Thursday, November 17, 2011

Education Blogger Wins Arthur Reynolds Award

During World War II, when German bombers seemed poised to knock the fight out of England and plunge the world into totalitarian darkness, Arthur Reynolds brought news of that island's heroic struggle to America's shores.  Few alive during those hours will ever forget the words Reynolds used to begin his reports on the London Blitz, "Edward R. Murrow said."  With those powerful words, you knew that Reynolds, who worked for NBC would soon be telling you what Edward R. Murrow was saying over on CBS.

Reynolds didn't just bust onto the scene in World War II.  It was a few years earlier when his report on the Hindenburg Disaster chilled the nation:

Ladies and gentleman, Herbert Morrison of WLS Chicago says, "Crashing, oh! Four- or five-hundred feet into the sky and it... it's a terrific crash, ladies and gentlemen. It's smoke, and it's in flames now; and the frame is crashing to the ground, not quite to the mooring mast. Oh, the humanity! And all the passengers screaming around here. He told you; it—He can't even talk to people, their friends are out there! Ah! It's... it... it's a... ah! He... He can't talk, ladies and gentlemen. Honest: it's just laying there, mass of smoking wreckage. Ah! And everybody can hardly breathe and talk and the screaming. 0000000, He... He... He's sorry. Honest: He... He can hardly breathe. He... He's going to step inside, where he cannot see it.

Reynolds career in broadcasting lasted long enough for him to report on  the JFK assassination where a new generation will never forget him describing how Walter Cronkite reported on the death of a President.

Russo is a proud successor to Reynold's journalistic tradition with such dynamic reporting on his blog  lately as:

ray explains why lewis isn't funny
Karen Lewis and Other Reasons People Hate CPS Teachers | The White Rhino: A Chicago Latino English Teacher [

CNC's jim warren watched the whole video and finds lots to admire about what lewis says and represents along with the lamentable parts -- no call for resignation

some background on lewis's previous tussles from the trib's joel hood

substance has surprisingly little to say

zorn thinks she should resign for being tin eared

It is reporting on reporting like this that has people calling Alexander's blog the best Chicago Public Schools Blog out of New York State.  See for yourself why he is so deserving of the Reynolds Award.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Common Core Will Be The Common Cure

Back in 1979 when they used to actually make family movies, I remember seeing a wonderful movie called The Great Santini.  The movie was about a Marine Lieutenant Colonel who is raising a family.  His hard and nails exterior is a sharp contrast from the type of parenting we see in television and movies so often, but rather than coddling his kids, he builds their character by demanding that they meet his high standards.   This is exactly the aim on the Common Core Curriculum that is sweeping the nation.

45 states have already adopted the Common Core Standards and will now be bringing increased rigor and decreased literature to 89% of the students in the country.  The Common Core was written by David Coleman who has no actual teaching experience, but developed The Grow Network, which was acquired by McGraw-Hill.  The Common Core has been championed by such education heavyweights as Bill Gates and Michelle Rhee so you know it packs a punch.  There are several principles of the Common Core:

1. Social Studies and science are really reading classes and should be taught that way rather than trying to promote student understanding of the concepts being studied.

2. Rather than trying to teach students at their level, they should be educated at grade level or above grade level.  This will prepare them to work in an increasingly competitive corporate environment where there will be fierce competition internationally for middle management jobs.

3. Narrative writing and fiction are a waste of time.

4. Rigor, rigor, rigor!

The future of education is indeed exciting.  The Common Core will change the way that we teach and learn.  While school may not be as much fun as it currently is with far less "story time" and "feelings", it will help to transition our students to the bold corporate world of the future.  Are you ready for the Common Core?  Take our quiz:

Question:  In the Hunger Games, describe Katniss’s relationships with Gale, with Prim, and with her mother. How do those relationships define her personality? Why does she say about Peeta, “I feel like I owe him something, and I hate owing people”? How does her early encounter with Peeta affect their relationship after they are chosen as tributes?

Answer: Nobody cares.  If you want to read something with excitement and violence try The Iliad or Patton.  This isn't pretend time.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Think Tank Study Finds Think Tank Researchers Underpaid

The release of today's study by The Ponds Institute for Statistical Research in conjunction with Last Stand for Children First is sending shock waves through the research establishment.  The study, which took a comprehensive look at researcher salaries in comparison with a wide variety of both public and private occupations.  The study concluded that think tank researchers performed one of the most important tasks in our economy, yet are not paid a corresponding wage.

"When you consider just how important the work of think tanks is, they are woefully underpaid by as much as 75%.  The real problem is that in the future promising graduate may begin pursuing careers doing stuff rather than joining think tanks," said Martin Zale head researcher for the study, "then where will we be?"

Critics of the study have pointed to the fact that the researchers arbitrarily assigned a Job Importance Value Efficient to various careers.  While teachers were given a .03 JIVE rating and doctors were given a .64 rating, think tank researchers were given a JIVE score of 22.85. 

"Not true," said Zale who explained, "it's extremely hard to put a price on the work think tank researchers do.  Are we underpaid?  Oh yes, we're underpaid."