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 Irony of the situation 
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As I was reading the assignment tonight, I saw a group of children presenting King's speech-I Have a Dream. I think it is very ironic that as we begin to explore the "Shame" that a man who died trying to make the changes I am sure we all want to make is being celebrated. I truly felt the shame as I thought about the times I have written the number and the objective on the board at the beginning of the class. I want to think that I did not drill the students, but that I actually used it as a goal for the day, not a mantra to live by. It reminds me of the book Night and the denial the people in Eli's town had when they were told the truth. Are we as educators in denial?

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Jackie Shaw


Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:46 pm
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Jackie, I too was thinking about the irony of reading this book today (celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr). And the real irony is that according to Kozol's figures, in some of these schools it is more segregated today than it was in the 1950s and 1960s.

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Lisa Fortenberry


Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:23 pm
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Jackie, I think there is a difference between mandate and structure. It would be how far you take the "structure"... the book describes situations that are to the extreme. Children are too stressed out these days, as are educators, but as adults, we have the means to handle the stress better than young children. I'm lucky just because I do not have to deal with EOCs and I do not feel the pressure. I am sure I would possibly feel different if I did have to deal with that pressure........... Who knows!

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Amy Scronce


Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:27 am
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I agree with Amy that mandate and structure are two different ideas. Sometimes mandates create structure but structure is usually created to insure the completion of mandates. Not all structure is bad. A little structure can help guide and plan, but to much structure can create a prison. Resistance to change and structure are usually thought to go hand in hand but in reality a little structure can ease tension and frustration.

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Jeremiah McCluney


Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:03 pm
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Every time I think about the latest trend to come along in education I can't help but think about the Open School fiasco. Lisa, you folks in Burke County have had to live with that idiocy for some time. Educators don't get it sometimes because they get caught in the latest and forget what is really important. I think the same thing has happened with Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday. It is easy to pay lip-service to what we see as right and good. Beneath all of this I think it comes to one thing. If we care about kids we will quit being dragged along by the currents of fads, and turn to stand up for what is right for the students. Politicians pay lip service and advocates stand firm in what is right.

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"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." M. Twain


Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:25 pm
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John, at least Burke County has learned from the "open classroom" mistake - the two new high schools are going to be totally inclosed! That is something Burke County hasn't seen since 1974! :shock:

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Lisa Fortenberry


Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:34 pm
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Yes! Burke County did learn from the mistake. Perhaps the system will one day learn from the mistake of testing. Someone hence will look back and see how foolish it was to spend all that money on tests that don't measure much anyway. By the way, Catawba County made the same open school mistake with Arndt Middle and Tuttle Middle. I would probably say many others would have built schools without walls too had they been building at the time.

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"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." M. Twain


Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:59 pm
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The open school concept was failure but I believe the new (this time around) concept of small schools is a good idea. Even Kozol saw some positive aspects of those schools when they did not repeat the same problems of the past. I just start a small school in the new schools project and it is amazing. The focus and individual attention that every student can receive, the flexibility the school has, and the student family community that evolves is refreshing to see and experience.

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Jeremiah McCluney


Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:33 am
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Bottom line with any of these "new techniques" is funding. I spoke recently to the Superintendent at Newton Conover and asked directly about the "New High School" that they have started. Although he had nothing but positives to say about what was currently happening in the school, he stressed repeatedly how expensive the concept was and that he did not see this amount of funding being something that would be available on a large scale. He also noted that much of the success could be attributed to the principal of the school who maintained such a high energy level and charisma. He is concerned as to what may happen with a less dedicated principal who would be forced to stand up to very high scrutiny.

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Rosanna Whisnant


Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:27 am
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As it was in the 50's and 60's segregation continues in the North and deep South. Is it due to people being prejudice or self preservation? The world is changing! It is quickly becoming a place of color. In a few short years, you will not be able to find a true blond in the U.S.. May be the system was set up to keep people in their place.

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Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:03 pm
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