Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Things I Discovered Today

  1. DiGiorno's Pizza and Cookies.  Two bakeable treats for the price of one (and a half, or so).  Why did I not think of this?!  It's basically a sleepover in a box.
  2. Less a discovery than a realization of that thing people say:  A certain group discount at a hotel was all booked, according to its reservation page.  I flipped out with sadness and rage.  Then I chilled out and I called the nice front desk man, asked for the discounted room with its friendly code, which he was more than happy to give!  Ask and you shall receive.  Or, the half-empty interpretation: hotels are sketchy places that charge what they want, when they want; and talking to a human being will probably come in handy.  I'm going to go with the ask and you shall receive one.
  3. For a few days now, including today, I am discovering what it's like to have fun teaching.  Awesome moments with the kids pop up more frequently now.  Kids write poems and things at home and then tell me about them and show them to me.  I send happy notes home when someone understands something really well.  I am teaching GRAMMAR with a FOLDABLE and it is the best. 
  4. Thanks PGCPS's Education Insight newsletter, I'm pretty aware of the fabulous things that happen in this county's school system.  And there are plenty of fabulous things.  One of them, I knew, was that there are some schools in our simple county that have lots of children in AP classes.  Hooray!, I always thought.  "From 2009 to 2010, PGCPS has increased the number of students participating in AP from 27 percent of seniors enrolled in AP courses to 35 percent," I read today.  Makes sense!  That's so great!  Until.  Until.  "Additionally, 24.6 percent of exams taken in 2009 scored a “3” or higher, and in 2010, that number grew to 26.3 percent."  The article goes on to quote College Board chairpeople who say that PGCPS is on an elite list of under 400 schools nationwide who have increased numbers of kids in AP classes AND increasing scores.  I don't think increasing from 24.6% to 26.3% of kids who were at least BARELY PASSING was what they had in mind.  Something tells me the College Board isn't praising the fact that just under 1 in 4 kids to just over 1 in 4 kids got the equivalent of a C or better.  Those percentages should be describing kids who got 5s.  I mean.  Come on.  If you're going to fail the test miserably, you shouldn't be allowed in the class.  I was on both sides!  I had NO business being in AP Euro, and my score showed it!  Someone kindly tell me, why are we "opening the doors to more children" ... to get 1s and 2s?  AP classes are for kids who can do "college-level work" (loosely defined).  If you bomb at college level work, don't be in college level classes!  Be in the level below: you know, high school.

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