 2013-14 kindergarten class is SMALLER than the previous year's incoming class.
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