Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What? They lied about NCLB too?

I am shocked, I tell you, shocked!!! An article in Time Magazine actually makes the assertion that NCLB was never about educational reform and all about privatization of our public schools! The article also makes the claim that NCLB’s goal of 100% proficiency by 2014 is unrealistic! Duh! Talk about being a little late on the uptake, Time!

Just wanted to share. This article goes particularly well with an aged Stilton, some whole wheat crackers and an Aussie Shiraz. It is a wonderful read, but they stole my Trojan horse metaphor!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Summertime at Camp Nickleby

It’s quiet at the camp this Sunday morning, only the sound of the wind blowing through the pines and the occasional squirrel chirping. All of the campers have headed home for the summer. Most of the counselors have packed up and left. My car is packed and I’ll be leaving too, as soon as I finish my bowl of low-fat granola with soy milk.

Friday night saw 48 Camp Nickleby seniors graduate. For some, it was a miracle. Even though all of them passed the Exit Exam, supposedly ensuring to the business world that schools are no longer graduating students who can’t think their way out of a paper bag, many still wouldn’t be able to tell you what 15% of $20 was or when to use ‘their’ or ‘there’ in a sentence. But when it came time to guess right on a standardized test, they got lucky.

On Wednesday, I was given an end-of-year gift by a student in art class. Three months ago, the students were given an assignment, based on the work of artist Andy Goldsworthy. They were to create a work that changes over time and incorporates a principle of design. They were to document their work with photos. The main caveat was that I didn’t want pictures of ice cubes melting in a bowl! Only a few of the students bothered to do the assignment. And of course, I received pictures of bowls of ice melting, some pictures of plants growing in pots, and photos of rotting fruit. But the most curious submission was Marianne’s project. Three months ago, she was given a new puppy for her birthday. She decided to take photos of the dog as it grew during the past three months. To help me with the grading of this project, I asked her what principle of design she used in the creation of it. She looked up at me and replied tentatively, “Repetition?” I gave her an A minus!

Camp Nick will be closing down for the summer. In order to pay the bills and keep the place open for next year, the directors have decided to rent the place out for the next few months. Tomorrow, the camp changes hands. An organization called Pastor John’s Hunting and Fishing Christian Academy and Institute for the Study of Biblical Prophecy will be taking over. A truck drove into camp Thursday and dropped off a load of bibles, rifles and fishing gear. Some of our regular Camp Nick students are planning to attend. I just hope they don’t leave the place a mess. They expect Somebody else to pick up after them.

I’ll be posting occasionally on this dopey thing, whenever I get the urge. It will be interesting to hear what the candidates have to say about NCLB. Have a great summer!