Mixed Reactions To Board's Cyber/Proctor Proposal

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This trial balloon seems to be made of lead:

Skepticism,
support for proposed 8-hour school day
Sun Times:  A
Local School Council member at Montefiore Special School on the Near
West Side agreed. "Of course it sounds good. But it's a crazy notion,"
the Rev. Robin Hood said. "I mean, how do you do that when you're
threatening parents with increasing class sizes to 35 kids? Seems to me
that should be our priority right now."... Board Considering Longer School Day 
Fox:  Chicago Public School leaders are toying with the
idea of a
longer school day, with students at the 100 most troubled
elementary schools in classrooms for eight hours per day, not
six... Longer study hours for elementary students Medill:  Principal Allen Michael Mosley says he demands
excellence out of his teachers and his students ...leading to extra
study time in the mornings and the afternoons. However, some parents are
against the long study hours citing lack of concentration among
students... Computers, But Not Teachers, May Lengthen School Day WBEZ:  Chicago Public Schools is thinking about
using computers to extend its school day.

Filed under: 125 S. Clark Street

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  • To keep costs down, "proctors" -- not certified teachers => low quality privatized instruction => union busting => disenfranchisement of minority communities => daley buddies make $$$$$$$$

  • In reply to kuglerjohn:

    The proctor isn't there to instruct though. She's only there to maintain order and supervise. This would be a waste of a certified teacher's time.

  • non-certified is better? lets see when i go to get my tooth fixed i make sure always to find the guy who does not have his credentials just to make sure i can save a buck.

    hey how about send your kid to get health lessons from some goon hired by her buddy from college.

    improve resources and instructional support for teachers rather than scare tactics and fear mongering.

  • No, no instruction is supposed to take place. It's supposed to be about time on task. Having children actually read and do math problems and have immediate feedback when they've finished.

  • what are those reasons though? Why does a high school math teacher have to know psychology? How useful is a basic knowledge of psych? It's not like teachers take enough to do more than generalize anyway. Or education course work? How much pedagogy is actually used at the high school levels?

  • You are entirely right--both have to devote themselves to the very life and death of their charges, but a doctor doesn't have 35 patients open at once.

    If you don't see teaching as a complex, high order profession, you should probably spend more time in the classroom.

    xian from CORE

  • Rather I would say that the educational system should deal with things as they are and not what it would like them to be.

  • While I'm very skeptical of the benefits of two hours of computer-assisted instruction each day, I don't see this as a union busting move.

    Frankly, I would rather see aides or paraprofessionals or proctors (whatever you want to call them) supervise students engaged in non-instructional activities rather than lengthen the school day for teachers.

    Returning recess to the elementary schools may well do more for student learning than this drill-and-kill program and give the Mayor the extended school day he is salivating for. Short morning and afternoon recess periods supervised by aides would give teachers more time for planning and collaboration, as well as be cost-effective. (Recess and physical education--for which appropriately certified teachers should be retained--are *not* equivalent.)

    Apparently most commenters did not *read* the article for which a hyperlink is provided. The proctors are supervising student use the CAI software programs. Once areas of weakness have been identified, *teachers* would be responsible to provide instruction to remediate students. It isn't as if the teacher will be replaced by the software.

    Again, I'm quite skeptical that the software is as wonderful as the program proponents claim it is. In my experience, students are motivated until the novelty wears off--which doesn't take long. And then they realize that regardless of the graphics and computer technology, they're still just doing workbook drills.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    I totally agree with the recess comment and CPS has also stated on their website that they encourage schools to add recess to their schedule.

    http://www.cps.edu/Spotlight/Pages/Spotlight189.aspx

  • I was really hoping you were going to respond with a link to this "research" because I am dying to see it.

  • Let's return to topic. The long post above is beautiful. If anyone at the top were really listening, it has enough wisdom in it to really improve the lives of thousands of students.

    But no, the anonymous troll, looks at it and only sees something worthy of mockery.

    Ironically enough, that's the missing component--empathy. Without that, a teacher is nothing. Can you imagine if one of us mocked a students' brilliant work in the same way?

    Again, the non-empathic are probably thinking, "Yeah, you would get disciplined!" The true and through educators realize that the greatest damage would not be to one's career but to the precious child who had been entrusted to our care and nurturing.

    Let's model the same policy of loving empathy that we cultivate in our classrooms.

    xian from CORE

  • Seriously? That is the best you can come up with to argue against a teacher. LMAO!
    As the saying goes, "I refuse to match wits with an unarmed person."

  • It's funny that you say teachers aren't qualified to do anything else. I look at the people I teach with and for all of us teaching was our second career. We went through regular certification programs after we completed our undergrad or we were double majors. Some of my classes were rather lame, but no more so than the classes I took as a History major. As I look at my own 7th grade team:

    Myself - Writer/Producer in local television for 5 years
    Science - Worked at Argonne National Labs
    Math - Worked in Advertising
    Writing - She was in corporate for many years and came to teaching after working for Steven Spielberg.

    Not one of us was hired straight out of college, though there are some great teachers in my building that were. The people who don't seem to have the credentials are the 22-25 year olds Ron Huberman keeps hiring to work on his staff.

  • I was not the original poster, but let's be real--there are some rather young members of that staff. I'm less interested in that though than their relative understanding of educational issues and the needs of children.

    I am not hard line that every member of central office needs to have extensive classroom time. The question is whether empathy for students, educators and actual understanding of what good teaching is exists in any supply at the tables where the big policies are being determined.

    It's not useful to simply bash downtown. But who is left down there? There have always been people down there who actually put children first. We've lost a lot of great educators who care about children to a number of factors--layoffs, moving on to other jobs or illness. I was critical of Duncan, but I do sense a major shift downtown.

    xian from CORE

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