Thursday Roundup: See how I’m not punching him?

  • What’s that word? Oh yeah, irony. The first school named in this story of how high school seniors are so indoctrinated to fear the humorless Powers That Be that they don’t play senior pranks anymore is Liberty High School in Frisco. Sorta surprised they didn’t quote the principal at Oceania High School.
  • And speaking of Oceania schools — DISD is ensuring equality in education by bringing every school down to the lowest common denominator. Viva égalité!
  • Something smells seriously fishy here. Who needs seven night vision scopes for hunting? Who needs one night vision scope for hunting anything but the most dangerous game? And who spends an average of $7,000 on a night vision scope in the first place? Even the most advanced ones don’t run that much.
  • You know, it’s stupid enough that anyone would deny that the email has a racist tinge – referring to the White House as the black house. But I’m even more offended at the stupidity of thinking a proposed state bill in Austin originated with Mr. Obama, and with the idea of a $50 tax on gun purchases.


  1. Matt says:

    You have a link for the “email with a racist tinge”/Obama Bill/gun tax?

    ED NOTE: Here you go. My bad.

  2. Amy S says:

    RE: DISD lowest denominator comment, I have to object. Nicely.

    Ray, blogger at DMN and teacher in DISD points out at DMN’s education blog:

    “Before anyone goes crazy about how many teachers Spence is losing and how unfair it is, please notice they have 135 teachers for about 1100 kids. My school has a handful less kids and less than half that number of teachers.

    The same goes for Edison. Less students and still more teachers.

    Perhaps if their class sizes weren’t so small, the comprehensive schools who are in danger or AYP could get the resources of extra teachers to lower their class sizes.”

    Those schools who have less resources than the TAGs/Magnets/Learning Centers are lambasted regularly for not being able to bring their bottom level of students up to TAKS levels. Their choices for serving a diverse population (from AP level students to Not-Passing-TAKS level to the profoundly disabled) are to limit what they can offer to each sub-group. It’s a simple economic fact – they only get so much funding to spread among all the groups. Don’t spend it properly on all, then be ready for the shi*storm of bad press about it.

    Dumbing down? I would argue that this will result in a rising up for those students who are left behind by the (limited enrollment) magnet and learning center schools.

    Again I raise the argument, if students are truly gifted, or talented in some way, does spending extra on them really have the additional results – or is it that they were already positioned to excel based on their gifts and talents. And if learning centers with all their additional funding aren’t doing as good of a job as a non-additional-funded school, why are we spending the money if it is not achieving the goals it was intended for?

  3. Daniel says:

    Sorry Amy S, but I must say — nicely — that your case is not convincing. Followed to its logical conclusion, why should a talented and gifted scientist attend Stanford? Won’t s/he acheive the same results at Northern Alabama State University, by sheer dint of his/her talent/giftedness?

    Excellence requires challenge, and exposure to more excellence, to flourish.

  4. Amy S says:

    I guess what really concerns me is the perception that if your son or daughter isn’t one of those to make the cut into a magnet (Dear Mom and Dad, we know your son/daughter is really a great kid, but we only had 200 openings and over 1,200 applicants, so sorry), this dumbing down argument feeds the perception that the kids are left with squat, nada, zippo. And that’s just not true.

    Many non-magnet schools have honors programs with AP or IB programs for their students, the diversity and quantity of those classes is decided by how many students there are in the student body that would qualify to take them (based on the classes they’ve taken to lead up to a college level course).

    I pass along this link to the TEA results ’07/’08 of AP/IB students in DISD and how they performed by school. . Of course the magnets did well, but what was more interesting was that some of the comprehensive schools did almost as well as they did. WT White and Molina actually exceeded the passing percentages of the TAG/Magnets.

    And while working hard to get their college bound students to pass college level classes, they also had to find resources to help all the non-college bound kids pass TAKS and not drop out.

  5. Amy S says:

    @ Daniel – Sorry Daniel, but a long time ago I learned not to equate excellence and hard work with just money.

  6. Amy S says:

    @ Daniel – and I’m a UT-D grad, but have achieved more financially and spiritually than many who have attended Harvard. IJS.

    Told my Mizzou-bound son, that one day he’ll be working next to a Stanford grad, or Harvard grad, and it really won’t matter where they went to college, it’s really about who can get the job done the best for the boss.

  7. Daniel says:

    I agree with you on many of your follow-up points — no fancily educated elitist, me, and certainly not one who equates success with money (success in business endeavor, perhaps). You certainly weren’t lying to your son — but I ask …

    Many non-magnet schools have honors programs with AP or IB programs for their students, the diversity and quantity of those classes is decided by how many students there are in the student body that would qualify to take them (based on the classes they’ve taken to lead up to a college level course).

    …how does the existence of magnet schools detract from this? Unless Schutze’s math was wrong (and it may have been), magnet students are not funded more than other students on a per-student basis.

  8. keith johnson says:

    Perhaps the night vision scopes are for hunting-the Infidel.

  9. Dallasite says:

    2. DISD already doesn’t fail anybody, has a 50% dropout rate, gave away a few hundred thousand dollars in employee credit card scam, and just can’t seem to balance its checkbook, but hey, why not ruin the only good parts of the whole system?

    3. Well, you obviously need seven in case the first six fail.

    4. I’d wait for the video before making a decision on this one. (The retaliation charges sound awfully unconstitutional though)

    6. I want to own a fistablaster so bad!