Saturday Links

[Starting clockwise from the top…you can click on the pictures OR the links below]

I do not understand this man who writes best-seller after best-seller and rock-climbs in the dark. Nor do I understand the level of discipline he exudes, but this article tries to explain all of it.

This short article offers so many questions about the future of education in America…and not so many answers. Just how we like it.

Are you following this blog? You should be.

Photo Attribution: Capitol | Dream | Watch

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Kyle

I'm an aspiring freelance writer and blogger (which doesn't make a ton of sense when you think about it). I started a blog called Our Marriage Project and one about OSU called Pistols Firing. I love both of them, and I love my wife. And I love Kevin Durant, Explosions in the Sky, Tim Riggins, Blue Moon ale, Twitter, and the state of Georgia.

3 thoughts on “Saturday Links”

  1. Kyle,
    I'd like to comment about the education post (surprise…). I taught for a year in a large school district in South Carolina. One interesting thing about this district was that schools in the poorest neighborhoods/zones had a different schedule than my wealthier neighborhood kids had in the same district (I would actually not call my kids there wealthy-I had students who didn't have hot water and one who lived in his car….so this should tell you how really poor the "poor" kids were).
    These low income area schools had extended year schedules…aka year-round school. They had a very short summer holiday and two week breaks scattered throughout the year. During those two week breaks, teachers would get paid extra (A LOT of extra $$$ in fact) to teach during the first week of the two weeks off for at-risk/below level students. They would focus on their weakest skills and include project-based, fun activities. So really those kids were only getting a week off now and then instead of two. I thought this was a fabulous idea. Those kids would get fed, smaller grouped instruction, and more days in school- how could they not excel!??

    After several years of this model, the district's scores and data showed no significant improvement in student achievement. Their scores did not meet that of the kids in my school, or other "wealthier" neighborhood schools. They could no longer support the burden of the cost of this program if it did not show added value.
    This also went against the idea that these poor areas don't get the best teachers. The best teachers wanted to work there (primarily due to the extra $$$) and because they had the best facilities/technology/resources.

    This long story is to say, I now fully believe after 6 years of teaching it is about HOME, Respect, and desire to change the way we show knowledge. Those three things are the key components to student achievement in America. Not the number of days in the school year. If the public only really knew how much time and $$$$ we spend on testing, preparing for testing, freaking out about testing, tutoring for testing…..test test test….It is all we do now. I just moved from one of the top 20 elementary schools in Texas (go Titans) and the state Test was the #1 focus. Guess what was the primary factor in ranking us? Test scores. Our children aren't allowed to think outside the box. They are too busy choosing between a) b) c) or d)

    1. Dally,

      That's good stuff, especially the end about test-taking and how teachers teach towards that. When you step outside the system and look at it the whole thing seems insane/ridiculous.

      Long live homeschooling 🙂

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