Tuesday, June 22, 2010
June 18, 2010 Walking from Hamden to New Haven CT
1. Michael Strickland wrote on the walk: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/6/17/877020/-Children-are-more-than-test-scores
2. Helen Ubines wrote about the walk in the Hartford Courant and the Chicago Tribune: http://www.courant.com/community/hartford/hc-ubinas-blog-schoolreform0616-20100616,0,2318944.column
3. Children are more than test scores made it to the Washington Post via Valerie Strauss list of groups opposing NCLB/RTTT.
4. Dr. Stephen Krashen, Dr. Jong Zhao, and Richard Larkin twitter updates about the walk.
5. Susan Ohanian put us on her Yahoo Good News page again.
6. 20 more ribbons arrive this week from East Hartford Connecticut, (they came from a teacher in a group of teachers I spoke to about my walk last week).
7. That is Dean Mitchell Sakofs from the School of Education and Professional Studies at Central Connecticut State University in the above picture. He offered great advice and some tech tools to help me out as well.
A quote for thought: President Theodore Roosevelt said: "To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society."
Two Hartford Connecticut voices from the history classroom:
Last week I met two extremely talented middle school history teachers. The first one a young man named Dan a newly tenured teacher from the University of Connecticut just left his tenured position in the Hartford Public Schools to teach in a suburban district. He said he was leaving, "because they were not letting him teach history. The first year I started off teaching history, and loved it, and my students enjoyed learning about history. By the end of my second year I was told to stop teaching history, and start teaching writing. The focus shifted to preparing them for the CMTs, (state mastery tests). My students hated it, and so did I. I left to teach history. Kids need to learn history. "
The Roman historian Cicero :” History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illuminates reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life, and brings us tidings of antiquity.”
Something is wrong with a middle school that passes over history to work on preparing for mastery testing.
The other middle school history teacher is from one of Hartford's Magnet Schools. He teaches history as a special these days. "In the past Dr. Turner all our students had social studies every year five days a week, the sixth graders learned geography, seventh graders learned world history, and eight graders learned US history all year long. Now with the focus on keeping test scores things have changed. History is not on the test. So two history teachers were let go, and I teach 40 minute hit and run history lessons." He said students may or may not get history. Even when they do it is so condense it makes no sense. "It is a shame, a real shame on America."
Not a shame on America, but a shame on Washington DC. I am perplexed by these NCLB/RTTT reform policies. Does anyone in Washington understand the impact of their reforms on local schools? Let me be the first to tell it like it is, if it is not on the test children don't get it...Civics gone and citizenship gone sacrificed to preparing for the test.
Winston Churchill said: "The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see." A nation without history in its public schools is doomed to fail. There are things more important than Secretary Arne Duncan's data. History is one of them.
My whispered prayer today is that Washington DC's Educational leadership returns to sanity. They need to understand Children are more than test scores. History is a corner stone of public education. A corner stone too big to measured on some bubble sheet. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote: "When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness." I am walking to DC, because I refuse to live in darkness.
Helen Ubines wrote about the walk in the Hartford Courant and the Chicago Tribune: http://www.courant.com/community/hartford/hc-ubinas-blog-schoolreform0616-20100616,0,2318944.column
Children are more than test scores made it to the Washington Post via Valerie Strauss list of groups opposing NCLB/RTTT. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/education-secretary-duncan/arne-duncans-opposition-a-part.html?wprss=answer-sheet
Michael Strickland wrote on the walk: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/6/17/877020/-Children-are-more-than-test-scores
Susan Ohanian put us on her Yahoo Good News page again: http://susanohanian.org/show_yahoo.php?id=557
Dr. Stephen Krashen, Dr. Yong Zhao, and Richard Lakin twitter updates about the walk to DC regularly.
Who knows maybe our next stop will be on CNN.
I am walking to DC,