Archive for the ‘EDCI 506’ Category

EDCI 506: Week 15 Blog: Reflection of Group Project

Friday, April 26th, 2013

prezicap

 

 

Throughout all the presentations the main theme was having a green school as well as incorporating a plethora of technology into the classrooms. Every group had some sort of energy efficient school, a progressive style teaching method (very hands-on) and having the newest technology in their schools.  It was really neat to see all the different ways that the groups incorporated having a “green” school, whether it was through the structure of the school, having rooftop gardens, using solar panels or using preexisting buildings in the area.

It was also interesting to see how the schools would receive funding and how they would be able to pay for the technology that they would be using.  It was a little hard to understand the full concept of funding, and maybe some of the ideas were a little far-fetched for the amount of money that the school would actually have.  Of course, every school would love to have sponsors and donations of computers and ipads, but in reality is that really possible?  Would Apple be willing to donate 250 computer? Probably not.  However, the amount of grants for technology and e-rates that you can receive could definitely help off-set the costs.

I believe that my teaching philosophy pretty much went along with my groups and the other groups presentations.  I still strongly believe in having a technologically saavy classroom, and using all the technology tools my school has to offer in order to be a more progressive teacher.  Using a more hands-on approach and letting my students be able to use these tools and have a choice in the projects that they wish to complete.

In regards to the school that my group had created, it was pretty much along the same guidelines as the other schools.  Our school, however did not focus as strongly on being “green”, not did we try to focus or specialize in any curriculum, such as math and science, or agriculture.  Our school was pretty much like schools today but just adding more of a collaborative approach.  Allowing for “social interaction and discussion” in the mornings, current event boards in the hallways, brag boards and back-alley hallways were teacher can meet away from the students.  We wanted to focus on a community approach, by having parents involved from the first day.  It was important for our group that the teachers and parents had a relationship outside of parent-teacher conferences.

Throughout this whole process of creating a 21st century school, I learned that creating a school is difficult. I never realized exactly how much thought has to go into the school, such as design, curriculum, funds, development, etc.  This project made me go outside my comfort zone, and start to think critically and creatively about what a school entails.  I never gave much thought to how teachers would have professional development or how students needed to learn, but this opened my eyes to the fact that students learn differently and that teachers and the school’s curriculum must showcase that.

 

Week 13: Blog Reflection: Curriculum and Instruction EDCI 506

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

development

retreived from: http://www.moe.gov.tt/curriculum_process.html

 

In today’s schools students, I believe, are being taught the essential curriculum.  These “essential influenced curriculum” includes English, mathematics, science, history, foreign languages and geography.  These subjects are deemed as necessary for students to complete upon graduation.  This way students have the essential knowledge needed to deal with situations and ideas that may arise in their future.  Currently there are several approaches to curriculum development.  Curricula may be subject-center or student centered.

Subject centered curricula has many different styles of creating a curriculum.  Schools may use a subject-area approach, perennialist approach, essentialist approach, back-to-basics approach, or core approach.  Each one of these approaches focuses on the subject matter as the main focus.  Therefore these curriculums are tailored around the subjects that the student’s needs to learn in order to graduate and become the best students possible.  A subject-area approach uses the textbook as a master plan for how students should learn. The textbooks are organized in a way to organize thoughts and ideas of the subject.  Subject-area approach treats “each subject as a specialized and largely autonomous body of knowledge.  Perennialist focus on the logic in the elementary level then classics at secondary level, whereas Essentialist focus on the high-school curriculum (English, science, math, geography, foreign language, history) in order to keep up with today’s knowledge and what the children will need to know in the future.  The back-to-basics approach “connotes a heavy influence on reading, writing, and mathematics”.  A core approach also focuses on the basic subjects in order to create a knowledgeable body of students. Student centered curriculum, as its name sounds, places the student as the most important factor in creating a curriculum.  Approach may be activity based, relevant curriculum, humanistic approach, free schools or alternative schools or value centered curriculum.  Each one of these styles of developing curriculum makes sure that the student is learning in the best way possible perhaps through experiences, or through the values instilled upon the students by the teacher. (Ornstein, 2011)

Teacher may choose to use the direct instruction model.  This model “emphasizes well-developed and carefully planned lessons designed around small learning increments and clearly defined and prescribed teacher tasks (Ornstein, et al.) .”  These direct instruction lessons are often scripted.  The teacher leads the lesson which is then followed with the students practicing the lesson and then immediate teacher feedback.  This type of instructional method is often found in schools suffering under NCLB.  Outside sources may help schools to develop a curriculum focusing on direct instruction in order to make sure the students are learning what they need to be learning in order to pass the SOL or any other standardized test.  Non-direct instruction is often the type of instruction that you will see if inquiry-based learning is prominent. Through inquiry-based learning students are able to construct a response from what they were able to gather without the scripted lesson of the teacher.

As a future history teacher I will be using student-centered approach to curriculum in order to make sure that all my students are engaged throughout the learning process.  History can often be thought of as boring and drawn-out.  It’s important for me to change the idea of a history class in my student’s mind.  Instead of sitting and listening to a scripted lesson from the textbook, I want to be able to have my students interact with myself and each other through jigsaw activities, learning centers and technology.  In order for my students to do their very best I need to make sure that I am following the subject curriculum developed by the school and department head , especially if my class has a SOL at the end of the year.  I would use to my advantage, the department head and administrators for any questions that I might have.

 

Ornstein, A., Levine, D., & Gutek, G. (2011). Foundations of education. (11 ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

EDCI 506 Blog: Week 12

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

school21 school image

 

 

Schools in the twenty-first century are encountering several issues.  More and more policies are being added to state’s educational plans, such as NCLB, IDEA Goals 200: Educate American Act.  These policies are making it hard for schools and instructors to be their best.  The impact that these acts and policies have on state standards will heavily influence the way that an instructor plans his or her lesson.  The instructor needs to be aware of performance based outcomes and how those will affect the students and the teacher.

Although these policies have been trying to make education better, there are still accounts where new ideas are being stifled due to reemerging old ideas.  During the Cold War the idea of education was based upon intellectual training due to a “concern over economic competition with foreign countries”, you can see this idea now as the US tries to become one of the top countries.  The US falls behind in areas such as math and science to other countries who score higher and are able to obtain higher-paying jobs even in the US.  As well as intellectual training the idea from the 1960s and 1970s that education should focus on educating the disadvantaged is also making a comeback.  The issue here though is, are these goals and objectives of education relevant of the times?

I think that these reemerging ideas are relevant to the issues of the US today.  Education should focus on intellectual training as well as educating the disadvantaged.  Programs are in place to allow for the more intelligent students to further their knowledge in magnet schools and gifted programs.  Head Start Programs and after school programs are helping to educate the disadvantaged students in order to get them into the school system and keep them there until graduation.  These are programs and ideas that need to be in place if the US has any hope of having an educated generation in the upcoming years.

I think that it is important the schools focus on the creativity and allow for students to have some control over the content that they will be learning.  By giving the students a little control it will make the students seem that they have had a voice, that they aren’t being told every class what they will learn without a reasonable explanation to why.  This way if they want to focus more on the Civil Rights movement, let them decide what they want to focus more on, collectively as a class or by themselves as a project for the lesson.  It is important that instructors try not to stifle the creativity of their students but instead to embrace it.  Let the students have some control on what they want o learn, how they want to learn it and how they want to showcase what they have learned.  This will let them have to think for themselves and to take some responsibility.

 

Sources:

Ornstein, A., Levine, D., & Gutek, G. (2011). Foundations of education. (11 ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

(n.d.). Retrieved from http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lP3S0abkJPM/T5Vdz-3DcXI/AAAAAAAABBc/fHhunzcRzDo/s1600/21st century.jpg

(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.edbasic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/schoolhouse.jpg

EDCI 506 Blog 11 EEO

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Inclusive classroom grades 6-12

Curriculum and instruction will vastly differ between a gifted class and that of other classes.  In gifted classes students are taught and expected to think more creatively about situations.  They are expected to master complex vocabulary and to think deeper about stories and subjects they are learning about.  For example, my sister is in 7th grade and in the gifted education program.  Her gifted class focuses more so on English than any other subject.  She usually has upwards of an hour of homework to do working on analogies, interpreting poems and stories, conducting research and creating projects on what they had read about. I’ve even noticed that she thinks more into topics than I, or my parents do. Her vocabulary is astounding (I even have to look up the words sometimes that she uses).  She wouldn’t get this type of experience or higher-level learning in a regular class. I was not in the gifted program at school (I pretty sure it’s because when I was tested and they asked me what I liked to do for fun, I replied “play with barbies”), I’m not as creative or think as deeply into readings. I’m not an expert at interpreting readings and poems and my vocabulary could definitely be stronger. If I have gifted students in my classroom I would try to give them additional independent work.  If I’m teaching a lesson on the civil war maybe I would ask these students to do extra research on literature of that time period, or of a battle. I would not want to separate these children drastically but also have them inter-mixed when I assign projects, hoping that their ways of thinking could influence the other students.

Honestly to find resources I just googled inclusive classroom techniques. I found this really cool “live binder” that had hundreds of tabs, research and teacher experiences on teaching within their nclusive classroom.  You can find the live binder here.  Just by going through ha few of these tabs teacher provided input on how you should address students with disabilities, how you should make examples out of the children who are staying on tasks and working quietly, “I love how quietly Group X is working!” The binder also gave examples of how teacher should choose their instruction methods when they encounter certain types of children with disabilities, for example the question was asked on how to plan for curriculum with students with Asperger’s Syndrome.  The website gave some valuable information, they said the most important thing is to make sure that the material is relevant and meaningful to all the students.  Without having meaningful material, you may lose the interest of students especially those with Asperger’s.  I also found this website which provided a plethora of resources for inclusive classrooms.  I really liked that it shared an article of Apps that can be downloaded in order to “level the playing field” I think it’s important to still try to keep up with modern technology with students with disabilities.

It’s also important that teachers and administrators regularly meet to discuss inclusion in the classroom. Teacher that have students with disabilities in their classrooms need a strong support system, people that they can rely on when things start to get tough.  Keeping administrators, special-ed teachers, gifted-teachers informed about the ongoing problems in the classroom and meeting to go over ideas of how the process can be made easier will help the teacher as well as the students in the classroom.  Using the resources found online on inclusive classrooms teachers can get a real feel for how their classroom might be and how they can facilitate instruction.

For myself, I think it would be challenging to have students with disabilities in my classroom and I would definitely reach out to other teachers and specialist to make sure that I am including all of my students in my lessons. The fact that the internet allows for me to research situations and figure out what other teachers have done will be a godsend!  I would want to make sure that the material I am teaching is meaningful to all the students. I would try to put the students in groups as much as possible in order for a calming classroom climate, as well as for the students to all interact with each other and feed off of each other in terms of higher-level thinking.  I would regularly ask the special-ed or gifted teachers for their input on my lesson plans and how they believe that I could change them to make it easier for the disabled students.  Their input and feedback would really help me be a better teacher.

Resources:

The inclusive classroom. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.theinclusiveclass.com/search/label/Inclusion Resources

Resource for inclusive classroom. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit?id=116468

 

 

EDCI 506 Blog week 10: Social Class, Race, and School Achievement

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

 

Social class and race have a huge impact on the school environment and te achievement of students within a classroom As much as we would like to think that all students are equal in their capability to learn and their motivations, it is not the case.  Students are from all different backgrounds, socially and economically.  The way that students have been raised, their morals/values and ideas, have a direct reflection on how that student will be perceived in the classroom and how much they are willing to achieve.

The Foundations of Education provides a detailed chart on how social class, race and ethnicity affect school performance. In summary the charts express that in average mathematics scores of eight graders in 2007, Asian/Pacific Islanders had the highest percentage, followed by non-Hispanic whites, then African Americans and then Hispanics.  Reading scores in 2007 were pretty much tied with Asian/Pacific Islanders rating the highest, then Hispanic, then African Americans. It also showed the poverty a percentage for those four groups, with African American’s having the highest poverty percentage followed by Hispanic, Asians and Whites.

Ever since the creation of education in the United States groups have been oppressed. Most commonly thought of when thinking of oppressed groups is African Americans but as time has gone on and the Hispanic population has steadily increased, educators are seeing a rising oppression with Hispanics.  As stated in Foundations of Education, “African Americans have a lower average socioeconomic status than that of white majority, even though many individual African Americans may be of higher SES than many whites…other major ethnic minority groups, such as Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans, are also disproportionately low in socioeconomic status” (Gutek 343).  The fact that these groups are of low socioeconomic status puts a damper on the idea of education for children.  Often times the lower the socioeconomic status is, the less motivation and willingness a student may have to complete assignments, or even show up for school.  This doesn’t necessarily have to do with having a lack of an influential role model for the child, but may also be that the child’s basic needs are not being met (Maslov’s pyramid).  By not having these basic needs of food, clothing and shelter met the students may feel as if they need to do more to help their family rather than sit in a classroom for eight hours.

Foundations of Education also mentions that “Hispanic white and Asian students are more likely to compete high school than are African American and Latino students”  This could be due to a variety of factors.  Often the lower the socioeconomic status of a student the less they are willing to compete school.  I believe that it takes a well-rounded, educated and informed teacher to really help push those students to wanting to finish high school and seek a career, however there will be obstacles in the classroom that a teacher must overcome if they wish to see all their students succeed.  These obstacles are, but not limited to,

  1. Inappropriate instruction and curriculum: The teacher needs to be aware what the students know and what they need help with. Teachers cannot just assume that students know their basic math skills and vocabulary words, often times they might not and by continuing on with lessons that build off of the basics, you are just preventing the students from ever coming to level and achieving the best for them.
  2. Lack of Success: This goes in hand with inappropriate instructions.  If a student never learned or understood the fundamentals and they continue to be pushed to the next grade, they will eventually understand that they will not ever be able to accomplish that of other students, they will lack motivation to do assignments knowing that they might score an F on it. If they know that they have no room for improvement, why would they even try?
  3. Difficult conditions of teaching: This was showcased in the Freedom Writers movie.  If you have an inner-city school that has a mixture of cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds you classroom climate may not be what you expect.  It is up to the teacher to really get to know his/her students in order to make them all feel welcome
  4. Homogeneous grouping: This type of grouping has been praised and ridiculed in the recent years.  The idea of “tracking” students based on their intelligence and achievements has schools starting to put those higher-learners in one group and the lower-learning/thinkers in another group.  This type of grouping clearly discriminates between the two different types of learners.  Instead of embracing the class as a whole teachers focus their attention on helping the lower-level learners on basic fundamentals while the high-level, more independent students are free to explore more in depth of the topics and move on without much help.  I believe that homogenous grouping will inevitable happen (think of Regular, Advanced and AP classes, that right there is clear separation by ability level), or even reading groups in elementary schools.  Separation doesn’t just stop in education, in careers you are split up among the most intelligent and the least.  There will always be a discrimination dealing with intelligence.  However, I do believe that this type of grouping could cause more emotional problems for students.  If they know that they are in a slower-learning group they may not even try to push themselves because they are comfortable. Of course, I want my students to be comfortable but I also want them to push themselves to be better. I think that if teachers group homogeneously then there should always be a chance that students can advance to the other group. Also, the groups should always come back as a whole in order to reflect on what they did, that way the learners can see how each other interpreted the situation and may lead the slower-learners into new ideas and pathways for how they interpret situations.

Time and time again you will read that the more time a student spends in school and activities the less time they will have to get into trouble. I agree with this statement but I also think that it takes more than just giving the students an assignment or busy work.  The teacher needs to be able to express to the students the importance of an education, the importance of achieving goals and dreams.  If the students can see that the teacher is there to help them, through thick and think, I believe the students will do a little more than what they come off as being able to do.  Students need to feel accepted by their peers and teachers.  If the classroom is comfortable and the teacher continuously shows how subjects relate to life and the environment I believe that students will start to see why an education is so important and why they should be in school and trying to achieve their dreams.  In my future classroom I would want to start the year off by having the students write down their quarterly and yearly goals. I would want to reflect on these goals with the student and with the class to be sure that these goals can be accomplished. When the students can see how they are achieving their goals through learning and being in school I think it will show them just how important and successful they can be.

Resources:

Ornstein, A., Levine, D., & Gutek, G. (2011). Foundations of education. (11 ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

 

 

EDCI 500: Blog 9 Culture, Socialization and Education

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

diverse

 

 

Within a classroom there are bound to be a plethora of different cultures and values that your students represent.  These cultures and values is what makes a classroom so inviting and interesting.  The students not only learn about themselves but also how to appreciate people of other cultures.  However, it is important that as a teacher, you understand the culture and values of each student in order to understand how they learn and what is important in the education to them and their families.

The family is one of the most influential forces behind a student’s culture and values. As mentioned by Ornstein, “the family is the whole world to young children, its members teach a child what matters in life, often without realizing the enormous influence they wield” (Ornstein 205).  It depends on the family environment on how a child will react in a classroom, and how interested a child is in learning.  If the family of a child has not provided the child with an appreciative environment for learning and doing well in school, then the child may not even try their best to earn good grades or even go to school.  It is important for teachers to really make sure they know their students so that if this is the case for one of their students they can approach the child and perhaps the family in order to really get down to the bottom of the families values and feelings towards education.

Along with families being an influence, peers are also an important influence.  Peers can influence how a student reacts and how they feel towards certain situations.  The influence of people “popular” is such a strong drive, especially in high school.  In the secondary grade levels you start to see more being becoming friends and those friends can create peer pressure on each other, tempting each other to start doing drugs and alcohol, or even to just not care about school and learning anymore.

Although there are many influences through families and friends, the culture and values of a child will also influence what they are interested in learning, how they respond to certain learning styles and whether or not they appreciate what they are learning about.  Students from Asia often have different education values than American children.  “Nott all cultures share North American perspectives on intelligence, which tend to emphasize cognitive achievements” (Jordan 226).  As Americans the focus is often that men and women are equal and can each do any job that they want.  However in certain Asian cultures the importance is often put on the men to perform better than the women, because the women’s education is not as important.

“Taiwanese Chinese value general ability, interpersonal competence, intrapersonal competence, intellectual self-assertion, and intellectual seif-effacement where as Hong Kong Chinese value nonverbal reasoning, verbal reasoning, and social skills.  In the United States, Latino parents value social competence, in contrast to the cognitive skills emphasized at school where most teachers are Anglo” (Jordan 227).

If my classroom has a mix of Asian children and American children I will try my hardest to be sure that I understand what is important to each child. I would like to start off the year by doing a simply questionnaire to get to know the children and their backgrounds.  This will probably help me understand how the child learns and what they would like to learn about.  I would really want to know my students by testing out different methods of teaching and see how they each respond. In order to allow for a comfortable classroom culture I would want to try to inter-mix the different cultures that way they could teach each other about their values.  I do not want all of the same cultured children to just interact with each other, that way the groups will make them open up and try to share with others how they interpret different situations. With lessons that may be sensitive to the different cultures I would try to provide a side for both of the cultures and try to teach them what happened and why it happened and if they think that it still exists today, and if so then we can discuss why we think. I would love to do something like in Freedom Writers, where she takes the class through the Holocaust so that they can understand why some things are hateful.

 

Sources:

Jordan, E., & Porath, M. (2006). Educational psychology: A problem-based approach. Boston, MA: Pearson.

Ornstein, A., Levine, D., & Gutek, G. (2011). Foundations of education. (11 ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

 

EDCI 506: Legal Issue in Education

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

cuomo

 

 

In the past few years we have heard a lot about the No Child Left Behind act. This year, states are trying to put even more pressure on teachers by having their evaluations contribute to the overall accountability of the students, the student’s test scores and the school system as a whole. However, New York has submitted into a court a motion stating that the “State cannot withhold aid to city schools over teach evaluation impasse”.

New York state officials had demanded that city schools in New York come up with a plan for evaluation public school teachers. Gov. Cuomo had told New York public education that he would withhold $260 million if they could not develop a plan for evaluating the public school teachers. The New York teacher’s union was unable to develop a plan by the January 17th deadline and therefore the Governor was reluctant to give the hefty federal grant to the school systems.

It was stated by the judge that “’innocent children, particularly the neediest among them, could be hurt by financial cuts’” (Baker, 2013). This can be tied back to the 1975 cause of Goss vs. Lopez in which the Supreme Court rules that students had a legal right to education, and that “students had a property interest in their education that could not be taken away”(Ornstein 2011). This is most likely why the Judge in New York ruled against the withholding of the grant. Students would inherently be impacted, whether they were unable to pay for student’s lunches, or supplies for the classroom. It would end up doing more bad than good.

A lawyer who filed the class action suit stated that the judge’s decision” is a substantial victory for all of New York City’s students”. Now the students will not need to worry about being able to eat lunch or not having a textbook for their class. A chairwoman of the State Assembly’s education committee also commented saying that “no one should ever use formula-drive aid to punish kids”, you can tell that the main concern was for the well-being of the children who attend New York public schools. (Baker, 2013)

 

Resources:

Baker, A. (2013, February 21). Judge says state cannot withhold aid to city school’s over teacher evaluation impasse. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/22/nyregion/ny-state-cannot-withhold-aid-to-city-schools-judge-says.html?ref=education&_r=1&

(n.d.). Retrieved from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1a/Andrew_Cuomo_by_Pat_Arnow.jpeg/1160px-Andrew_Cuomo_by_Pat_Arnow.jpeg

Ornstein, A., Levine, D., & Gutek, G. (2011). Foundations of Education. (11ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth

EDCI 506 Blog 6: Financing Public Education

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Budgeting for a school is one of the most important things a school system will have to do.  The school board must make sure that funds are being allocated to all areas and that students are adequately paid for.  However, budgeting isn’t just throwing some numbers around, some to special needs areas, some to the students, some to transportation.  It’s a detailed process which must be handled with carefully in order to satisfy the school system.

Public schools can get money in various ways through property taxes, income tax, sales tax, state/local/federal taxes, block and categorical grants, excise taxes, state lotteries, estate and severance services, product rights and user fees.  All of the above provide funds for the school system in order to the school to run smoothly.  However, there are still issues with the way that public schools receive funds.  In terms of property taxes, this tax is not equitable; it is only the assessed value.  This means that property taxes are the market value of the home and often the tax rate will increase, leaving the homeowners unable to pay the taxes.  Also, the evaluation of homes has no set date across the country; some localities may assess values every two years, others every four.  This tax “fails to distribute the tax burden according to the ability to pay” (Ornstein 238). Other issues with taxes range from the wealthy vs. poor tax base.  Obviously schools that are in wealthier areas are going to get more money from property taxes rather than an inner-city school.

There is also an issue with municipal tax burdens.  This is caused when “a severe financial crunch cause by high population density, a high proportion of low-income citizens, and again infrastructure”.  The tax money is then sent to social services and upkeep on the infrastructure, because of this, schools do not receive a bulk of the money from the taxes.  Along with again infrastructure causing tax burdens, the again population is also causing a tax burden.  Many people who do not have children in school do not think that they need to be paying taxes for other people children.  I think this is a little strange because those people at some point went to school and needed other people’s taxes to help their school.

State and local taxes aren’t the only issues of concern for the budgeting of a school.  The Federal government keeps creeping its way back into the state mandated system.  After years of struggle trying to get schools into the hands of the state, the federal government is trying to have some influence.  For example, the creation of No Child Left Behind has caused for the federal government to look at the accountability for school through the test scores of students and teachers.  IF schools aren’t showing passing rates high enough the Government could take back money from grants that the school had been issues. This makes no sense, because how on earth would a school ever get better if they don’t get the funds they need to help them!

Today there are certain trends in the financing of a public school.  A lot of schools look for categorical and block grants to help receive funds.  These grants, termed under “new federalism”, allow of schools ot receive money for a specific purpose, or for no specific purpose.  This was a way to “shift federal social and education program from the nation to the state governments, because states, which were close to the programs, would know best how to spend the funds”.  (Orenstein 248).  I think that the reason to spend these grants should most definitely be in the state hands that way the state can really look into where the money is needs, send out representatives to take a look at the program and advise the school board on how to allocate the funds. Other trends that are helping schools are school credits/vouchers and school choice.  With school vouchers and credits a student is able to receive state money in order to attend a more prestigious school, such as an inner-city students receiving money to go to a well known private school for a better education.  This is causing a problem with public schools because it seems to show that the public school is not as worthy or good as the private school and so people are trying to get out of it.  Not only are students switching schools, but taxpayers are showing some resistance for financing schools.  Taxpayer resistance has been a current trend where taxpayers want to see exactly how much of their money is going to support public schools and exactly how that money was used.

School boards needs to streamline a budget in order to see how to properly finance the areas needed.  Areas to be looked at are: school size, modernization of older buildings, the need for teachers, administrative reductions, and energy economics.  The study of these areas can help a school figure out exactly where they need money and where they could get around having to spend a lot. They need to be sure to look at the environmental and infrastructure problem and see how they can maintain a safe and healthy environment without depleting their budget.

If I had to develop a budget for a school I would definitely look at using state and local property taxes, sales tax, and lotteries.  I would try to figure out at least a minimum of funds that need to be allocated to each particular area. I would also want to look into product rights, such as having Coke products in the schools, and try to get sponsors for school sports and such so that not that much money needed to go to the sports program from.  I would also want to make the community as involved as possible, whether through fundraising for more money to special needs programs or more money to the science program. I would want to make sure that the community can see where there money is going and what we still need money for.

Resources:

Budgeting for a school is one of the most important things a school system will have to do.  The school board must make sure that funds are being allocated to all areas and that students are adequately paid for.  However, budgeting isn’t just throwing some numbers around, some to special needs areas, some to the students, some to transportation.  It’s a detailed process which must be handled with carefully in order to satisfy the school system.

Public schools can get money in various ways through property taxes, income tax, sales tax, state/local/federal taxes, block and categorical grants, excise taxes, state lotteries, estate and severance services, product rights and user fees.  All of the above provide funds for the school system in order to the school to run smoothly.  However, there are still issues with the way that public schools receive funds.  In terms of property taxes, this tax is not equitable; it is only the assessed value.  This means that property taxes are the market value of the home and often the tax rate will increase, leaving the homeowners unable to pay the taxes.  Also, the evaluation of homes has no set date across the country; some localities may assess values every two years, others every four.  This tax “fails to distribute the tax burden according to the ability to pay” (Ornstein 238). Other issues with taxes range from the wealthy vs. poor tax base.  Obviously schools that are in wealthier areas are going to get more money from property taxes rather than an inner-city school.

There is also an issue with municipal tax burdens.  This is caused when “a severe financial crunch cause by high population density, a high proportion of low-income citizens, and again infrastructure”.  The tax money is then sent to social services and upkeep on the infrastructure, because of this, schools do not receive a bulk of the money from the taxes.  Along with again infrastructure causing tax burdens, the again population is also causing a tax burden.  Many people who do not have children in school do not think that they need to be paying taxes for other people children.  I think this is a little strange because those people at some point went to school and needed other people’s taxes to help their school.

State and local taxes aren’t the only issues of concern for the budgeting of a school.  The Federal government keeps creeping its way back into the state mandated system.  After years of struggle trying to get schools into the hands of the state, the federal government is trying to have some influence.  For example, the creation of No Child Left Behind has caused for the federal government to look at the accountability for school through the test scores of students and teachers.  IF schools aren’t showing passing rates high enough the Government could take back money from grants that the school had been issues. This makes no sense, because how on earth would a school ever get better if they don’t get the funds they need to help them!

Today there are certain trends in the financing of a public school.  A lot of schools look for categorical and block grants to help receive funds.  These grants, termed under “new federalism”, allow of schools ot receive money for a specific purpose, or for no specific purpose.  This was a way to “shift federal social and education program from the nation to the state governments, because states, which were close to the programs, would know best how to spend the funds”.  (Orenstein 248).  I think that the reason to spend these grants should most definitely be in the state hands that way the state can really look into where the money is needs, send out representatives to take a look at the program and advise the school board on how to allocate the funds. Other trends that are helping schools are school credits/vouchers and school choice.  With school vouchers and credits a student is able to receive state money in order to attend a more prestigious school, such as an inner-city students receiving money to go to a well known private school for a better education.  This is causing a problem with public schools because it seems to show that the public school is not as worthy or good as the private school and so people are trying to get out of it.  Not only are students switching schools, but taxpayers are showing some resistance for financing schools.  Taxpayer resistance has been a current trend where taxpayers want to see exactly how much of their money is going to support public schools and exactly how that money was used.

School boards needs to streamline a budget in order to see how to properly finance the areas needed.  Areas to be looked at are: school size, modernization of older buildings, the need for teachers, administrative reductions, and energy economics.  The study of these areas can help a school figure out exactly where they need money and where they could get around having to spend a lot. They need to be sure to look at the environmental and infrastructure problem and see how they can maintain a safe and healthy environment without depleting their budget.

If I had to develop a budget for a school I would definitely look at using state and local property taxes, sales tax, and lotteries.  I would try to figure out at least a minimum of funds that need to be allocated to each particular area. I would also want to look into product rights, such as having Coke products in the schools, and try to get sponsors for school sports and such so that not that much money needed to go to the sports program from.  I would also want to make the community as involved as possible, whether through fundraising for more money to special needs programs or more money to the science program. I would want to make sure that the community can see where there money is going and what we still need money for.

Re

Budgeting for a school is one of the most important things a school system will have to do.  The school board must make sure that funds are being allocated to all areas and that students are adequately paid for.  However, budgeting isn’t just throwing some numbers around, some to special needs areas, some to the students, some to transportation.  It’s a detailed process which must be handled with carefully in order to satisfy the school system.

Public schools can get money in various ways through property taxes, income tax, sales tax, state/local/federal taxes, block and categorical grants, excise taxes, state lotteries, estate and severance services, product rights and user fees.  All of the above provide funds for the school system in order to the school to run smoothly.  However, there are still issues with the way that public schools receive funds.  In terms of property taxes, this tax is not equitable; it is only the assessed value.  This means that property taxes are the market value of the home and often the tax rate will increase, leaving the homeowners unable to pay the taxes.  Also, the evaluation of homes has no set date across the country; some localities may assess values every two years, others every four.  This tax “fails to distribute the tax burden according to the ability to pay” (Ornstein 238). Other issues with taxes range from the wealthy vs. poor tax base.  Obviously schools that are in wealthier areas are going to get more money from property taxes rather than an inner-city school.

There is also an issue with municipal tax burdens.  This is caused when “a severe financial crunch cause by high population density, a high proportion of low-income citizens, and again infrastructure”.  The tax money is then sent to social services and upkeep on the infrastructure, because of this, schools do not receive a bulk of the money from the taxes.  Along with again infrastructure causing tax burdens, the again population is also causing a tax burden.  Many people who do not have children in school do not think that they need to be paying taxes for other people children.  I think this is a little strange because those people at some point went to school and needed other people’s taxes to help their school.

State and local taxes aren’t the only issues of concern for the budgeting of a school.  The Federal government keeps creeping its way back into the state mandated system.  After years of struggle trying to get schools into the hands of the state, the federal government is trying to have some influence.  For example, the creation of No Child Left Behind has caused for the federal government to look at the accountability for school through the test scores of students and teachers.  IF schools aren’t showing passing rates high enough the Government could take back money from grants that the school had been issues. This makes no sense, because how on earth would a school ever get better if they don’t get the funds they need to help them!

Today there are certain trends in the financing of a public school.  A lot of schools look for categorical and block grants to help receive funds.  These grants, termed under “new federalism”, allow of schools ot receive money for a specific purpose, or for no specific purpose.  This was a way to “shift federal social and education program from the nation to the state governments, because states, which were close to the programs, would know best how to spend the funds”.  (Orenstein 248).  I think that the reason to spend these grants should most definitely be in the state hands that way the state can really look into where the money is needs, send out representatives to take a look at the program and advise the school board on how to allocate the funds. Other trends that are helping schools are school credits/vouchers and school choice.  With school vouchers and credits a student is able to receive state money in order to attend a more prestigious school, such as an inner-city students receiving money to go to a well known private school for a better education.  This is causing a problem with public schools because it seems to show that the public school is not as worthy or good as the private school and so people are trying to get out of it.  Not only are students switching schools, but taxpayers are showing some resistance for financing schools.  Taxpayer resistance has been a current trend where taxpayers want to see exactly how much of their money is going to support public schools and exactly how that money was used.

School boards needs to streamline a budget in order to see how to properly finance the areas needed.  Areas to be looked at are: school size, modernization of older buildings, the need for teachers, administrative reductions, and energy economics.  The study of these areas can help a school figure out exactly where they need money and where they could get around having to spend a lot. They need to be sure to look at the environmental and infrastructure problem and see how they can maintain a safe and healthy environment without depleting their budget.

If I had to develop a budget for a school I would definitely look at using state and local property taxes, sales tax, and lotteries.  I would try to figure out at least a minimum of funds that need to be allocated to each particular area. I would also want to look into product rights, such as having Coke products in the schools, and try to get sponsors for school sports and such so that not that much money needed to go to the sports program from.  I would also want to make the community as involved as possible, whether through fundraising for more money to special needs programs or more money to the science program. I would want to make sure that the community can see where there money is going and what we still need money for.

Resources: capturefinance2capturefinance

Ornstein, A., Levine, D., & Gutek, G. (2011). Foundations of Education. (11ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth

School finance. (2009). Retrieved from http://www.doe.virginia.gov/school_finance/index.shtml

EDCI 506 Blog 5: Governing and Administering

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

NCLB

The No Child Left Behind Act has been a huge legislative move on the government part in order to make school districts and teachers accountable for the way their students perform on a standardized test.  In my beliefs this is not an accurate or positive way to showcase how well students understand material, or how well a teacher taught a subject.  The NCLB ends up putting more stress onto the students and teachers.  As mentioned in the video case, teachers and principals alike have several issues with the NCLB.  First off, the act puts a great amount of stress on the students, giving them little, if any, wiggle room to focus on other material that could potentially help the students understand a subject better.  The score of the standardized test does not take into account the issues that a students may be going through (homeless, divorced parents, assault, etc) which could affect the student and how they performed on the test that given day.  The score neglects any other pivotal information, such as how well the student had progressed from the beginning of the year until the end.  Perhaps the student was able to improve their overall grade by 10 points from the first nine weeks to the fourth nine weeks, the students explains that he or she understands the material.  However, the student is not good at taking tests, he or she gets nervous and is unable to score a 400 or better on the SOL.  Even though this student made such progress throughout the year, it does not matter in the eyes of the state because he or she was not able to “understand” the material according to the state requirements. All in all I do not believe that the NCLB will last for much longer. I do think that school systems should be held accountable but the test only score is not the way to make a school accountable, in the end this will make future generations not want to become a teacher because of all the red-tape and issues they would have to deal with.

The main concept I got from watching the video was teamwork.  The principals and experienced teachers could not emphasize working as a team enough to the intern.  They repeatedly told the intern to look for a mentor teacher, communicate with the teachers and administrative staff in order to get help.  I think that having a strong support system and help when need is absolutely pivotal to being able to manage a child with a learning disability in your classroom.  A mentor teacher and reading/math specialist would be able to help you more than ever.  They would be able to share with you their experiences and how they believe you should approach certain subjects and topics.  Having this system would allow for myself to be more at ease and comfortable with having a child in my class with a learning disability.  I would want a mentor or experienced teacher there to help me understand the IEP, or show me ways that I can include the student without make it more of an issue of their learning.

Sources:

Ornstein, A., Levine, D., & Gutek, G. (2011). Foundations of education. Belmont, Ca: Wadsworth.

(n.d.). Ncbl.  [Print Photo]. Retrieved from classroom.brenhamisd.net

 

EDCI 506 Blog 4: Idealism vs. Realism

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

Idealism-wallpaper

 

Idealism is generally defined as a philosophical view in which the spiritual, nonmaterial world is ultimately real.  Idealists believe that he world is a creation of a universal mind, or God.  The soul of a person is the ultimate source for giving the power to think and feel.  This idea is present in both Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” and Emerson’s “The Over-Soul”.  In each one of these readings the author’s show that reality is the creation of the world by an absolute power, either the sun (in “Allegory of the Cave”) or God.

Plato’s expresses the idealistic thoughts by stating that the power and capacity of knowledge are already present in the soul, verifying the idea of idealists that “knowing is a recall of latent ideas”.  Plato goes into detail stating that the prisoners only know what was already in their minds.  They believed that the shadows were reality, until the one prisoner escaped and saw what reality really was.  Plato continues to state that by believing in philosophy then you will have better knowledge. He states that language fails to give the truth and that the experience of reality is what gives overall truth.  He says that by saying what something is, is not enough for it to be taken in a realistic since.  Plato argues that in order to understand reality and to gain knowledge, ideas must be realistic and experiences.  This is shown by the prisoner finally seeing a reflection and the Sun (the absolute power), he then has seen and experiences reality, whereas the other prisoners have not and would argue with him about reality is because they only know the shadows.

Emerson also presents this idea that the values are absolute and eternal.  In his “Over-soul” writing Emerson goes into great detail explaining how language fails, and moral actions that are demonstrated will in turn have each person responsible for the respect for their own salvation.  This makes me think back to Maslow’s pyramid of self-actualization. Only after children have the values and necessities taken care of, will they reach self-actualization and be responsible for their salvation.

Realists believe that objects and existence are independents of us but we can learn from them.  When a realists argues “If a tree falls in a forest, and now one is there to hear it, does it make a sound” they argue that it does happen.  Realists state that even though it is not observed there is a theory for what happens.  Realists often apply the scientific method to situation in order to understand them.  They believe that after sensation and abstraction, a student might learn the smell, sound, color, size and weight; the students mind will then compartmentalize these ideas.  Therefore if the realist knows that when a person is present in the forest and the tree makes a sound while it falls, then every time the tree falls it makes a sound.

As noted in Foundations of Education, an idealistic classroom would have a teacher incorporate classics, arts and music into as many as their lessons as possible.  Idealistic teachers also would not want to use technology in their classroom as much.  In terms of getting material to the students it does not matter the device that delivers it but more so the value of the content.  A realist classroom is almost the complete opposite of the idealistic classroom.  A realist classroom would limit student’s studies to the core subjects, math, science, history and math.  They would disregard other class such as the music’s or arts in order to make sure the student can master the subject-content. However, unlike an Idealistic classroom and Realist classroom would allow for the “use of technology to aid in developing and testing skills and subject-matter competencies”.  This would work well in the 21st century.

For my future classroom I would implement a mix of the idealistic values and realistic values.  My ideal classroom, or school, would allow for core subject classes but also for arts, music and exploratory classes.  The school would use technology to aid in the teacher of the students.  Like a realistic school test assessments would be used, but the tests would not be the only way to measure the student’s success.  I would like to implement classics into the classroom but I would not want this to be a main focus, students in the 21st century need more realistic approaches to what they are learning.  In a civics lesson I would use the historical documents of the articles of confederation, US constitution and Declaration of Independence, but I would want to use the computers and other technology devices for students to create their own society and their own laws in order to see how important documents like these really are in today’s society.

Sources:

Ornstein, A., Levine, D., & Gutek, G. (2011). Foundations of american education. (11 ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

(n.d.). Retrieved from http://withfriendship.com/images/d/15002/Idealism-wallpaper.jpg