I’m typically quiet. Why? Well, for starters, it usually invites a host of negative or critical comments on my own work, which engenders the type of “sour grapes” responses that make me look jealous of others’ success. This in turn can make it quite easy for anyone, close colleagues and acquaintances included, to conclude that Ben Rimes is a rather crotchety, pessimistic, jerk that would rather whine about others than rise to the occasion. I suppose that today, I’ll have to accept those likely outcomes, as this weekend a number of musings, thoughts, and ramblings came together for me. Here are a few of my growing concerns with the mainstream education blogging space.
I would describe Chromebooks as computers for people who only use computers to visit websites. When you consider that you can now use websites to edit graphics and video, they aren’t as limited as they seem to be at first glance.
A new study on the value of homework in high school reveal some perhaps predictable results.
Contrary to much published research, a regression analysis of time spent on homework and the final class grade found no substantive difference in grades between students who complete homework and those who do not.
But the analysis found a positive association between student performance on standardized tests and the time they spent on homework.
The researchers draw a conclusion about what homework should look like going forward to help improve grades.
“We’re not trying to say that all homework is bad,” Maltese says. “It’s expected that students are going to do homework. This is more of an argument that it should be quality over quantity.
“So in math, rather than doing the same types of problems over and over again, maybe it should involve having students analyze new types of problems or data. In science, maybe the students should write concept summaries instead of just reading a chapter and answering the questions at the end.”
That sounds like a superior approach to the mechanical practice and busywork I remember homework being.
“It’s an universal law: intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.”
― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn”—(via sawise)
Let’s talk about assessment in band. We don’t have a standardized test, so instead we go to a yearly district-wide assessment. Each group plays three songs for three judges and then sight-reads for a fourth judge. Their scores are totaled, averaged, and a rating is given. It is not a competition. Groups are not ranked based on scores.
Here’s the catch: each student that participates is supposed to pay a per-student fee (which is not cheap). This fee covers the judges’ payment and purchase of all new sight-reading music each year. Some schools pay for their groups out of the school fund. My groups are paid for from the band budget given by the county each year. A few schools have to request that their students pay for it out of their own pocket.
I think it is crazy that students, schools, or band programs have to pay for an assessment.
As one of my colleagues put it: “They don’t make the kids put in quarters to take the SOL.”
I understand what we are paying for. I really do. But I still don’t like it. I wish there was a way that we could have assessment, but not make it a financial burden on the schools or students.
“Gates argued that the high unemployment rate — 7.9 percent, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor statistics — is the result of deficiencies in the educational system, rather than an absence of available jobs.
There are currently three million more jobs than there are people with the degrees to fill them, and Gates said the American system needs to start supplying workers or risk losing these opportunities to other countries.”