I want to thank everyone for sharing their feelings and voicing some comical swipes at one another's intelligence and reading ability in our last strand of comments. However I would like to get a concrete list of genuine complaints from the people that are experiencing the problem. Ruth, in her comment to the last post mentioned the need for such clarity. I agree, so far the only complaints that were mentioned were DEAR and Block Scheduling therefore these will start the list. Once we have listed the issues that some are trying to improve upon maybe we could generate some possible solutions. We could do this here! Let’s take a moment, state the issue and your suggested solution. Let’s not attack our fellow teachers. There are no wrong answers here. Let’s just share our ideas.
Why its a problem? = I never get to finish the chapter I'm reading. I read too slow.
Possible Solution?= Lets just have DEAR all day. or at least another 20 mins.
As I am writing this post and sorting through my email I wanted to share something I came across.
Michael Klonsky (small school advocate in the Chicago Public School System) warned Bill Gates of the "traps" of school reform on his blog:
"...please get rid of all those whiners. You know who they are; the ones who keep complaining about "how hard it is" to convert large high schools into smaller learning communities. You know, the ones who are always making up excuses like: "Oh, if only we had better teachers and principals to work with, then we could really do a better job at reform." Or like over there at Manual High in Denver where they are saying: "Oh, those kids didn't want to go to that school anyhow..." and "Oh, the district leaders didn't really buy in." Get rid of 'em, Bill. Send 'em back into the school bureaucracy for some education-through-labor until they get their s*it together.
Next, forget this "replicable models" business. This isn't Starbucks. Good schools have their own unique conditions and any strategy for reform needs to take them into account. Don't let your consultants or spin doctors tell you that there's a high school over there in Kansas City or someplace where there's been a miraculous turn-around because they followed this or that consultant's model. By the way, that model just got booted out of a certain school district in Florida. Probably didn't have good enough teachers and principals to replicate the miracle in Kansas City. Oh, and another by the way...that school is Kansas City is no miracle either."