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Archive for the tag “DISCIPLINE”

TEACHING TODAY, WOW!

I received this message from my old friends, Mike & Emma Cobb who live in Hillsboro, Texas. There were no credits for an author and should anyone know who compiled these words I will be happy to give them credit. It was not formatted with spacing to give me a chance to really absorb the responsibilities of a teacher today. I have three daughters, a granddaughter and a daughter in-law who have or still work in education. They run a span from the first grade through high school and one actually trains teachers in science. My oldest daughter is retired from teaching math in the inner city part of Houston. Although I live away from them some of the actual happenings they have had would curl your hair.

The indifference and lack of parental interest today has created an environmental nightmare for teachers beyond belief for those my age to comprehend. I decided to re-format the message and hopefully attract more attention for people to really absorb the impact. When you can understand what teachers deal with every day you should see that they are fighting a battle without armor or weapons. Like the military they are not paid on the same scale as industry and believe it or not they must have liability insurance to protect them from ambulance chasing lawyers like those in medicine. My wife was born left-handed and thanks to her first grade teacher she was made to learn to write right-handed, often with a whack from a ruler when she forgot. Today the teacher would probably end up in prison after the ACLU was contacted.

I posted some articles about education a few years ago after visiting with the superintendent of our local schools. I also visited with the Administrator in charge of a local trade and college credit educational organization with available programs for five local school district students. Today in most areas of Texas a high school student can take college credit courses and amass 60 hours of credits free. Sadly most do not take advantage of this due to sports. If you question my words do what I did. I spend a couple of hours in  a second grade class shortly after the new school year started. I would not last all day and be in a court room if I had to teach undisciplined children of today.    C Brewer   

TEACHING TODAY! (A story you will hopefully read and share with everyone you know.)

After being interviewed by the school administration, the prospective teacher said: “Let me see if I’ve got this right. You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages and instill in them a love for learning.

You want me to check their; backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self-esteem and personal pride.

You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook, and apply for a job.

You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, and ensure that they all pass their final exams.

You also want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicap and communicate regularly with their parents in English, Arabic or any other language, by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card.

You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for “Welfare.

You want me to do all this, and then you tell me……I CAN’T wear a necklace with a little cross,  mention God, or say “Merry Christmas”  because someone might take offense?  

Well, you know what you can do with your job.

We all should have the same rights, whatever your religion. This should be posted in every school in America and all countries. Think about it! If Muslims can pray anywhere, why are Christians banned from praying in public and from erecting religious displays on their holy days? What happened to our National Day of Prayer? Muslims are allowed to block off major streets, in all American States and pray in the middle of the street! And it’s a monthly ritual!

Tell me, again, whose country is this? Ours or the Muslims? I was asked to share this if I agree, or delete if I don’t. It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God. Therefore, I have a very hard time understanding why there is such a problem in having ‘God’ in our education system or the Lord’s Prayer said in our government, schools or public meetings.

I believe it’s time we stand up for what we believe! PLEASE HAVE THE INTESTINAL FORTITUDE TO SHARE THIS WITH EVERYONE YOU KNOW.

SUPPORT AMERICA FIRST!   ANON

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TEXAS SCHOOLS – PART ONE!

POLITICALLY MOTIVATED DESTRUCTION.

Reading the Beaumont Enterprise yesterday an “Opinion” column, which is normally slanted so far left I just ignore it, a headline caught my interest. “Texas must study how others fund schools.” The first sentence really grabbed my attention, “The one piece of good news in last week’s ruling by a judge who declared the state’s public school finance system unconstitutional was that his ruling doesn’t take effect until next July.” Shades of common sense still escape our legal system as all decisions are now 100% politically driven. Our finance system for our schools has been unconstitutional for twenty years at least. Our entire state education system was high jacked by the Legislature a long time ago. This is a leadership problem and in Texas it is controlled by the Republicans instead of our national education disaster that is mismanaged by the Democrats. 

When I went to Texas schools, the teachers were not required to pay for liability insurance to protect them from lawyer inspired frivolous law suits. Parents were required to discipline their children, not the teacher. Teachers did not have to learn martial arts to protect themselves from both the students and parents. Educators developed and approved textbooks, not politicians. I was given a chance to learn and my parents were responsible to motivate me to succeed. Failure was a biGGer problem when I got home than it was at school.

Watching one of the finest education programs in America being destroyed by politics is one of the saddest things I have watched in my 84 years. I am so old I only went to eleven years of education and graduated high school at sixteen. I finally finished my education with a Master’s Degree at forty seven. Now it takes fourteen years of education to graduate high school and today most who do graduate are qualified to possibly have an eighth grade education, when compared to what I was so fortunate to receive. Most, not all, graduate from college today with an education equal to what I received in high school. My teachers spent 100% of their time teaching and every student was given an equal chance to learn. Teachers taught their subjects and it was my responsibility to learn. Teachers were not evaluated on how many students passed some standardized tests that were developed in England, authorized by elected politically motivated and seldom qualified ego driven individuals swayed by narrow focused feelings rather than facts.

If that is not bad enough the money provided is by politically driven lawyers who are elected to serve in a State Legislature that is a part time job. The only reason most even want to be elected is an ego trip and a way to sell their professional services to the public when they are not in session.

Now schools “have” to take children who are so disabled physically and mentally they have zero chances to ever contribute to society. Making the schools provide what is nothing more than healthcare or baby-sitting is a tragedy. Having to hire full time nurse’s for some should not be intertwined or funded with education money. This actually penalizes those students that have no disability other than being a little slower to comprehend. I have witnessed children locally that can’t even feed themselves being cared for by a nurse one on one every day.

All afflicted children need care including some who even have a remote chance to actually learn something. We had this when I was a student but it was done in a separate facility, not in the normal schools. Making these children attend normal schools is a significant drain on the education money that is politically provided and is grossly unfair for the teachers and those children who actually have to struggle to understand.

“Part Two”, will address;

1. The failure of our politicians to provide adequate funding for our Texas schools that is readily available now.

2. Why the elected leaders are more concerned about getting elected and re-elected than they are about the children.

3. Why do the religious hypocrites fight to refuse providing the readily available funding that we watch go to the states of Oklahoma, New Mexico and Louisiana. Arkansas will likely join the others to suck up the money Texans pay for recreation that the Baptist’s can enjoy where they are  not recognized. The price we pay for cowardice?

C Brewer

EDUCATION TEXAS- HEMPHILL ISD/ SABINE COUNTY

 

I had several meetings to discover how our local school district provides for the education of our children. These meetings provided some impressive results, some which I shared previously. Previous articles exposed the unexpected educational opportunities provided by the Sabine Area Career Center (SACC) and my first visit with Dr. Glen Pearson, Superintendent, HISD.

Dr. Pearson had invited me to return to visit the laboratories and suggested that I visit with Dr. Lana Comeaux, Executive Director at SACC and possibly a school board member before we met again. On Thursday, April 21, I met again with Dr. Pearson and Dr. Comeaux that involved a tour of the new high school campus focused on the laboratories and the Special Education Center. I was accompanied by the Science Consultant for the Harris County Department of Education, Lisa Felske, who is my daughter and was here for an Easter visit.

“WOW” would be a one word description of the visit. We were accompanied by Marc Griffin, high school Principal on the tour. The laboratories are the most modern that I have ever seen in a high school. The facility design that separates the labs from the classrooms is the most proficient I have ever seen. I managed testing labs at Lockheed for several years and the safety features and storage of chemicals was outstanding. My daughter was extremely surprised to see that the lab designs provided adequate space between work stations that is unusual in her assessment of labs in over 50 school districts in the Houston metropolitan area.

One of the subjects we had discussed in our first meeting was discipline. The news is rampant in exposing factual cases of discipline nationwide. Mr. Pearson stated that discipline was under control at HISD and the tour and observations proved that true.

We also visited the communications control center and the available computer terminals in every classroom. We also had observed the “smart boards” in the labs that are state-of-the-art teaching tools in each classroom. With over 600 computers and the technical support, communications operations at HISD are outstanding.

The visit to the Special Education area was an eye opener for someone who finished high school in 1947. Anyone with even moderate special needs would not be permitted to attend public schools in my time. The visit with the teachers, nurses and observing actual methods used to help these students was awesome. I will tell you what DR. Pearson whispered to me during the visit, “When I think I have a bad day, I come visit this area. It helps me realize how fortunate I am and motivates me to stop feeling sorry for myself”. I may have reworded the actual message, but it would do the same for me.

Another rewarding fact, out of the 137 students enrolled this semester in SACC courses, 69 are from Hemphill High School. I also wish a special thanks to everyone we met that were very professional in answering questions and explaining their facilities and responsibilities. Everyone I met sincerely demonstrated that they have the student’s education as their number one objective. Special congratulations to Sherrill Hobbs for winning the Buddy Low award this year. Montez McNaughten, that I know well, who won the award last year, gave Hemphill ISD two in a row.

Unfortunately I did not have a chance to visit with Dr. Chad Moody, the newest member of the school Board. Hopefully we can meet in the future.

Now I have a message to the parents and everyone who pays school taxes to the Hemphill ISD. We are very fortunate to have one of the lowest tax rates in Texas, so no one needs to question the fact that we have modern educational opportunities for the children. I am keenly aware that there is no way to pass a bond issue or raise any taxes in Sabine county. I have been here nearly 20 years and watched several fail. The opportunities that are provided for both our students and parents to acquire free college credit courses with the SACC are not available statewide. Another fact is that all of the new facilities have been provided without increased taxes or debt. This takes professional leadership.

All of these operations have succeeded because I observed teamwork with a dedicated group of teachers and administrators. I had never met Dr. Pearson before my April 7th visit. For those who are unaware, he will retire again after this semester and we all owe him a debt of gratitude for his service. I now have a new friend who I could possibly end up in a boat fishing with soon. Thanks Dr. Pearson and I hope your replacement will keep your “team” together.

 C Brewer

EDUCATION TEXAS-SHOULD TESTING BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN TEACHING?

 

 

The good news for teachers is that the ill-fated Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) testing will be given a well deserved funeral in 2011. This was an unfunded mandate that never deserved a breath and actually replaced valuable teacher time. Teachers were forced to teach for the test rather than teach to have students gain knowledge.

The bad news is our illustrious Legislature mandated 12 end-of–course assessments for high school students in Senate Bill 1031 in 2007 and created new graduation requirements for an additional year of math and science plus grade 3-8 assessments in House Bill 3 in 2009. This resulted in a new State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness or STAAR test to replace TAKS. Wow!

So STAAR grades 3-8 test will include:

Grade 3 Reading and Math

Grade 4 Reading, Math and Writing

Grade 5 Reading, Math and Science

Grade 6 Reading and Math

Grade 7 Reading, Math and Writing

Grade 8 Reading, Math, Science and Social Studies.

STAAR High School tests will include:

English I, English II, English III, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, World Geography, World History, and United States History. 

In plain language the new tests will be used beginning in the 2011-2012 school year. Students entering ninth grade next year will be the first who must meet the extra course in math and science and be subjected to the end-of-course testing requirements. By the way they must also pass their classes, in order to earn a diploma.

Another tidbit you have to search for is what does all of this STAAR surprise cost? A concerned citizen, using the open record law found the answer. The STAAR testing program has been awarded to a for-profit company in the amount of $468,382,617.00 that will cover the period from 2010-2015.

By the way, there has been no additional training developed for the K-12 administrators or teachers and they face not having textbooks or any preparatory classes to prepare students for the additional science/math requirements. Like the TAKS program teachers will be forced to teach to the STAAR requirements. Any failure of students to pass the tests will be blamed on the teachers like happened when TAKS produced negative results.

If our Superintendents and teachers were allowed to demand discipline there would be no need for a testing program. It is criminal that teachers must have liability insurance to protect their personal property. No wonder we have a broken system. It should be no surprise that our Texas education system in our prisons is highly successful, why? There is no discipline problem with prisoners. Why can’t educators accept that until teachers and administrators are allowed to demand discipline, wasting money with testing is irresponsible! They do not care.

Texas current academic performance measured with all states has diminished over the past few years and we are planning to slash the state funding as much as 20%. It appears that someone in Austin is back to smoking weeds. Only dreamers like the State Board of Education and the legislature can develop these pie-in-the-sky grandiose programs. They believe that they can cut spending and snap their fingers and all Texas students will be ready for the universities and we will have thousands of Academics and Rocket Scientists, available to find unemployment?

When will someone in America wake up and admit that every child will not attend a college or university. We spend billions year after year preparing all children to go to a place of higher learning, knowing full well most will never go.

America is the only industrialized nation on the planet that has little or no trades education for those who will eventually be policemen, firefighters, plumbers, carpenters, cosmetologists, small business owners, etc. Maybe if we could have courses to prepare some students for a political future, we could reduce the costs of our Congress and Legislatures. Most politicians are lawyers and they could be free to return to doing the legal work they were educated to perform. The way they have screwed up America, I suspect some would have to be re-educated on how to chase ambulances again!

For those who read my article on education in the Texas prisons, providing free trades education in high school might help the ones who are lost or drop out of school. Knowledge that would help them find jobs might keep some from joining gangs, selling drugs or other criminal activity. They would fit into society at graduation. Now, if they desire to learn a trade after high school, it is not free and the ones who can’t afford higher education certainly can’t afford the trade school fees.

The only way to get a free education today without grants is to go to prison. It would be nice if the U.S. Department of Education could provide PELL grants for a trade’s education initiative. They spend billions annually to send the under-privileged and the ill-prepared to a college or university with little or no hope that the majority will graduate. They try to make the shoe fit even if it is impossible and accomplish a ten percent result. If we would evaluate every child after the eighth grade and have two courses of opportunity, trades versus academics, we would have the right shoe on the right foot.

What I have outlined is nothing more than common sense. Sadly the academics and politicians that design and fund education were never subjected to a course in common sense and most have never had to make a payroll every week. The really sad part is they really do not care about our children as they just want power and prestige.

For those who wish to keep up with education in Texas, you will find a lot of information on the Texas Education Agency website. I enjoy reading material at TexasISD.com which is the Homepage for Texas School Officials.

Clyde Brewer

EDUCATION DECLINES-COSTS GO UP, WHY?

 

 

There are major reasons why education today is tragically different from in the 1930’s and 1940’s when I was educated. One reason we have had a major decline in education in America is the parents. Mothers did not work and were there daily to teach you respect for others and monitor your every activity including discipline. Dads were available to teach you about work and prepare you for life. If you challenged your mother, dad would make sure you understood that mom was always right. I learned as much from my parents as I did in school. If I had problems in school or homework, they were always there to help me.

Teachers actually taught classes without any disruption as discipline was expected and enforced. Rule #1, with any disruption you would get embarrassed verbally by the teacher. Rule #2, if you disrupted the class the second time you were likely disciplined physically by the teacher. Rule #3, next you were escorted to the principal’s office for a guaranteed physical event to get your undivided attention. Rule #3 also included notifying your parents which would probably result in some form of a Rule #4, physical punishment. As I have never been one to enjoy pain of any description, I never faced Rules 2, 3, or 4.

Bad or poor grades were another event that would result in discipline. Being berated verbally and embarrassed in class by the teacher was common practice. Showing a bad report card to my mother resulted in the loss of something important was guaranteed.

 I challenge anyone to produce any facts that parents and discipline are not the primary reasons we have lost our position of leadership in education to second and third world rated countries today.

Why has this happened?  People now want more materialistic things before they can truly afford them. Case in point, I never owned a car until I was 23 years old, had served over four years in the U.S. Navy, and was married with two children. It took that long to amass enough assets to use as collateral to borrow the $100 to purchase a 1940 car in 1953. Today it is considered punishment if you do not get a car when you turn 16. The result today is both parents have to work to provide the funds to keep up with their peers. Larger homes, fancier cars, club memberships and designer apparel are necessities rather than dreams. This success caused resentment from those without the desire to work that hard.  

Another reason is society has digressed and accepted new moral standards. One parent families only existed when I was growing up as a result of a tragedy.  Today one parent families is as commonplace as the sun rising. The number of one parent families has skyrocketed out of sight. Children do not have the preparation or support necessary to understand the need for education, work and discipline. The same resentment from these children for lack of materialistic parity has created the increase in criminal activity and instead of getting educated they occupy the prisons.

The last reason is that teachers and administrators are no longer allowed to discipline a student. If they embarrass or berate a student today it will usually result in facing a raging parent. Even if they agree with the action, they are mad because they have to interrupt their work to get involved. If physical punishment was involved you can expect the parent, their attorney and litigation. Whether you know it or not, teachers today have to buy liability insurance to protect their family assets. Today parents fear litigation for any form of physical punishment of their own children. It would not surprise me to see parents having to buy liability insurance to protect them from their own children. Obamacare has recently mandated that your children are you’re your responsibility until they are 26. This illustration is just to remind you that we did not have as many lawyers when I was young. We had no television so there were no commercials every 15 minutes from lawyers begging you to sue anybody for anything possible.

If you doubt my wisdom, please take the time to go spend just one day with a teacher in a classroom that does not include your child. If every elected politician and judge at every level of government from Obama to your local level would observe, by video, a full day of a classroom, common sense change would happen.

Again I would appreciate “factual” data that refutes my claims from anyone, including a government agency and especially the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). If the DOE would just spend 10% of the billions addressing discipline and correcting the problem, it would help the teachers and administrators immensely.

C Brewer

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