Monday, August 31, 2009

Joel Klein is a big fat liar....

and his pants are on fire.
With the new school year quickly approaching, I would like to reflect on the past year. The Dynamic Duo have been constantly bragging about the stellar education our children receive. They relate to us that our teachers do not teach to the test, and the press just laps it up. Not like the owners (Mikes friends) know any different, their darlings attend private and the costlier the better, plus lets not forget those great class sizes.
So back to last year. Wee one completed the third grade. I have noticed a difference in the older guys third grade curriculum and wee one's curriculum. Now this might just only be wee one's school. Where test scores matter a great deal. People riot, okay not riot over lower scores from the year before., but they do make the Principals life difficult at best over them. Wee one was taught multiplication, he increased his vocabulary and spelling skills. Science was a bit intense this year, but he studied diligently and did fine.
What he did not learn was something the other two did. Cursive handwriting and history. We did have to purchase a map at the beginning of last year. One of the United States and the World as a whole. At the beginning of the school year he did learn the continents and the oceans, hemispheres etc., but that was it. Now I am pretty sure if there was some third grade history statewide test they would learn this crap ummm I mean essential information. I am not suggesting a test, because our children are not lab rats for goodness sakes. And Joel, I swear if there is a test announced I will be in front of Tweed with all my friends and a giant pitchfork. Don't ask me put Pissed, when exactly would you like us to teach all of this, there really isn't enough time in the day. Bull$shit. There used to be time, maybe if the tests were not increased each year our children could get that stellar education.
Now I know the cursive thing can be explained away by telling me people don't write in longhand. When was the last time you sent a letter. Well I do write in long hand and I do send letters. Call me old fashioned.
I would like to know why it is up to me the parent, you know the parent without any say or education experience have to teach him cursive. He asked me to, said he wants to learn. The horror's a child who wants to learn.

1 comment:

yomister said...

The handwriting debate seems to have been decided in favor of not using instructional time to teach cursive, although some school districts across the country still value the skill and teach it.

As a teacher that has been asked by countless students in NYC to teach them cursive (5th-10th grade), I can only explain to them the rationale: we operate in a block letter/global community since the mass adoption of computer technology. They live in a block letter world, and the skill of cursive is no longer the standard.

Do I tutor them after school is they ask? Absolutely, I have for a couple of years. But their cursive skills take quite a long time to develop, have little reinforcement (they rarely see cursive in their everyday environments), and it requires a fair amount of effort and time.

This year was the first that I said no to a child when asked to teach cursive. By the time they reach my classroom, they are already a couple of years behind in literacy and math. So, do I keep this child after school to teach cursive, or utilize the time teaching the child how to decode grade level words?

We all place a different value on some aspects of knowledge, and cursive/the arts/elementary level historical understandings slip to the bottom.