CLICK THE MASTHEAD TO GET BACK TO THE…

CLICK THE MASTHEAD TO GET BACK TO THE ‘FRONT PAGE’

Now I need to fix this problem…

When someone clicks a link on Facebook, it doesn’t come to this ‘home’ page (aka front page), it goes just to that particular entry.

Drat.

Now, those in the know are aware that it is usually the case that you can get to the front page of a blog, and therefore to the latest entry, simply by clicking on the masthead.

I just tried it and it works. Woo hoo.

So, I hope you will, dear reader (s?), remember that trick – click the masthead to get back to the ‘front page’.

My apologies if you knew this already. I will assume you know what the masthead is – its the thingy at the top – the title.

Toodlepips!

Ok so after a few hours work I…

Ok, so after a few hours work I now have a not-too-bad heading, and an ‘about this blog’ bit and a ‘subscribe’ button and other stuff. The background colour isn’t quite right, but at least I now have my trademark bluey-greeny blue and my orange going on at the top, and a cool photo of some kid doing something risky on wet rocks next to a deep pool and my new logo, the one with the wave and the flock on it.

So, to adopt software versioning terminology for this work in progress, this is about version 0.3.

When it gets to 1.0 that means I think it is finished. Good luck with that.

Just watching the IPA videos By which I…

Just watching the IPA videos. By which I mean the videos of talks by play experts given to the International Play Association 2011 in Wales. I’m watching Bob Hughes (who I am pleased to call a friend), ‘the man who invented playwork’ I choose to call him today.

Anyone who is interested in the fate of children in our world should learn from the material made available by the IPA here on the net.

If you go to:

http://www.ipa2011.org/index.php?id=89

that link takes you into the IPA2011 website, to the brief video extracts from the conference. There are a number of short clips of Bob’s talk – the 2nd one seems to be an error – as it was a repeat of the first. You can’t see Bob’s slides, or his movie clips, so it’s really just an audio. But still brilliant inspiring and wise stuff.

Go see it.

”My wife is a teacher and I gave…

”My wife is a teacher, and I gave up a successful career in advertising to become one as well.

Arizona recently killed tenure and allowed schools to get rid of all those “evil” bad teachers who are sucking the system dry and doing a bad job teaching. Guess which teachers were -immediately- let go in mass firings? Experienced ones. GOOD ones. Teachers who had climbed to the higher levels of the payscale (aka, they were making 50k-60k instead of 30-40k). As an example, when Mesa let go of hundreds upon hundreds of teachers, not a -single- one of the layoffs was a teacher with under 5 years of experience. Are you telling me there’s not a single bad teacher among the lower paid set? Are you telling me every single 20+ year teacher in Mesa that was fired is a bad teacher?

No. It was not a “getting rid of bad teachers” decision, it was a monetary decision. Those positions didn’t “go away”. Mesa hired for almost every single position they had just vacated – filling them with new young teachers or even hiring older experienced teachers (who coming into AZ can’t bring all their years to the payscale – meaning they start considerably lower on the payscale despite their experience). Tenure used to protect these teachers from being universally fired without cause. Now, teachers are simply disposable. Why keep paying a GOOD teacher a slightly higher wage when you can simply hire a new graduate right out of college instead.

Schools hide the negative effects of this on education by gaming the system on national testing under NCLB as well. My wife’s school, for example, has a -massive- number of their english as a second language students classified as “learning disabled” – this essentially takes them out of the equation when AIMS testing comes up yearly, allowing the school to appear to be performing in the face of a TERRIBLE decline in quality of education. It’s a total farce against the system, but nobody opens their mouths because saying -anything- about this means you won’t be getting a contract next year.

My wife’s average class size is over 35 students. Next year it’s set to rise to above 40 because the school district she teaches in is closing two schools as they cut education funding to help meet the state budget. She doesn’t even have 40 chairs or places at lab stations to put 40 students (her classroom was designed for 25 students or so).

But yeah, it’s all these evil teachers and their evil unions and tenure and bad teaching and high pay and pensions and benefits and summers off.

Bleah.“

this excellent rant comes from the comments here about 60% of the way down the page:

http://boingboing.net/2011/03/30/tom-the-dancing-bug-42.html

featuring the US govt bombing schools and sending Haliburton-employed teachers in…