quotes from last week’s class discussion


Last week was like a big overview. This week was more specific – we actually picked through the legislation and were able to see some specific unintended effects of the stuff Riccards was talking about.


Riccards compared Connecticut total performance to other states, whereas Branham actually focused on what was going on in Connecticut.


Riccards romanticized the legislative process. Branham was not pleased with the bill.


Riccards talked about real, applicable things – the actual process of the bill, the actual forms its been through. He backed up his statements when asked questions with specific school examples. I Branham was patronizing and talked about grand concepts like we wouldn’t understand. She should have the insight to tell us more specifically about the process because she was there, but she glossed over it, saying that it was the messy part. She seemeed too much to be trying to both present the structure of education reform as a rigid, difficult framework in a negative way to liberate teachers from blame. She made it seem like non-teachers didnt know anything about education.


The purpose of linette’s talk was to show the teacher’s perspective. Just so you know, she does actually have a sort of reform that she’s working on about accountability and teacher performance evaluated through qualitative methods.


I disagree that linette was pessimistic. She spoke about the Educational Enhancement Act (jump in salary) which did work. Getting teachers off food stamps helps incentivize teaching in low-income schools. Current education reform DEincentivizes teaching in those areas.


It was interesting to get Riccards’ play-by-play. It makes sense that he’d talk about the legislative process because he lobbied for the bill. It’s clear that there is a disconnect in the legislative process – the process exacerbates policy more than policy itself. I appreciated her identifying the key players. It makes senes from both of their roles that they said what they did, and shows the way that education policy dialogue is specific to each person.


The important distinction to make is that Riccards has never TAUGHT, which might be what drove these difference in characteristics. She’s angry and emotional and pessimistic because she’s been there.


She kept saying “devil’s in the details” – how much does she actually make that true? What she explained was that the next step was badgering the state department. Thats where teachers’ unions have a frightening amount of say. She doesnt want to acknowledge how little input other groups have. Riccards was pragmatic.

(these were just my notes from the first few minutes of class – discussion leader Tory might have more to say in an update to this post. last week’s discussion was pretty heated.)

Tomorrow, Professor of Sociology Daniel Long speaks about models for education reform (4:30 pm, PAC002).



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