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Archive | 1:26 pm

“Think of the Children! But Only as Wonderful, Motivated Learners!”

4 Mar

March 4, 2011- midday

I’ll get back to the silly with Wifeswap: New York Yankees Edition later tonight, but first there is a story that caught my eye and I feel something needs to be said.

I am excerpting an article from the New York Post. The full text can be found here.

The thrust of the article is that three schools visited by experts deserve to be shut down. They are underperforming. Students are performing far below grade level. The graduation rates are low. I will not, cannot, and have no desire to argue that. Something has to be done. The main problems, the article contends, are the teachers and administrators. I am not prepared to argue that. I’m sure there are bad teachers and administrators there. However, I think- no sorry, after 10+ years as an educator I know– that the article is leaving something out. The teachers are blamed, the Principals are blamed, the entire school system is blamed. Read the excerpts and see if you can see what is being left out.

Don’t the kids have any responsibility? Don’t the parents? Did the teachers make the kids late? Did the teachers put the headphones over their ears? Did the teachers tuck them in at their desks and wish them goodnight?

No politician will ever blame their bread and butter- the voters. No UFT member can ever blame those whose support they need- the parents. But when a kid walks into a classroom late on day one of the school year, wearing headphones and texting their friends in another classroom, how is that the teacher’s fault? Don’t tell me they need to engage the kids, don’t tell me they need interesting lessons. Of course they do. But if a kid is already predetermined to not show up or pay attention, whose fault is that? If a kid doesn’t like math so he reads Low Rider during class, did the teacher hand him the magazine? If a kid in class has already been arrested three times what can the teacher possibly do to motivate him? If a high school student comes to class high did the teacher give him the pot when he walked in? And if a kid is basically a good kid but comes to school late everyday because she has to drop off her little sister on her way to school, whose fault is that?

Not every child shows up to school ready, willing, and prepared to learn. Some show up unable to learn.

Whatever happened to personal responsibility?

Are there bad teachers? Yes.
Are there bad Principals? Yes.
Are there bad students? Yes.
Are there bad parents? Yes.
But according to those running the schools, the last two only seem to exist in an educator’s imagination.

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Late Night Movie House of Crap: March Madness Edition

4 Mar

March 4, 2011

Sorry NCAA fans, this is not a basketball blog. Not to stir up a hornet’s nest (but if it gives me more traffic, what the heck?) but Mr. BTR is not a basketball fan. Any sport where a typical game ends with the score 105 -101 is just too long. End it after 20 minutes and let everyone get dinner at a normal hour. And college sports are worse. There are people who are rabid college sports fans and I get it if it comes out of school pride. I don’t get it when people who didn’t even go to college, who barely got out of high school, root for college sports. Especially colleges that are halfway across the country in  a state they can barely spell, let alone locate on a map. (“It’s right next to that East Georgia, huh?”) What is the appeal? It isn’t like they are as good as the pros. But what is even worse than college basketball? The WNBA. Yes dammit, I know I’ll get mail. Go ahead- I dare you to post nasty comments and drive up site traffic and my search engine ranking! I double dare you!

Anyway, this blog is going to spotlight some of the weirder stuff I found online. Weirder than the Russ Meyer stuff from last month? Maybe, but not as sexy so cool down.

Let’s start with the Mystery Science Theater 3000 you may never have seen.

OK, there is an off-chance you might have seen one or both of those. After all, they are on American channels (even if one of them is E!), but this next one comes from the former (and soon-to-be, you just mark my words!) Soviet Union. From Russia, here is their MST3K rip- off.

After seeing that I just can’t resist this classic clip from The Simpsons.

And now for something completely different.

It’s

Mike Rowe!

I know, I know, I set you up for a Monty Python clip, but if you are already angry at me for the basketball rant I started off with then it’s too late to make friends now. Mike Rowe is the guy who narrates Deadliest Catch and about a million other shows. He also stars in Dirty Jobs where he does, well, dirty jobs, duh. Ever wanted to see a guy harvest worms? Clean out a sceptic tank? Stick his arm up a pregnant cow’s rear end? That’s the show for you. Not me, maybe you. Anyway, long before he became a smelly TV star, he worked as late night shill on QVC. Watch this clip and see just how miserable a man can be.

I’ll end this month’s edition with a clip that is just plain strange when taken out of context, and not much better when taken in context. From Bewitched, here is everyone’s favorite center square, Paul Lynde.

See you next month where, just maybe, we may actually possibly see Konga and Gorgo. I have the clips all picked out. And trust me, looking through Konga clips is a thankless task.

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