Well what can you say about today's bailouts? Didn't McCain say the other day there is TOO MUCH REGULATION? Which planet is he living on? My generation had to read Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" in high school, a book about abuses in the meat industry that one shouldn't read before lunch, especially a school lunch. With the corporate de-reg agenda pushed by Republican/business we are heading to the point where I would boil all my meat for 24 hours - which means we will all be eating flanken which my mother used to cook for 2 weeks. Even Ebola was afraid to go near it.
My usual rant on class size
How many times to we have to be told that reducing class size is not cost effective? Skoolboy at 'Wonkette's place raised the issue recently and we hear a few things repeated when class size comes up:
- quality teachers
- what the research shows
and the dreaded
As a parent who pays the taxes to fund the class size reduction I'm as skeptical as the next person about CSR becoming a full employment act for the UFT. At the same time I know that Tweed has its own agenda, and isn’t always interested in acknowledging the grains of truth that may be contained in its opponents’ claims.and
...the truth probably lies in the middle. Yet none of the actors in the debate seem interested in finding that middle. Just scoring points against each other, once again leaving parents in the middle.
So hear, hear for real research, like the City appears to be undertaking with the ED Hirsch curriculum in ten schools starting this fall. Let’s stop shouting at each other, get some facts on the table and then have a real debate about the cost implications. [Read his entire comment here.]
I guess I get ticked off how class size costs are always put on the table as employment for the UFT while ignoring the larger issue of how much money is wasted in this society in the corporate welfare system. Hey, then try it in a right to work state if you are all so hot and bothered by the union.
Let's try some research, not that I think we need it but we want to make people comfortable.
So let's say we hire scads of teachers - I mean take the 10 most failing schools and literally double the staffs. Inundate the schools with services no matter what the cost. Just throw cash at them. Hey, rename the schools "Fannie and Freddie" if that will make you feel better.
Say you get some teacher clunkers in the batch. So what? Find something useful they can do in the school if their strongest suit is not teaching.
What can it cost to do this with 10 schools? I even suggested this to Chris Cerf at a Manhattan Institute meeting to try it with one school when he said it's been proven throwing cash at the problem doesn't solve it. I said, "You NEVER throw cash. Why not try it with Tilden HS in Brooklyn instead of closing it"?
Skoolboy in his post threw down the gauntlet challenging the DOE to do an experiment on reducing class size. I left this comment:
I'm glad to see you revisit the class size issue but I'm afraid your gauntlet will lie in the gutter untouched by the hands of a Tweed official.
The NYC DOE had many opportunities over the last 6 years to do a study of class size. For instance, instead of closing so many large schools, why didn't they try to reduce class size in one or two schools as a control and compare the impact to other schools?
The answer is class size reduction is not part of the fabric of the ed reform movement. It is much easier - and cheaper - to blame ed failures on lack of quality teaching.
When there's a need for more police, firemen, soldiers, doctors - is the quality issue raised? We know that "qualifications" in the medical field are never related to performance and hospitals in need scrounge for doctors where they can get them as long as they are certified. In these fields people actually die if mistakes are made.
The quality teacher before class size issue is a red herring to support an ideological, not an educational solution, that accomplishes the political goals of privatizing many elements of the public schools while diminishing the impact teacher unions might have. (I say might because of the role the AFT/UFT plays in supporting so much of this ideology.)