http://www.wholechildreform.com

Friday, May 15, 2020

Creating small class size through innovation

As students return to school it is evident that their health and safety be maintained.  Essential to this is small class sizes to allow sufficient space between students.  Social distancing is literally imposible with 30 students and more in a room. However, there are creative ideas that could help achieve the goal of a safe environment.

First, of course, is to creatre small class size with an emergency increase in the school budget.  This is ideal but unlikely.

Another thought is through a team teaching concept we used at Milwaukee Village School.  We teamed two teachers, a special ed teacher and an educational assisstant with 60 students.  All for educators were simply called teachers.  The special education teacher would serve general education students as well as those with special education needs based on their individual needs.  There are many students regardless of "labels" that have the same needs.  This would also work with two teachers and two educational assistants.

The educational assistants in many states can do the same things certified teachers do under the direction of the teacher.  Educational assisants could over see a project, a computer lab, a review group, a discussion session reading clubs as defined in my books at www.wholechildreform.com and many other activities.  The ideas are endless.

Additional small spaces could be located throughout the building as well as in nearby facilities to assure for social distancing.

Another thought is to utilize community learning centers such as those run by the TMCA and other groups.  While one group of students could attend school on M, W. F, T. TH, alternate days could be held in a separate facility where they could be involved especoally in activities such as art, music, debate, physical education, dance, dramatic arts and many more.  Again the possibilities are endless.

A meeting with educators and community organizations would allow the development of many more ideas as well as a framework for implementation.

Adding a nurse to every school would not only support a healthy environment but also one additional teacher of health education.  This is well needed at this unique point in time.



Tuesday, March 31, 2020

When the confirmation bias becomes dangerous!

THE CONFIRMATION BIAS IS AN EPIDEMIC THAT IS DANGEROUS!

According to Science Daily “Confirmation bias is a phenomenon wherein decision makers have been shown to actively seek out and assign more weight to evidence that confirms their hypothesis or ignore or under weigh evidence that could disconfirm that hypothesis”. This is understandable to a degree, but when politicians have lied or deceived over 10's of thousands of times and when they have echo chambers that top that number, one would think that more people would catch on. But yet the deception continues while we continue to shake our heads in disbelief.


Let's look at some of the scary realities:  


It is beyond obvious that Communist Russia is interfering with our elections.  It is in the Mueller report, and guess who else supports this reality:



1. Central Intelligence Agency
2. Office of the Director of National Intelligence
3. F.B.I.
4. National Security Agency
5. Justice Department
6. Department of Homeland Security
7. House Intelligence Committee
8. Senate Intelligence Committee

President Trump: On Putin, "He said he didn't meddle. He said he didn't meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times," 


"Every time he sees me, he says, 'I didn't do that,' " Trump said. "And I believe, I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it."
SERIOUSLY?  TRUMP BELIEVES LITTLE LYING VLADIMIR?  HE BELIEVES A COMMUNIST LEADER OVER THE USA?  NOW THAT'S DANGEROUS!

We look at pictures of Los Angeles on a normal day and see the pictures now, when the city is shut down, and see the difference. Do normal minds really believe that the tremendous amount of polution seen with our own eyes is not harmful?  When extreme weather exists right before our eyes. When droughts are happenning world wide and icebergs are melting at a record pace, do we still not see the reality?


Some quotes:  


President Trump:   "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."


"When will our country stop wasting money on global warming and so many other truly "STUPID" things and begin to focus on lower taxes?"

Senator Inhoffe: Once compared the Environmental Protection Agency to the Gestapo, and brought a snowball onto the Senate floor to ‘disprove’ global warming.

He 

Well some groups disagree:


American Association for the Advancement of Science

American medical association
American Meteorological Society
American Chemical Society
American Geophysical Union
American Physical Society
The Geological Society of America
US Academy of Science
US Global Change Research Program
International Panel on Climate Change 

Check out these quotes from the Coronavirus:

Ron Paul: “People should ask themselves whether this coronavirus 'pandemic' could be a big hoax".


Congressman Nunes:  “Let’s not hurt the working people in this country that are relying on wages and tips to keep their small business going,” .... “go to your local pub.”



Congressman Jim Jordan:  “I’m not too concerned about the Chinese virus. This is the worst economic crisis we’ve seen in 200 years. We’ve got to end the ridiculous ‘shelter in place’ orders. I’ve spoken to many senior citizens and they’re willing to take the risk and go back to work. If a few senior citizens die, I can live with that. Plus we won’t have to pay them their social security ‘handout."

President Trump:  “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”


Like Chico Marx in a Marx Brothers movie said: "Well, who ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?"



LOOK AROUND YOU

WAKE UP AND RISE ABOVE THE CONFIRMATION BIAS BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!  IT'S NOT AS MUCH THAT POLITICIANS LIE, IT'S THAT SO MANY BELIEVE THEM.


It is time to, stop the epidemic!  Remember, everyone has a confirmation bias.  I work hard to rise above mine.  You must work hard to rise above yours.  If not now, when?  Isn't this the perfect time to rise above the confirmation bias?  

Go to www.wholechildreform.com for my book STOP POLITICALLY DRIVEN EDUCATION to see how we have been diminishing thinking in schools and how we can change the system so students can 



THINK WHILE IT IS STILL LEGAL!



Monday, March 23, 2020

When Kids Get Back to School



BE READY WHEN THE KIDS RETURN

These are unique times that require unique responses to education.  When kids get back to school, teachers will not know what level they are on or what priorities their education plan will take.  Their skills will be all over the board. 

The time has come to realize all kids are different, they learn at different rates, in different ways, with different background knowledge and different experiences.  And that is only the beginning.

To begin, educators must make every effort to gather information about every student.  This includes a small pre-test as well as additional class assessments.  These evaluations must not be in test form but be demonstrations of learning to assure we understand what the child can do.  i.e. science project

It is important to recognize that the big standardized test will be outdated and is too slow to get back to the teachers. Not to mention that it only a snap shot in time and by itself is fundamentally useless. It should be discarded completely because educators have a better way!  

1. Before kids return , educators should gather information about every student from their past performance. This does not mean grade point averages or test scores. This means actual information.
2. Previous teachers should document goals achieved and goals to be achieved for every student.
3. Once students arrive, designated educators should give small pre tests in reading and math, one on one, to the students. This is not rocket science, educational assistants as well as social workers, psychologist and any educator without a class can do it. This is done one on one to assure accurate results. This information goes directly to the students new teacher.
4. All subjects should be assessed, however not by a written test. Develop a demonstration of learning that will help teachers plan for the student's future. A good example is a science project or a challenge in orchestra.
5. It is important to recognize that the big standardized test will be out of date and a new one will take too long to get back to teachers. Written tests are an artificial snap shot in time and are basically useless when compared to small assessments that go directly to teachers. The big test should be discarded completely.
6. Having gathered this information, teachers along with the student and parent should develop a MAP (My Action Plan) that guides the student toward their future.
7. This MAP will also be a guide to assess the needs of the students, It will work as a portfolio. Imagine handing that portfolio to the university rather than an artificial test.
8. The concept of pass and fail must be put on hold as now the focus is directly on student needs.

9. Most teachers are adept at differentiated instruction. For this, sufficient planning time must be made available along with small class size. These are non- negotiable.

There is plenty of time to develop these ideas while teachers are off due to the virus crises.  And of course they must be paid.  This is essential to education as a whole and will be mind boggling when complete.

As well, there are no more excuses not to reduce dramatically, class size.  Class size and planning time is essential to quality education and after the current crisis, the children will suffer dramatically without a plan of action that is realistic to implement.  This can be done creatively using educational assistants. Teachers should simply not return without a plan for planning time and small class size.

If not now, when?  The only way we can bring kids back to a full education, after this crisis is to pay attention to the needs of all students EQUALLY!


FOR A DETAILED PLAN FOR THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION GO TO:  www.wholechildreform.com AND CHECK OUT MY NEWEST BOOK "STOP POLITICALLY DRIVEN EDUCATION".


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Opportunity for teachers


As many schools have closed, this now becomes an opportunity for teachers to take back your profession. When students return, administrators will be chasing their tails trying to fit kids into that little standardized box full of word games and math riddles.

They will not know how to deal with the time frames relating to the test. Get together with colleagues, be it in person or on line, and develop that plan to subvert the system for the benefit of all kids.

It is easy to say you don't have enough information to give a letter grade.  But you can make a statement telling parents what their child has learned and what they will be studying.

It is easy to say they are behind in reading.  But you can say "let's stop school two times a week for 45 minutes and put kids on their reading levels using every available educator to bring group sizes down dramatically".

It's easy to say you can't retain kids in their grade, but you can say "we will use failure as a learning tool to re teach kids immediately.

There are many more thoughts in my book as well as others.  This time off is an opportunity to show what teachers are made of.  Go to it!


1. TELL ADMINISTRATORS THERE IS NO TIME TO DO THE TEST IN A CORRECT MANNER.

2. PUT ON YOUR TRENCH COAT AND PULL YOUR FEDORA OVER ONE EYE.

3. READ MY BOOK ( www.wholechildreform.com ) FOR IDEAS.

4. DEVELOP THE PLAN TO SUBVERT THE SYSTEM IN THE BEST INTEREST OF CHILDREN.

5. PRESENT AND IMPLEMENT THAT PLAN. (administrators will not know what hit them)

IF NOT NOW, WHEN?