Thursday, December 15, 2011

Will the Confucius Classroom make Englewood Students College and Career Ready?

On December 1, 2011, a special meeting of the board of education was called. While the community at large waited impatiently for our board of education to comply with orders from the State Department of Education, EPSD was  preparing to embark on yet another experiment in which our children will be the guinea pigs.

Glenn Garrison, the board member in charge of the facilities committee gave a presentation summarizing his trip to China. The presentation seemed out of place in a board meeting. It was more like something to be presented to the Department of Commerce. He was very impressed with himself though. After the meeting, I questioned him about the feasibility of burdening the little ones in pre k and kindergarten with 3 languages. Once again, I strongly suggested that children should learn to read and write in English. Mandarin has been in the curriculum for over 2 years and the literacy scores have fallen tremendously. Mr. Garrison was clearly NOT concerned with this. He suggested that children should be able to read and write before attending school. He suggested that their parents should teach them. He also made it quite clear that he was not concerned with those that did not learn to read before first grade. This blogger is quite disgusted with Mr. Garrison's lack of interest in closing the achievement GAP that the Governor's Task Force has been set to investigate ways to close.

What will the Confucius Classroom do to help close the Achievement Gap? Will students read and write more efficiently? Will Math scores go up? Will students learn to be deep, critical thinkers? Will more students be college and career ready?

Will the program pay for itself? Will the Confucius Classroom mirror the national ones or will Englewood work the magic that it does so well and Englewoodize it? This process generally renders a program ineffective. We have examples of that here waiting to be evaluated.

How many programs do we currently have? How many of them have been assessed for effectiveness?

If you feel that your head has been involuntarily thrust into sand, rest assured, it is not your imagination. The sands of deceit have risen above our heads. Our district does not have a leader and the folks at the helm are desperately chasing flying dollars. Few are focused on the bottom line. What are the children learning?Children must learn to read and write in English. The tests are given in English. These test results chart the very lives of our children.

Which programs are working? Which ones are not working? Why do we insist on piling on more new programs that require new high priced teachers when we do not know how well the ones that we have already bought into are working? Perhaps we should invest in more calculators and make sure each board member has one and knows how to use it.

It is becoming more and more difficult to listen to board members lie outright about taxpayer money. People, we pay the salaries of the Mandarin teachers. The money from the Chinese government does not cover all costs. As you can see from the agreement they do send in materials such as books, software and other supplies, but the salaries are left to us. Why is there no freeze on hiring?

RESOLVED, the Board of Education approves the acceptance of funds from the Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning to be used for the Confucius Classroom.  Program Description Amount               
Project IMAGE– Mandarin Language Immersion Program  (Confucius Classroom) $10,000.00
Page 5 of 16 October, 11, 2011 agenda. (Ten thousand dollars would not pay half of 1 teacher's salary.)

Asia Society: Partnership for Global Learning (Website)
The Model Agreement (standard form)

                                   How are the children?

1 comment:

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