Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Weird thing of the day 22 March 2005/11 'Adhar Sheni 5765 (World Water Day)

Greetings.

Today you’re getting two weird things, mainly in because I’m trying to downsize my inbox.

1) My father directed me to the article “Ex-prosecutor says he kept Jews off juries”, which notes some of the strange biases people have.

2) Barry wrote to me:
The behav-an listserve has recently had a discussion
about teachers and why they often do not use those
techniques with the best empirical support. (Do not
flame me. No one is accusing teachers of being stupid
or anything like that.) Among the factors that came
up in the discussion were school administrators, who
may actively oppose using effective techniques. One
person on the listserve posted these gems of
administrator behavior as examples of how screwed up
some of them are. Do note that not every school
administrator is as messed-up as those in the below
examples. Furthermore, the credit for the
ineffectiveness of public education in the United
States is shared among many parties. Mark Twain
himself once said, "In the first place, God made
idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school
boards."

This is True recently had a few items indicating
what teachers are up
against re: administrators.

THIS is TRUE for 27 February 2005

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
STRIKE 1, YOU'RE OUT: Raven Furbert, 12, has four
relatives in the
military stationed in Iraq, including her uncle.
To help her remember
them, she wore a patriotic red, white and blue
necklace, a Christmas
gift. But officials at Mont Pleasant Middle School
in Schenectady,
N.Y., told her the beaded necklace is contrary to
the school's dress
code, which bans "gang-related" clothing. They
said if she continued to
wear it in any visible place, she would be
suspended. When they
discovered she was wearing the beads hidden -- not
visible -- they told
her to remove them. Furbert's mother, Katie
Grzywna, says the girl was
previously a good student, but is now frequently
targeted for
detention, so she has filed a federal lawsuit
against the school. "I'll
be really glad when this is all over," Raven says.
"I just want to wear
them for my uncle" in Iraq. (Albany Times-Union)
...Who, if you asked
him, would say he's there to fight for our
freedoms.

STRIKE 2, YOU'RE OUT: A drug dog doing a routine
sniff of cars at R.E.
Lee High School in Staunton, Va., alerted near the
car parked by
student body president Sam Dungan, 17. Officials
demanded he let them
search the car but Dungan, the son of a defense
attorney, called his
dad instead. After all, it was his dad's car,
since his own was broken
down. His father, James Dungan, arrived at the
school and consented to
a search, since "I don't smoke marijuana, my wife
doesn't smoke
marijuana, and my son doesn't smoke marijuana," he
told them. Bad idea:
the search turned up a rusty Boy Scout knife and a
bottle of cream
liqueur, left in the car after a Christmas party.
Good enough: Sam was
suspended for 5 days for "possessing" a "weapon"
and alcohol on campus.
He also must attend alcohol counseling.
(Waynesboro News Virginian)
...On the other hand, he may have a good
malpractice case against his
attorney.

STRIKE 37, YOU'RE OUT: Susan Bartlett, 34, a teacher
at Pine Grove
Elementary School in Brooksville, Fla., was "out
of control,"
colleagues say. She allegedly yelled at
colleagues, smoked pot at
school, "burped loudly" in staff meetings, and
called children "stupid"
in class. Yet the worst the school would do to her
is enter a reprimand
in her record -- and extend her contract for
another year. School
officials finally took action when, in a staff
meeting, Bartlett
"pulled her pants down and showed her entire
bottom to the whole group
of teachers in the room," an incident report says.
The penalty? She was
ordered to take a drug test. Bartlett refused that
demand, saying there
was a "lack of just cause," and only then was she
fired. (St.
Petersburg Times) ...The difference between the
kids and the teachers:
the kids don't have a union.
Enjoy (or be scared).

Aaron
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