Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Gaydar Test and a Clip of Summer At The End If You Read This Post

A couple of things have been sticking in my head recently that I couldn’t shake. One is the freaky Amy Winehouse. She is so lucky. I really wish us hicks/hippies community (Hickies. That is my tribe!) had a spokesmodel like her. We just don’t have any representation in the media. I think we could recruit someone.

The next thing that is sticking in the mire in my head is when I was hearing on the radio that freaking Senator Lindsey Graham (R-Not Gay) (Not that there is anything wrong with being not gay, but come on. As an aside, I have to say that Republicans have the absolute worst Gaydar Systems. It never dawns on them that some guy might be gay until they have a dick in their mouth. Barney needs to give them some lessons. Either way.) Lindsey was talking about the Supreme Court taking a case regarding the military tribunals being set up to deal with or dispose of the “enemy combatants” down in Git-mo.(Isn’t that redundant, enemy combatant, maybe not redundant, but it lets everyone that they are really bad guys.) I was sort of listening to the blather, but then he lets go of the zinger "I believe this is a war without end." WOW! They finally said it. He does not foresee an end to this war on terror. We are going to keep ramping this thing up until, what?

This is the next big thing. This talking point has been elevated to the top. The big hitters are now saying World War Forever, WW∞. The yapping chihuahuas of rightwing dog yard have been howling it for 4 years. We are softened up now and able to accept the message. If these people are anywhere near the reigns of power after 08’, it is over. The Idiocracy will have begun. These ass-hats will have their wish of WW∞. Anyone who uses that term without defining how we can win the war should not be elected.

If this keeps goinf I will never vote again, never look at a newspaper or blog, (maybe a few, non-political), goodbye NPR, PBS. I will move to woods in Alaska, survive off homebrew, homegrown, heat myself with wood, ramble around in old broken-down trucks and cut myself off from the world. Ha!! That will hurt'em.

Next One
That was the big one but this one registered. I refer back to the post about the Saudi woman punished for being raped. The press asked Bush if he had brought this case up during the recent visit with the King. (We are negotating with a King, too funny.)He side-stepped and said he couldn’t remember and sounded like a fucking idiot. Bullshit. He can’t say it, but he doesn’t care. Just say “no, I didn’t talk about it” or let it hang out there “if I call my friends on that issue, they might ramp down oil production and gas will go to $6.” Or “if I don’t keep kissing their asses we might have to buy more energy efficient fridges. I hate you and this stupid job, fuck off. ” That would be refreshing.

Hence forth, I want every candidate for public office and appointed official cabinet or whatever to swear about the veracity of their memory. A simple question, “How would describe your mental acuity in regards to your memory?” If they can’t attest to their ability to remember, then we don’t have to hire them or at least don’t let them write memoirs when they leave office. That should be a law.

Lastly, locals, I read and commented on the Kenai Peninsula Borough School Districts “Long Range Plan.” You can too!!! Right here. (Doesn't Donna kinda look like some mid 70's hair band guitarist? She's hot in a BYU kinda way.)

I think the purpose of these plans is just to have people articulate a larger vision of what a school district should be doing. It is vague but I think that is the plan of articulating a plan. The meta-plan. But in defense of the process, I did have to think while reading it.

I am posting my comments below amongst the plan. Mostly I found the plan focused on centralizing power and makes it more hierarchical. I believe it is all being driven by the NCLB Act. NCLB may have a few positive attributes, but has begun the dismantling of public education. I believe I is talking to myself down this far in a blog but I have to finish this. If you actually read the following and can find any grammatical errors, you receive a cookie!!!! :> (I have never done one of those stupid things before and I think that was the last!)

Goal #1 – Organizational Competence:
KPBSD will adequately provide services to students in order to prepare them to thrive in a 21st century global economy and society.

The District will do this through:
Step A: Assuring all students a safe, respectful, student-centered and welcoming environment in which to learn
Step B: Teaching student well with:
* non-negotiable goals for achievement and instruction (i.e. all students performing at grade level or have a plan and supports in place to attain proficiency)
* comprehensive, integrated, creative curriculum
* high quality, energized staff
* varied and diverse instructional methodologies
* continuous progress monitoring and adjustments for learning

(The red font is funny for the teachers)

Under Step B the use of term “non-negotiable goals” I think is inappropriate. The supporting example sited of “having all student performing at grade level or having a plan and supports in place to attain proficiency” attempts to mollify the initial statement and might be a more tenable. But the rigidity implied by having “non-negotiable goals” ends any discussion or dialectic that may better serve a situation, student or instructor. This standard only half serves everyone and to me feels incongruent with many of the Guiding Principles set forth by the document.

I believe that a rigid set of goals doesn’t serve individuals, but instead makes for easier measurement of our children. I can see the benefit of using testing and the data produced to inform the instruction, but I also sense, through my limited research and watching my own child, that this reliance may exclude teaching of the more esoteric and interesting knowledge that has value outside of a testing situation.

As a long term guide for our district, I feel that “non-negotiable” should be changed to more reflect the power of individual needs and goal setting that is stated in Goal #3 Step E “Providing individualized learning plans and flexible accommodations for students to reach their highest personal potential.”

Goal #2 – Organizational Improvement
KPBSD will continuously and thoughtfully enhance the value and quality of its personnel and services utilizing data and input.
The District will do this through:
Step A: Having outside entities audit, provide recommendations for improvement, and have the District adopt necessary changes in specific areas such as:
* communications
* building utilization (right sizing of buildings for infrastructure, yet providing for shared community and school spaces)
* energy/efficiency
* work classifications (job responsibility review)
* data warehousing and use

Step B: Developing and adopting a long term comprehensive model for professional development
* focusing on student achievement
* aligned, effective, relevant, engaging curriculum and instruction using research based “beat practices” and “high yield strategies”
* building on past training while meeting future needs
* utilizing multiple delivery models
* assuring training is embedded, sustainable, and addresses changing personnel
* emphasizing collaboration
* implementing changes with fidelity, intensity, and consistency

Step C: Building a system that accepts responsibility for the continual progress of all students, making sure all students’ needs are met at every level

I am wondering about the need for an outside audit. Is this not the role of the administration with oversight from the Board? The wording in Step C, modified to address the issues in Step A, would be a long-term goal. This would build structures that will lead to empowering students, employees and communities to identify ways too achieve these goals in conjunction with the district.

Goal #3 – Organizational Agility
KPBSD will be a responsive organization able to move quickly and easily as new information and changing circumstances dictate.
The District will do this through:
Step A: Providing maximum, quality choices in classes, programs and schools
Step B: Continuing and expanding work with local providers assuring “safety nets” for all students
Step C: Nurturing and expanding partnerships in the community and state to provide additional opportunities for students, particularly in areas of critical need
Step D: Continuing ubiquitous technology integration and implementation as well as exploring and adopting appropriate emerging technologies to improve student performance and prepare students for their future world
Step E: Providing individualized learning plans and flexible accommodations for students to reach their highest personal potential.
The individualized plans will:
*Be developed by a team of student, parents, school professionals
* Engage students in their own learning and provides a clear path to success
* Expect differentiation in classrooms
* Provide menus/choices in delivery systems
* Include interventions that work
* Supply individual coaching focused on marketable and life skills
No comments.

Goal #4 – Organizational Sustainability

KPBSD will be a viable, vibrant organization focused on students and plans regardless of changes in leadership and personnel.

The District will do this through:
Step A: Securing sufficient monetary resources for meeting the needs of students now and in the future
Step B: Being efficient as an organization, ensuring the greatest portion of resources possible used to impact student learning directly
Step C: Providing extensive leadership development throughout multiple levels of the organization
Step D: Using the district’s strengths (unique geographic location, technology infrastructure, and collaborative team structure) as tools for attracting and retaining quality personnel as well as developing a sense of self, sense of place, and sense of community for students.

Step D: The geographic location can also be a challenge. I feel that the changes in Seldovia housing market will necessitate some sort of accommodation that is present in Tyonek, Port Graham and Nanwalek.
We should also make a commitment to pay our teachers at a rate comparable to the other highest paying districts in the state.

The following is the results of my Gaydar test. I am pretty good for living in Seldovia for so long!
Try Again
You impressively scored

Try Again

"Definitely time to get tested."

You personally got 16 of the 20 people correct and were better at recognizing guys than girls. Overall, you guessed better than 87% of all test takers.

Think You Can Do Better?

1 comment:

seldsalt said...

this reliance may exclude teaching of the more esoteric and interesting knowledge that has value outside of a testing situation.

But isn't the testing situation the be-all and end-all of education today?

Okay, more seriously, this is exactly what NCLB mandates: the junkfood "education" designed to meet that standard (ie--pass the test). Actual education as you and I define it is too expensive in time and effort, not to mention money, to fit in our brave new educational world. Besides, as any dystopian novel so clearly demonstrates, what best suits our overpopulated masses is just enough to keep them quietly in front of moronic pop entertainment. Seen any "reality" shows lately? Exactly.