Thursday, October 5, 2017

Dumb Luck

Coming from one of the most educated states and one of the most educated cities I have found it a struggle to connect nor even comprehend the people here.  They are utterly arrogant and that is usually a flag for ignorance - case in point Donald Trump.  The irony is that he had the best education money could buy.  There goes that expression, "What a waste of money." 

And here in Tennessee we have the best of private education and the irony that Nashville was once called The Athens of the South is almost laughable given the stats today.

Survey: Tennesseans among least-educated in U.S.

Chuck Campbell, USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee Published 12:33 p.m. ET Jan. 24, 2017 |

Tennesseans are lagging behind most other Americans in the amount and quality of education they get, according to a new survey.

The state ranks as the No. 8 least-educated state in the U.S. according to WalletHub, a financial-oriented website that compiles rankings of U.S. states and cities based on the social and economic well-being of their residents.

The education survey, released today, measured 11 metrics to come up with the rankings – including the percentage of residents with high-school diplomas as well as those with associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The survey also factors in the quality of education based on U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of public-school systems as well as their ranking of the top 200 U.S. universities.

The new education plan will bring sweeping changes to Tennessee schools. For districts, especially, there will be increased efforts to document student progress. This overview focuses on four major areas of the new plan.

Tennessee is No. 39 overall for the subcategory of “quality of education and attainment gap,” thanks in part to its No. 35 ranking for “average university quality.” But the state only mustered a No. 43 ranking for both the subcategory “education attainment rank” and the survey as a whole.

Every struggling school to see intervention under new law

Massachusetts finished as the No. 1 most-educated state in the WalletHub survey, followed by No. 2 Maryland and No. 3 Colorado. West Virginia is America’s least-educated state, according to the survey, and Southern states hold 12 of the bottom 15 positions – including No. 49 Mississippi and No. 48 Louisiana.

Virginia was an exception to the low rankings of Southern states, placing No. 7, but the next-best ranking from the region was Georgia at No 35.

Most-educated states

1.Massachusetts

2.Maryland

3.Colorado

4.Connecticut

5.Vermont

6.New Hampshire

7.Virginia

8.Minnesota

9.Washington

10.New Jersey

Least-educated states

41.Oklahoma

42.Texas

43.Tennessee

44.Alabama

45.Nevada

46.Kentucky

47.Arkansas

48.Louisiana

49.Mississippi

50.West Virginia

And as I sit here today in the most respected and acclaimed high school in Nashville watching students self manage and work on their math it is a world away from most of the classrooms I sub in. I blog quite a bit about the schools and how I feel about myself and my profession in a City that so believes the hype about itself that I wonder what the hell it was like before the flood and the influx of cash that is being pumped here for reasons I am still not clear of.

When I opened the local rag, The Tennessean, I found a cover story about two elementary schools,  at one point Administered by two brothers, where the schools and the students could not be more different in composition - both economically and racially. Again that economics is the real tool that measures ones place in the South and in turn defines where you fall on the ladder.

The article states that just getting Substitutes is a massive issue and hence the article avoids talking to any Substitute or even talking to a critic of the district or the Board to discuss the issues faced across the district but it at least brings up the issues of staffing.

Yesterday I spoke to a woman who had relocated here from New York and was in her 19th year of Teaching. She, like I was, a late bloomer to the profession but since being here in Nashville for the last 7 years she has seen a dramatic sea change in the schools and cannot wait to retire but in the interim is doing what most Teachers do, hunker down, focus on their classes and their students and keep their head down. It is a type of bunker mentality, a duck and cover style of which I too am familiar and is the reason I am done with Teaching. Nashville brought out to the surface all the reminders and realities that I had buried while I flirted returning to the profession this last decade. But again, commitment was never my strong suit.

I only substitute in elementary schools rarely and largely in Special Education, ELL and Art and I have never been to either of the schools they profiled in the story but I imagine they are like the ones I have been in.  I find the schools so challenging for adults I cannot believe they serve students well at all. When you are that exhausted and demanded upon I frankly do not see one rising to the challenge every day with the issues these children present and add to that the bizarre demeanor and expectations by the Administration. The two Teachers profiled in the article tell of one recovering from Cancer the other being super Teacher, yet no discussion on their personal/education debt and the reality of their compensation, as both are underpaid as we are one of the lowest States in that regard.   And when you review the list all of the States on that lowest level fall into line with that issue as well. But here we have a new highly paid and perked to the gills Superintendent whose  opaque to non-existent guidance from the district Admins and Consultants he brought on board only adds to the payroll not the efficiency,  as it shoves more plans and ideas down their throats but no better pay or support in which to implement said concept. The article fails to mention that and that too is a part of the problem.

My personal observations aside I asked the Teacher yesterday if I was overreacting and misinterpreting the manner and way people speak to one another here and she concurred and said that too lends to the problem. I do think there is a Borg mentality that you must assimilate in which to survive and that is something that also bothers me as I struggle to find the balance when it comes to communication here and my "directness" is often thought of as confrontational and in turn I am actually being confrontational deliberately now as a coping strategy. I hate myself every day and cannot find any outlet or respite from my endless self loathing. I do not like these people and I cannot find any excuse or reasoning to justify or tolerate their ignorance. No one should live like this and by no one, I mean me. They can go F themselves.

Stupid is as Stupid Does. And they be mighty stupid here.

***ETA*** I was at one of these very schools yesterday and heard two girls talking about the game ban and the fight. Irony that these are the two schools that I don't mind going to.  I have never thought they were "exceptional" in any sense of the word but actually normal as in comparison to regular normal high schools that existed in Seattle.  There are some good kids, some not so good but they are better behaved and more encouraged to learn and be part of school and education.  So when I read this I laughed and thought, "Yes this is normal, the response not."  That is how Nashville handles it. Not added Security not suspending these kids as they are the special kids and they cannot have the reputation of the school ruined for kids being kids.  

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Metro Schools officials made a strong move to calm down a heated high school soccer rivalry.
Principals at Martin Luther King Jr. and Hume-Fogg academic magnet schools banned student fans from the stands at Thursday's girls’ soccer match.
"It's kind of annoying," said Garrison Walker, whose sister is a senior on one of the teams. "There was a fight after the game. They took the flag and ripped it, and some kids got pushed to the ground. So they said, 'Y’all aren't able to come to games.’”
Walker said he's disappointed to not get to cheer her on from the stands alongside his friends.
"It's kind of sad, because she's going to go off to college and I won't be able to see her as much anymore," Walker added.
Metro Schools officials told News 4 this has been a persistent problem between the two schools. They said the principals got together and decided this is the way to go, so that "clear heads can prevail."
They said the rivalry was not good-natured and was taking away from the true, sportsman-like nature of the events.
Students are banned from games until further notice, what the district is calling a "cooling-off period."




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