Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Dream Classroom

As a teacher, what is your primary concern for ensuring that your classroom is a place where all types of children can learn? What do you need to do to ensure this? Post your response to the discussion board.

There are many learning disorders out there: ADD, ADHD, Autism, full-blown mental retardation, Asberger's Syndrome, and other emotional and behavioral disorders. Einstein was said to have autism. The over-diagnosis of ADHD is attributable directly to the strict hierarchies of classrooms. Rarely does any form of democracy pop up during High School classes, and with so much curriculum, we teachers need to stuff the student's brains with hour long lectures every day, for three months, mostly about basic instructions, what other choice do we have, but to Ben Stein lecture at them? We “Teach Others” so we're retaining 90% of our experience, as the Learning Pyramid points out, plus getting paid, becoming better public speakers, gaining a receptive audience, in a position of authority, maybe even a career, increasing our value, giving back to the greater good while the students barely can stay awake, falling asleep at their desk, drooling all over their outdated 12th Edition McGraw-Hill textbook hand-me-downs. If they're able to stay awake, then only 5% of that lecture will be learned through observing others, through osmosis. So perhaps that's why some of the students can't sit still in their seats. The human condition yearns for the polite and pleasant decorum of remaining seated and silent at behest mein Fuhrer to be smashed into oblivion. That's not ADHD. That's the pangs of freedom.

Gifted and Talented can be considered a learning disorder as well, for the same reasons listed above. The students who are smart enough to figure out all of the problems we put in front of them, can become bored, feel unchallenged and discouraged, as well as question authority. Teachers are required to teach to the middle of a classroom. We do not want to dumb the material down, which is condescending, but also, we shouldn't complicate our subjects with too much of the field's jargon, or their own form of legalese, even if speaking the rich language of Calculus is exactly what the doctor calls for what ails little Johnny or Sally.
WEB DuBois spoke highly about elevating a “talented tenth”, the intelligent children, the top 10%, in order to raise up Black people as a whole. That same philosophy transcends race. The Prussian-Industrial-Education-Complex can benefit greatly by elevating their best and brightest, harnessing creativity, focusing their imaginations towards positive constructive tangible forms. Those with the most talent, or potential, those with high I.Q.s, or other intelligences, Gardner points out 8 other intelligences, and physical motor skills takes genius, too... I recall coming across a study, but logic had preceded the study beforehand, but it still served as a reinforcer... but the study said the energetic, athletic, the doers, they are smart. They have neurotransmitters firing in more efficient ways. Exercising in the morning is a great way to wake up. One is more focused right after a workout, a run, a basketball scrimmage, etc. So America is slipping compared to world standards in the basic subjects, Math, Science, Social Studies, Art, English, and that goes for electives too. Just in general, a society should want to improve from one generation to the next, and we're the Information Generation, and the Internet will always be with us, as long as Nuclear Winter never descends upon us, then it's smoothing cruising from here on to Red River Gorge.

Because we're all the same, yet we're all different, my number one focus is to make sure everybody feels included, and welcome. Some folks can be stubborn, but since I genuinely care about others, I hope those sentiments can transcend the most bullheaded into being more expressive. The Reggio Emilia approach says that we're all endowed with over 100 languages in each one of us, and our goal as educators, is to find those different methods of communication, and to facilitate that growth. We all need to be included. The days of the one-room schoolhouse should come back. Older children felt a sense of obligation to helping out the younger students, and those more competent would help out the less competent, which would help out those who truly have ADHD, and other disorders, which not only hinders their learning, but it also makes their basic living functions more difficult too. We all should be included. Maslow's Hierarchy gave a good overview of what we all need in order to be self-actualized, and for real learning to occur.

While I love the dream of the one-room schoolhouse, I also wonder if a two-tiered system would be better for GT. The Gifted and Talented would, theoretically, strive and thrive better around other gifted and talented folks such as themselves. Instead of organizing a school based on ages, we should organize according to ability. To not educate our best and brightest, to marginalize them and to cap their creativity, we aren't just hindering their own precious development—socially, physically, spiritually, politically, economically—but we're also destroying society and civilization as we know it.

I would also have many different methods for students to learn. This is my dream classroom of course, but a classroom where one can get the one-on-one help they need, the hands-on experiences, audio or visual learning, or through dialogue, there's plenty of money for supplies, good programs, etc. Khan's Academy opens up all teachers to become administrators to over 30 subjects. All you need to do is track your student's progress. Students are motivated by you caring about them. One could just get the students a learning style quiz online, and then have a tailor-made IEP written out specifically just for them, based upon which styles of learning works best for them.


Develop a chart of comparative characteristics for special needs children. Include at least 5 characteristics for each of the categories listed below. You can use your text, the KRS Special Education Guidelines or any other relavant source to complete the chart. You do not have to cite your sources for this assignment. Post your completed chart on the Discussion Board for this week.
Mental Retardation
Learning Disabilities
Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome
Hardest to Handle
Small or Large
Extreme Introvert
Has Unique Interests
Is capable of few if any functions
Anything that Obstructs Learning
Extreme Extrovert
Poor social skills
Deserves fair treatment
Bill Burr is scatterbrained
Has great potential
Anybody can grow
Not physical disability.
Autism effects males more than females
Needs to be with other Gifteds
Ease all burdens; make functioning easier
Digital Divide
Albert Einstein
Communication Disorders
Deaf & Hearning Impaired
Blind & Visually Impaired
Other Health Impairments
Tourette Syndrome
Might be fake
Physical Disorder
Guide dog
Close talker
Allow cell phones, laptops, etc.
Sign Language
Home School
Not Fed or Watered
Loud talker
Doodle Picassos
All non-deaf must Sign Language too
Not Belonging To A Group
Soft talker
Freedom of movement
Technological advances
Technological advances
No Self-Confidence
Foreign language
Decision Making
100 languages, Reggio Emilia
Auditory learning
Lack of Security

The Mediocrity of the Leviathan

Johnathan Masters
Dr. Sam Mister
June 17, 2014

The Mediocrity of the Leviathan

In Kentucky, there's no possible way for any charter school to form. Ever. Kentucky even lost out on millions of dollars with Obama's “Race To The Top” initiatives because there wasn't even the legal framework necessary in place for the creation of a charter school. The bureaucracy is blocking free money from coming into Kentucky, and it's usually the bureaucratic administration who soaks up the necessary quality teacher funds at schools. Vouchers are better than Charter schools anyways. Charter schools are financed by the State, which competes with other public schools, for financing. Instead, the State could just pass out Vouchers, and give us, we the people, the power, and let us choose between any accredited school available—public or private, Muslim or Catholic.

Vouchers would give power directly to the student, and that's where the power should have been the whole time. In college, some of us have federal college student loans, but those loans go through the education institutions themselves first. So the school will get our “voucher”, so to speak, and they get their money first, their tuition, and whatever other technology or parking or other fees to pad the bill, they get their fees first, from our purse, from our bank accounts, and then eventually, usually a month after your first classes have started, a residual check is cut, which is necessary for housing, electricity, Internet, gas, etc. While college loans aren't the same as public school vouchers, universal principles, such as basic supply and demand, macroeconomics, the allure of the freedom of choice, can emerge, since it's similar. The College loan system, financed through the federal government, can be made better if the money was given directly to the students, and they used their money in their school of choice. This would give the students, aka the customers, the power, which is where the power should be. This would make education directly attached to the respectability and quality of education from the school itself, and the magic hand of the free market would insure accountability across the globe.

The Voucher movement is how college loans should be. By placing the money directly in the student's hands, we give them the option to choose whichever school they want to attend. This forces the schools to have quality programs, to make sure learning is fun and exciting. Some say the money for vouchers should go into low-income schools, or for charter schools themselves. I disagree. Give the money directly to the people, and let them decide where to spend their education vouchers, at accredited institutions. The accreditation needs to be top notch.
Some say that parents won't make the effort to compare and contrast the different schools. This is also lies. “Chumacero Gomez and Paredes (2011) consider a refined measure of distance home-school, to estimate trade-offs between distance, price, and quality. Based on revealed (and not declared) preferences, both papers find a relevant effect of school quality on parent's decisions.” (Chumacero 2012). Poor minority students are just as capable as anybody else, and in fact, when given the chance, they are willing to bridge the gap, and walk the extra mile, literally walk an extra mile, or 2 or 3, in order to go the school they want to go to. “Clearly, the students are willing to travel long distances to assist to elite schools, confirming the results of Chumacero, Gomez and Paredes (2011) which show that, on average, despite having a school available at less than 500 meters from their households, students travel an average of 3 kilometers to assist to the school of their choice.” (Chumacero 2012).

I guess I'm a libertarian when it comes to this issue. “Libertarians like charter schools because of their variety but, in all likelihood, are dissatisfied that they don't go far enough in supporting parent choice. In fact, many Libertarians think charters prevent education in the United States from evolving into a full voucher system.” (Raymond 2014). It just makes logical sense: money spent on charter schools takes away from Voucher coffers.

Barbourville, Kentucky schools receive $8,362 per pupil, while richer schools, such as Anchorage schools, in Jefferson County, per student spending was at $19,927 levels (Cheves 2014). While the disparity was supposed to have been made illegal with the 1990 KERA reform, the SEEK formula was put in place to make sure state funds were distributed equitably, between rich and poor alike, but evidently, some schools in Kentucky are getting twice the greenbacks as the rest. But even if we took the poorest school in Kentucky, we can learn from it as an example. $8,362 is how much the poorest student in Barbourville, Kentucky receives from the state, through their public school services. $8,362 is roughly the price of a Sudbury Valley Democratic education: $8,400, according to Sudbury Valley's official website: http://www.sudval.com/03_admi_01.html. Sudbury Valley is a postmodern altruistic utopian educational delight, where democracy and dignity of one's own sovereign autonomy are held in high esteem. The 2010 and 2009 average spending for Kentucky students were a bit higher than impoverished Barbourville schools, being $8,948 and $8,756, respectively (Mann 2012).
$8700... $8900... this is plenty of money for a Sudbury Valley Democratic education—$8,400—with several hundred dollars left over. So the funding for Kentucky's poorest can give us the best that alternative education has to offer. Since schools are ran as totalitarian as the State, there's no doubt that Kentucky students would flock to true blue democratic educational institutions, that actually taught useful, fun, engaging, entertaining, knowledge, as well as teaching them how to treat each other better. But that's the reason charter schools, and vouchers for that matter, are banned in Kentucky. Totalitarian structures loves their monopoly because things are easier for them, to make autocratic decisions as a dictator, instead of using tedious democratic structures. If charter schools or vouchers were offered, Kentucky schools would see a mass exodus of biblical proportions. A product is so much easier to sell when it's compulsory, mandatory, by law, by threat of fines and jail time for truancy... Huckleberry Finn was truant, and he's the emblematic of the American character, being the star in the great American novel.

If vouchers were being passed out to Kentucky students, if Kentucky students had the option of going to a different—democratic—school, where they had a greater voice, and they were able to study whatever they wanted to study, AND it was cheaper, there's no doubt in my mind which school I would send my child to... or at least push them towards, since ultimately, it's them whose got to go through the programs, and be satisfied with the finish project, so it's the students themselves who makes the final decision.

Several of Kentucky's failing schools have been selected to massively change their ways, to radically change how they are organized, which is Frankfort's way of testing out “charter” schools, without actually calling the “magnet” schools, or innovative and experimental schools that. Louisville schools is holding a competition where one gets to design the entire framework of 3 failing schools, with the decision to come out in the Fall of this year.

Unfortunately, in Kentucky, there is no way for any charter schools to be established, and vouchers aren't being passed out anytime soon. The only way for a Sudbury Valley Democratic education is through private means, which means our own money, with a organization that has it's own teachers, curriculum, charter, customs, etc. sometimes with a religious bent. Which is fine, anybody can establish their own private business up however they want to set it up, but there's less consistency, and also, private school's tuition makes it out-of-bounds for most folks, especially in Kentucky.

Since charter schools are all over the place with regulations, curriculum, dress code, policies, etc. it's difficult to ascertain if ALL charter schools are better than public schools. I'm sure there's many that aren't. But the competition created by having a few charter schools on the margins... even Frankfort is dabbling in their own forms of “charter schools”, so the policy has already been changed. But to never confront or offer any new ideas, we might as well be a dinosaur on board the Titantic defending the Leviathan with our swords and pens until the bitter Dark Ages reemerge... when giving money directly to the consumers, not the producers, is clearly the best approach! I would rather be given cash for a gift, because then I can use that cash, and get myself whatever I want. By taking a gift, I'm already indebted, at the very least, to be somewhat happy that I received a gift, and to say “thanks”, and then pretend like I like it, even if I don't, since it wasn't really anything I needed or wanted anyways. That's a Kentucky education. A crappy gift of smothering creative-killing relationship-destroying oppression. A gift I'd rather regift, or better yet, throw away, in order to keep the fascism at bay, to prevent it from penetrating other innocent virgin souls.

“No thanks Grandpa, I already have a raggedly old flannel jacket, but nice try anyways.” Instead of Grandpa wasting his time and money, Grandpa would have done himself and me better had he just given me the money to buy a jacket, or went out shopping for a jacket with me. The latter would have offered ample time for grown male bonding. I would have fared far better had I choose my own path, instead of being coerced into theirs.

Bill Hicks declared that if you think you're free just because you live in America, walk around without any money, and see how free you are. Freedom isn't free. It costs at least a buck o'five if not more. To enjoy freedom, one must have life, and just maintaining life has high costs: food, shelter (60%), electricity, gasoline, car insurance, etc., so therefore, logically, one must conclude that since life costs money, then freedom costs money too. In fact, Freedom equals money for Life plus money for Freedom, so therefore, Freedom is more expensive than Life. A May 20, 2014 article declares that “More than 3,400 apply for school vouchers”, speaking about Wisconsin's voucher program. They have a cap of 1,000 vouchers for private and religious school students. http://www.channel3000.com/education/more-than-3400-apply-for-wisconsin-vouchers/26075480. It's no surprise that Vouchers are popular. Like with Obamacare in Kentucky, sometimes ain't nobody speaking the truth, on either side, and then all of a sudden, the truth done popped itself up, and stood itself up proudly, and displayed itself to both freedom-loving and working class peoples all over the world. It's free money. Yeah yeah yeah.. it's taxes, I know, we all pay for that, but we're all paying for school taxes anyways, and actually, those putting their children in private schools are paying taxes for everybody's


Cheves, John. 2014, January 4. “Tale of two Kentucky schools: Barvbourville gets $8,362 per student; Anchorage gets $19,927”. http://www.kentucky.com/2014/01/04/3018252/tale-of-two-kentucky-schools-barbourville.html

Chumacero, Romulo A. 2012, December 1. Vouchers, choice, and public policy: An overview*
Estudios de Economia. Vol. 39 – No. 2. Pg. 115-122.

Mann, David A. 2012, July 27. “Kentucky ranks 38th in per-pupil spending; Indiana ranks 31st”.

Raymond, Margaret E. 2014, February 1. “To no avail. A critical look at the charter school debate.” Phi Delta Kappan. Vol. 95. Issue 5. pg. 8-12. 5p. 3 Color Photographs.