Thursday, March 19, 2009

For Whom the NCLB Bell Tolls...

Yesterday my school staff received the email I've been dreading ever since the era of "No Child Left Behind" began. It's title:
"What is Continuous Classroom Improvement? (CCI)"
Yep, my school is now going to "continuously improve" using state-of-the-art, 1993 business goal setting strategies. It's because we are in "corrective action". We've been bad...and we have to correct ourselves through "action".

I haven't seen the word mentioned yet, but "synergy" can't be far away. Other meaningless buzzwords are already rampant, however. Check this sentence from Hell out:
"Framework to implement a standards based curriculum , into which is embedded goal setting, high yield instructional strategies, clear standards and expectations, formative assessments( daily, weekly, monthly…), evidence of learning, student engagement in the learning process, data collection."
Did you know "CCI" is "a trademarked product of Jim Shipley and Associates"? You also may or may not know that the school doesn't really receive any more funding when it's in "corrective action", but Jim Shipley and Associates does...and so does "America's Choice" the maker of the little "remediation" booklets all the "failing" children will be forced to go through. You know, like hiring Blackwater to fight the war instead of soldiers. Only with buzzwords that kill instead.

It is strongly implied that we as staffmembers are supposed to embrace "CCI", in part because we are "failing" and know that when you're "failing" you're not allowed to have opinions or prefer a different path in overcoming the "failure".

It's like being philosophically, professionally disenfranchised.

We're supposed to teach critical thinking, but we ain't supposed to perform any critical thinking ourselves.

No Spring Break is gonna wash away this fact: The letters don't match, but "CCI" might just really mean "Find Employment Elsewhere".

P.S.: But who cares about profound professional downers? The NCAA basketball tournament starts today! Take it from someone who doesn't know what they are talking about: Western Kentucky will beat Illinois today. And keeping with the "Big Ten Sucks This Year" theme...Northern Iowa may well beat Purdue.

Oh, that's better...sports is such good mental anesthetic. Mind problems less pointy...smoothing...tournament only hours away. Tournament = Nurse Ratchet, but nicer and with beer commercials...


ABQBear said...

Death by Buzz words has always been a fear of mine.

Abuelita2 said...

I'm sorry, but I still can't find ANY "science-based research" that shows that Continuous Classroom Improvement results in children learning more. NONE! There is NO evidence that it does! Just ain't there!

steve said...

Since most of the teachers are PLANning to avoid DOing CCI I'm pretty sure that STUDYing it will result in many ACTs of hand wringing and deck chair shuffling. How much longer, Lord until we are delivered from this evil.

Anonymous said...

I am so sick of being a pawn in this unwinable game just so business can make a buck on our backs. When will we start pushing back? Where the H is the union? Where is the leadership, Ellen. It's like spitting into the wind!

Katie said...

This free Goal Setting Worksheet has help me and my kids set and hit goals - hope it helps