Thursday, June 19, 2014

Anson Burlingame to Turner: Are your comments coming from school kids, teachers?

In a recent Turner Report post about comments that are not published on this blog, I wrote about the questionnaire that blogger, frequent Joplin Globe guest columnist and C. J. Huff confidant Anson Burlingame sent to me shortly after I was removed from the classroom. This is Burlingame's response, which is always included as a comment on the previous post:

I have not tried to keep count of the commnents posted herein that never saw the light of day, Randy. But there have been a lot of them, particularly since your were fired by the BOE. But so what?

The questions I asked you very privately, which you now choose to publish, go to the heart of issues related to public education, at least in my view.

How many kids that start school either fail to graduate from HS or graduate lacking the needed skills to be productive citizens in a modern society? My guess is that number is well above 50%. What number do you think it might be, the number of "failures" in public education, today in America?

You refused to answer such pointed questions and I acknowledge that you were busy with more pertinent matters at that time, your upcoming hearing. But you have had plenty of time to consider them after the hearing, yet not even an attempt to provide answers as to how "your kids" have fared during your teaching career.

Maybe it is impossible to determine that type of metric, how many kids "fail" or "succeed". But if an autmobile manufacturer did not keep track of such things, well ...... So why can't schools come up with good metrics, showing proof positive of success or failure of students? And I mean apolitical proof positive, not some spin from administrators or teachers unions.

I have found it hopeless to post rebutals to your blogs herein. In this one instance I am frankly surprised to see some others that believe you do not "mind the store" to keep the negative comments flowing, negative but still publishable by any reasonable standards of journalism.

I know full well where you stand as your name goes on your blogs. But I have little or no idea the source of the vast majority of your comments. Are they coming from "school kids", highly partisan teachers that know no wrong, or some other form of either support or rebutal.

You and I do share a common goal, to improve public education. But the methods we espouse are as far apart as night and day as well.

So be it I suppose.


Anonymous said...

Anson is a moron.

Andrew said...

Thanks for the clarification, Anson. You seem mentally healthy, as if you have a strong grasp on reality. You're not a joke or a deluded nut, not at all! Good for you. Maybe you should think about getting a different hobby--you know, besides trolling Randy's blog. I like vegetable gardening and reading nonfiction, though obviously those activities are much too advanced for you. Perhaps you should consider training pet rocks; I bet you'd be good at that. Just get some baseball-sized rocks from your yard, bring them inside, put them on a table and sit and stare at them for hours on end, while repeatedly asking them to roll over. At some point, you might get sleepy, and you might even nod off. If you fall forward and hit your head on one of your pet rocks, well, don't worry about it. A little brain trauma would probably improve your mind, your critical thinking skills (hey, they couldn't really be worse than they are already) and your personality. I'll keep my fingers crossed!

PS: I don't know what happened to make you what you are, but I'm glad that you're really, really old.

Joplin Taxpayer said...

Is neither a teacher or student. I am a tax paying citizen that lives in Joplin and feels strongly that we have been led down the wrong path and fed lies for too long. I comment on many posts to which is my right.

Anonymous said...

You two should give up the charade and get together already.

Whether Randy is trying to stick it to the man or penning poorly written erotica, it's to the lonely sound of his own fapping.

When Anson blesses us with his deep thoughts on anything, it's like written Ambien. I can barely keep my eyes open.

They'd make a lovely couple.

Anonymous said...

Several things need to be considered in all this that Mr. Burlingame wants to 'discuss'.

We can dig up stats and present them any way we wish and they will support whatever argument or side you are on. "Figures never lie but liars often figure."

Some of those who graduate do not succeed. Some of the unsuccessful are exceptionally intelligent people. It's not all on the school system. You have to use or be able to use what you have.

Learning and success are very complex issues because they involve people. People are complex. Education is not about some formula or model that you follow and 'ta-da' we have built a successful person for our community. No one can tell you why someone from a 'good' home with all the advantages and supports necessary won't make it and another can overcome SO much and become 'average' or super successful.

Should we get rid of bad teachers? You bet! But don't throw the baby out with the bath water. There is more to improving public education than getting rid of teachers. How about some policies that have been made by people who know nothing about child development or learning and base all their decisions on their own experiences?

Curriculum is pushed down into lower grades. Kindergarteners are expected to know how to write their names, know most of the alphabet and numbers, all colors and shapes when they ENTER school. This is what used to be a minimum for exiting kindergarten. In addition, children aren't required to enter school until they are 7 so it is often hard to enforce truancy until they turn 7. Meanwhile, they are not learning and falling farther behind. This also doesn't match with the age to enter kindergarten--5 by August 1st.

I think there are many layers that have to be addressed. There will be no one, magic answer to all this.

Anonymous said...

Anson, you are so brilliant. Why don't you come up with that magic metric that breaks down everything there is to know about students and teachers in one nice, clean number and publish your findings. Let me know whether to look under the fiction or comedy section of the bookstore, though. Thanks.