Archive | November, 2012

Review: ‘Money, Mandates, and Local Control in American Public Education’

9 Nov

Moi was sent a review copy of the the new book Money, Mandates, and Local Control in American Public Education ( Money Mandates) by the publisher, The University of Michigan Press. All moi can say is that good things sometimes come in small packages. With notes and indexes the book is only 200 pages, but it contains some big ideas. Professor Shelly who teaches at Wake Forest University examines what he describes as the “Piper Link” which he describes at page seven. “He who pays the piper, calls the tune.” He uses the “Piper Link” to examine how education which most Americans describe as a local concern has increasing become more centralized.

Moi has repeated often at the blog, the following principle:

A Healthy Child In A Healthy Family Who Attends A Healthy School In A Healthy Neighborhood. ©

As a proponent of the neighborhood school concept, moi was particularly interested in the definition of “local control” used by Professor Shelly He uses the definition of David Berman which focuses on the ability to make meaningful decisions. The locus of decision making is examined by Shelly as he examines many types of financial centralization.

The book is very clearly and concisely written. The charts and tables which are included with the text are there to explain the concepts and not merely for padding. The central thesis of the effect that finance centralization has on state regulation and thus local control is handled with an economy of writing which does not diminish one’s comprehension of the subject matter. Of particular interest in Shelly’s analysis of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Table 7.1 at pages 138 -139. At page 151, Shelly makes the following analysis:

There is good reason to believe that money’s role in ensuring NCLB compliance represents a general trend in which a small amount of the total funding burden is enough to ensure decentralized-level compliance with centralized-level education regulation.

In other words, a smaller amount of yeast than people think necessary is making the bread of centralized control over education arise.

Moi was particularly encouraged with Shelly’s concluding remarks at page 165:

As with all big normative questions, no correct answer exists. People’s deepest political beliefs will determine the extent to which they want to revitalize local government or ensure other outcomes more easily achieved through state and federal government. This book offers the lesson that the United States can make that choice.

Money Mandates is not only a good read, but a must read for those who wonder why there is a one-size-fits-all approach occurring more frequently in education.

Citation:

Shelly, Bryan

Money, mandates, and local control in American public education

ISBN 978-0-472-11765-9 (hardback)

ISBN 978-0-472-02673-9 (e-book)

Dr. Wilda gives a thumbs up to the book Money, Mandates, and Local Control in American Public Education, This is a highly recommend.

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Book Review: Teaching Is: Moments that Inspire and Motivate

9 Nov

Moi received a review copy of Teaching Is: Moments that Inspire and Motivate from the author, Marjan Glavac. Perhaps the best way to review the book, Teaching Is: Moments that Inspire and Motivate by is to present Glavac’s biography because Teaching Is the summation of a life story . Glavac presents his experience as a teacher in beautiful, truthful, and often touching nuggets of wisdom gleaned from being that teacher children remember. From the Busy Educator Newsletter

In 1993, his school was the first elementary school in London and one of 300 schools in Canada to be connected to the Internet through the Federal Government’s SchoolNet project. In 1994, he was a member of the school team that won the Roberta Bondar award (named after Canada’s first female astronaut) for Science and Technology.

In 1995, he was a member of a team from Ontario that had its NewsOntario online student newspaper proposal accepted for a Nortel National Institute Award for Excellence in Teaching. Also in 1995, he designed an award winning web site for his former school Bonaventure Meadows Elementary School, the first public elementary school with a web site in London and one of the first in Ontario.

In 1996, he won the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Technology Education and Mathematics Award. He was also asked by Nortel to return to the National Institute as a returning member during the summer of 1996 and present 3 workshops for Nortel in Dallas, Texas, USA and again in 1997 to present a workshop in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In 1997, he won the Roy C. Hill Award for educational innovation. Since 1993, Marjan has been involved in dozens of telecommunications projects involving students from K-University on every continent of the world. His students have been involved in projects sponsored by Global SchoolNet Foundation, Kidlink, Academy One, CCCnet, AT&T Japan, Lycos and in the creation of the NewsOntario online newspaper project with their contributions from their Meadow News newspaper. His K-8 students have also participated in e-mail, travel buddy, research projects and most recently polishing mirrors for the NASA Starshine project. He and his classes have been filmed by TVO and Global’s Kids-TV; featured in all local media newspapers, TV, radio in London, as well as the Toronto Star, Globe & Mail, Today’s Parent, Home and Educational Computing and internationally on WGN radio, websites and dozens of student newspapers worldwide.

Marjan is a parent, a teacher and a firm believer that: “there are no boundaries for the journeys of the mind” and that every student, parent and teacher is capable of achieving great journeys, especially with the help of the Internet. Lastly, he couldn’t do any of this without the assistance and support of his number one computer programmer and spouse Maria and children Vanessa and Collin.

Here are some of the nuggets of wisdom Glavac has gleaned from his journey as a teacher:

Teaching is…

Seeing students leaning forward in

their seats, Listening to your every

word, following your each and every

instruction, staring at you intently,

mouths and eyes wide open…the AHA

moment…something every teacher

strives for.

Teaching is…

After telling the class that you grew

up without a microwave, a student

asks “How did you reheat your food?”

(You’re tempted to say, “Over the fire!”)

Teaching is…

Getting a hug from the toughest

student in class on the last day of

school…when no one else was looking.

Teaching is…

Telling an elementary student that

one day she will become an Olympic

athlete…and she does as a member of 2

Olympic teams.

Moi absolutely loved this book. “Teaching Is”  nuggets of food for your soul.

Thank you Mr. Glavac.

Citation:

Teaching Is: Moments that Inspire and Motivate

Marjan Glavac

· Hardcover: 80 pages

· Publisher: Nima Systems; First edition (June 1, 2011)

· Language: English

· ISBN-10: 0968331025

· ISBN-13: 978-0968331026

Dr. Wilda gives a thumbs up to the book Teaching Is…, This is a highly recommend.

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