The Teachers' Scrounge

News and comments from the world of public education. A middle school math teacher shared what he learned today.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

What Are You Doing?!?

So I can't find the story about this picture from the San Antonio Express News website. It accompanies a story about the Comal school district closing due to flu fears. So the kiddos (even the boys that are chasing each other) are wearing shirts that say, "We Support Our Principal -- Better Safe Than Sick."

Now, here's where I'm making some guesses. Is this group of 12 students gathered close together saying that it is wise to close the school to prevent the spread of Swine Flu? Uh... if they gather together in front of the school, how is that different from sitting together in a classroom. Isn't the point of closing the school to keep kiddos away from each other so contagions won't have a ready supply of hosts? There are 12 kids in the photo, possibly more outside of the frame. Now quit chasing each other into the street and either go to your own home or get to class.

Do you think her high-school teachers remember her?

So this lady is 30 YEARS OLD! She decided it would be "fun" to drive home with her 9-year-old son on the hood of her car. The arrest documents quote her saying:
What's wrong with that, everybody does it and no one says anything
Imagine what she would be doing if there was no compulsory education.

Thirty years old. Read the Article. Watch the surveillance Video

Swine Flu Fears Continue

Slippery Rock University, a small Pennsylvania school, is quarantining it's graduation ceremony. Twenty-two of their education majors just got back from Mexico City (chief export: Swine Flu). So those 22 kids are not allowed into the big graduation ceremony for all the healthy kids. Instead, they will have a separate ceremony.

In case you've missed it, many schools are worried about the spread of the 2009 Swine Flu. Many schools and a few school districts throughout Texas (and a couple of other states) have been shut down to prevent the spread of the disease. Especially strange since it's TAKS week for middle schools and high schools. The Texas Education Agency also maintains a list of schools that are closed.

And here we are trying to convince kiddos that if they trade masks with each other, the mask suddenly becomes ineffective.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

State Senate Wants to End Minimum Grades

The Texas State Senate is proposing a bill that will prohibit districts from implementing a "minimum grade" policy. The policies that bar teachers from giving kiddos any grade below a 50, for example.

My wife points out the problem with this bill... if there is no minimum grade, some of her freshmen will earn a -350. I can see some teacher re-enacting the Breakfast Club scene:

"Every day late is minus ten points."
"I already have a 2."
"Now it's a negative 8... you wanna go for negative 18?"

Press release link.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Prepare to begin lockdown... wait for it...

So, this unarmed escapee was arrested without incident in the high school cafeteria at 9:15.
"The school went into partial lockdown and was in the process of a full lockdown when the intruder was apprehended by deputies in the school's cafeteria," Brownsville Independent School District spokeswoman Drue Brown Brown said.
So, what is a partial lockdown? All even-numbered rooms, lock your doors? And why were they only "in the process of a full lockdown" when the fellow was apprehended? How long does it take to turn on the intercom and say, "lockdown"? (Yes, that's the codeword at one local campus. I think it's awesome! You don't have to worry about "is a drill 'code marroon' or 'code gold'?" It's hard to mistake, "lockdown.")

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Get that school off my lawn!

Local school has field day. Local neighbor believes the noise is too loud. He calls the school office. No answer. Tries several times. No answer. Finally calls the police and complains about the noise. Principal served with noise citation. Hearing next week.

Here's the long, detailed, newsy version

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Computer System Checks School Guests Against "No-Fly" List

A Rio Grande Valley school district is among the latest to implement a program that allows them to immediately check visitors against databases of unwanted guests. In addition to sex offender registries, the schools can create custom lists of guests who are under restraining orders, etc.

According to the article, the system is costly at $32,000, but the software has stopped over 1,100 sex offenders at various locations just last year.

Nation's Second Largest School District Cuts Jobs

The Los Angeles Unified School District is slashing 5,400 jobs (about 1,900 of them teachers) to help cope with a $596,000,000 budget shortage. (The shortage was closer to $718 million before stimulus money started rolling in.) You can see details here.