Technology is school class rooms has become the single most important tool in education. This is nonsense. It is an impediment to learning. The importance of technology in classrooms is quite over rated. There is some evil genius in outer space who wants parents and students to believe that technology is the answer to education problems. Well, that is the great lie of the 21st Century.numbers

The truth is that technology is not a teacher, but a facilitator in the classroom. Teachers are now required to use the smart boards whether they agree with this misconception of learning or not. A lesson could go on for a whole period (45 minutes) and a teacher doesn’t have to say a word. The students can stare at the smart board for 45 minutes and don’t have to say a word!

The smart board kills critical thinking, note-taking, academic and verbal involvement, argumentation, and the development of social and communication skills.

Teenagers don’t – hardly ever – talk to each other anymore. They sit in the same room and text each other. They text each other 2,000 times per week. They use broken language. Language that is unacceptable in essays, business correspondence, and what used to be called “proper” English.mathematics

Technology should be a facilitator in the class room – not replace the human approach to teaching and learning. When 50% – 75% of class room time is devoted to staring at the smart board, then learning and communication skills are buried in cyber space.

I read an article some time ago that parents in Silicon Valley do not expose their kids to the internet and mind-killing technology until after a certain age. I can’t recall the details.

As I said before, students’ constant refrain these days is that they can “look up” the information, they don’t have to “know” it. Well, yes, that may be true, but when they need science, history, math and English information in their heads for a test, cyber space can’t help them. Using and retrieving test information from hand held devices in test conditions are illegal. (Or it used to be.)games

So the poor students who do not “cram”, who depend on the illegal retrieving system scores low on their exams.

 Students need to learn academic, social, communication, interviewing skills in the classrooms. They need to develop their creative, their intellectual, their world view in school.

 Instead of spending billions of $$$$ on useless technology, perhaps the $$$$ could go to more teachers and smaller class sizes.

 An important question: Why don’t the creators, the developers, the sellers of technology in Silicon Valley expose their kids to the same technology until after a certain age?

 

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SAT: Scholastic Assessment Testwords

SAT: Scholastic Aptitude Test

SAT: After 1997 no applicable definition

From the CC to the SAT. The Common Core to the Scholastic Assessment/Aptitude/No Definition Test. And those in between. Abolish them all!!!

We need new tests designed to meet 21st Century standards. Here are several reasons why American students – K to 12 – will lag behind their peers in other countries unless the curriculum and formula tests change.

But first understand that test taking (money), and test preparation (money), and test developers (money), all involve billions of $$$ per year, and those greedy hands won’t let go easily.schoolroom

Here are the reasons:

1.     American students are allowed to use their little hand held technology daily in the classrooms, but not during a test – so they score lower on tests.

2.     American students do not “cram” or memorize details e.g. historical dates, scientific formulas, but are expected to “know” them on test days – so they score lower on tests.

3.     Technology in the classroom has eliminated note-taking and critical thinking skills. Teacher displays “stuff” on the smart board, the smart students are entertained, end of their responsibility. Teachers get blamed for their lack of knowledge, end of story.

4.     21st Century students’ daily refrain is that they don’t have to “know stuff”, they can always “look it up”, except on test days when they don’t know the stuff.math

Now comes the fraudulent and meaningless SATs. Perhaps the SATs were an “adequate” means for college acceptance in the 1930s. Today it is out of date, discriminatory, perpetuates inequality, and useless as an indicator that a person will succeed in college.

As a teacher who has spent a life time preparing students to take final English exams I know that the best of students find these fraudulent tests tricky with very little to do with the verbal skills they claim to “measure”.

On the other hand, the rich parents send their kids to SAT prep in the evening and on Saturdays, while the poor kids wait it out. The SAT is a guessing game. The rich gamblers win the bet. (No one is blaming rich parents. What ever it takes.)

Finally, universities should have their own standards and their own admissions criteria for accepting these young students. Every university has a different program, a different mission statement, a different out look, a different kind of person they want to graduate into the world, so why not a different admission criteria?books

How about good academic grades, community service in an area of interest – hospital, social services, bank, newspaper – an essay, a personal interview and a personal statement detailing present dreams, future aspirations, and how your university and your program can shape the future, fulfill those aspirations, and benefit the next generations.

Don’t tell me you’re still going to hang on those fraudulent and meaningless SATs.

Ah! So the demoralizing CC tests – English & Math – that kids in 3rd to 8th grades take won’t be recorded in their school transcript. These controversial tests do not count for the students and won’t be on their records until 2018. GREAT NEWS!!!classroom

However, the results would still be factored into the measurement used to evaluate teachers’ performance – and give them their annual grades. Does this make any sense? These tests are flawed; they are meaningless. How can a test that has no academic value for students become a weapon of mass destruction for people in the teaching profession?

These poor, unsuspecting teachers, what’s to become of them?

I have written often on this blog about more teaching and less testing, etc. Why are uninformed politicians and idiotic experts on education putting this kind of pressure on teachers and students?

To acknowledge that the CC tests are an academic failure for students is good, but to turn around and use the results to penalize teachers is evil, the most heinous crime committed against hard working teachers.

What is the union doing about this? Where do they fit into this crime against their union members? Teachers pay a fat sum in union dues. Perhaps it is time they withhold those union dues until their unions begin to work for them again.

It’s a shame that what ever dog dirt happens in education it always falls back into the teachers’ laps. We have the most ignorant politicians on literaturethe planet and the greediest book sellers on earth, and these people make blunders after blunders, and then dump the dog dirt on the teachers.

Well teachers, just like the parents and the tax-payers, you have to start marching, protesting and with-holding your union dues. Teachers, parents and tax-payers – if you unite, changes will come.

 

 

Finally parents are taking a stand against excessive testing and showing their displeasure over state and book sellers dictated over-testing.the journey

–      We must teach before we test.

–      We must test on what we teach.

–      We must not teach to the test.

–      We must update our sub-standard curriculum.

–      We need a curriculum comparable to Asia, Europe and Canada.

Pearson and Heinle are not teachers. Therefore, they are not qualified to prepare tests.

[Parents and taxpayers should start protesting Pearson’s & Heinle’s involvement in education. That’s another urgent task for parents and taxpayers to tackle, and sooner rather than later.]

Now the Common Core test scores do not count for students in grades 3 to 8 until 2018, so why do students have to take them anyway?

Everyone in this country (and the rest of the globe) agrees that for a first world country with unlimited war resources our standard of education stinks. We gripe but do nothing about it. We still can’t keep up with Asia, Europe and Canada.

Thanks to the new mayor of NYC (and the governor) UPK is now a given in NYS. It’s a good start. But no one should kid themselves. It will take 18 years to see the results. To see these 4 year olds competing with their Asian, European and Canadian school mates.school bus

Of equal importance is the raising of the standards. Education is not a top down, push it down you throat, blame the teachers’ issue. We have a sub-standard curriculum which must change before anything will change.

Starting with UPK the standards must change, must compare with those of China, India, Finland & Canada. Parents and educators must now demand that politics and education go their separate ways; that those book sellers print books not write them; and that testing is the end of teaching not the beginning of UPK.

So parents, you have a lot more work to do. You have to protest those phony tests; protest Pearson; protest those billions collected by illiterate book sellers in the name of education; but most important, protest the substandard education your child is receiving.

So parents: go for it. You have lots to do. And more power to you!!!

 

 

“The fact that someone has been elected doesn’t mean that he is smart.”  Meir Dagan, Article written by Ronen Bergman, NY Times Magazine, January 29, 2012.breaking news

This is so true. I feel the same way and have written on this blog about our dumb members of Congress who are poor when elected, but become millionaires within months.

The Israeli / Palestinian “peace” talks have collapsed again. Is anyone – even with limited intelligence – surprised? Oh! Yes! The dumb politicians! They tried so hard, but Alas! Nothing.

When I was in those countries, I spoke to the shopkeepers, cab drivers, hotel and restaurant workers. The Israelis said, “Let’s get it over, so we can begin to live peace – not talk about it.”

The Palestinians – Muslims and Christians – said, “There will never be a Palestinian State because it’s not in the interest of the major powers.” When I asked why they felt so, the answer was, “If there is peace and statehood in Palestine it would ruin the US arms sales in the Middle East.” End of story.

The Jordanians said that we want peace as much as they do. No one realizes how much this situation affects our economy.words

When one is standing on their soil and listening to the ordinary people tell their stories, it is very different from the politicians’ speeches, and the media propaganda. Politicians are by training LIARS. It is sad that they are elected by the people, and once they take office they go deaf and greedy. Politicians do as they please and the people can go to hell.

My journey took me to incomparable Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Masada, the Dead Sea, Capernaum and the Golan heights. Then unto Amman, Mount Nebo, Petra, Wadi Rum and Moses Well.

I was pleased and grateful to God to be able to walk where God’s Prophets walked. Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, the Tribes, Moses, Aaron, David Solomon, John, Zachariah, Jesus, and Muhammad at the Dome of the Rock.SONY DSC

For a place that is so holy to all of Abraham’s children, one wonders how politics can take precedence over God, and politicians can corrupt it and cause so much pain and suffering to its people.

Well, it’s only land, isn’t it? That’s what they’re fighting about. All the holy prophets of God departed and left the land. So too shall the corrupt politicians – those new sages of our day.

“The fact that someone has been elected doesn’t mean that he is smart.”

 

One of the most interesting observations in Israel – and Jerusalem in particular – is the “dress” of the women. Whether they were Jewish, Christian or Muslim their ways of dressing were distinct and certainly signified their religious background.MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

The religious women of all three religions covered their heads and were modestly dressed. On the other hand, some young women of all three religions wore skin tight pants and bosom hugging tops, and some wore colourful, matching head scarves with their modern outfits.

Imagine seeing every curve, crack and crevice of their bodies, but their heads properly covered!

Anyway, two things set me thinking. First, US and European opinion of Muslim women tend to be that their style of dress is associated with oppression. Throughout history, the men in all the Abrahamic Faiths have used religion to oppress their women. No one can dispute this claim.

A Jesuit priest once told me that if men were making the rules, would they make rules against themselves? In conversation, a Rabbi also admitted that religion oppresses women.

Is the world ready for women to be equal to men?KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Second, it is a fact that Jewish and Christian women in those same parts of the world dress in a modest manner, but there modest dresses are not connected to oppression. However, the Muslim women, with their head scarves, are seen as oppressed because of the head scarf.

I think that all men and women should dress with decorum in public places. To associate women’s clothing with oppression is missing the point. It is man made laws – in the name of God – that oppress women.

We need to change those laws to end women’s oppression. But that will never happen! Men will never be content to play second fiddle or to accept that God gave women stuff in their heads too!

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