Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Perry Names Academically Unacceptable To Head of Texas School Board

In an unbelievably idiotic move, Texas Governor Rick Perry, perhaps in accord with Texas’ education rating of 50th in the nation, named Texas state school board member Don McLeroy to chairman of the state board of education.

Why buck a trend? Being the best worst state in the nation in terms of education is a feat in and of itself. Why not keep the old ball rolling in the same direction?

Don McLeroy is branded as a social conservative but, believe me, he is anything but. He holds to a very radical ideology in education. This is the guy who advocates for specialists in their field to come in to the classroom and teach their specialty to junior and senior high school children without the benefit of any training at all in classroom management and pedagogy. He claims that those who oppose this idea are merely protecting their turf: education and curriculum and instruction departments at universities. I’m not kidding. Read it here.

Knowing your subject matter is one thing. Knowing how to teach it to adolescents is clearly another. Some of the best teachers I have ever met have said that they didn’t learn a thing in their education courses, but that is because they were natural teachers. On the other hand, some of the worst teachers I have ever met have said exactly the same thing.

This is very clearly a guy who knows nothing about classroom instruction, and now he is head of the whole kit and caboodle in Texas.

And in reading this article that announces his appointment, we learn that McLeroy lets his ideologies get in the way of public policy.

Guess what we should be teaching children in health education? That abstinence is the only safe sex there is. The man has not a clue what goes on in the teenage mind. Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe that the concept of abstinence as a way to halt the spread of STDs and unwanted pregnancies should be taught in the classroom. Then after the laughter dies down all of the other ways should be taught, too. If those ways aren’t included in the textbook, then a good teacher will use alternative instructional materials.

And guess how we should be teaching evolution in Biology classes? As one possible explanation of speciation. The reasoning is here if you care to subject yourself to it.

Being an educator in Texas just became a little harder.


Van said...

OK, I think my BP is down to 300/210 now. Holy holomorphic holothurians!! What is in that tiny cranium of Perry’s? Between Perry and McLeroy I wouldn’t trust them to snap a bucket of peas and not get a bowl of mush.

How many of us have had college professors who were geniuses in their area of expertise but absolutely were the worst lecturers and couldn't keep you awake even if you just finished an entire pot of coffee, they were so bad? They had no training in how to give a decent lecture. Nor did they give a rat's rump.

Hal, what percentage of new, alternatively certified science teachers from industry have we seen that bombed in the classroom or caused BIG problems? They knew the content, but they just couldn’t relate to students or the crazy educational system. Most even refused to take students who needed extra assistance. All they knew were lecturing; they didn't know discovery techniques or learning styles.

What is so difficult about going to the other states that are in the top 10 and assessing how they make a difference? Could it be that difficult to incorporate their methods?

Yes, in Texas there are more qualified teachers than there are slots, but you’d think that someone supposedly as intelligent as McLeroy, DDS, who is on the SBOE no less and for God’s sake, would want to know WHY that is. Until this state starts respecting teachers and quit treating them like “wifeys”, and give them the support needed, nothing will ever change towards the positive.

Aaaakkkk!! Off to scrounge for more BP meds so hopefully I won't have to call 911. Grrrr.

Hal said...

OMG Van please relax. My BP went up today, I didn't mean yours to go up as well.

Well . . . maybe I did.

The highest compliment ever paid to me by my department head was that he'd forgotten that I was 'from Industry'.

I bear witness to several individuals 'from industry' who were absolute disasters as teachers. This is a no brainer but our now Chairman of the SBOE thinks that unleashing those untrained in education theory is perfectly hunky dory.

No wonder Texas is in 50th place.

Guam? Puerto Rico? Care to compare?

Van said...

I think I maybe found some good news in this?? Does this mean that the idea of filling empty teaching positions through recruitment from other countries has finally been dumped? At least maybe someone saw the light there?

I am all for anyone who wants to come to the USA for a better life, don't get me wrong. My ancestors did it. I'm proud to say none killed any indigenous Americans or owned non-paid workers. But their countries of origin need them there where, unlike here, they are respected and revered by parents, students and administrators. Here, our students have a difficult time with their accents and the teachers have a difficult time with our crazy educational system where the tail wags the dog. More often than not, I saw lose-lose situations on foreign recruiting. Which was sad because so many were very talented.

But then the system turns off many talented teachers trained here too.