Comments by contacs1

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Written on Maryville schools discussion on music curriculum has parents at crescendo pitch:

in response to rational:

I don't thank Ft. Craig for integrated teaching. It just naturally occurs when teachers in the same building have a mutual respect for each other, time to talk to each other and desire to cooperate. It can occur through a natural conversation of "hey, we're doing X this week can you reinforce it in your class?" That attitude I sense in your post of "we're better because we do the Ft. Craig way" just really rubs me the wrong way. I think its great to have pride in your school but this pride in Ft. Craig seems to have evolved to superiority. That superiority undermines the cooperation. I think cooperation really important in a school system.

You may think it naturally occurs, but if there isn't an environment supporting cooperative teaching, then it doesn't happen. Each teacher has their own core things to teach to. Unless there is support from the principal and possibly beyond, then it's hard to explain why two or more teachers are trying to coordinate their weekly plans. Any coordination takes more than just a single conversation to occur.

I'm sorry you think I'm giving off a superiority vibe. I am the last person that anyone would claim to have a superiority complex. However, I am proud to be a Ft. Craig parent, if for anything because Ft Craig is successful. For years, Ft Craig was called "an experiment" or "a test." It was by pulling teeth that it was even born as a Dynamic Learning site. Now, alot of the same teaching methods have been shared with the other elementary schools and are working. Even still, Ft Craig is still considered "an experiment." MCS cannot remove the red-headed-stepchild label from Ft Craig, despite the wonderful things and great students it has nurtured all these years. No credit is given to Ft. Craig, and certainly it's not good enough to change the entire system to ITI, but by-golly, they're happy to reap the rewards.

I've never had the attitude that my children or my family were better than anyone else in this district because of Ft. Craig. If anything, I've experienced the reverse-bias from other parents and teachers because of our Ft. Craig years. Do I compare my experiences at the other schools to those I've had at Ft. Craig? Absolutely. There's nothing wrong with that. Any superiority you sense might be more of an "I told ya so" than "I'm better than you."

Written on Grassroots group putting final touches on application for first charter school in Blount:

Even though this school won't be high school-aged for a while, but I hope that this will be a thorn in the side of MCS for not "finding a way" to open the joint STEM high school with Alcoa....if they ever truly even tried.

Written on Maryville schools discussion on music curriculum has parents at crescendo pitch:

The arts being "threatened" by the budget ax have been happening for quite a while, probably since arts were introduced into public education. I can remember having this same issue when I was in choir in high school 20 years ago. This country has an overall attitude that athletics are more important than an actual education.

Arts are always the 1st program to be headed toward the chopping block, and I've never understood why. The arts are an acutal commonality between every human on this planet, regardless of nationality, gender, religion, political affiliation, race, or language. Why, especially in the truly global world we live in, would we want to squander that??

Is my son going to become a professional percussionist because of his education? Maybe - maybe not. But his chances of becoming a professional athlete are even less. Even if he didn't become professional, he has that knowledge of sight reading and music interpretation and enjoyment of a piece of music that he can utilize for the rest of his life. Athletes can't say that.

Written on Maryville schools discussion on music curriculum has parents at crescendo pitch:

in response to rational:

Since Bluefish writes that she is impressed with the data, here is some to think about. “Robert Cutietta, PhD says that research indicates that music instruction improves everything from foreign language skills to self-esteem. But the strongest findings show that if a child is learning to read notes while learning to read words, word-reading improves. Cutietta says evidence that music aids math abilities is not as conclusive.” All the research I can find shows correlations between math and music not causations. You may ask what the difference is between correlational and causational data. Here is an example. Data shows that murder rates increase during the same months that ice cream consumption increases. Can you conclude that eating ice cream CAUSES murders? NO, the data is correlational data. There is another variable affecting the increase in ice cream consumption and murders. The same is true between the music and math connection. There have been multiple comments about getting rid of Stephanie Thompson because she is not “progressive”. What exactly is progressive? There is new research that shows electric shock treatment causes an increase in math. Do you want that type of “new” progression in the schools? People have touted the new progressive teaching strategies of Ft. Craig. I challenge you to find any research that shows the integrated, thematic, multiage, whole language strategies of Ft. Craig are new and progressive. It is an effective strategy but not the only effective strategy nor is it new. Furthermore these strategies are used in all the elementary schools. The biggest advancement made in teaching has been the integration of smart technology and promethean boards into the classroom. Here is another article. http://www.blounteducation.org/2008/0.... Wasn’t Stephanie Thompson the Director of Technology? Don’t we want someone in charge with a background in implementing technology? I wish newspaper would cover more of the positive/progressive strategies going on at all the local schools – not just rumors and perceived facts. I also think they need to cover more activities at ALL the schools. Ft. Craig is not the only school with good students, good teachers and good things happening. They are all good and have unique qualities about them. As a community we need to value and respect ALL that they do for our children.

No, the teaching methods you listed are not new. Ft Craig has been doing them successfully for 13 YEARS!!!! They are new and progressive compared to the old methods of teaching, which the other elementary schools still cling to. Sure, the other schools have taken bits and pieces of the ITI framework and used them to probably a noticable improvement to the "old ways." You can thank Ft Craig for that - without Ft Craig showing that new can work, you wouldn't have that in the other schools. However, this school system and many like it refuse to let go of the past and embrace what works and reinvent teaching to the 21st Century.

As you state in a later post, you've seen integrated teaching work. So you can't say it's ineffective when your youngest learned multiplication tables ahead of everyone else because of integrated teaching.

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