Archive for July, 2010

I think I inadvertently participated in my first #edchat yesterday. I hate to admit this, especially with only three weeks left of my summer, but I was bored. And I’m never on at the right time, but I was, so voila!

The topic was school reform. I have to come right out here and say that I’ve found edchat daunting before, and I’ve always been a little skeptical of it as a forum. But I must be learning twitter by osmosis because I was okay this time. (Although I am not a huge fan of tweetdeck and I’d love some alternative suggestions)

I like this blog entry that breaks down the three threads of the conversation: classroom pedagogy, ed tech, and political reform.

I was pretty skeptical to accept that reform starts in the classroom. I still remain a little incredulous that teaching well and being “transparent” will solve everything. Nor do I, sorry, actually want the media in my class every week. I guess I have a few questions for people who think this is the answer. Do you feel that the practice of most of your colleagues is hindering educational reform? Do you think that if more people taught like you or whatever you consider good practice, things would change on a larger scale?

I am going to come right out and admit that the ed tech conversation was a bit off topic, but I was excited to find others who feel that they need to work on unblocking the internet at their district level. We are working on a collaborative google document here. I’m not sure to whom I will present this information at our district but it’s really nice to know it’s there and I hope I can contribute some evidence-based argument, because that’s what my school board eats for breakfast, supposedly.

So that leaves us with the fact that the reform we are calling for in education is political reform, not pedagogical, not technological. I like that there is a wiki started here to describe reforms needed and accomplished by state, but I also think more work is needed to also link by type of reform. I would love to see more people use the wiki, we’ve only got OK, AZ and DC.

The other place to continue this discussion is here: Edutopia reform.

Right now in Arizona we are fighting the good fight, but on a state level we have lost our governor who supports education (and sane solutions to immigration, but I digress). I will definitely be supporting candidates who care more about education than Brewer does. I am proud of the citizens who voted in our sales tax increase to defray huge education cuts, but putting the citizens in that situation was a horrible move. I continue to invite @GovBrewer to my classroom in South Phoenix to discuss SB1070 with my 7th and 8th graders. You can imagine, they have a A LOT of questions.

I guess what I’m saying is that I understand how to keep active on the state level, at least somewhat. What I don’t understand is how we can participate in something greater on the national level. Let’s do that!? This has always been one of my strengths as a student, and as a teacher. This right here is confusing, let’s take it apart.

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