Category Archives: Older Writings

I have been writing about educational issues since I became aware of the disparity between taxes and disbursements, between money received for education and money spent on teaching. Initially, it was the appalling fraud of the United Teachers of Dade (UTD) president Tornillo and staff. My awareness grew to the overt graft and corruption of the school board, then to the less obvious practice of administrative sprawl. Now, I watch in horror as I realize on the Federal and State level the elected officials see public education funding, like military budgets, prison budgets and bank bailout efforts, to be slopping troughs for themselves and their corporate sponsors.

The viruses are slowly killing their host – the American Taxpaying Middle Class – sucking us dry and leaving us with little skills to fend for ourselves in an ever sophisticated, educated, and competitive world.

That’s why “I just can’t keep quiet…”

RE: Is NCLB Why Students Score Low on Science Tests?

When I first came into the science classroom, we played at science…students had some experience with magnets, with fishing (outdoors), with aquatic safety (kayaking, jet skiing, surfing), with taking apart machines (electronics, bicycles, cars)…now we take tests Continue reading

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Teacher Agrees with Annie Murphy Paul’s “In Praise of Tinkering”: The Affect of the Decline in Real World Experiences on Student Achievement

Many recent studies are being published now that echo what good teachers have intuitively sensed – children don’t study. Perhaps they never did (to the extent that teachers wanted). But the activities that displace studying now are VIRTUAL, digital, software.

These are 2 dimensional at best. Human authors will never duplicate the complexities of real life. A digital golf game will never teach a child the same concepts such as wind vectors, slope, frictional factors (roughness of green, “slippery-ness”) that a real golf game teaches subconsciously.

We teachers use these subconscious facts and knowledge as hooks upon which we build the framework of new knowledge. It has become increasingly difficult to do so. Continue reading

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Is Public Education Essential to our Leaders Anymore?

Is Public Education Essential to our Leaders Anymore? By Shawn Beightol This was published in the Progresso Weekly in February 2003: http://www.progresoweekly.com/2003/02Feb/03week/Beightol.htm Last Friday, in my chemistry class, a young man took out his saxophone during his presentation on electron … Continue reading

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