Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Trust teachers. We know.

Gabby Giffords and husband Mark Kelly at UCI's Langston Library, Saturday October 13
Former congresswoman Gabby Giffords came to town last weekend which inspired Rebel Girl to revisit the Tucson shooting of 2011.

Seven years ago, in the wake of the shooting that targeted Giffords, took six lives and wounded more than a dozen, Timothy Noah asked a question many have been asking lately, "What does a kid have to do these days to get kicked out of community college?" The shooter was Pima Community College student Jared Lee Loughner whose educational experience was reviewed in Noah's Slate article "Class Clown: Why was it so hard to kick Loughner out of Pima Community College?"

Loughner wasn’t just inexplicably difficult to remove from Pima; he was even more inexplicably difficult to remove from Ben McGahee’s algebra class at Pima. McGahee told the Washington Post that he had to complain repeatedly to Pima administrators about Loughner’s disruptions before they let him kick Loughner out of the class. On the first day, McGahee said, Loughner yelled “How can you deny math instead of accepting it?” That same day a student in the class complained about Loughner in an e-mail to a friend: “I’m not certain yet if he was on drugs (as one person surmised) or disturbed. He scares me a bit. The teacher tried to throw him out and he refused to go.” Nine days later this student wrote in an e-mail: “Until he does something bad, you can’t do anything about him. Needless to say, I sit by the door.” Four days later the student wrote that Loughner “scares the living crap out of me.” It was three or four weeks before McGahee was permitted to remove Loughner from class. McGahee told the Post that when he first complained, “They just said, ‘Well, he hasn’t taken any action to hurt anyone. He hasn’t provoked anybody. He hasn’t brought any weapons to class.’ ” Meanwhile, McGahee said that whenever he turned “to write on the board, I would always turn back quickly—to see if he had a gun.”

It's complicated, for sure, balancing rights and responsibilities but it can't be that complicated. It can't be.

Perhaps we need a new movement: Trust teachers. We know.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how many times I have been told that exact same thing. And the discomfort that comes from a hostile student that everyone in the room is afraid of...

8-14: do you regret all the lying?

✅ Trump Encourages Racist Conspiracy Theory on Kamala Harris’s Eligibility to Be Vice President NYT ✅ Orange County Sees Overall Coronavirus...

Goals and Values and Twaddle

blather: long-winded talk with no real substance*
The whole concept of MSLOs [measurable student learning outcomes] as the latest fad in education is somewhat akin to the now discredited fad of the '90's, Total Quality Management, or TQM. Essentially, the ACCJC adopted MSLOs as the overarching basis for accrediting community colleges based on their faith in the theoretical treatises of a movement.... After repeated requests for research showing that such use of MSLOs is effective, none has been forthcoming from the ACCJC [accreditors]. Prior to large scale imposition of such a requirement at all institutions, research should be provided to establish that continuous monitoring of MSLOs has resulted in measurable improvements in student success at a given institution. No such research is forthcoming because there is none….
The Accountability Game…., Leon F. Marzillier (Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, October, 2002)
In the summer of ’13, I offered a critique of the awkward verbiage by which the district and colleges explain their values, goals, and objectives —aka SOCCCD'S G&V (goals and values) blather.
I wrote a post each for the district, Saddleback College, and Irvine Valley College efforts. (See the links below.)
This verbiage—stated in terms of “values,” “missions,” “goals,” “visions,” and whatnot—is often badly written. It is sometimes embarrassingly trite.
It occasionally communicates something worthwhile.
No doubt you are familiar with the usual objections to jargon. Higher education, too, has its jargon—an irony, given typical college-level instruction in writing, which urges jargon eschewery.
Sure enough, SOCCCD G&V blather is riddled with jargon and with terms misused and abused. For instance, in the case of the district’s dubious blather, the so-called “vision” is actually a purpose. Why didn't they just call it that?
As one slogs through this prattle, one finds that "visions" tend to be awfully similar to “missions,” with which they are distinguished. The latter in turn are awfully similar to “goals,” which must be distinguished from “objectives.” But aren't goals and objectives pretty much the same thing?
These perverse word games will surely perplex or annoy anyone armed with a command of the English language. In fact, readers will be perplexed to the degree that they are thus armed. Illiterates, of course, will be untroubled.
Here's a simple point: the district and colleges’ G&V blather tends to eschew good, plain English in favor of technical terms and trendy words and phrases (i.e., it tends to be bullshitty and vague). Thus, one encounters such trendy terminological turds as “dynamic,” “diversity,” “student success,” and “student-centered.” Even meretricious neologisms such as ISLOs and “persistence rates” pop up, unexplained, undefended.
Does anyone see a transparency problem with all of this? Shouldn't the public, or at least the well educated public, be able to comprehend statements of the colleges' goals and values?
In the case of the district, to its credit, all it really seems to want to say is that it wants to teach well and it wants students to succeed. Admirable!
So why all the ugly, common-sense defying, buzzword-encrusted claptrap?

Districtular poppycock: our “vision” and our “mission” and our tolerance of twaddle - July 31, 2013

THEY BUZZ: Saddleback College's "Mission, Vision, and Values" - August 4, 2013

IVC’s vision, mission, and goals: nonsense on stilts - August 5, 2013

THE IRVINE VALLEY CHRONICLES: no ideas, just clichés & buzzwords - Sep 30, 2013

*From my Apple laptop's dictionary