Category: Education

A First Time Candidate For A First Time District: An Interview With John Landon (Part 2 of 2)

This is the second installment of a two-part interview, to read part one click here.

Education

Governor Branstad’s legacy-minded education reform proposal has struggled to draw support since its release on October 3rd, and you can count Mr. Landon as one of those lacking in enthusiasm.

A core tenet of Landon’s philosophy is local control. The benefit he sees in applying this principle to education is that the parents of each child, and the teachers in the actual class room, will have their voices better heard and their concerns more directly dealt with,

“My first reaction (to the governor’s plan) is that it drives us towards more state control and more mandates on levels of performance. I think that we are going to


Public Schools: Suck in Those Guts!

For the past few years, I have been watching my weight carefully.  I value the life I have been given, and I want to take good care of myself through proper sleep, diet, and exercise.  In March, my mother-in-law died, and it only took a couple weeks of constant grazing through the meals of generous friends and families to result in a weight bulge.  I could feel the extra weight at my waistline.  Try as I might, sucking in my stomach didn’t make the problem go away.  A similar lack of discipline with spending has put Iowa and other states in financial messes.

The Iowa Legislature annually engages the state’s school funding formula to provide “allowable growth” to public school districts.  Because of the state’s …


Arne Duncan and DOE’s End Around Congress to Change FERPA, Invade Student Privacy

arne duncanThis article was originally posted at Caffeinated Thoughts.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan and the educrats at the U.S. Department of Education know that Congress would never vote to codify the changes they seek in the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) so they’re changing up regulations in order to do so.  They want to allow private and invasive information to be gathered on students and families in order to supply the workforce.

This has nothing to do with improving the education that children receive.  The sole purpose for these changes are to data mine and pass that information along to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Labor who will then provide it to the private sector …


How To Fix Our Schools

I’m not one to spend time commenting on something as innocuous as a movie, but I just finished watching something that was both compelling and surprising.

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary “Waiting For Superman” had my attention for the entire 111 minutes, and I learned some important things about the successes of some alternative charter schools, the bureaucratic nightmares that have impeded some schools from succeeding, and most importantly the devastating stranglehold that the teacher’s unions exert in ensuring that teachers are as demotivated as possible.  The story of the attempts by the District of Columbia school district to partner with the teacher’s union to create a pathway to success is scandalous, and clearly ensures that failing teachers never have to be held accountable.

I get


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