Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wade learns from the kids

Here's a revealing quote from Wade, "I learn much more from students than I do from adults." That's great, he will have four kids serving on his board, so he can learn a lot.

From Wade's

wadelucas said:
Wendy and Scott:

VERY GOOD POINTS! Thanks for responding. I am a firm believer that today's teachers must be
facilitators of the classroom. We are all learning on a daily basis - in fact
Wendy, I agree with you in that at times I learn much more from students than I
do from adults.

The post is par for the course. It quotes the collectivists and Marxists over at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. But it's Wade's history lesson that's a real winner -- and proof that real knowledge is NOT the end product of public schools.

According to Wade, "[S]ociety's expectation of what public schools should provide have gone from preserving Democracy (1700's) to keeping America competitive in a global economy (today)." Does Wade not know that public education came to the US in the mid 1800's as a hat tip to socialist Prussia? Does he even care? Hmmm.

Hey, it sounds good. And we end up paying for the nonsense. Reminds me of the time the Olentangy High School principal gave a speech on Constitution Day. His speech so aroused the staff and administration that the superintendent sent a copy to the board. What did the principal say? Something along the lines of, "We should be proud that our Constitution gave us the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Sure sounds good ... but, hey, that's the Declaration not the Constitution. Amazing.

Perspectives / Learning: Whose Job Is It?
"In these days when making adequate yearly progress is a school's major goal, instilling ownership of learning can seem like a low priority. But making adequate yearly progress is no guarantee that students will be ready for college, citizenship, and employment, says Tony Wagner, author of The Global Achievement Gap. And statistics show that students drop out more from boredom than from failure. Using external measures for accountability is nowhere near as powerful as imparting to 21st-century students that ancient staple of learning—ownership."

This is an excerpt from an interesting article in Educational Leadership regarding ownership for learning. Before reading the article, take the time to view this video clip from YouTube titled: "A Vision of Students Today." According to recent studies in neuroscience, the way we learn doesn't always match up with the way we are taught. Along with this, society's expectation of what public schools should provide have gone from preserving Democracy (1700's) to keeping America competitive in a global economy (today). This brings many questions to the forefront of the conversation but two questions stand out for now: What is YOUR expectation of public schools in today's world? and.. Who is responsible for the learning process??

Keep in mind that from Wade's perspective, education is not his job. And he receives almost $300K for this nonsense. Amazing.


Anonymous said...

And then there is that little problem of Wade believing our government is a DEMOCRACY. Funny, I thought it was a REPUBLIC. "I pledge allegiance to the flag and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands........" Olentangy tax payers are being taxed to enrich morons.

Anonymous said...

To Wade and other educationists, their coveted "learning process" means co-learning, which is a "journey taken by both student and educator". The "journey" is about process--not leading students through the stages of acquiring, mastering and applying knowledge. The former is interesting, creative, fun and cannot be measured. The latter is frustrating, not shiny-new or sexy (we're dealing with techniques and materials that have been used in the classroom, in aeternum) and can be measured.

If the goal is to have our kids fully proficient in Math and English upon exiting OLSD schools (only 75-80% are) there would be less emphasis on the "journey" and the myriad "alternative classroom", "formative/summative assessment" "Whole Child" and other ASCD-inspired teaching modalities, and more emphasis on rigidity of curriculum, including reading well written books (even--gasp--some classics) and teaching mathematics with classical agorithms and not those utilized in "Everyday Mathematics".

Looking at OLSDs curriculum one could also argue that it's more entertainment than enlightenment.

How else can the district justify hosting so much non educational junk?

According to Julie Feasel it's perfectly okay to keep adding jewelry and ceramics courses to the curriculum. Hey, if the students want more of that, then let's add it!

At what point does OSD become ORC (Olentangy Recreational Center)? Is it four jewlery course? Is it five ceramics courses? Is it when we have more drama courses than Beverly Hills High? (Oh...we alreay HAVE more drama courses than they have...). How about another band--I know--let's add "Introduction to Hip Hop" and teach kids how to "scratch" on old school turntables and become DJs.

Or is it when we reduce our only two computer science offerings down to zero. You tell me.

I know, I know...I shouldn't give Ms. Feasel any ideas...

Anonymous said...


I agree with you on everything except one aspect. How many band classes do you think are offered? One band class for each grade in middle school. That's not so extravagant considering the other junk that is taking place. In high school there are two bands based on ability level. There is also a jazz band. Pretty standard curriculum. If you want to look at getting rid of some music courses, look at the choirs. you need 6 choirs at a high school? I don't think so. They have already cut back the music program...especially in the middle school. They no longer have general music in the middle school level and only offer minimal courses for 8th grade students.

Meanwhile, the students in the middle school level are receiving 1 hour per day in each of the core classes. This is more rigorous than many college courses. To expect that a middle school student could sit in a core class for an hour an be expected to retain all that knowledge is just wrong. My college courses were only 50 minutes long on M/W/F and 1 hour and 15 minutes on T/TH.

Do we really think that by having an hour in each class is going to raise test scores? Probably not. It just gives the teachers more time to put out the same crap they did in the past. We'll all see when the test scores come out.

Anonymous said...

anon 3:16
Why should I pay for someone else's child's music lessons? Choir, band, orchestra, music are all things that crept into the government schools over time. I paid for my children's private music lessons. I paid for my child's involvement in an orchestra. I bought the gas to drive my children to music lessons and orchestra and recitals. I chose my children's music teachers.

Anonymous said...

To 9:44 PM
From 3:16 PM

You're talking to a former music major, not someone who is hostile to music curricula. My point was not against the music curricula but to make a satirical point about the supremely ridiculous Julie Feasel, and adding a Hip Hop course was the most ridiculous thing I could think of adding to our curriculum...understand the joke now?

While we're at it, our strings program alone costs more than a half million dollars per year--likely approaching $700K. What's our ROI on it? How many students are we sending to Julliard or Peabody every year? Music is the passion of my life and I never took band in school. My parents paid for private lessons for ten years because I took it seriously, and I advanced well beyond my peers who played only in school.

I still play today--how many Strings students in the last ten years have bought violins and cellos or other instruments and continued to play after leaving OSD? That's right--you can count them on your two hands (if that). I ask again--what's the point?
We've spent several million dollars for the Strings program over the last ten years that could have gone to much better use. What is/was there to gain from it? Entertainment, that's it.

And, while we're at it let's look at the high school chorus offerings:


Six choirs. This is excessive as well.

You said, "Meanwhile, the students in the middle school level are receiving 1 hour per day in each of the core classes. This is more rigorous than many college courses...My college courses were only 50 minutes long on M/W/F and 1 hour and 15 minutes on T/TH".

You cannot be serious about this're conflating quantity of time with quality of time. The math and English curriclum fall far short of where they should be in terms of content and rigor. This isn't me saying this--this is every public college and univerity in the state saying this about Olentangy students to the state Board of Regents. These colleges say that 1-in-5 Olentangy graduates that show up at their institutions (really, it's 1-in-4) are not prepared to take college entry-level math and/or English.

And students don't suddenly fall short in high school. It begins well before that. In fact, our middle schools are probably the weakest, most defective links in the Olentangy chain of preparation.

The kind of garbage reading assignments our wack-job English teachers assign their students could qualify the middle schools as asylums.

Anonymous said...

from 3:16

I understand your joke, but it was/is ill-founded. You are talking to a former band director who has a Master's Degree in Instrumental Music Education and taught band for 20 years. I just find it funny for someone who was a "former music major" would say that we should be dropping band courses which are already being cut. Lets also get out in the open that Olentangy High School has one of the finer band programs in central Ohio.

I misspoke when I said that our middle school course were more rigorous than college course. What I meant was more rigorous in the sense that the students have to sit there for an hour in a class where they will not be learning any more than they did the year before. It is a load of bologna.

The strings program at Olentangy is about 10 years old. Unfortunately, the program was conceived incorrectly and now it is a huge money pit. Two strings teachers at the middle school and high school level are not even strings players. What is that giving to the students? Absolutely nothing. No wonder why we can't get these students into good college programs. I will say though that there have been numerous students who go on to play in college from the band programs at Olentangy.

Want to save the district money? Get rid of the elementary strings program. That is a big money pit. Most of the teachers in the elementary program aren't even strings teachers. Not to mention that it takes place during general music time so we are paying two teachers for teaching half the students. Waste of money! At least the band program takes place during recess. All of the instrumental music programs should start in 6th grade. This would save money and build a stronger program. You would have way more students in the program because you wouldn't have the retention problems from 5 to 6 grade and the quality of student would be way better because you would have teachers that are qualified to teach that program teaching the students. Not some general music teacher who thinks he/she can teach an instrument.

The choir program should be dwindled down at the high school level to be comparable to the band/strings programs. Are they really that big that they need 6 choirs or are the directors just trying to find ways to fill their schedule? Lets see....lets put girls in skimpy dresses and let them shake their booty all over the stage....lets add a show choir.

I understand your point and congratulate you on supporting your child in music. Unfortunately, some students only get a chance to play music in their school programs? Is it your philosophy that if a student who is unable to participate in school just isn't permitted to learn music? Really? There are people who work their butt off day in and day out and still don't have enough money to send their students to private lessons. Sorry not everyone has money flowing from all parts of their body like you do.

Anonymous said...

anon 4:20 PM

Yes, that IS my point! I am not (nor should not be) forced to educate other people's children. Certainly I should not be taxed to afford them music lessons.
Neither should I be taxed to supply others' children with art classes and jewelry classes and pottery making classes. What? Is pole-dancing the next class to be part of the curriculum? After all there are lots of gals earning a living with that ability.

Anonymous said...


Yeah--my parents were loaded. I (and probably 90% of the residents of this distriect) earn twice the income that my father did and he still managed to provide the means for my private instruction. To boot, I came from a single earner-family. How many of those reside in the district?

My joke wasn't ill-founded--you didn't get it. It wasn't lost on the folks who understand the board, the district, and the nonsense that they're capable of implementing.

You criticize me for wanting to cut band courses, but then you admit that the "(strings) program was conceived incorrectly and now it is a huge money pit".

Thanks for your ideas, though, on how to improve the program and save money. You obviously know what you speak of and maybe--someday--when the board is receptive to making changes that make sense the money pit that has become the Strings program can be reformed. For that matter, the choir curricula, too.