Hear Yourself, Mr. President

“Smarter government, “invest in the best ideas,” “partners for progress.”

“It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient—especially when it’s inconvenient. Because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth and a greater understanding of the world around us. That will be my goal as President of the United States.” December, 2008.

487817Hear yourself, Mr. President, and listen to a variety of perspectives as you said you would. “The time has come for a president … who will listen to you and learn from you even when we disagree…. I will be that president for America.” — Obama, after winning the Iowa Caucus

What makes “smarter government”?

Hear this: Some of the best ideas come from our own past by way of new and sometimes unlikely messengers. It is time for reflection on your part. What do you see as the proper role of the federal government in education?

The control and operation of education in America must remain the responsibility of State and local governments and private institutions. This tradition assures our educational system of the freedom, the diversity and the vitality necessary to serve our free society fully.

Let us put to rest the unfounded fears that ‘Federal money means Federal control.’ From The Northwest Ordinance of 1787, originally conceived by Thomas Jefferson, through the Morrill Act of 1862, establishing the still-important and still-independent Land-Grant College system, to the National Defense Education Act of 1958, the Congress has repeatedly recognized its responsibility to strengthen our educational system without weakening local responsibility.” JFK 1965

This was about partnering on way more than early childhood education.

In far too many places, local responsibility has been shirked. We need a return to the “proper Federal role of assistance and leadership.”

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7 thoughts on “Hear Yourself, Mr. President

  1. I totally agree agree that the govt and big business should get their hands off of k-12 education; testing is about the worst thing to put kids through and the whole idea of one set of standards for the whole country by 2014 is crazy, at least not until we have more help for disabled children and a little help for those who live in our impoverished inner cities. The same education standards for the entire country will bring some states (like Massachusetts) down and further separate the children with more potential and home support from those who live in poverty in our inner cities. (What motivates our enemy, Obama’s favored Race-to-the-Top high stakes testing program and all, is a separate issue). The problem I have is that our side has not acted like it was in a war for survival.

    Let’s not argue about the how the other side has beefed up and misrepresented the internal PISA test scores to make us look bad. That is all water under the bridge, now. It is also time to stop solely relying on cries about how these tests cause anxiety and make kids sick. It is also time to stop arguing about how many standards can dance on the head of a pin (and how it depends on which LA we are in — the state or the city).
    We are looking better in some of our tactical battles — like against the MAP test in Seattle and or course the Chicago teachers strike. But we are up against tremendous odds.

    I mean, like, am I the only one who sees this standardization education stuff as a preliminary round for what is coming next in terms of the strategy of how the 1% is going to control the 99%. I am sure most of you must realize that this generation of children are the last chance we have to oppose the beginnings of mass population mind control. This is capitalism’s last chance to prove that it co-exist with and control and, yes, satisfy a Democratic people –God-loving or People-loving or however you see it. History will see this battle as much more monumental than it appears like all of us are treating it.

    You disagree with me? Then, show me your strategy. Anyone can put together some tactical encounters but where is our strategy? Like, does anyone out there not believe that kids and schools are going to need to have ‘Seals of Approval’ in the future, when the new world order comes to order? To get a job in the international job market, a candidate will have to have a college education; that’s a given. He/she will also have to have graduated from a reputable college but how do you expect Multinational Corporations (MNC’s) to know which candidates come from the best colleges (once you get beyond the Ivy League schools, the great state university schools, the big 10 and the Pac 8 and all that). And how are the colleges and universities supposed to expected to continue spending all the money they have in recruitment processes? What it is all about is human resources; Human Resource (HR) Acquisition and HR management.

    The world is changing fast. Just because some MNC was originally incorporated in the USA, doesn’t mean we should expect it to continue to draw its management and scientific and engineering employees from its ‘mother country’. The name of the game is get the best for the least. Instead of (or in addition to) the rape of natural resources, we will be seeing the ‘rape’ of technical and scientific newly graduated youth. That is how Capitalist systems survive — where there is an abundance of natural and human resources and where they can maintain a shortage of whatever they produce. That is why they left our shores. For cheaper natural and human resources. And that is why they have never cared about population explosion or starvation.
    So, I repeat, ‘where is your strategy’?

    Like, what do I mean? I mean where is the teacher-evaluation system that you
    that you are going to put up against the Value Added Method (VAM)? You all need to get together and agree on one or two observation-based systems approved by some Super Blue Ribbon Panel to do battle with the VAM-heads. Something that Obama can lean on when he pulls his foot back off the VAM throttle. You all want to win or are you just in their for the fight?

    • Thank you for reminding me to listen to myself. Long ago I wrote in my journal – I hope you believe this because it is true – I wrote “Are you in it to win it?” I think I had heard a song that day that prompted me to write that down. Anyway, strategy? Yes. Who with? Unknown.

  2. The strategy consists of getting our own evaluation system up and running at the same time we are striking and suing them and getting parents to opt out all over the country. We get enough of the big names in teacher evaluation fields together with a real good econometric statistician or a panel to evaluate any comparison between the two. Of course our system turns out to be better because it provides valuable feedback to the teachers and the principal who arbitrates any differences of judgement between the teacher and her/his observer/evaluator. Then, our back up position is to offer to run the two systems in parallel to see if their are some parts of their system we can use. Plus you get to see the outcomes from both systems. But, you need to get endorsements from a host of top education evaluators as well. One way to do this is to employ them as consultants on your project.

  3. A strategy for teacher evaluation is definitely a major component of the full “education reform” package and there are a lot of individuals and organizations working on it.

    What I have found helpful is researching those people and groups (on both sides of the issue) and compiling the contacts.

    Step one in “the change game” is knowing the players.

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