1. I didn’t realize the schools in Kansas City were so bad. 

    The CEE-Trust experiement seems (just from reading this article) like an interesting proposal, but I know from other articles that it is criticized by other educators around the state. But among the other ideas of (what seems like) an independent school district, I liked the evaluation of failing schools. Building by building, I think, will help determine where the epicenter of failing education is, because evaluating whole districts at a time is over simplified.

    Of course, I am no expert and haven’t done that much research. These are just my initial thoughts. I will research more about the issue in Kansas City (and in St. Louis, as well) more.

     

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  3. Reading this has made me realize how little I know about state funding of schools and the process that the budget has to go through in order to be approved.

    I’ll add this idea to my list of topics to research.

     

  4. I saw this on r/edtech, and wondered about the implication sharing (that is, buying and selling) notes online. Though I can see the argument that they are merely summaries of information readily available to anyone who could take any class at a university, I feel there is still some “this-is-not-you-own-work” implications. Of course, sharing notes with friends has been happening since the dawn of higher education…

    Is this a way for students (who happen to have some extra spending cash) to work less (by taking less notes or not even bothering to go to class)? Are we rewarding students for simply have wealth?

    In a meritocracy, shouldn’t those who are motivated enough to take the notes (especially the high quality notes marketed on the internet) be the sole owners of the that information provided by the notes?

    Well, no one is forcing the students to sell their notes. I guess if they’re willing to sell their notes, it should be permissible to allow others to buy them.

     

  5. Some background: The Missouri School Board members are legally required to be ‘laypeople’, that is, people in the field who aren’t the experts, in this case, the field is education.

    So I was talking to my friend about this article, telling him I at first thought it was satire. I first figured as such at this:

    "We need to have lay people who are not conflicted by a lifetime of experience in the education community," [Senator Rob] Schaaf [R - St. Joseph] said.

    How could we possibly not want people with a lifetime of experience in the education community on our School Board? It seems to me like they are the best candidates!

    But as my friend explained to me, the law for laypeople is there because the School Board is supposed to be a mere administrative body. They just maintain the budget, hire the superintendent, and delegate other responsibilities. 

    They, however, do much more than that. While DESE (the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) writes the education policy for Missouri, the School Board has the real power because they are the ones who formally adopt the policies and decide how to evaluate their success. They establish the goals of schools and districts. They judge a school’s performance.

    Immediately after the previous quote, the author wrote:

    While some senators agreed with Schaaf’s sentiments, others felt the experience of the two appointees is important to address the tough questions related to education.

    "This board needs people who know the ropes a little bit, but are willing to ask tough questions," Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, said

    Exactly! Thank you, Senator! The School Board needs experienced members, because they do so much more than believed by the law. Especially now, when we are aligning the state with the Common Core and transitioning to a technologically integrated curriculum.

    The two appointees will start their terms on the School Board immediately, however, making this story have a bit of a happy ending.

    Perhaps I don’t know enough yet about Missouri’s education policy or the functions of a School Board, but I am baffled by the idea that an institution charged with leading our educators and guiding our schools should be filled with the non-experts.

    Law firms don’t hire the interns to be partners. The State Department doesn’t send the recent college graduate overseas as our ambassador. If we had a State Board of Plumbers to govern and evaluate the policies and practices of plumbers, I hope it wouldn’t be filled with amateur enthusiasts. 

     

  6. This really makes me think about what classrooms will be like when I will graduate. How “flipped” will classes become? Will snow days not be an issue anymore? 

    I would love the technology to digitally teach a class- kind of like Skype but with 30 students being able to watch the professor on the computer in real time. Of course the students to ask questions and interact like in a real class, but it’s online. The video can be recorded, as well, so students who didn’t attend the session can still watch it, or students can access it later in the year for review. 

    There’d be some security problems, maybe. I don’t think the students faces have to necessarily be shown, and it would have to only be available to students in the class (maybe password protect the sessions and delete them at the end of the term).

    But currently the students in Columbia seem to already be much more integrated than my high school a year ago back east. Hopefully when I student-teach I can get some first hand experience on how technology can really be utilized in schools.

    Hopefully this type of tech integration can be spread to the rest of the state.

     

  7. I love the “4 C’s” idea as a progression from the “3 R’s”. At least Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity all actually start with the letter C. 
    With ways to learn how to write, read, and do arithmetic easily accessible on the internet, it pleases me to see more abstract ideas and skills being the focus on education.
     

  8. Hey guys,

    I’m here to just document my journey through the field of education, through sharing my experiences in classes at the university, interesting local education news, and links describing interesting educational innovations.

    I hope maybe you’ll learn something interesting. I know I will.

    Here’s to a fun time and a great experience!

    -Brian