Tuesday, February 15, 2011

School Punch-Down List

We return to our regularly scheduled program...

These are presented without colour commentary or supporting argument. This may be provided at a later date if page hits indicate interest.

Though some items are related these are in no particular order.
  • Eliminate tenure.
  • Novice teachers have two years before they can be fired.
  • Non-novice teachers can be fired with neither notice nor cause. 
  • Convert all defined benefit retirement plans to defined contribution plans.
  • Eliminate all out of system transfers for children of employees.
  • Institute random, no-warning, suspicion-less, post-employment drug testing. 
  • All teacher CV available online, including transcripts covering all for-credit study and training programs.
  • Reorganize schools into four levels: pre-k thru 2nd grade; 3rd thru 6th; 7th thru 10th; and 11 & 12th grades.
  • 11 & 12th grade programs are either pre-college or vo-tech.
  • Pre-k thru 2nd grade and 3rd thru 6th grade students have the same Primary Teacher year to year (AKA: looping).
  • 7th thru 10th and 11 & 12th grade students have the same "Home room Run" class teacher who is responsible for those students' academic achievement. 
  • Primary Teachers and Home Run teachers coordinate meetings between subject matter teachers, tutors, administrators and the student and parent.
  • Primary Teachers and Home Run teachers act as in-school disciplinarian on behalf of the parent.
  • Allow parents to bid on teachers thru a Dutch Auction with proceeds going to the General System Fund to offset taxes.
  • Replace high stakes end-of-year tests with high stakes start-of-year entrance exams.
  • Performance on start-of-year entrance exams factors into Primary Teacher and Home Run teacher evaluations.
  • Entrance exams are created and administered by a state agency, proctored by junior and senior college students preparing to become teachers.
  • De-skill Pre-k thru 3rd grade "instruction": hire high school graduates, give them two years of training and pay commensurate with that position.
  • De-skill administrative positions and significantly cut pay ranges.
  • Eliminate "golden parachutes."
  • Pay "interims" their current salary unless they are selected for the permanent position at which point they are retroactively compensated at the new rate.
  • Eliminate all "Curriculum Development" and related positions.
  • Eliminate School Resource Officers, using local law enforcement as necessary.
  • Eliminate school psychologists/psychiatrists, social workers, grief counselors and other such soft social services. 
  • Replace education colleges' hyphenated topic-education degrees with a dual degree (subject matter and education) degree program. 
  • Recognize credentials from accredited programs only.
  • Accept a license from any other state which has outperformed Georgia on nationally normed and recognized academic evaluations in three or more of the last five years. 
  • Recognize only those credentials in a legitimate and directly applicable subject matter or education area.
  • Create state curricula--require its use.
  • Eliminate the use of vendor supplied texts and related material.
  • Require, as a condition for tenure in Education Colleges and as a consideration for tenure in subject matter Colleges, participation in a State-level organization to design curricula, create all course planning and presentation materials (including, lesson plans, texts, ancillary/supplementary material, multimedia material, test banks, etc.), design and supervise the administration of start-of-year entrance exams and perform random, unannounced education audits.
  • Create and make available online the Georgia version of E.D. Hirsch's "What your n-th grader needs to know".
  • Publish all State-produced educational material under the Creative Commons "Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives" license.
  • Focus on knowledge and skills before "soft topics" like "learning concepts".
  • Eliminate "Smart Boards".
  • Eliminate the use of computers outside of the library.
  • Eliminate the use of calculators outside of science and finance/business courses.
  • Install 3 cameras in each classroom: one at the back and two at each side in front. 
  • Record all classes and make recordings available to the public in digital form upon request with a maximum 24 hour turnaround.
  • Eliminate basketball and football programs.
  • Eliminate school lunch, cafeterias and associated employees.
  • No bus stop within 2 miles of school.
  • Employ no near-relatives, to include spouses, parents, children, grandchildren, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins or any of these prefixed with "ex-", of any exempt administrative personnel, board members or any in-school, non-teaching staff.
  • Tax increases must be subject to a referendum.
  • Eliminate elected boards of education.
  • Costs for all activities not part of core instruction are covered by fees to be paid by parents or guardians of the participating students.
  • Make all meeting minutes, call logs, emails, letters, administrative documents (budgets, RFI/Q, bids, etc.), expense reports, vendor reports and any other business document available to the public in electronic form within 24 hours of a request.
  • Maintain and make available online an accurate catalog of all documents.
  • Make detailed budget data available in spreadsheet form.
  • Make all GIS, demographic and planning data available online. 
This should be a good start.