Tuesday, September 27, 2005


I put up a post recently about how useless teachers' colleges tend to be. One reader (a California teacher) responded by saying that not all of them are hopeless. What she says may be a useful guide to other Califonians who are brave enough to be thinking about taking up teaching there. And it sounds like Chapman University might be a good choice for any Southern Californian wishing to minimize the politically correct drivel that infests most university education today

"I feel I had to respond to this, because I am currently going through an education school in So. Cal. (US) to get my credential to teach mathematics. I'm currently in my first semester of a 4-semester program (with student teaching as the last semester) at Chapman University, in Orange County. I am also teaching world history and BASIC mathematics as a long term substitute at a continuation high school in L.A. county until the end of the school year.

As a bit of background: Chapman is a private university, with all the credential programs being held at night. A continuation H.S. is a school where all the students are placed when they don't work out in the regular high schools. (There are a number of behavioral problems, drug/alcohol abusers, and students who flunked out of the 'normal' high schools. I have several who are also under house arrest - wearing the anklets - and who are on 'independent study', because of pregnancies.)

Regarding the uselessness of teacher training... I feel that by and large there are a NUMBER of 'fluff' courses we are required to take, either by the school or by the state. I used to think all teacher courses fell into this category, but my mind was quickly changed when I found out I had gotten the substitute position 4 days before school started! My methods classes have been VERY helpful so far, and my teachers have been very good about working with me in regards to my homework, and in supporting me as a teacher. I now just as firmly believe there are some courses which really are necessary for a beginning teacher to have already taken. (Especially those covering classroom management, and plotting out lesson plans. Telling the kids to stop talking may work well for the younger students, but my kids'll just laugh at you.. or worse if they're having a bad day! As for trying to keep their attention long enough to get the basic information across... that's also a challenge! Especially on Fridays.)

I believe that my university would qualify as exemplary. It's one of the reasons I chose to attend it, even though it is quite a bit more expensive than several other local universities. It has a minimal number of 'fluff' courses, and the teachers are extremely supportive and knowledgeable. In addition, the whole staff has the children's best interest at heart - and they apply rational & critical thought to what is best, instead of just jumping on the 'for the children' bandwagon.

Amazingly enough, it's a school that I, as a conservative libertarian can feel comfortable in, and can express my beliefs in without worrying about getting stomped on for it. That in itself is unusual in my experience! I had a teacher ENCOURAGING us to have different views, instead of toeing the PC line, as it causes debate and understanding of all sides of the issues!"


Are American private schools this bad?

Students are being clad in expensive school uniforms created by top Australian fashion designers that can lead to a bill of more than $1500 for parents. Even kindergarten pupils are being decked out in the fashionable outfits, designed by the likes of Jodie Boffa, Robert Burton and Jonathan Ward. Some parents say the prices are too high and dry clean-only instructions lead to a yearly cleaning bill of $700 for a school jacket alone.

One mother whose children needed the designer uniforms said she paid more than $1500 for one full winter and summer uniform set. She said one of the worst features of the uniform was the stipulation that it was dry clean-only. "Children are naturally grubby and to have dry clean-only fabrics is crazy," said the mother, who did not want to be named for fear of offending her child's North Shore school uniform committee. "It's not only the cost, but what dry cleaners will do the job on a Saturday ready for school again on Monday? "The number of elements that make up a full school uniform now is unbelievable and the cost phenomenal."

The uniform cost for a student at Loreto Kirribilli is $1275, not including sports uniform, and more than $830 is typically spent at St Andrew's Cathedral School in the city. NSW Parents and Citizens Association president Sharryn Brownlee said uniforms were big business for the designers and the schools. "Some schools make tens of thousands of dollars from school uniform contracts," Ms Brownlee said. "For the designers it is lucrative and is about stamping their brand name on a younger generation. Young people are very tuned in to fashion design. But the designers have to remember to be practical and sensible and remember the role of the uniform."

Mr Ward, a leading Sydney fashion designer who has dressed the likes of Elle Macpherson and Kylie Minogue, has just put the finishing touches to a new summer uniform for Meriden School at Strathfield. He said it was a refreshing and smart update. "Girls are a lot more developed at the age of 12 and 13 years now and need more room," Mr Ward said. "They are also more conscious about their figure types. They should like their uniform and not feel it is something their mother wore.

"Boys are a lot leaner and taller. The climate has also changed in the last 20 years." He said modern fabrics were being used that had plenty of stretch in them, allowing students to move freely.

Designer touches may be as simple as adding a coloured button to a white shirt or lining a blazer with striped material. Mr Ward said: "There is a sensitivity of detail. It is a mix of the classic with a slight edge." Meriden School principal Carolyn Blanden said: "It has taken us 12 months just to design the new dress, blazer and hat. "We went to great lengths to design something students would feel good wearing. The girls should go out into the world feeling they look nice."

More here

Local school, with the backing of parents and teachers alike, tries to keep its doors open, in the face of educrats trying to slam them shut: "The state education commissioner, faced with a defiant charter school that has refused an order to close, yesterday asked the attorney general what action the state can take to force the closing of the small Roxbury school. The Roxbury Charter High Public School was supposed to close last Friday, but opened its doors yesterday, ignoring state education officials who said the tiny, financially troubled high school could not stay open. Officially, a state education spokeswoman said, the students are truant because they are not in an approved school."


For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

The NEA and similar unions worldwide believe that children should be thoroughly indoctrinated with Green/Left, feminist/homosexual ideology but the "3 R's" are something that kids should just be allowed to "discover"

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