Saturday coffee.

This has been a tough week.

Oh, sure. It’s been hard on teachers, students and parents.

But what about me?

I seemed to have made of lot of people mad.

Walking back up Michigan Avenue from the rally on Thursday, some guy yelled something at another teacher and me. We couldn’t quite make out what he said, except for the words, “private schools.”

We looked at each other and tried to figure out the sentence that would have had “private schools” in it.

Maybe it was Rahm yelling, “I’m going to make them all private schools. Ha. Ha.”

Then there was the retired teacher who got mad at me because he says I always criticize the IEA leadership when they do stupid stuff, but I didn’t write a post praising them for canceling a leadership meeting today to attend the Solidarity Rally at Union Park at noon.

Of course, I don’t always criticize the IEA leadership for the stupid stuff they do. They do plenty of stupid stuff that I don’t write about. And there are other fish to fry.

Besides, praising the state union leadership for coming to the Solidarity Rally at Union Park at noon would be like praising the Cubs for just showing up. We want more. We don’t expect more. But we want more.

Then there was the old friend who got mad at me because I’m not going to Iowa to register voters for Obama.

We’re old friends, so we hugged it out later. But still.

I got this tweet from Elaine Nekritz who was mad at me for the post I wrote on our lunch conversation.

I get that.

But one of my readers criticized me and said I would make a lousy lobbyist.

Actually, I’m okay with that too.

The one that hurts the most is that I think Ulysses is also mad at me.

I haven’t spent as much time with him this week. All the picketing and rallies.

I know when Ulysses is mad at me because he pisses on the refrigerator when I’m gone.

I’m just glad he’s the only one who does that.

9 Replies to “Saturday coffee.”

  1. Dude, that’s a riot! I’d post some witty repartee, but am so exhausted by getting rich and bloated all week from my part time job teaching juvenile justice adolescents, can barley move this Saturday morning. Not to mention, I have to supervise the detailing of the Ferrari before lunch at the country club this afternoon.

  2. Fred, old email buddy:
    Nothing wrong with pissing on the refrigerator. Maybe that’s what we oughta do with our neanderthal legislators and incompetent “news” reporters.

    Here’s a bit of pissing I’m doing re: testing (Sent to 5 papers in the State and not a peep out of ’em!

    Tom (from Oregon. Taught at Woodstock HS and ISU before I wandered West)

    An Invitation; Some “Cooperative Learning” About Testing?
    Oregon resident, Dr. James Popham is a universally acclaimed testing expert. He has made abundantly clear (see his February 4, 2010 Oregonian piece, “Taking Temperature with a Teaspoon”) that standardized test scores do not measure effectiveness of a school or its teachers! Nor do the new “standards-based” ones. They only compare where a tested student sits in relation to an assumed national sample of students or how they do on a tiny few of the scads of “standards” we now are overwhelmed with. They tell us nothing about the quality of instruction or leadership in any given school. They only allow us to crudely “sort and select” achievers from under-achievers in a national or state sample. They are blind to what happens in any given school They also have way too many items that really measure what kids bring to school from family influence, and not what they’re taught in school.

    Long ago, the Country devised an easy, inexpensive way to evaluate schools and teachers—standardized achievement tests in reading and math—and, later “standards-based” tests. The press eagerly jumped on board—still publishing school-by-school math and reading test results every year—as if these reflect anything about a school’s true instructional quality—which they don’t. Sadly, while the tests are a cheap way to evaluate schools and teachers, like most cheap solutions, they’re wrong. But one thing they do—provide huge profits to test companies. Conservative estimates say that this is now a $20 billion market—and growing

    Worse yet, the tests don’t measure students’ creativity, curiosity or ability to analyze and solve problems—all critical to success in the 21st Century.

    Any careful attention to testing experts’ advice dispels the following myths:
    #1. “The current tests adequately measure the important student learning goals the public expects them to achieve to be successful adults.”—NOPE
    #2. “The tests measure only what students learn in school.” —NOPE
    #3. “The tests are accurate measures of the performance of teachers and should be used to evaluate them.”—NOPE
    #4. The new “Common Core Standards’ will cause major improvements in schooling and correct the serious maladies of current tests—NOPE

    We can do better!. So we at Oregon Save Our Schools hereby invite Oregonian and other papers’ reporters to a “cooperative learning session” we will host. We’ll all read brief reviews of what experts like Popham and the nation’s other top testing experts have to say. And we’ll then discuss implications for state policy—particularly the “high stakes” decisions we’re basing on seriously flawed tests.

    Our future requires getting evaluation of schools and teachers right,. It’s as important as health care reform or revising our unfair tax structures. Let’s admit the truth, and get on with investing in fixing the national delusion. Meanwhile: how about a moratorium on pretending that current standardized tests or standards-based tests truly measure the quality of our schools and teachers?

    Tom Olson
    Great Grandtskparent and Co-Founder of Oregon Save Our Schools

  3. Fred, keep up the good work. I enjoy reading your blogs and getting your point of view on these issues. I too am recently retired as well as a long time association president. I think Karen Lewis and her CTU leadership corps did everything right this time around. Hopefully there will be a contract very soon. I feel for the kids, but I also feel for the teachers. A strike is a tough thing to live through.

    It has been very frustrating to hear the mainstream media with their summary of what the issues are. It is maddening when you hear a reporter say that the strike is about money. If ever there was a strike that had the kids welfare in mind, it was this one.

    I too feel that IEA leadership is not doing enough. And Constitutional amendment 49 has me worried. But apparently IEA is not too worried about it, at least not yet.

    Keep in mind that for every person who criticizes you, there are probably 10 educators who appreciate what you say, but don’t let you know it. Sort of like when you were teaching. You heard from the loud and disgruntled parents, but not so often from the satisfied parents.

    Scott Mayer

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