Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wanderers 2013.8.27

Given I'm swamped at work and boning up for a workshop, and given Lew Frederick is a state representative, so there'd be constituents and interested parties galore, I didn't feel I should grab a front row seat.

Lew knows a lot about education and has the same conversations I do a lot of the time.  We were there to learn from him, not me.  I sat on the steps on the west side of the Linus Pauling House, our Wanderers venue for many years.

Then I went home to get something for his legislative assistant, something from her bro who moved to St. Louis recently.  I delivered that item, then went home again, to work on my Python stuff.

Even though billed as commemorating the I Have a Dream speech, I was glad to see no one nostalgia tripping, even though we were oldsters for the most part.

The controversies were today's:  kids getting the message they'll be letting their school down, their families down, everyone, if they don't perform well on high stakes testing.  It's a "corporatization" as Lew puts it, meaning there's no empathy in it, no humanity.  Corporate persons (so-called "personhoods") are literally soulless, and it shows.

Hey, did you catch the recent Harper's article, Wrong Answer: The Case Against Algebra II by Nicholas Baker?

I've been filing my own summary remarks on the matter, revising and extending for the record.
I'll be in Champaign-Urbana, site of University of Illinois, one of the players when it comes to setting the tone and speed of many a high school. I'll be making fun of Algebra II, as usual, not because you have to be smart to learn it but because you have to be dumb. You have to be a sucker for all that musty-dusty stuff that pretends it's state of that art at Musty Dusty High, then it's off to Musty Dusty College. Lots of moola, lots of dough. But do they ever get to the good stuff? A lot of times, no.
That's from a recent posting at the Math Forum.

Long time readers of this blog know I hang out there.

Lew and I go back a long way.  He's had a lot of experience and has met a lot of the players.  I'm glad we had him at Wanderers again, where he's been many times, always welcome.


Wanderers retreat: Joe Arnold, Lew Frederick, Terry Bristol
(June 2007, at Joe's place)