Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

July 13, 2006

Spellings’ latest speech

From Spellings’ recent address:

Secretary Spellings Addresses Teacher-to-Teacher Workshop in Massachusetts:

Just as important as improved instruction is an across-the-board commitment to raising the bar for student achievement. In the same survey I quoted, 3 out of 4 high school students don’t feel challenged. These are similar findings to a recent study of high school dropouts published by the Gates Foundation where the lack of challenging coursework was one of the top reasons given for quitting. Nearly 50 percent surveyed said they left school because their classes were boring and not relevant to their lives – not because they weren’t passing.

I can’t believe that people are still spending money to research this. This is exactly what research showed when I was analyzing dropouts in 1989.

Secretary Spellings Addresses Teacher-to-Teacher Workshop in Massachusetts:

We must challenge our students and create a system that demands they step up to the plate – and to do so we must challenge ourselves. I’ve recently traveled to India, Egypt and Russia, and I can tell you there is a hunger for education in those places that is often lacking in American students.

So maybe we should deny education opportunities to women, develop a totalitarian government, or have complete federal funding/control of education? Any of these might be a good idea but what exactly is her point?

Secretary Spellings Addresses Teacher-to-Teacher Workshop in Massachusetts:

Last month, I had a meeting with Tom Friedman The New York Times columnist and author of the bestseller, The World is Flat.

At least she didn’t have to travel to the far east to meet with him.

Secretary Spellings Addresses Teacher-to-Teacher Workshop in Massachusetts:

And he told me the number one skill our children will need to survive in this new flat world is learning how to learn.

And how are you going to test that under NCLB?
Secretary Spellings Addresses Teacher-to-Teacher Workshop in Massachusetts:

We know nothing helps a child learn as much as a great teacher.

So how about trusting them to do their job?

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