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Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

A New School Year*

Posted Wednesday, August 25, 2010, at 2:49 PM

*Which by of course I mean a new school year for opponents of education will once again attack educators for no other reason than it is the politically thing to do.

I have long tried to figure out why so many people constantly attack the American Education System. For a long time I thought it had something to do with their complete lack of understanding about faith's place in the school. Oh sure they will scream and yell at you and tell you that God is banned from public schools. When you calmly explain to them that not only is God still in schools there are several student groups on campuses all around the United States devoted to Christian causes, that there are prayers around the flagpoles in the mornings before schools, or that most schools recognize a moment of silence where I student can pray if they so choose to, they either completely ignore what you have just said or call you a liar and keep declaring their stance.

Then I thought it might be the politics of it all. Were there simply more liberal leaning teachers than conservative leaning teachers and that is what boiled their blood. Actually most teachers are moderates and the good to great teachers do not waste a moment of their class time trying to push their ideology. There just is not enough class time for it anyways. There are polls out showing that professors are more apt to discuss their political ideology but this neither proves nor validates that it happens at the high school and lower levels.

I also considered that it was because they were trying to push a religious ideology in the science classrooms, with limited success.

None of these fit the mold. Then I finally figured it out. They simply hate education. Follow me on this because some of you may stop right at that sentence and start throwing all kinds of bombs my way. Think about it, whenever any kind of story comes around that throws a teacher or a school into a negative light these "haters of education" (as I like to call them) take that little nugget and run with it in an attempt to cast all education in that negative light.

Take for example the new school complex in Los Angeles. The Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools. The media has played this for all it is worth. They have cast just enough suspicion with the naming of their stories that a lot of people believe this to be one gigantic high school. It is very similar the media's framing of Park51 in New York as the "Ground Zero Mosque". They tweak it just enough so that people believe that is just one school. Yahoo led with the title, "LA unveils $578M school, costliest in the nation".

I did my own researching, because frankly I do not trust any of the news anymore to give a fair accounting of what is actually going on. The Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools actually has six schools on this site, not just one. I am not defending the cost or the extravagance put into the place but I am defending the purpose of the schools and how they got it.

Anyone who has any actual knowledge of school districts knows that 90%+ of the funding that schools get towards building and infrastructure comes from the community not from the government. Saying otherwise is either blatant misinformation or complete ignorance of the way that schools work. But then again when you have a group of people that hate education they can actually fit both molds.

The schools were not built or funded with any money from the state of California. The planning of this school has been going on since the 90s when the Los Angeles Unified School District bought the old Ambassador Hotel. This of course being the hotel where RFK had been assassinated. The groundbreaking for this complex was in 2006. It is not a recent event. The entire complex was paid for by taxpayers in funds that they approved. In other words, the funding (despite what some would have you believe) was already paid for. The RFK Schools despite their high price tag were paid for long before any building occurred.

Naturally, those who hate education do not like you knowing the facts so when they report on them or talk about them they leave the facts out so they can make this look as leftist (I must admit ignorance on what leftist actually means since it has never been explained to me except through Conservapedia) as possible and blame the school in part for why California is bankrupt.

Of course there is also the cases of teacher-student sex. It is despicable and deplorable for any teacher to ever take advantage of the trust that students have in them, but it's hardly an epidemic. It is also not indicative of 99%+** of the teachers in the system. You would not know that, however, if you solely listened to those who hate education. They would convince you, if they could, that all teachers are pedophiles to some extent. There is a double standard though. When a male teacher is caught with a female student, he is rightfully cast off as a pedophile. When it is a female teacher, however, those who hate education actually treat the matter with kid gloves and have even gone so far as to ask the question on everyone's tongue. Why did the boy even report it, because it is every boy's fantasy to have sex with their teacher. Oy.

I could go on and on with examples of how those who hate education purposely blow up a meaningless story to show examples of how education is failing our children, but that would take the better part of a day and I am not sure the McCook website can handle that much information at once.

I do agree with those who hate education on one point. Our education system is failing the children. It is not the teachers faults, no matter how much those who hate education want to convince you it is.

Teachers do their best day in and day out to teach every student that comes through their classroom. Under the current system we have, though, it has become an uphill battle to do so. Under the current system more emphasis is put on the tests at the end of the school year than what the student actually learned. This has caused teachers to start "teaching to the test" rather than simply helping their students learn.

The tests are not a true indication of what is going on in the school. The tests are set up the same way all tests have always been set up. Memorization. There are a lot of students that have no issue with this, but there are a lot of students that do. They will fail the test through no fault of their own.

Unfortunately in the climate we live in today those who hate education have no sympathy for students that have test anxiety or do better on different forms of testing. They think if a kid fails a test it is the teacher's fault and that teacher needs to be fired for their incompetence.

Teacher's will continue to be the proverbial punching bag for this group of people that hate education. They say that more teachers need to be hired, but where, pray tell, do they think the schools are going to get the money to pay these new teachers?

As I correctly posted two blogs ago. The school year has started so prepare yourselves for the onslaught of misleading and outright lying stories about education. The people simply have no class, and sadly I think they revel in that.

It had not occurred to me that I low balled the number of teachers that are not pedophiles, so I rose it into the 99%+ category. Thanks to SWNebr Transplant for pointing that out.


Comments
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[Show most recent comments first]

Boy, I hope that your numbers are wrong and that 5% of all teachers aren't pedophiles.

While I agree that the few bad apples, as it were, doesn't spoil the bunch. I would also like to see you being this fair minded when people use the few bad apples of other bunches as indicative of their respective bunches.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Wed, Aug 25, 2010, at 3:02 PM

Kind of low balled that non pedophile number didn't I.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Aug 25, 2010, at 4:15 PM

Heh, That's what I was thinking. This is where I could go off about offering proof but I won't :)

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Wed, Aug 25, 2010, at 4:17 PM

Mike,

People that hate education?! Wow! At least you came to such a reasonable conclusion. Of course it couldn't be anything other than people that don't like children learning anything. Here I thought this was going to be about the excitement of a new school year and Anyhoo...

"Anyone who has any actual knowledge of school districts knows that 90%+ of the funding that schools get towards building and infrastructure comes from the community not from the government."

Actually, that 90%+ comes from both, technically. Local school districts impose property taxes on the community and when they don't have enough money from currently assessed property taxes to build a facility, they are required to go to a vote of the people to raise the taxes for bonding purposes on a specific project. So the money comes from the community as far as property taxes are concerned but the local government i.e. the School Board spends those taxes on education just like the federal and state government spends our state and federal taxes on education.

Students practically have to study 48 years of case law to figure out what is acceptable to the schools and what is not in regards to student prayer. Even then, it's no guarantee. Schools have not exactly become easy places to pray even though students spend a large amount of their time there. There are people out there who would sue them for praying to a group of students on private property at a private event if they led the prayer while standing on a stack of their textbooks from school. Prayer is not completely banned from schools but has certainly been under attack for a long time. The lines between acceptable and unacceptable prayer by students is becoming more and more blurred all the time.

-- Posted by McCook1 on Wed, Aug 25, 2010, at 4:56 PM

"Proof is in the Pudding". The State Reading Test (NeSA-R) reflects some of our deficiencies. NeSA-R tests reading Comprehension and Vocabulary in grades 3-8 and 11. Approximately 30% of all Nebraska students don't meet the reading standard level expected. That means 1 out of every 3 students can't read at grade level across our state. Is this acceptable? I don't think so! Most schools have small class numbers and have the ability to do one-on-one instruction. A bright note, our area schools are exceeding this average achievement.

-- Posted by Online on Wed, Aug 25, 2010, at 5:00 PM

Under attack? Seriously? You mentioned earlier in other blog about talking rationally. How about you drop the facade of "prayer being under attack" then we can talk rationally.

One of the former collegues (a conservative no less) used to always scoff at the notion of prayer being banned or being "under attack". He always said go into any classroom during a test and you'll see plenty of students praying.

The only thing that is not allowable is teachers or administrators leading the prayer. I would have thought you would know that. Students leading students in prayer is absolutely acceptable as long as it doesn't take away from class time and even then that's at the discretion of the teacher.

Actually the line is quite amazingly clear. I don't know what kind of glasses you are looking through but you may want to clean them (I know how you love analogies). Could you please illuminate me where you are getting your information?

School districts don't have the power to levy taxes against citizens, McCook. They city or county in some cases may levy the taxes for school districts, but the districts themselves do not have that power.

As I said previously any money having to do with any improvements to the schools, infrastructure, or building new schools has to be voter approved first.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Aug 25, 2010, at 6:21 PM

"Under attack? Seriously? You mentioned earlier in other blog about talking rationally."

For one, the first main point is that I did not accuse you of attacking prayer and secondly, when you take the actions of one kid to court with lawyers in tow and possibly all the way to the Supreme Court then I consider that an attack. I'm not trying to take you to court over your actions so yeah, I'd say it's under attack. It's not as simple as a student can lead a prayer for other students. They can't use the most remotely associated thing the school has. For instance, the girl who used the name of "Christ" in the prayer before a football game. She used the microphone that is technically owned by the school and she gets hammered for establishing religion. The lines are not always so clear. If a kid wants to lead a prayer on school grounds as a gathering place then how is using the school as a gathering to lead others in prayer different than using a school microphone to lead others in prayer? What if you have a large gathering of students who want to pray but need to borrow a microphone system form the school so that others can follow in the prayer? Tough luck, that's not allowed, whether you're a student or not because it's using school property. Everyone thought the lines were clear much like you do now... students leading prayer is ok, teachers leading prayer is not ok. Then this girl, this student's prayer was challenged in court. That is an attack, my friend. They wouldn't let the school donate used straws if they were going to be used to make crosses. There's plenty of case law to back up the fact that prayer is moving closer to being completely banned. Hopefully, it never reaches that point but with such ridiculous court rulings to back them up and as the rulings get more and more strange, the advantage continues to tilt to the side of the ones who would like to see prayer gone for good not the ones who want to pray without worrying that they are going to get their school sued.

I don't need glasses so my vision is unobstructed.

"School districts don't have the power to levy taxes against citizens, McCook"

You're wrong. It's just that simple. Cities levy a tax for the benefit of city operations. Counties levy a tax for county operations. School Districts levy a tax for that school district's operations. State Historical Societies levy a tax for State Historical Society purposes and so on and so forth for all agencies given taxing power and school districts DO have taxing power. In Nebraska they make up the bulk of the property tax we pay and they don't have to ask the city or county to do it and I suspect Arkansas is the exact same way. I can check your state statutes for you but I know how unconstitutional it would be to take taxing authority away from school districts. Think about it, school boards are elected to carry out the affairs of the school on the local level, county commissioners are elected to carry out county affairs at the local level. When you start requiring a county to levy a tax for another governing entity, you're representation is distorted because that would mean that people outside your school district could be electing people to make direct decisions on your school district such as passing a bond issue. In order to pass a bond issue, you have to have taxing authority. Think of property tax as collateral for the bonds and if you don't have the authority to levy that tax then you'd never get the bonds.

I'm serious when I say you really should try to learn about what the powers of a school district entail. Talk to your Superintendant or better yet, a school board member since they're the ones who have the power to levy taxes. They may need voter approval to raise it but they still have the power to do it. The only thing they need the county to do is print the ballots and hold an election but not to levy the tax.

-- Posted by McCook1 on Wed, Aug 25, 2010, at 7:31 PM

They may need voter approval to raise it but they still have the power to do it.

So, in other words they don't have the power to levy taxes.

You dropped the whole prayer under attack meme pretty quick, though.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Aug 25, 2010, at 7:58 PM

Personally I think it should be banned in public schools. Your children go to school to learn. Not practice religion. If you want your kids to pray during school send them to a school led by whichever religion you are. There isn't any shortage of them.

-- Posted by Damu on Wed, Aug 25, 2010, at 8:16 PM

I don't honestly care if the children pray during school. They are going to do it anyways whether it is allowed or not if they so choose to. But as far as administrators and teachers leading the prayers, unless you account for every student in your classroom and abide by their prayer rituals, then it shouldn't be done. With all the things that teachers have to get done in a 50 minute period prayer is not high on their list.

Every school I have either attended or taught at had a moment of silence in the mornings after the morning announcements. There are countless groups dedicated to a religion that students can join. Most schools permit students to pray at the pole (typically a group circle around a flagpole that is student lead). If this isn't enough for parents there are plenty of religious schools in this country where their student can get the amount of prayer that the parent wants. There is also homeschooling. There are a lot of Christian organizations out there that host homeschooling.

My point here is, as far as education goes prayer is not, and should not be, a high priority. If the student wants to pray, no one is going to stop them no matter what the doomsdayers and haters of education try to convince you of.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Aug 25, 2010, at 9:07 PM

Natso, Natso, Natso,

If you've been following along, you'd know that Mike doesn't have to offer proof for his statements, only people who disagree with Mike have to offer proof.

Mike,

Do the religious groups at school have school sponsors who can lead the prayers?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 8:29 AM

Mike,

It's obvious you just like to argue for the sake of argument. So, I'll just leave you with this.

http://www.lexis-nexis.com/hottopics/arc...

-- Posted by McCook1 on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 11:13 AM

Natso that's what my entire blog was about. I'm sorry you couldn't figure it out by that. I really don't know what else to tell you.

SW, I figured you wouldn't be able to stay away from the attacks for long. Although I do have to admit it stunned me when on the other blog you called it turning over a new leaf. For the rest of us it's just SW being SW. I offered my proof. I gave my thesis as to who these people are and then backed it up with valid information. Either you are guilty of once again not reading the blog all the way through again or you're not even bothering to come up with anything new.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 11:15 AM

Just realized you will need some direction... look up 26-80-102.

-- Posted by McCook1 on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 11:15 AM

No I just like clarifying issues as you do. You said earlier that school boards have the power to levy taxes, I said they didn't, then you said yes they did as long as they have the permission from the taxpayers, to which I said then no by that admission of yours they don't have the power to levy taxes.

If you have to ask permission to do something you don't have the power to do that, the person or group of people you are asking to do it have the power.

I guess, since you ended the discussion, that you feel you have won this discussion and now it's time to move on.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 11:20 AM

SW, yes the groups have sponsors, no they cannot lead the prayers. The students however can pray as much as they like, as can the sponsor.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 11:22 AM

GI, I agree that it is odd that with everything going on and what I brought up in my blog the thing that everyone wants to focus on is prayer. But when people believe "prayer is under attack" (for the warmonger in all of us) you almost have to expect that is going to be a hot topic. Seriously, there are people that believe the schools have gotten so bad solely because they believe prayer is not allowed in school anymore. My theory on that (and SW please note this is a theory, not me claiming its fact) is if they have to face the reality that whether children pray in school or not has nothing to do with our failing schools they would actually have to look at the real issues.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 11:25 AM

Mike,

Less of an attack more of an observation which is supported by your disregarding Natso's question.

My new leaf is not being fair, I thought you understood that.

Your opinions are fine, but you shouldn't try to pass them off as being validly proven when your blog was primarily a expansion of your unprovable opinions. You are entitled to think what you want, but when someone asks for support either give it or admit it is just your opinion. BTW it is fine to have an opinion. Just you repeating that you said something isn't offering supporting information.

Instead of complaining about my teasing you, could you answer my question? Or is it too hard for you to answer a direct question? So far today your record for giving straight answers is pretty slim.

Do the religious groups at schools have staff sponsors who are able to pray?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 11:29 AM

Sorry for the repeat, I was typing that when you posted, thank you.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 11:29 AM

Mike,

Thanks for noting your theory. Why is it surprising that people didn't focus on the issues in education when your blog didn't talk about them? You addressed: prayer, sex, tax and bond issues almost exclusively. You then had a couple of short throw away lines about it not being the teacher's fault that students fail and complained about testing.

If you write a serious blog about issues in education, rather than one attacking others, perhaps you will get a better response in regards to working on those issue.

Parents are tired of hearing it's not the teacher's fault when they hear about horrible teachers that can't be removed.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 11:37 AM

I did understand about your new leaf SW, that's why I said to the rest of us it's nothing new. How you missed that I'm not really sure. You have never been fair SW you exclusively go after the left leaning posters on this blog and always gloss over what right leaning posters say. You have always done this. It's nothing new, so to be clear you aren't turning over a new leaf you are doing exactly as you have always done.

Let me get this straight. I answered your question so you apologized for asking it twice which is nice I don't care to be asked twice. In posting sometimes it happens. The odd thing is you apologized for asking the question twice but didn't retract your hateful spiteful, questioning my intelligence (all too common in all your responses) attack on me in the previous paragraph regarding the question I didn't answer even though I did.

You're all about turning over new leafs, so how's this the leaf I am turning over is not responding to any of your posts until your apologize for that unfortunate attack you unleashed on for a question I actually answered.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 11:57 AM

Natso, from my original blog:

"They simply hate education. Follow me on this because some of you may stop right at that sentence and start throwing all kinds of bombs my way. Think about it, whenever any kind of story comes around that throws a teacher or a school into a negative light these "haters of education" (as I like to call them) take that little nugget and run with it in an attempt to cast all education in that negative light."

I suspect you probably quit reading at the point I said you would, so I will try to clarify that since you don't understand it.

I call them "haters of education" because anything regarding the American Education System they always try to find the negative on. Yes, there are quite a few of them. Yes, they actually have political sway. Take Texas for example. The Texas Board of Education is so inundated with them that when they changed the curriculum for History in the state they took Thomas Jefferson off the list of men who had a role in this country's formation. Who did they replace him with? They replaced him with essentially an economist who talked up capitalism.

Not only that they also demanded that teachers discuss with their students alternate ways that America could have stopped the Great Depression. It's not a bad idea, for political science classes, but it has no place in a history class.

The haters of education find everything wrong they can with education and exploit it those they know won't do their own research. The school in Los Angeles (yes I am essentially retyping my blog as you clearly did not read it) for example. It was paid for by voter approved funds. The school is completely paid for. The haters of education want you to believe that not only is it not paid for but you and I, who don't even live in the state will have to pay for it. It's not remotely true but it hasn't stopped them.

SW I will go ahead and pull you into this part as well. You guys seriously can't figure out why I am so defensive of teachers? Maybe it's because I am trained to be a teacher? You think? Maybe it's because both my parents are teachers? Could be. Maybe it's because my brother is also a teacher? Quite a good possibility.

I am not fully defending all teachers. You have just jumped to that conclusion for some reason. I defend most teachers that go in every day before 7 am and leave after 6 pm and do their very best to teach every single student that will come through their classrooms. Not every single teacher fits that mold. There are the bad apples (bad pun I know) and those are the ones the haters of education always zero in on. Think about it, when is the last time you actually saw an uplifting story about a teacher?

Another category the haters of education seize on. They actually believe that people go into education because it pays well and they get all those nice vacations. Anyone who knows the first thing about education will laugh at anyone that suggests teachers are paid well. As for those holidays? Teachers may get one or two days in those vacations to actually vacation. The rest of the time is spent on preparing to go back to school.

When I call this group the "haters of education" am I actually suggest that they hate education? Let me make this part perfectly clear:

ABSOLUTELY

They hate education because it is not being run as they want it to be run. Pure and simple. They are making footholds. It looked as if they were going to get a foothold in Kansas but the voters saw what they were doing and voted the entire board out. They not only have a foothold, but a strong foothold in Texas.

They have the strongest foothold in Washington D.C. where they have actually convinced two consecutive presidents that the only way to prove that students are learning and which teachers need to be fired and even what school districts need to be closed down is inundating children with test after test after test. Testing is not the answer to fix our educational system. Until we can rid D.C. of the "haters of education" our education system will continue to suffer.

I hope that clarifies it for you.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 12:15 PM

I am in complete agreement with you GI. That's why I am hopeful that the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools succeeds. Was it highly expensive? Yes. Was it very extravagent? You betcha. But hopefully with this complex of school and the different areas of education that each one offers it will encourage kids to stay in school.

Our current system does not work. The standard high school only prepares students to go onto the next level of school. We all know that for a good percentage of students they will never go to college.

We need to offer more career oriented classes specifically for students who will not be going on to college.

The school I graduated from and taught at actually has two tracts that students can choose. They can either go through the college preparatory classes or they can go through the vocational classes at the vo-tech school on the same campus.

The current mold of schools simply does not work.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 12:20 PM

@Mike in kansas we can thank the flying spaghetti monster and his noodley appendages for that.

-- Posted by Damu on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 12:23 PM

I guess my ultimate wish would be that if those that spend so much of their time trying to find blame in the schools and point out its short-comings would spend that time coming up with real solutions to fix our schools our children would be better off.

Until that actually happens all the energy will be spent on correcting the lies and distortions of the "haters of education".

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 12:48 PM

Mike,

I might apologize if you were a little more clear on which spiteful, hateful attack you're talking about. Personally I didn't consider anything I wrote particularly spiteful or hateful, but I understand you are a little thin skinned. I also am not sure what you see as questioning your intelligence in that post, could you let me know to what you are referring? As I read it, the paragraph before I was discussing the difference between opinion and fact, is that the attack?

I never said I was surprised you defended teachers or even said anything about you defending teachers other than to observe that you did so. I didn't say whether I thought it was right or wrong. Again I think you are too sensitive here. I merely expressed an opinion about the stories one hears occasionally about bad teachers.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 2:39 PM

Molly,

LOL that's good. I have a couple of questions about your previous post. When you said "us Christians take....we want.." but then later said "schools should be non...." I'm not sure which group you are claiming inclusion in. Do Christians in large enough numbers to really be counted really say that because they feel persecuted that is the reason 30% of Nebraska students didn't pass the reading standards (please take this as an example not a real specific argument)? I've heard all sorts of complaints about religion being taken out of school, but I don't think I recall people making the connection between lack of God in school and poor achievment. I'm not saying people don't say that but when one paints with a mop (as you say), I would like a little specificity. If that is happening where is the documentation of it?

As for Sam and his "liberal indoctrination" I'd suggest you just ignore it, that is just one of his nutty ideas he gets hung up on. Trying to talk to him about it will do no good, I have trouble deciding if he really believes it or just says it for shock value.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 3:21 PM

"Instead of complaining about my teasing you, could you answer my question? Or is it too hard for you to answer a direct question? So far today your record for giving straight answers is pretty slim."

If you don't think this is hateful SW then I have nothing else to say to you.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 4:44 PM

Just a final not Natso, the term "haters of education" is generic and there is a reason. There are a lot of categories that can fit under that one category. But in the end the one thing they seem to have in common is their unified goal to tear down the American education system. At all costs apparently.

It is my opinion, among these people, teachers are as hated or quite possibly me more hated than lawyers and some politicians. They are a very nasty group and that is why I call them "haters of education".

When I think of a better term or more fitting term for this group you'll be the first to know.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 4:56 PM

Can you tell me what I said that was incorrect Natso?

Sorry, Natso, no people who want to change education for the better to help children learn in a better, effective way are not haters of education. Those that want to change education solely based on their political or religious views and the changes will not benefit the children they are trying to "protect" in my view are haters of education. In the end they really don't care if children learn, just as long as they are doing what they think is best for them.

But again, if you could point out what I said was incorrect, that would be greatly appreciated.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 5:24 PM

Mike,

I'm sorry you got so offended by my asking you a couple of questions. Honestly, I've been WAY more spiteful in the past, I'm not sure why a couple of questions put you over the line.

Although if you just look at the questions you quoted, there is nothing inherently hateful in my asking you to not complain and to answer a question. Now if I said: "Mike you are a whiny hypocrite who always complains and is too stupid to answer questions," that would be hateful.

Nowhere in the quoted section do I see anything that remotely questions your intelligence.

Guillermo,

While I appreciate you giving two examples of "liberal education haters" do you think they justify Mike's broad strokes used today? Do they represent a large minority of thought?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 5:44 PM

Congratulations SW I will no longer reply to your posts. You had the opportunity to apologize for your hateful language instead you blamed me for it and chided me because it wasn't nearly as spiteful things you have said in the past.

Congratulations on your new (sarcastic) leaf. You are just as bad as the posters you used to pretend to chide.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 9:26 PM

Did you have a point to that Natso? I have provided you with what you asked and instead of debating or arguing (whichever phrase you like) you complain of my verbage.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 9:28 PM

"It's amazing to me that you are so smart, yet when questioned on it you evade then slide then insult."

Have you even read any of my posts or my blog? I have been very specific every single time. Either you are not reading what I am posting or you just don't accept my examples. If it's the latter there is really nothing I can do to make it more specific. If it's the former I suggest you read the post. You say I'm evading? You're apparently completely ignoring.

"Have fun with your little love fest of people that agree with you. That is an EXCELENT way to grow. It is right up there with sticking your fingers in your ears and saying LA LA LA LA I can't hear you." You couldn't have described the way that you and SW handle yourselves any more clearly, but I digress.

I have stated, maybe you need to read again that the phrase "haters of education" is purposefully vague because there are so many groups of people that can fit into that category. I know you disagree with me and that's fine. I have never said you had to accept it. You said I had after you followed SW's lead and declaring that I had. I have never said that and I ask that you show me where I have said that you have to agree with me.

My point of contention is that you asked what I meant, I explained. You asked again what I meant, and I once again explained. Then you decided that not only was I not going to answer your question (though I had) you devolved into comparing me to a child. Whether people agree with me is really completely not important (despite what you and SW will continue to claim as fact).

I have answered your question multiple times and yet you still believe I am evading your question, so how about this for evasion I choose to move on. Explaining myself over and over again to someone who believes I haven't done so is, in the end, rather pointless.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 11:33 PM

I would like to say that after defending education and teachers specifically time and time again it does not really surprise me when posters come on and go after teachers anyways. At the end of the day who is easier to blame for the failings of the education system. Better not blame the parents and better absolutely not blame the students.

The most common question I have gotten as a teacher is "Why did you give my child a bad grade?" When I try to calmly explain to them why the child earned the bad grade there is a good group of parents that simply will not except that answer.

Is it a majority? No. But it is prevalent.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Aug 26, 2010, at 11:38 PM

I completely agree with you that teachers should be held accountable. Good to great teachers need to be rewarded for what they do in the classroom, bad to horrible teachers need to be shown the door. But it is hard to do that. There can be a teacher that does everything they can to teach their students, but in this nation we believe that every child has the right to learn (which I fully support). Unfortunately what that means is that teachers are going to get students that don't want to be there and will cause any problems they can. Teachers will get students that for whatever reason they just don't get the material.

Public school teachers are put behind the eight ball. Drastic and serious reforms are needed. What we currently have isn't working. I'll be honest when I heard that Obama was going to keep NCLB I was severely disappointed. The system simply doesn't work. It has done more to leave more children behind.

I hope I didn't give the impression that teachers should always get a pass. That was not my intention. Teachers should be criticized when it is warranted.

I don't know how to fully explain what a teacher goes through in a typical work day. In one class period (50 minutes) a teacher will make over 1,000 decisions. Teaching is not for the faint of heart ... or lazy.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Aug 27, 2010, at 12:43 AM

Wait, wait, wait. I gotta get this straight. You say I am incorrect. When I ask you to tell me what I was incorrect on you refuse to answer, because it was my opinion. Then why say that I am incorrect in the first place?

I believe if you would have read my immediate post before your post you would have seen that I don't in fact give teachers a full pass. Then again you have proven that you don't like reading what I type and then pretend that you can't understand me.

Where did I say there were any attacks on teachers on this blog. I clearly stated that from my past blogs that's where the attacks were. Please Natso read my comments in full before you comment. Continually making up what I have said so you can prove a point is tiresome.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Aug 27, 2010, at 1:08 AM

Mike,

"I would like to say that after defending education and teachers specifically time and time again it does not really surprise me when posters come on and go after teachers anyways"

Who attacked teachers here, did I miss it?

Also if I understood Natso correctly, he is saying what I said earlier which you dismissed. There is nothing wrong with an opinion, and an opinion can't be proven incorrect to the person who holds it. But when you try to pass off opinions as facts, you have the obligation to prove them if someone asks, and sorry to break it to you just repeating it in a different way isn't proof. All you had to do was say these were my opinions instead of trying to present them as truths.

" I hope I didn't give the impression that teachers should always get a pass. That was not my intention"

That is exactly the impression I get from your discussions of teachers.

Molly,

I'm sorry if I was unclear, please don't take Mike's tact that if something is unclear immediately assume the person who stated it is obfuscating on purpose.

What I was trying to ask is: "Are there really a large number of Christians who truly blame the problems in school on religion being absent?" Do they take a specific example such as 1/3 of Nebraska students not meeting reading standards and blame that on no religion? Do they make the argument that if religion were in schools, students would have better reading scores? I don't hear that argument being made, I mostly hear people grumbling about general persecution and complaining that things like Christmas Break that I had when I was a kid, is now Winter Break.

Are you surprised Christians complain of persecution? Every group that I have ever heard of or been a part of always has a contigent of people who always have to have things to complain about and it is almost always because some nebulous "them" has it out for "us."

Guillermo and Molly,

While I agree that Mrs. Smith and Sam's views on education are extreme, and in my opinion pretty stupid. I question whether two examples from a group of 20 or so posters who post somewhat regularly on a conservative newspaper's forum in a very conservative area of the country really indicates a large minority. It certainly doesn't indicate the almost plurality that Mike seems to see when he goes off on the subject.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Fri, Aug 27, 2010, at 8:48 AM

Molly,

I thank you for your opinion, not being a particularly religious person myself, I don't regularly attend church so I don't hear the argument made there. I also don't hear that argument being made in the general public, so take from that what you will.

I find it interesting that you say you feel we need to ditch anger and emotions but in doing so you use derisive comments. As I see it, most of your posts seem to be based on emotions, anger being one of those.

There is nothing wrong with having significant feelings one way but I think one should understand that other people have strong feelings the other way which doesn't necessarily mean they are evil or unworthy people.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Fri, Aug 27, 2010, at 11:35 AM

One man's oppression is another's salvation. No oppressor ever thinks they are oppressive, they think they are helping.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Fri, Aug 27, 2010, at 1:55 PM

Let me state this loud and clear since apparently some posters are having issues finding my statements that they keep questioning me on:

I never stated that anyone had attacked teachers on this particular blog. I said that posters had attacked teachers on past blogs (specifically MrsSmith, Sam, and the poster by many names)

If that doesn't clear it up then I really don't know what else to offer up. I have stated and restated my points rather clearly several times and yet I am continually criticized for not answering questions or evading questions. It would be absolutely hilarious if I didn't think these posters were being serious.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Aug 27, 2010, at 5:39 PM

I wondered why it was quiet on here today and then I went to the actual blog site of the website. Wow.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Aug 27, 2010, at 6:01 PM

I just want everyone to know, that if it is televised I plan on watching, and then blogging about, Glen Beck's speech tomorrow. Just from listening to how he is pumped it up it should be quite the doozy, since he is promising a miracle.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Aug 27, 2010, at 6:03 PM

@MH Perhaps there will be and Glen Beck will be struck down by the hand of god. I for one am not holding my breath.

-- Posted by Damu on Fri, Aug 27, 2010, at 6:28 PM

And you shouldn't, since you are an atheist.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Fri, Aug 27, 2010, at 9:36 PM

@CPB You really shouldn't either. I mean spiritually following a man who made fun of a rival disc jockey for not doing a good enough job of being a man because his wife had a miscarriage is pretty deplorable no matter who you are.

-- Posted by Damu on Fri, Aug 27, 2010, at 9:45 PM

http://ccinsider.comedycentral.com/2010/...

Yes!

-- Posted by Damu on Fri, Aug 27, 2010, at 10:08 PM

I was talking about the holding your breath part, it's not good for you. As far as Glen Beck goes, it his right, if it works, great. If not, oh well, you win.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Fri, Aug 27, 2010, at 10:36 PM

My only gripe with our school system is dealing with the Superintendents. Do they actually train these people how not to give a straight answer?

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Fri, Aug 27, 2010, at 10:38 PM

I have to agree with CPB on this one. Superintendents are the hardest people in the school district to get a straight answer out of. I have to believe that as part of their training they are taught to be shifty in any kind of answer even if the question is "How are you today?"

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sat, Aug 28, 2010, at 6:27 AM

I do have to ask CPB if you were simply talking about Damu holding his breath not being good for him why bring up his religion?

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sat, Aug 28, 2010, at 6:28 AM

In a school district that I am well aquainted with (I won't mention the name for personal reasons just know that this is a real example) the superintendent has gotten some good things done for the school district. When it comes to parents and teachers the superintendent doesn't really seem to want to be bothered with dealing with them. When asked direct questions the superintendent will hem and haw around an answer but a real answer is never fully forthcoming.

Instead it is the assistant superintendents that one has to go to in order to get an answer.

Now is this how all superintendents are? Not very likely. This is my own personal observation and it is a common one.

So maybe I should rephrase my statement. It has been my experience that superintendents are the hardest people to deal with.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sat, Aug 28, 2010, at 9:08 AM

I agree thanks for asking the question that lead me to rephrase. I left it very vague the first time.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sat, Aug 28, 2010, at 1:03 PM

Guillermo,

Sorry, gone with the family for a couple of days. Example, student's is in advanced program, however, upper level class grades may not qualify for high school curriculum. First asked principle, he said to ask superintendent. When asked, superintendent wasn't sure, but will find out ASAP. Six months later, superintendent "pretty sure" grades will count towards high school requirements. Junior high school graduation day, "yep, those grades will count towards high school". As of 2010 fall semester, child will have to retake Algebra 1 & 2, Freshman English, and High School Spanish. Paper work was not fully completed when turned to Nebraska Department of Education. Child very, very unhappy. Parents hear about it every day. Many graduates are taking remedial summer courses to earn high school credits for college.

Child has a neurological disorder, coach and PE teacher calls her s disruption in PE class and sports, she shakes and has twitches. Superintendent informs parents child must refrain for disruptive behavior or will be removed for team and receive failing grade in PE. When informed of her medical condition, superintendent, who has documented medical files in his possession, asks for more medical verification from specialist. Understandable, which we complied. After receiving updated medical files, superintendent acknowledges he already had the necessary files.

On a positive note, he is very good at securing funding for the school.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Sun, Aug 29, 2010, at 7:18 AM

To me it sounds like a poorly set up system. The superintendent wouldn't know what classes count towards what (though once asked he should have done everything in his power to find out, not just guess). That is the counselors jobs.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sun, Aug 29, 2010, at 1:19 PM

I do a lot of contracted work within some of the local schools, and this seems to be the trend, especially with superintendents under age 55. The trend with younger supers is to delegate more decisions to the principles. Any comments from experience?

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Sun, Aug 29, 2010, at 6:35 PM

Personally I believe that most decisions should be made at the school level. Those working within the schools are going to have more experience and greater interaction than a superintendent ever could.

Superintendents are starting to become nothing more than figure heads.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sun, Aug 29, 2010, at 9:10 PM

I see that merit based pay for teachers is being pushed again. This is one of the areas that I sorely disagree with Obama on. In the college profession merit pay does work.

In the public school setting below college it just isn't feasible with the different types of students that teachers will have.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sun, Aug 29, 2010, at 9:14 PM

The superintendents in my area are not elected, rather appointed by the school board. I do agree Sam, the only thing the superintendent really needs to do is to make sure things happen, for the good.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Aug 30, 2010, at 11:17 AM

A little off subject, I do not know where the original blog post went, and I will not contaminate Sam's beautiful work with this.

Damu, according to the article I have found, the giraffe does have a larynx, but it lacks vocal folds and laryngeal ventricles, AKA, vocal chords. Therefore, the giraffe does NOT have vocal chords.

http://students.mim.iml.uts.edu.au/proje...

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Tue, Aug 31, 2010, at 6:33 PM

Not only is it way off topic but it's not even on the right blog CPB. Oh, and the link doesn't work.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Aug 31, 2010, at 9:45 PM

Gosh, your right Mike, sorry!

The link works for me.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Tue, Aug 31, 2010, at 10:49 PM

I was able to finally pull up the website but I would rather you post this information on Sam's blog since that was where the original discussion was. I know you don't want to "contaminate Sam's beautiful work with this" (an obvious attempt at a slam of my blog, but it's okay if you want to deny trying to slyly slam me, it won't surprise me) but I haven't got a clue what you guys are even discussing and really don't want to. So please, take this discussion back to Sam's blog.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Aug 31, 2010, at 11:14 PM

@CPB You mean you aren't able to keep track of something from a week ago?

-- Posted by Damu on Wed, Sep 1, 2010, at 8:13 AM

Short attention span, what can I say? I do work and run a business. So I get distracted.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Wed, Sep 1, 2010, at 10:19 PM

According to CPB even being on a blog site is pretty close to sinful, at least it's not doing Jesus' work. So it really begs the question why is he on here at all?

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Sep 2, 2010, at 11:09 PM

Mostly to keep you honest, which, by the way, could be a full time job.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Mon, Sep 6, 2010, at 9:00 PM

But by your own definition you are sinning being here. Personal attack aside I try to stay honest as much as possible and when I make an error I do correct it. You can deny that as much as you want to but it doesn't make your charges true.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Sep 6, 2010, at 9:47 PM

I never said it was a sin to post here. Again...

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Tue, Sep 7, 2010, at 6:25 AM

"He preached for action, to get off of your fat lazy butts, and to stop worshiping the things (like posting on these stupid blogs) that take away from the purpose in life the He was teaching, helping the poor, the sick, and everyone else who needed help."

Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Wed, Sep 1, 2010, at 10:14 PM on the blog "Not A Sound"

Last time I checked worshiping something other than the Lord was a sin. It's one of the ten commandments. And yes if you want to be technical you never said it was a sin on this blog, but you did allude to it being a sin by claiming that people on this website are worshiping the blog not Jesus.

If you want to squirm your way out of it, that's fine. Just remember your posts are public record.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Sep 7, 2010, at 6:50 AM

Ho hum questioning someone's honesty because they say something you don't like without actually saying what they aren't being honest about. It's so played out, but that won't stop you guys now will it.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Sep 7, 2010, at 6:51 AM

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/f...

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Wed, Sep 15, 2010, at 10:29 PM

Naturally I am sure you believe this to be a widespread problem among teachers, EVEN THOUGH, this guy is a substitute teacher, probably has never actually taught or even hold a license to teach, and probably has never gone to school to become a teacher. Yet you probably have no trouble linking him to the teaching profession.

By the way my memory is a little foggy but were you the blogger who actually said that teaching is one of the easiest professions in the world because of all the "breaks" we get? If not, I apologize.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Sep 15, 2010, at 11:28 PM

I know this will ruffle a bunch of feathers, MrsSmith, CPB, what say you?

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/201...

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Sep 16, 2010, at 6:20 PM

Yes Michael, your memory is foggy, I did not say that at all. I have no problems with a bill that prevents teacher layoffs. The teachers are not the source of financial problems for the schools. It is the administration, cut them.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Thu, Sep 16, 2010, at 7:02 PM

http://www.goupstate.com/article/2010092...

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Wed, Sep 22, 2010, at 10:42 PM

Do you ever post any good stories on teachers or do you just constantly look for stories to embarrass teachers?

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Sep 22, 2010, at 11:41 PM

"Do you ever post any good stories on teachers or do you just constantly look for stories to embarrass teachers?"

Mike,

Do you ever post bad stories on teachers?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Fri, Sep 24, 2010, at 5:02 PM

I don't need to SW with you guys constantly talking trash and degrading teachers. I am one of the few on here that actually think that the majority of teachers are good people who don't want to rape our children and indoctrinate them.

It doesn't surprise me though that you would take a legitimate question to someone that trashed teachers at every turn and try to throw it back at me. You have no shame, but I know you are "trying" to be devil's advocate.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sat, Sep 25, 2010, at 9:29 AM


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