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Friday, August 29, 2008

NY Kinders Taking 90min Tests...

From: http://wcbstv.com/cbs2crew/Testing.Youngest.Pupils.2.804505.html

"...The city is asking public school principals to consider giving math tests to kindergartners, a proposal that comes amid debate over the growing use of standardized tests nationwide.

The experiment could involve tests as long as 90 minutes and change reading assessments for kindergartners through second-graders in the nation's biggest school system, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration has enthusiastically embraced testing. The approach dismays some parents and educators who see it as mechanizing education.

The Department of Education unveiled the $400,000 program in an e-mail Monday inviting elementary school principals to participate. About 65 principals have expressed interest, and as many as 12,000 pupils may ultimately be involved, said James Liebman, the department's accountability chief.
..."

I find it interesting that they aren't inviting Kindergarten teachers to comment. The Kinders I come in contact with rarely have an attention span of more than about 15mins...MAX.

(Click the link above to read the whole story)

Naming Cars...

School has been in session for a week now and the teachers are, evidentially, healthy as Olympic athletes. No calls for a substitute yet.

The old school car, “Sally”, has found a new home. Needless to say, “Craig’s List” is my new best friend. As soon as my asking price for the old Saturn SL2 hit rock bottom, the phone was ringing off the hook…the day after I sold the car.

I know a lot of people who name their cars. I have a friend who calls her Honda Odyssey van “Homer” and her husband named his Mini Cooper “Marge”. He also has an old GTO named “green machine” or just “the goat” since EVERY GTO is known as “a goat”.

We kinda tried to name our cars at one time. But we hardly ever use the chosen names and usually fall back to make or style descriptions as a reference.

It’s usually:
“I’ll take the Saturn to school. We need a Costco run, so let’s take the van for the big stuff. The weather’s great, let’s take the sports car and put the top down.”

Hardly ever:
“I’ll take Sally to school. We need a Costco run so let’s take the van (we never really named the Caravan) since we need big stuff. The weather’s great, let’s take Silky and put the top down”

The new car may have to be the exception. It begs to have a name other than -- YARIS.

“The Toyota” has too many syllables for such a tiny car and “YARIS” sounds like some kind of demented pirate with a speech impediment.

“Avast, me hardies! Captain “YARRRRRR-HISSS” is on deck!”

So far, every woman has used the phrase “It’s SO cute”. So…we’ve started calling it “Cee-Cee”. Claudette says it stands for “chick car” or “cute car”.

Claudette has forbidden me to use the phrase “Clown Car”, but it really DOES remind me of one of those tiny cars in the circus that disgorges streams of endless clowns!

So it’s official. Our new “Toyota Yaris” will be hence known as “Cee-Cee”!

(…the “clown car”)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

TB or Not TB, Is That the Question?...

“Your personnel records indicate that you will be prevented from taking any assignments on or after Sept/4.”

That’s message I get when I try the school district SubFinder system. To fix it, I simply pay a fee to renew my substitute teaching permit, submit a copy to the district and everything is right with the world until next summer.

School is back in session starting Monday. Several weeks ago, I renewed my “Emergency 30-Day Substitute Teaching Permit” and submitted a copy to the school district office as required.

I called the SubFinder system this week only to still hear:
“Your personnel records indicate that you will be prevented from taking any assignments on or after Sept/4.”

Ok, so the office hasn’t noted my renewal yet but school DOES resume on Monday. I don’t want to be “prevented from taking any assignments”. It’s surely a simple clerical error to be corrected as soon as I point out the problem.

A second visit to the office verified that they do have a copy of my renewed permit but it seems that I need to have an updated TB test to bring my personnel records up to date.

It WOULD have been helpful had the automated system tell me what PART of my “personnel records” was preventing me from class assignments. It WOULD have been helpful if the district office, while noting my renewed permit, could have mentioned the expired TB test.

Ok, so now I’ve paid for and passed my TB test and am now in “good standing” with the district. But what would have happened had the test and the subsequent x-ray came back “positive”?

I understand the initial requirement for a TB test starting the job. They don’t want contagious people exposed to kids but I didn’t know that I needed to be tested for TB every four years to continue.

I know of no other industry, except health care for obvious reasons, that requires periodic TB testing. The only reason to periodically test employees is there must be a risk of contracting TB from the classroom clientele.

I’m starting to wonder if this job really worth the risk of contracting TB for such minimal compensation and no employer provided insurance.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hurry Up Already!

We're having a late summer this year. In the 90's so we had the grandkids over for a swim.

Younger cousin thought the lesson was taking too long.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Before It’s Too Late!....

We have to act fast!

Professors at MIT are working to end one of the longest running and most successful reclamation and recycling projects the world has ever seen.

The earth is polluted with this stuff. It’s buried under vast land masses of almost every nation on earth. It’s lurking off shore under the surface of the oceans threatening marine life and some of the most popular beaches on earth.

Before the global reclamation-recycling project came to be, there were reports of farmlands so polluted with the stuff that farmers had to turn to subsistence trapping and hunting just to survive.

In just one such incident, a farmer named Jed was shootin’ at some food one day, and up from the ground came this bubblin’ toxic crude.

Jed was frustrated until the multi-national global reclamation-recycling project (OilCo for short) came and offered to get rid of the toxic pollutant on his land. They told him it wouldn’t cost him anything.

In fact, they would PAY Jed to allow them to help reclaim his farm. They would even relocate him and the whole family to a pollution free (and thinking free) area until they finished reclaiming his farmland.

What a deal!

Since the early 1900’s, OilCo has been hard at work, locating other pockets of this hazardous waste and ridding the planet of the danger to life and the environment.

They recycle it into useful products that can be sold on the open market. The sale of this recycled product more than pays for the good work OilCo needs to locate and clean newly discovered toxic sites.

Now, along comes this professor from MIT who threatens to end the good work OilCo has been doing for more than 100 years.

If we don’t act fast, this new technology will make the market for the recycled products OilCo sells obsolete and place the burden of costs for continued restoration of toxic sites to individual governments (ie: taxpayers)

But we still have time. The new MIT technology is years from practical implementation and in that time we should urge the efforts of OilCo to continue at maximum possible speed.




Drill it now! Drill it fast! Drill everywhere we can find it!

Before it’s too late…

Friday, August 01, 2008

I'm a good guy -- really!!

I haven't been able to post for a while and I don't actually know when THIS post will appear if ever because...

Message from blogger.com tonight (July 31)

"...This blog has been locked due to possible Blogger Terms of Service violations. You may not publish new posts until your blog is reviewed and unlocked.
This blog will be deleted within 20 days unless you request a review.
..."

I'm not alone. There seem to be several hundred (thousands?) of blogs that were tagged recently.

It seems that in their zeal to clamp down on the violators of their Terms of Service their automated anti-bad guy filter software doesn't seem to be perfected quite yet.

Now an actual human must sort through the anti-bad guy suspect list to restore me to "good guy" status.

I guess if YOU are reading this, then I that means Blogger HAS determined I'm not such a bad guy after all.

(Let's see how long this takes...)