Friday, December 31, 2004

New Years Eve and Test Scores

It was nice to have a day off from the wars.

Nothing much to report on the home front. Momma Bear is home and will return to the Nursing Home tonight. Then back tomorrow and the trip will repeat on Sunday. Then school starts again.

Just finished reading the article in the Dallas newspaper about the potential cheating taking place on the Texas educational tests. Color me surprised - NOT ! There was another article from Arizona about the same kind of problem. This will be a tough problem to deal with. I seem to remember a movie - was it "Stand and Deliver"? James Olmos played the math teacher - who was accused of cheating because there was no way his kids could learn calculus? Well perhaps we shall know more in 2009 and 2010. I do agree with the District pronouncement that there is something wrong with the scores. If my memory serves me correctly, we will start every year testing of grades 3 thru 8 at the end of the school year in 2006. I know we are part of the "practice test" that will be given this year. All of our students in grades three thru 8 will be tested. Actually that only means that 5th and 6th grades will be added. Grades 3,4,7 and 8 are tested each year without fail.

I must say that I am torn about this issue. I have seen many fine, fine teachers in the last 14 years. People who go the extra mile and really "dig" teaching their students. I have also seen the other side - folks who if they did their jobs in the private sector the way they do their teaching they would be out the door at the end of the day. Sad to say that both are rewarded the same and treated the same. If I were put on the rack, I would have to say that the true problem in a majority of the public schools is the "lack of institutional discipline". They are truly run by the "cult of personality" and not by policy and procedure.

Some wag came up with the observation that "teachers are afraid of principals; principals are afraid of superintendents; superintendents are afraid of school boards; school boards are afraid of voters and the students are not afraid of anyone".

The cat is secure

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Second to Last

Second to last day of 2004. A long way since 1942. Got the Court House visits out of the way, the County and City are taken care of for another year. Stuck with Jury Duty - on call duty - for the next 6 months. Oh well! Let us hope nothing strange happens in the surrounding Counties. We are so small that any trial always has a change of venue. We all know each other. So we get the trials from the adjacent counties and they get ours - when necessary.

Work again today - almost done with the server rebuilds. It has not been fun. MicroSoft always changes things. One of the fun things about technology, always something new to learn. My student helpers for the vacation like the money, however, resent the time it takes to earn it:) Work! The curse of the leisure class! Still have two more servers to rebuild. We will see how it goes today. Need at least 72 hours to do the job right. Perhaps the next set will be done when we have some snow days in January and February.

Dinner out tonight with the Momma Bear. She enjoys getting out of the nursing home. Tomorrow is a home day - New Year's Eve - safer to be off the roads:) Try to clean the nest out a bit. Hit the net - work the blog and web sites and see what gives for 2005. Do not want to think about next week, but the thoughts will sneak in. All sorts of new things in the non - home world in 2005.

We get a new Superintendent in 2005. Our current leader only stayed in the District one year. During my tenure in the district, one leader for three years ( I got in on the last two); another for 3 years (got his higher salary for retirement and bailed); the current leader for only one year (a better, higher paying job in another district) and then the new one to start in July. A state review will be in the spring of 2006 and whatever other brush fires that will need to be put out.

We are not positioned well for the NCLB scores that will come in the fall of 2005. As the line in the movie went "we have a long way to go and a short time to get there". Looks like we will "chip and scrape" the paint off the old boat and put a fresh coat on - stand back and say "gee - we have done a great job" and that horrible old test is not fair. A couple of "sacrificial lambs" will be sent packing and another class will be graduated doing math at the 9th grade level - if they are lucky.

I seem to remember that the only place in the world that "success comes before work is the dictionary" Ah - that old imposter "work". You know - pushing the lawn mower instead of riding the lawn mower:) Of course, I must say that when I walked 5 miles each way to school, it was up hill in both directions.

The cat is secure -

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Almost the New Year

Almost time to run for a quick trip to the Court House. It is property tax time again and the County needs their revenue. Also need to work out the Jury Summons issue. It is only for 6 months. On call for 6 months. Nice thing about red states, you can go do these things without long lines and a multitude of forms. Everybody knows you by name, face and car. :)

It will soon be time for reflection about 2004. Come Friday, no work and will get Momma Bear from the Nursing Home for the holiday. Will read the blogs, news sites and whatever may pop up on the net.

Momma Bear and I will begin the "pecking" and posturing for the Orange Bowl. Big problem in this house! Momma Bear is from OK. And is an avid OU fan. Papa Bear is Southern Cal "68". I have a feeling that Southern Cal will win the football game and I will lose all the verbal battles in the house! If Southern Cal does not win, it will be "hurtsville".

There will be more discussions about the new granddaughter that will arrive in March 2005. Back in the days of the Bear Flag Republic in CA, it was reported in a newspaper that "A man's wife and property were not safe as long as the legislature was in session" After 4 grandsons, the first granddaughter is about to come on the scene. Think I will start hiding resources. Momma Bear is going to put the pressure on to "properly" outfit the new arrival. I always thought that was the fathers job. Apparently not!

Catminder "out"

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Cat is secure

Rainey is fed and watered. The noise level has dropped!

The first cup of Starbucks is going down the hatch and perhaps these old bones will move a bit better in an hour or so.

As time moves along, may get into the swing of the blogging world with a few thoughts about moving from a "blue state" to a "red state". How one can go from being somewhere to the right of Atilla the Hun to being left of Ralph Nader in the space of three days driving, I am not sure!

Busy day in store - Tires and brakes for the car and then off to school for work. Yes Virginia, some school folks work during school vacations. There will be more about the education scene and NCLB and all those little things.

Happy New Year -

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