I'm baaaaaaack.

Hoarding All the Glitter Since 2001.

30 June 2011

The window is closed!

The late layoff window cannot be used this year, by order of the state as put forward in AB114, the education trailer:

Existing law authorizes the governing board of a school 
district to terminate the services of any certificated employees of 
the district during the time period between 5 days after the 
enactment of the Budget Act and August 15 of the fiscal year to 
which that Budget Act applies if the governing board of a school 
district determines that its total revenue limit per unit of average 
daily attendance for the fiscal year of that Budget Act has not 
increased by at least 2% and if in the opinion of the governing 
board it is therefore necessary to decrease the number of permanent 
employees in the district. 
This bill would make this provision inoperative from July 1, 
2011, to July 1, 2012, inclusive. 

It also basic-aids more charter schools, which I think the LAO suggested, and a whole lot of other stuff, but there is a new Gail Carriger out so I have to read it all tomorrow.

This is a big relief.  Sure, February is going to be brutal when if the magical massive revenues don't appear, but laying off a mess of teachers now is the wrong way to take care of the problem.

The BEST way to take care of the problem is taking care of Proposition 13, and the ballot initiative process with it.


In other news, I purchased school supplies today.  SFUSD does central ordering, so specialty items that only the Kindergarten teachers might want tend to be paid for out of Kindergarten teachers' pockets.  I bought a mess of card stock, flash cards, baskets and alphabet stickers.  Also some glue dots and some new board games.  I am replacing games that are still servicable but damaged this year and giving the damaged ones to my ex-Resident.

Some Games Worth Buying for the Kindergarten Classroom.

  1. Wok 'n Roll.  I actually bought another one of these so eight kids can play at once.  I make them play with the motor off twice (once just collecting pieces, once color matching while collecting) before letting them turn it on.  I also put the game on top of a storage bin lid so that it doesn't take a tumble off the table.
  2. Kids on Stage.  This game kids can learn to play with only one teacher demonstration lesson.
  3. Starfall Speedway.  Two games in one box and six kids can play at once.

It Really is an Apocalypse. Huh.

Since Governor Brown and the Legislature don't take welfare benefits, nor for the most part attend college, nor use Medi-Cal, the effects of the budget they just passed won't impact them.

Of course, it's plenty of pain for the neediest and not a bit of it for the wealthy.

This is a de facto K-12 cut, since the repayment of past IOUs to schools has been...limited at best.  I think it's fair to assume that the $3 billion dollars the state is delaying will be delayed a very long time.  And that's before the $1.5 billion cut we can look forward to when the revenue projections don't quite work out.

So this budget manages to burn the poor while not even lightly toasting the wealthy.  This isn't a scorched earth strategy, and it's not a dose of Brown's Reality Syrup for the voter.  It's just bad policy for bad reasons.

29 June 2011

Nobody Wants Those Workbooks

I'm anti-paper wasting, which is why my site declined a bunch of student consumables this year.

The idea of the "workbook" sounds better than it is in actuality.  First, I generally prefer to have my students learn things than do rote work, especially on my class time.  So I am not a big fan of the workbook.  Sure, I could repurpose them for homework, but too many of them are useless without manipulatives and the textbook - the EDM workbooks shocking the Chronicle are.


I also see some Kindergarten social studies workbooks in there, and trust me: those sixty-odd workbook pages contain about forty-five minutes of boring work.


Edited to add something I commented elsewhere:

These aren't textbooks in question though: they're workbooks.

Also, textbooks do at times need to be thrown out, even if they are in fine condition.  New state standards and state textbook adoptions, the fact that the world changes, and similar factors do mean books become outdated.

There are still maps at my public school that show the USSR, and textbooks that reference the height of the World Trade Buildings.  I dread what the Chronicle will say when we throw these out, and I'm afraid they wouldn't do any developing country's students any good (not to mention, there are ALSO environmental costs associated with shipping).

There's a scene in Beverly Cleary's autobiography during her time as a librarian.  Her library needs to throw out some similarly outdated materials, and she is put to work pouring ink and ripping bindings to fend off taxpayer complaints.



Anyway, what with the local press catching such critical, important and useful cases of waste and corruption, SFUSD should save enough money to get me my own Tomi Ungerer-designed Kindergarten.  I want this one:


28 June 2011

The Problem with Master Teachers

If you want to be a really great teacher, get out of the classroom.


Seriously, within weeks you will look back on your classroom days through a heady rose tint.

I don't know what causes this, but I do know it's close to universal.  Part of it is that if you're in a coaching job or ed reform job or marking time administrating, you are probably reading books and articles about pedagogy, management and all that noise.  These books are invariably written by people who have spent little time teaching, and the words are so nice and aligned on the page: look how easy this teaching thing is!  Just like a formula!

And hey, they're probably calling you a "Master Teacher" or "Teacher Leader" or something.  People start believing in their titles.

You likely are also observing teachers teaching.  Observation is great because observers see all kinds of things that the working teacher does not.  They are in a position to simply watch.  They can get up and move around to notice specific events.  They have no responsibility for management, content or results.

This means the observer is going to notice things the working teacher does not, and that can be an enormous help.  You may not know that the two students sitting next to each other are having a spat that day, or that what appears to be notetaking down the aisle is actually highly involved doodling (if I am a student in your class).

Of course, the observer may not know that the detailed doodling involving multiple colors of ink is a listening device, and if that student cannot doodle, there will be no recall (and rather more foot-tapping, note-passing and smarmy-comment-making).

See, the observer doesn't know the students.  Nor does the observer necessarily know anything about the management strategies in use.  Maybe the grumps in the back are actually working on problem-solving techniques and they're going to check in with the teacher after class.  But the combination of an all-seeing eye and a belief in one's own greatness makes it difficult for the observer to even remember to ask about these questions.

And the longer you're out of the classroom, the worse that superiority gets.  This is why I'm leery of Master Teachers, Instructional Reform Facilitators and similar who are out of the classroom for years on end.  I have the experience of watching these people reflect upon their teaching with rosier and rosier glasses every year.  They get harder and harder and more convinced they know what's going on, and their technical knowledge often is beyond compare.  But they aren't teachers anymore and they don't necessarily know how to put all that technique into practice.


This is why I think out-of-the-classroom jobs should be term-limited; three years out and then one in, say.  Or at the very least Master Teachers and Literacy Coaches and the like should be doing regular - more than once a week - demonstration lessons.  During my one year (I.  hated.  it.) out of the classroom, that's what kept me from a swollen head.  (Moreover, my demostration lessons tended to go really well, which gave me credibility when I did have suggestions for a lesson or a management problem.  And when I did have issues, I was honest about them and took the blame rather than assigning it to the students or the general teaching their regular teacher gave them.)

This would also help keep people useful.  I have more teaching experience than my principal and the staff IRFs combined.  I also like to read a lot, am a big nerd, and have had a lot of professional development especially in literacy, so my technical knowledge is pretty strong.  Can I learn from these people?  Of course: there is a reason why observation is a good thing.  I actually request more observation than I get; I had a mess of people observe in my room this year, but rarely for the purpose of providing me with feedback.  (And sadly, even when you tell the observers that you demand feedback in exchange for being on stage, they may not have any to give.)  On the ground at a high-needs school, though, my needs are fewer and I have fewer questions, so I get less support.  If these educational leaders were doing more in-classroom lessons and demonstrations, I'd be able to observe those myself and benefit from being the all-seeing eye.  I'd also probably notice things I want to know more about that I haven't thought of (and therefore don't think to ask).

This is why I'm leery of evaluation-heavy systems like IMPACT in DC: I know myself how the Master Teacher role - which sounds so supportive and pro-teacher - can turn evaluative and administrative.  No one is as awesome teaching as they think they are when they're not.

In other news, I am going hiking with some teachers today.  We are playing Raid E. Rat's Closet beforehand.

27 June 2011

Budget Follies

I follow the California budget process because it has a massive effect on my livelihood.  It's also somewhat entertaining, in the sense an excruciatingly bad movie is entertaining.

For those who do not follow the budget, a recap: the May revise had improved revenues in it, so the state Republicans announced that there were to be no new or extended taxes and no cuts, either.  The Governor also lives in Fantasyland, so he continued to attempt to come up with some kind of pension-destroying/tax extension plan with four "moderate" Republicans while threatening an all-cuts budget otherwise.

The state Democrats, having already voted in ten billion dollars of cuts, gimmicked out the rest and presented their budget.  The Governor vetoed it, because he is a straight-talking forthright ex-seminarian ready to give the state - or at least its poorest residents - their medicine to score a political point.

Oh, wait: he vetoed it because we all must be honest and adult.  Except those of us who are largely inoculated from an all-cuts budget, like our Governor.

The Controller announced that the budget wasn't balanced, anyway, so now our state representatives are not being paid.  This is a case of the ballot initiative process striking again; it's also brought you anti-reality measures like Prop. 13, state-mandated racism like 187 and 209, PG&E funded campaigns, and a multi-million special election (courtesy our last Governor).  Not to mention Proposition 8.

Given that the legislature is not being paid, I think we can all assume a budget pretty soon here.  Today's Foreclosure Vulture Political Social Diarists column in the Chronicle reports the Rethuglicans have not been invited to the latest budget talks, Jerry Brown still wants 50:1 classrooms until Californians agree to pay taxes (not that, you know, they don't: Prop. 13 means we can't even vote on it right now), and the Democrats are eating Ramen and are therefore grumpy and not accomodating.

A position I hope they hold.

26 June 2011

Why Selection Matters

I've been reading a lot of material online about charter schools and selection.  Some points should be unquestionable at this point:

  • Charter schools use a variety of methods to self-select incoming students;
  • Charter schools generally have free, far-reaching expulsion policies;
  • Charter school attrition is more severe and more lasting than public school attrition;
  • Charter schools enroll a student group not like surrounding regular public schools.
Given this, the focus of articles is generally on exposing the lie: in the end, KIPP and its ilk probably aren't that exciting.  (Full disclosure: given the low-quality, test-first KIPP pedagogy and their long hours, their test scores don't surprise me.  I find it interesting that their actual rollout is so poor they can't "transform" SIGgy schools.  I have to assume this is due to their extraordinarily low teacher retention.)

What you don't see is attention paid to the schools that take everyone else: the regular public schools.  I teach at one of those schools.  And the charter school enrollment problem negatively impacts us.  It isn't okay to say that the charter schools are helping a self-selecting bunch of kids, because they are actively making good education harder for everyone else:
  • Those kids expelled go somewhere, like my school.  Not only do they bring whatever challenges their charter chose not to deal with, they have suffered real emotional harm from the expulsion experience.  I don't care how tough that eleven year old looks: it's still an ELEVEN year old child who's just been told that he or she is not good enough to stay.
  • Cherry-picking high performing students with motivated parents means the students left behind are a more concentrated bunch of high-needs children.  Our class loads become more challenging because there are more high-needs students.
  • Those very high-needs students tend not to test well, and there are lots and lots of sticks associated with bad test results.
  • Nor do we receive more money, in general, because we now have a more difficult student population.  Even the Weighted Student Formula SFUSD uses doesn't have metrics that cope well with this.
What I'm saying is that what KIPP does harms the schools around it.  This isn't even "for the greater good", it's "for the good of a very few with lots of hot press...at the expense of everyone else."

25 June 2011

Hell hath no hincty like a charter school advocated questioned.

Hello, I am whining:

So it ends up if you wonder how charter schools are budgeting themselves into reduced class sizes, increased arts programs, more expensive food programs and better benefit packages on a regular school budget, you are totally anti-child.

Also, you may not be a teacher.  And any time you take off over the summer means you are a lousy teacher.

Additionally, if you ask about a school's changing demographics, this means you are racist, because you are inadequately colorblind.  If you suggest that colorblindness is a disease of privilege, you are mean.

So let me make myself abundantly clear in my own sandbox: I have yet to receive answers to any of my questions about Edison Charter School's financing.

I am over bothering to comment on the article, although I was intending to post this one but I think the site is broken:


You're inadvertently getting at the problem: if a charter - which is not a regular public school - has its arts program intact and the regular public schools don't, there is some kind of funding issue going on.


(The SF Weekly article suggested, by the way, that the difference in student services was entirely due to a slightly lower starting teacher salary.  That's not possible; it adds up to about $40,000 total and if Edison also offers better benefits is entirely offset.  I'm wondering if charter schools are exempt from paying the average teacher cost, because that would be a big pile of money if they have a young, low-seniority teaching staff.  For instance, although I am a high-salary teacher, I do not take benefits from SFUSD and therefore my school loses $25,000 annually by having to pay an average - just on me.)


It is almost always a funding inequity, since school finance in California works to provide charter schools with additional per-student dollars.


(This is true; there's a recent study out about it.)


That's unfair and inequitable to the vast majority of children in California who DON'T attend charter schools - which, AGAIN, have been shown to be no better than regular public schools.


(This is true, repeatedly demonstrated and reported.  Yet somehow it doesn't seem to catch on.)


We need an equitable school funding situation, not one that prioritizes some learners over others.  And minding one's own business in such a scenario doesn't help anyone; it condones inequality.  That's fine if you don't agree, and you're quite welcome to cast aspersions on my character and profession.  However, I am entitled to my opinion, and it is based on actual facts.  None of us are entitled to our own facts.


(Charter school advocates are hincty hinky!  Uppity and suspicious.  They're like a bunch of Birchers seeing socialism in the hissing of a gas grill - the best ever image in a New York Times story, by the way.)

24 June 2011

Michelle Rhee: Lobbyist for Corporate Ed Deform

Not that you didn't know that, but this briefing guide really needs wide distribution.

Blah Blah Blah Nutrition vs. Budget

So the latest bugbear in the budget battle is School Nutrition Programs: in particular, those bad and rotten schools who are not getting the frightening looking, detailed, available only in a few languages* FRPL forms.

No doubt, $500,000 in uncollected lunch money is a drag.  However, if SNS wants 100% meal forms, they're going to have to stop demanding schools come up with them without support.  You want the forms?  Send out administrators and volunteers to sit with parents, to come to the after school programs, to do home and community center visits and get the forms yourself.  I managed to get a mess in at Parent Teacher Conferences this year, which necessitated getting a third set of forms, getting a list of whose forms weren't in, wasting conference time on getting the forms done, and paperwork.  These are not tasks listed in my job responsibility.

Also, SNS didn't send a letter on lunch balances until the end of the year, and if your child has already accrued a $300 debt...it's overwhelming, even for parents who can afford it.  Also, I am not going to be collecting money for SNS.  I do my level best to collect and retain all K money that comes in for lunches, and I stage this drama "Money Does Not Have a Name on It" with the custodian every year (it is a big, big hit).  If you want the money, send a letter by post biweekly and follow up with a phone call.


If these tasks are too difficult, then take the hit every year.  It's like the Lifetouch send-home-then-pay photos: I am not a cash collection service.  I do not encourage or countenance not paying, but my time needs to go into my classroom.  My credits with families are carefully built over years.  I am not spending them on becoming a collection agency.

Also, if you're going to publish these, you might take a moment to think about why southeast side schools "owe" more than, oh, Clarendon.  The blame falls unequally, and get this: it also accrues unequally.

Aaaaand don't blame me for you running out of cash for hot lunch.  This isn't a new line item.  Budget it.  Goodness knows the Central Office could pull it out of supplies and Legal Services (SFUSD: you lose so many access cases - stop litigating some of them!).

Aaaaaaand it's time for SNS to take the time to send out a damn flyer on how lunch needs to happen.  They assume the principals will do this.  Experience should show that they don't.  Everything I know about school lunch (don't touch it myself, make the kids take everything, etc.) I either knew before I started in this district or learned from the Chronicle.






*Online availability assumes computer access, SNS and friends.

21 June 2011

Better Off Not Knowing

Every time I'm reminded that KIPP has decided it's ready for early primary students, I freak out.

Nothing in KIPP's record, experience or knowledge base suggests they have any business anywhere near five year olds.  I fear for the children in such a program.  I don't believe they're being educated.  KIPP doesn't educate children; it makes them good at testing.  Somehow I find it hard to believe there's much time for play, finger paint, art, crafts, mud and puppets in the KIPP Kindergarten.

Depressing.

Not depressing is "Vertigo" tonight at the Top of the Mark.  I need to decide if I'm going with the vintage blue-and-gold two piece or the (sort of vintage) Novak-esque Alexander McQueen dress I picked up at Tokio 7.

17 June 2011

Suuuuuuuuuuuure they did.

I've read half of Joel Klein's Save-Our-Schools proposal in The Atlantic.  So far, I understand that we will save schools by value-added teacher performance pay and, um, not complaining about poverty.

I can tell I will have a lot of things to say about this piece, but briefly:


  1. Hey, Joel!  BOO! Based on my read of the article, Klein just had a heart attack because a scary teacher from the scary teachers' union just scared him.
  2. Joel claims a whole mess of teachers have told him how they hate their jobs and don't do any work but are just hanging on for their pensions.  LIE.  Like any teacher in his or her right mind is going to tell their Chancellor - who spent years itching to cut teacher pensions - that.
  3. Joel neglected to mention that teacher salaries are capped.  He suggests that some teachers are making hundreds of thousands of dollars.  They aren't.  He was, though!
  4. Joel claims he has a proprietary secret NYPS study that shows teachers don't work very much.  He is citing a secret data source you can't see.  I'm going to call that another LIE.  If you have those data, prove it.
  5. Joel doesn't really get state-level funding AT ALL, but the way he heard it I will be rolling around in my pile of state money as I always do come August.
  6. Hey, Joel?  Even Bill Gates has had to publicly take back the teachers-more-important-than-anything-else claim.  That would be because it's WRONG.
  7. Erik Hanushek is at the Hoover Institute, which is located at, but not actually part of Stanford University.  It is a notorious right-wing think tank, Joel, which frankly is pretty obvious from the name.  Of course, you cite several pundit party organizations without mentioning their bias.
  8. There are some real acts of targeted bad statistics in the article, but I'll get into that when I finish the piece.

12 June 2011

Superintendents Can't Fail

During the first week of professional development before I started my first year of teaching, the Superintendent of the District came to do a meet-and-greet with Kindergarten teachers.  He mumbled genially about how boys and girls are different even in Kindergarten to a room packed with slack-jawed, horrified educators.

Within two months, he was out.  There were five different Superintendents (counting interims) that year.

The guy they finally hired came to my classroom on the second day of school the next year.  Our school had had massive renovations.  We were hoping to show him that these renovations had not included fixing a badly-leaking wet wall that would, along with a large hole in the roof, lead to the utter destruction of the Kindergarten storage room.  That did not happen, since this Superintendent arrived surrounded by a large entourage of educrats, all of whom apparently had critical things that had to be said while I was teaching.  Such was the affect of the Superintendent, coupled with the noise, that three children immediately burst into tears.

That guy didn't finish the year either, although before he left he was chased across the school lawn by our school secretary, bearing the (newly deceased) black widow that had occupied the lock mechanism of the Kindergarten bathroom.  (Really.)

None of these folks went into retirement, though: they just went on to new jobs.  Usually, they brought golden parachutes with them as thanks from their old Districts.  Those parachutes cushioned them from the fall of their eventual post-retirement pensions, which often were as much as fifty thousand dollars less than the several hundred thousand they were used to earning annually (not counting post-retirement consulting fees, of course).

Nor do they typically leave a long record of success behind.  I outlasted nine Superintendents in my old school District; none of them presided over increased achievement.  Rod Paige's "Texas Cheat-a-Thon Miracle" took him all the way to national office.  Chicago hasn't seen much from its Renaissance, but Arne Duncan sure did.  Jean-Claude Brizard left behind angry teachers and unhappy parents in Rochester to take on CPS.  And let's not start on ex-Chancellor Rhee.

These Superintendents like to talk about accountability, but they themselves are accountable for nothing. They're ever eager to introduce various value-added schemes for teachers, but never for themselves.  They criticize teacher pensions, but do not fail to take their own in full.  They preside over layoffs and budget cuts but find no reason to take any pay cuts themselves.  In short, they are far too often hypocrisy in action.

10 June 2011

YAY news

My Resident just got hired to teach at my school.

Year Five.

I have now cleaned out all but one of the cabinets in my room that were filled when I arrived.  The last filled cabinet has curricula in it, so while I can make it neater I can't, sadly, dump it.  (Curriculum sets for Kindergarten are huge, and I would like to disappear the HM set in my room.  I don't use it and I post the first grade alphabet cards.  I do intend to use the workbooks for homework packets this year, though.  Beats photocopies.)

Some of the stuff I found was kind of depressing, like manuals for an arts program.  Apparently there used to be District-adopted arts curricula.  Now that California can't even afford a Language Arts curriculum adoption cycle and the arts take away from the all-important testing time, I don't imagine I'll ever see one of these again.

I also found things that, frankly, the person who had the room before me should have not left for me to take care of.  Nothing as bad as muddy/painty/insect-part-y trays, but training manuals and observation notes and things like that.  Not cool.  Moving classrooms sucks.  Changing schools also is a big drag.  Clean out your room anyway, even though they don't give you any time or any pay for it.  (Easy for me to say, since I'm not moving schools or rooms.  But when I moved these in the past, I was very good about it.)

Last year, I taught two artists (Pollock and Mondrian), several movements/styles and various arty-sounding words (I mean, one of the kids wrote in her Paper Person Project that she learned how to make mixed-media collages in Kindergarten.  Consider these words TAUGHT).  We did a lot of sun-catcher/window crafts, some mosaics, quite a lot of sculpture but not too many fiber crafts.  I'm thinking to chart out what projects I plan to do when (although I'm hoping to get this Donors Choose for art supplies filled first, and that would make some changes to the plan).

I'm not entering the school building again until August, although there's plenty I could do.  I need a break.  This week I mostly slept, but I'm hoping that the debt is filled and I can be productive with the rest of the break.

04 June 2011

Education Culture and the Normalization of Deviance

I have been reading the Report to the Governor on the Upper Big Branch mine explosion.  It's heavy reading and I don't know much about mining.  So I have to do a lot of supplemental internet searches to make sure I understand the terminology and descriptions.  (They also use verbatim quotes from interviews, not translated into Standard American English, so I get distracted by the dialect features.)  The ultimate conclusion is that the explosion was the entirely avoidable result of a destructive, self-reinforcing organizational culture.  The authors compare Massey to NASA and the explosion to the Challenger disaster.  What they suggest is a series of bad principles (profit over worker, distrust of regulations, etc.) that led to a series of small decisions (don't take this one reading, use airlock doors instead of walls this one time, it's okay if miners walk in a little water) that got bigger (don't provide technicians with devices to take readings, always use airlock doors, it's okay if miners need chest waders everyday).  Running alongside these were cultural norms that reinforced small bad judgements (reports of coal production every half hour, nasty notes to foremen when production went down on their watch, safety boards that posted the names of injured workers, devious contracts that made it nearly impossible for workers to advocate for safety, etc.).

When you have all these individually small bad judgements, you need to have a culture that inculcates and prizes bad judgement generally: a culture that normalizes deviance - in this case from accepted mine safety regulations and common sense.

I think the idea of a deviant organizational culture is hugely applicable to the Great Education Failure.  The problem is that the solutions that educrats claim will solve the problem are just new applications of the same flawed and deviant measures.

For instance: standardized testing.  We know - we indisputably know - that there are huge issues with standardized testing:

  • Testing instruments are racially and culturally biased.  There are countless examples of this all over the internet.
  • We have a widespread cultural ideology that testing well is not necessarily the same as having good knowledge/being smart, hence the use of statements like "I just test well" or "S/he doesn't test well".
  • Standardized tests are reductive; they require either closed-response questions or rapidly-graded written responses.
  • Life success correlates poorly with the skills needed to respond well to questions of that type.
Regardless, standardized tests have certain apparent strengths (easy to administer, efficient to score, etc.) that make them popular.  So now we use them as a final, unchallenged metric of student performance.  Our culture has already ignored the baseline problems.  Indeed, we ignore them so well that we judge using only this metric:
  • Schools, districts and states receive performance results based entirely on test results.
  • These performance standards do not even bother to weigh in differences within states in the testing instruments used or the scoring metrics that mark them.
  • Regardless, results are compared.
Despite these problems, big dollars are riding on test results.  Now the individual operators within the deviant culture are pressured to make bad decisions.  Students must perform well on these tests at any cost, so
  • states make it easier to pass the tests, further reducing the likelihood that the tests measure much
  • schools and teachers spend valuable learning time on test-taking strategies
  • whatever is tested becomes the most important subject, and all others are forgotten
  • given the nature of annual tests, short-sighted decisions are made (no recess, for instance) and never adjusted - there's no time
  • the pressure to skew results (by making sure certain students don't test or receive accomodations, or by outright cheating) leads to even less chance of tests measuring anything
However, when we talk about "successful schools" or "schools overcoming the odds", we are talking about schools with high test scores. Our badly-chosen metric has led to a rotten system of accountability, and everyone on the ground is making decisions within that culture.

Now we want to use those same lousy instruments to determine teachers' job security and pay.

You tell me: what's the education equivalent of a mine explosion?

02 June 2011

The Most Fashionable Kindergartners in All the Land.

Said Kindergartners are at my school and will be using Savage Beauty pencils come August.

The less said about what fine gifts I purchased for myself (Hey!  I work hard!  Two stipends to be paid on my June check!  I! Am! Good! At! Self-Justification!), the better.  Suffice to say that I made four fine additions to my closet...and that's before the DecadesTwo popup Saturday.

The only potential problem is that I walked everywhere in the sweltering humidity and forgot to eat, and what with the sweating and the fasting I looked awesomely gaunt in everything.  This may not continue after a foggy San Francisco summer demanding the best California produce and many visits to tea parlors.