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Short Notes: Why We Shouldn’t Grade Schools

by Jose Vilson on November 25, 2012

in Short Notes

Before I proceed, dozens of people from various school districts have told me that my site is blocked on their school computers. In the event that it is, you can always get my articles via e-mail by signing up on the right-hand side of this blog or by subscribing via RSS for my savvy readers, also on the right-hand side.  They can block my site’s URL, but they can’t block your e-mails or your RSS reader.

A few notes:

Quotable:

“Yesterday, we had a nice conversation on Twitter [with regards to] experience, newbies, and challenges in teaching profession. It’s been a busy semester and what I share online is to try to bridge understanding as to what’s happening on the ground level, the ground zero of education reform, [namely] the school. So I share this: whose fault is it that a rambunctious classroom wreaks havoc on a campus? The teacher, the admin, the school, the system? We have a math/science shortage in the U.S. so we import teachers in these areas from the Philippines where [their education] system is vastly different. They arrive in South Central [Los Angeles], shell-shocked. The district mandates struggling readers to take a prescribed curriculum, READ 180.

Students are grouped together because behavior issues are strongly correlated to reading difficulties. By end of the day, kids are up to no good. The teacher new to the country struggles. [There's no money] for mentors, no money for appropriate number of admins to supervise teachers adequately, plus a language barrier. Do we expect such students to not throw chairs, not say f**k you to staff members before eight in the morning, or not throw bloody maxi pads around? So, in conclusion, experience matters, but so does a well-funded educational system, community resources to combat poverty and empathy by all.

- Martha Infante, emphasis and brackets mine

Jose

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Rakim

At this point, there’s so many arguments over which blogging platform’s best, I decided I wouldn’t rehash those arguments as a whole. I still haven’t tried Drupal, and I don’t think Blogspot’s robust enough for me. I had four main sites in which I share my madness:

  • Here (where I share my lengthier posts)
  • Facebook (where I share my more personal stuff, and some thoughts I can’t share without a little disclaimer)
  • Twitter (where I can chat in small blurbs, just in case I don’t feel like writing a whole space)

All of these spaces have different levels of sharing, and they all serve their purpose. Of course, I’ve always wanted that public space where I could share things bigger than 140 characters in a public space for everyone to read AND that still looked good. I tried doing that with my “short notes” here to varying degrees of success. My most viewed post ever was a short note (thanks Lady Gaga). However, it also meant I’d wait until Sunday to get my summary of all these great links that I often forgot.

Thus, I’m formally disbanding my “short notes” and reorganizing a few things on this blog. I’ll still have the other three spaces, but this fourth promises to be more random and more interactive.

Feel free to check out: Mathématiques Noir.

For those of you asking yourselves, “But didn’t he say you should own everything you have? Isn’t it contradictory to have a blog hosted somewhere else?” A bit, certainly. But I was already giving many of these pieces to Facebook and Twitter. Why not give it to a place where I own the domain name and no one’s used it before? Also, because most of the stuff I’m sharing isn’t technically mine in that space, I’m alright with just throwing these pieces out there.

You’ll also note that I don’t really have my name on it, either. And an icon with Rakim replaces my mug.

Jose, who’s working on a few different websites …

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