Monday, August 2, 2010


BISD, no doubt will be bragging about the TEA ratings which came out last week. The TEA being part of the state system which refuses to fund at adequate levels to address the needs of special needs children, will laud the results as evidence the system works. Does it?

BISD children who go to UTB/TSC need to take remedial courses just to be able to take community college level courses. This tells us two things: [1] TAKS is a waste of time, and [2] BISD is a failure.

Let’s begin with an assumption - if students passing TAKS is a measure of success, then TAK’s is a failure. TAKS standards do not required the child be ready for basic community college courses in reading, writing or math. This is a fact which no one can deny. This being true, how then can doing well under TAKs be evidence of excellence? It cannot.

Texas is not about education - it is about testing and teaching to the test. Neither of these things promote critical thinking or real knowledge. TEA, and TAKS are dumbing down Texas. For me the only number which counts is what % of BISD students are going on to complete a 2 or 4 year program?

This con job the TEA has going on with our children is only exasperated by school boards all too willing to use these bogus numbers to promote themselves.

The school year is about to start and I am advising parents they need to demand ARDs for their children. In some cases the ARDs are mandated by law, as the children move from elementary school to middle school and middle school to highschool. BISD being BISD has no policy in place to insure this is happening.

Under TAKS, the TEA has made it way too easy for the schools to pass on students who are not ready. I have discussed this child I know who is going into 6th grade, should be 7th grade and she is reading at the 2nd grade level. How is this possible? Answer - the teachers insist there is only one way to learn to read - this is wrong. I work with this child every so often. If you have her write down the words she cannot read and at the end of the passage or story have her write each word 10 times while pronouncing the work she will learn it. You can then go back over the passage and she reads it with no problems. But no, BISD is driven to force every child to learn to read the same way - scientific evidence to the contrary be damn.

To understand the BISD just look to Minerva. She is an example of extreme ignorance and when a person lacks minimal critical thinking skills.

She wants the limited resources at BISD to be used on a documentary about BISD and chess. She asks, “just how much are these children worth?” I ask, just how much is this child I spoke of above worth who is in therapy to deal with her learning disabilities? According to Minerva, less than the successful chess players.

To the extent BISD has any money to spend it needs to use the money to provide for additional help for these students before and after school - not a worthless documentary on chess which does nothing to help the most at risk children.

Now, if Minerva had critical thinking skills, she would see a correlation between the chess program and helping special needs children. The chess program began with before school lessons for the children - it blossomed into a nationally recognized program.

Okay, Minerva Baby - maybe providing for before school assistance to special needs children, to include help working on their school projects instead of allowing them to fail because their parents for whatever reason cannot help, could result in BISD having a nationally recognized program for helping the children most in need.


Anonymous said...

(To understand the BISD just look to Minerva. She is an example of extreme ignorance and when a person lacks minimal critical thinking skills.)

How such a person to have survived in the DPS (and as a Trooper, no less) to retirement, is literally beyond me.

Fred Drew said...

This is the kind of issue that needs to be kept in the forefront of community action.
Education is not a one size fits all and cannot be dealt with in the factory style where there is a direction and rule for everything.
Unfortunately this is the trend in all public management.
There is no place for the individual that has developed rational thinking skills.
They just keep doing studies and making "rules" so that "certain things never happen again". It makes no difference that there is a plethora of directives and rules already in force. The result is no one is at fault and will be promoted when he creates a new administration to assure the violation never happens again.
Lets face it mistakes are made and crap happens. ....and thng get steadily worse.

BobbyWC said...

When I spent 6 weeks at Point Isabel doing world geography I was given a hard time for lecturing mixed with interactive time.

I used a smart board which allowed me to lecture in outline form, which I put on the board. I then could click on to a web link which visually showed how a river forms a canyon.

there is no desire to teach these kids how to prepare for college - they are shocked to learn that their teachers in college do not teach with endless fill in the blank handouts.

By 8h grade all my courses were in lecture outline form. It prepared me for college.

These kids do not understand the concept of an outline.

I tried building a house with them as an exercise to help them understand the concept
subject House
I. slab/foundation
II. framing
III. Rooms
A. Kitchen
B. Bedroom
1- master
2- child 1
3- child 2

You get the idea - in each group you can actually get to a small a and iii if you want.

The idea is to teach the concept

then I was critized for making my own tests.

Fill in the blank, short answer - match (typically 10 items)- I even had a part wherein they had to use an atlas and answer like 10 questions using the map legend

Oh no I was told - the textbook publisher provides tests -

I do not give multiple choice tests - period -

I would also take TAKS questions related to the subject matter of the week and teach them how to use critical thinking skills to reason out the answer.

All of this was wrong - not acceptable - teachers give out handouts and baby sit -that is the only acceptable teaching method.

Not me - I teach - I know it is a crime punishable by death - but death is coming anywhy so what is the big deal?

Anonymous said...

I. What students have so much trouble learning
A. Outline form
1. demonstrate
2. guided practice
3. group work
4. indiv work
B. They still don't get it

hope the outline formatting holds up after submitting

Anonymous said...

Bobby, you are right about TAKS being at fault for our students not having "common sense" intelligence, since that is not tested. Teachers have been restricted on the academic freedom and students are not being educated to survive in college. I remember when teachers had to take the TECAT in order to be certified and compare it to what we require from our students. TECAT was a "mickey mouse" test that made me feel shameful, for if we passed that 5th grade or lower level test we were certified by the state to teach. Our educational expectations are not high enough and our extending knowledge does not happened because if it is not tested in TAKS, you better not dare teach it in your class!

Anonymous said...

You really don't know how much the board members have tried to fix the problems in Special Ed. Board Members DO care.

BobbyWC said...

sorry you do not put a political appointment in charge and then say you care

Bobby WC