Saturday, April 30, 2005

In Like a Lamb - Out like a Lion

The rain has stopped - a least for a bit. One nice (?) thing about the Ozarks - if you don't like the weather - wait around it will change real fast. Has been raining and we have had freeze warnings in the last week of April. Keep expecting a snow day:). The sun is out today, however, and it is in the 60's.

The MAP tests were two weeks ago now and school is over for the year. Not much new learning will go on until school is out (May 18th). Our State Board is raising the graduation requirements and this is going to cause a problem. We have a hard time now and with more classes required, new and more inventive ways of meeting the challenge will be required. More innovative ways of bending the rules for those reading at 6th grade level, but really need to graduate. I am sure we will succeed on both sides of the coin. :)

Our State Board also lowered the passing grades for State Measurement and hence NCLB. Our Legislature is under the gun to come up with a new formula for distributing Education Funds in the State. They have an agreement, of sorts, which is now bottled up in some legislative committee. Seems one of the big school districts in the state will loose about 3 million in funding, so the local rep. Is blocking the bill from the floor until they "review the effects of some changes" on the bill. Of course, there is a lawsuit in the courts over the funding and the legislature does not want the court to make a decision. With all the states now openly fighting NCLB in the courts and the press, it will be interesting to see the results.

Was watching an ESPN interview with the new Florida football coach last night and he said something really interesting. Although not an exact quote, "Young people need to be told the truth. If they do well, tell them so and reward them. If they don't do well then you tell them that also and you don't reward them". There is a poem by Kipling about "success" and "failure" and impostors? Success and failure, the opposite sides of the same coin. You cannot risk success without the risk of failure? It is sad that in school, the one place in the world where the risk of failure is without true loss, that we cannot say (as Abraham Lincoln once said) "then let it be pushed".

Have a heavy summer coming in Technology. It will not be fun, and I will be dog tired by the time school starts again. Perhaps 2005/06 should be the last year. I know 2007 will be the last.

The cat is secure (and getting close to retirement)

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Spring in the Ozarks

Well tax day is come and gone, the calves are in the front pastures and the warm is coming. It has been two beautiful days in a row. The grass in the fields is green and moist. Have seen some does moving from one hideout to another. The male raccoons are moving - some do not make it across the roads and the dillo's are in the same position. The other morning an owl made a "mouse run" across the road and did not see me coming down the road. The wise one bounced off the top of the car - hope the bird survived. Driving to school in the a.m. is an adventure each day. Makes life worth living to see nature ignore us and move on in a timeless manner.

Budgets are due at school and the Sup will be mad at us for being slow. The DVS is in full force now and the principals still do not get it. The DVS (District Virtual School) was designed to get around them.:) They are having a hard time dealing with an organization which is a "school building" without walls. The people in their building who belong to the DVS are like a virus. :) The DVS contains Title One; Special Education, Credit Recovery, all the building libraries and Technology. All of the people in these areas report to the DVS Management Team and the Management Team Coordinator. The Management Team is headed by the Asst. Sup. For Curriculum and Instruction. Our first intrusion into the world of the K-8 buildings was :) - schedules. The DVS did the schedule for the next school year. Yes that is right! For the first time in memory, the schedule of classes was done outside of the Principal. This is an education schedule - not a schedule for the adults (who are royally hacked by the way). My how the mice run around when the cat begins to move. Technology has been fully intergrated into the operation, along with the library reading efforts. We use AR and Plato. Title One is supervising both buildings and will extend the curriculum into the classrooms from the side - not from the top down. The Libraries will set the reading standards and push the communications arts curriculum into the classrooms from the library.

Enough of the education trials.
The cat is secure.

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