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johnthompson's Comments

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Will President Obama Stop Supporting Corporate Reformers?

Will President Obama Stop Supporting Corporate Reformers?

Commented Nov 1, 2013 at 08:53:19 in Politics

“Corporate power isn't going away. We need to fight back, of course. Its too soon for me to know what we should do with Dems who are slow in pushing back. Since Broad was Hillary's billionaire, would she have done the same as Obama?

I've glad that the evidence of Diane Ravitch and others stiffened my spine some. But, I don't know how to fight the drive towards oligarchy. De Blasio and counter-attacks in LA, Chicago, Indiana, etc. are great starts, however.”
huffingtonpost entry

The Test of the Common Core

Commented Aug 30, 2013 at 18:02:00 in Politics

“David,
Two years ago, I agreed and wrote a similar post imagine cross x. Since then laws have changed and I've been convinced that vams are likely to survive legal scrutiny if they survive the transition to Common Core. VAMs for eval are collective punishment and an afront to the spirit of constituional democracy. But they just have to be not "irrational." If they mix Common Core with previous tests, they should be seen as irrational. During the transition, we should strike.”
How Should We Teach the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington?

How Should We Teach the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington?

Commented Aug 27, 2013 at 18:39:48 in Impact

“golfingman,

yes, we need to teach kids to read for comprehension - not just decode for bubble-in tests. Money matters. Showing respect to students is even more important.

I don't know of any "progressive" systems today, but DC's "reforms" are clearly the wrong approach.”
huffingtonpost entry

Let's Show Respect for Inner City Students

Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 10:23:06 in Impact

“Right! Too many "reformers" deny that.”
huffingtonpost entry

Let's Show Respect for Inner City Students

Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 20:31:35 in Impact

“Thomas,
Given my background with the ACLU/OK and other investigations of the criminal justice system, my bias is towards the defendent. I rarely say that to adults but with my students, we discuss things in an honest manner. But, I "feel" a manslaughter decision would have been "fair."

I don't know how blunt we adults should be right now in the blogosphere. In the classroom, however, complete honesty rules. That's what makes teaching the best job in the world. Gosh, I miss it. I don't yet have any idea of what I'd conclude if I could turn the clock back and discuss these issues with 140+ high school kids per day.”
huffingtonpost entry

Let's Show Respect for Inner City Students

Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 17:54:59 in Impact

“I didn't want this post to get too bogged down in edu-politics. I was referring to Common Core, which got it half right. Common Core standards are designed to get students to wrestle with complex texts, which is great. But, David Coleman, their leader, has shown contempt for pedagogies that bring students' personal backgrounds into the process. Worse, the assessments try to squeeze emotion out of the process.

The bottom line is that we must build on kids' strengths and interests. But, "reformers" want one size fits all. And, add in high-stakes testing and school closures, they put pressure on administrators to put pressure on teachers to not build on their classes' various individualities. The administrator who didn't want me to waste time on Springsteen wasn't a bad person. He or she was under extreme stress to raise test scores.

But, my kids, like all of us, need to get a lot off their chests in regard to the Trayvon Martin case and similar issues..”

Thai Angst on Jul 22, 2013 at 10:08:53

“Thanks. I see. But I don't see how complex texts and "pedagogies that bring students' personal backgrounds into the process" are mutually exclusive. There should be a way to appease both sides..  ”
Cell Phone Experiment by MacArthur Genius Gets Students to Say They Value School

Cell Phone Experiment by MacArthur Genius Gets Students to Say They Value School

Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 17:15:40 in Impact

“Tultican,
You are so right.”
huffingtonpost entry

Aren't Schools for "Square Pegs" Also?

Commented May 30, 2013 at 13:39:06 in Impact

“Rose addressed teachers and parents, and I thought I did too. Sorry if I wasn't clear.”
huffingtonpost entry

Aren't Schools for "Square Pegs" Also?

Commented May 30, 2013 at 13:36:38 in Impact

“Claudia,

I agree. But, Rose had teachers who I'd say were embarrassingly authoritarian. Interestly, he had more enlightened teachers in the older grades”
huffingtonpost entry

Aren't Schools for "Square Pegs" Also?

Commented May 29, 2013 at 07:21:03 in Impact

“Thanks for prompting a clarification. Not all credit recovery programs are bogus. It is credit recovery in an age of bogus "accountablity" that has ruined that otherwise positive tool in many or most, but not all circumstances. That applies to a lot of technology.

I'm glad you've witnessed successes.”
Why Schools Must Teach Delayed Gratification

Why Schools Must Teach Delayed Gratification

Commented May 21, 2013 at 18:10:18 in Impact

“broui,

My question is not whether different socio-economic groups have different levels of internal control. It is whether that self-control is affected by lowering levels of hope for an economic opportunity. As it becomes harder to move up the economic ladder, is there less success in teaching kids to think of the future and not just practice delayed gratification.”
Why Schools Must Teach Delayed Gratification

Why Schools Must Teach Delayed Gratification

Commented May 21, 2013 at 15:49:11 in Impact

“Jthinker and JMR,
Thanks. College is late to start. So is public school. Before any level of schools can do a better job on this, we have to de-prioritize less important things, like high stakes testing.”
Why Schools Must Teach Delayed Gratification

Why Schools Must Teach Delayed Gratification

Commented May 21, 2013 at 15:47:03 in Impact

“yeah, sharing one meal a day would be wonderful - and doable.”
Why Schools Must Teach Delayed Gratification

Why Schools Must Teach Delayed Gratification

Commented May 21, 2013 at 15:46:12 in Impact

“No, when I was young I had too much delay in that gratification.”

barry11362 on May 21, 2013 at 16:39:45

“I'm sorry about that.  ”
Why Schools Must Teach Delayed Gratification

Why Schools Must Teach Delayed Gratification

Commented May 21, 2013 at 15:44:23 in Impact

“do you think that lower levels of economic opportunity play a role?”

smartinezjr on May 21, 2013 at 16:55:32

“Do lower levels of economic opportunity play a role in developing a hard work ethic and self discipline, I would say that yes, it does. How is a community to role model good work habits and be motivated by them If the best job you can get is at McDonalds for the rest of your life, it is not very motivating to work hard. You do not have many rewards for hard work in a community with low levels of economic opportunity.”

broui on May 21, 2013 at 16:47:06

“I would argue that the same problems exist everywhere, but they manifest themselves differently depending on socio-economic status.”
Why Schools Must Teach Delayed Gratification

Why Schools Must Teach Delayed Gratification

Commented May 21, 2013 at 15:43:35 in Impact

“yeah, the opportunity costs of just focusing on a narrow portin of the brain have been devastating.”
Why Schools Must Teach Delayed Gratification

Why Schools Must Teach Delayed Gratification

Commented May 21, 2013 at 15:42:09 in Impact

“to borrow from your phrase, yeah "like we (students) DO need your approval." Kids want to control their own destinies. They aren't getting enough guidance. And, when I was a kid, it wasn't just parents that taught delayed gratification. The village, or in our case - the block, helped raise us.”
Why Schools Must Teach Delayed Gratification

Why Schools Must Teach Delayed Gratification

Commented May 21, 2013 at 15:38:44 in Impact

“I read her, and I had mixed feelings when doing so. Do you think she contradicts my analysis?”
How Does the Closing of Crenshaw High School Capture the Essence of 'Reform?'

How Does the Closing of Crenshaw High School Capture the Essence of 'Reform?'

Commented May 16, 2013 at 15:01:31 in Los Angeles

“I should ignore that, but I can't. How can you speak of human being like that?”

LATEACHER1X on May 18, 2013 at 18:35:10

“Ol' wesmont is obviously threatened by poor people whom he's afraid he or his kids won't be able to compete with. Most successful Americans can trace their roots to the ghettos. The ones who can't made it by inheriting money which was made by exploiting other human beings in one despicable manner or another.”
Who Co-Created 'Michelle Rhee'?

Who Co-Created 'Michelle Rhee'?

Commented Apr 25, 2013 at 15:10:22 in DC

“I'm pleased to report that John Merrow objects to this:

"Merrow says that the force that Rhee symbolizes was created by herself, the mass media, some corporate reformers and, above all, union militancy."

I'm pleased to see that it was my mistake. I have since reread his post and he clearly says:

"It seems to me that U(nions) also created the social phenomenon that is “Michelle Rhee”–and are now reaping that bitter fruit."

I don't know how I missed the "also," but I did. I could blame my bifocals, but still it was a big mistake and I apologize. I'll ask the Huffington Post to remove the words, "above all."

While I am sorry about my mistake, I am glad that it was my mistake and not his opinion.”
huffingtonpost entry

After the Billionaires Kick Down Teachers and Students, Who Is Next?

Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 14:11:45 in Politics

“Occam,

In response to your question, here's just a few things you got wrong. Please remember, we were having real and measurable progress until the 80s, when it slowed, and progress again increased during Clinton's second term, but improvements slowed after NCLB.

College enrollentment rates increased 45 to 50% for all races 1972 to between 55% to above 60% in 1992. In 1970 the white high school graduation rate was 57% and in 1998 in was 94%, and black rates increased more.

The difference between back and white 8th grade reading scores narrowed from 44 to 20 points from 1971 to 1988. SAT scores for persons of color increased dramatically from 1970 to 1990.

Where you get confused, perhaps, is that annual increases by race in 8th grade reading from 1998 to 2002 was .5, 1.75, and 1.00 respectively but they dropped after NCLB to 0, 1.0, and .2 respectively.

I could go on, but the pattern and the numbers are real.”
huffingtonpost entry

After the Billionaires Kick Down Teachers and Students, Who Is Next?

Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 12:22:41 in Politics

“Charles,

Your summary of the research is accurate. We've also had reports by impeccable scholars who show that the increase in educators has occurred even as the numbers of teachers in the classroom has remained stable. And, despite having to pay for all of the extras, in my state, per student funding has dropped by 1/5th.


I don't know where Occam gets his numbers, but they are flat wrong. If more outsiders knew what is actually happening, opposed to theorizing about it, we might gain some more traction.”

William Occam on Apr 12, 2013 at 12:48:01

“John please let me know what numbers I got wrong and provide the correct ones.

thank you”
huffingtonpost entry

After the Billionaires Kick Down Teachers and Students, Who Is Next?

Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 17:38:18 in Politics

“The most important metric for judging school reform is the NAEP 8th grade Reading. For blacks it rose from 222 in 1971 to 243 in 1988, but twenty years later, despite nearly a generation of bubble-in accountablity, those scores were only four points higher. With 17 year-olds, blacks scores rose from 239 in 1971 to 274 in 1988. Twenty years later, they fell by eight.

All across the NAEP tests, traditional reform produced big gains and they stagnated after the market-driven "reformers" started spending money like drunk sailors.”
huffingtonpost entry

After the Billionaires Kick Down Teachers and Students, Who Is Next?

Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 14:35:51 in Politics

“Occam,

I followed your link. A razor-sharp mind should see that your evidence argues against your position. "Reform" has increased spending, but NOT by putting more teachers in the classroom. Those numbers have remained steady for more than a decade, as incredible amounts on mney has been spent on non-teachers. "Reform" was supposed to help outcomes for poor children of color. SAT declines might show cultural changes, but it doesn't say anything about the effectiveness or lack of effectiveness in an age of "reform." (If anything, they may indicate that is has gotten harder to change society from within the four walls of the classroom.)

This issue is whether bubble-in, top-down, "reform" has worked, and your evidence does not give support to that. Now, if you want to argue that "reform" has been great for consultants, computer systems, and service providers, we agree.”

William Occam on Apr 12, 2013 at 09:37:45

“John,

I think you may have accidentally responded to the wrong post. I made one simple point in response to a posting by someone else who suggested that poverty explains why academic outcomes are so poor. There is a wealth of evidence that suggests that this is not true. Good teachers can make an enormous difference....

http://bluecravat.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-la-times-can-tell-you-who-good.html
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