. Regurgitated Alpha Bits: A Letter to the President

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Letter to the President

Dear President Obama,

I have a suggestion. I may not be the first to float this idea past you, but let me assure you of my confidence in its success. Here goes…

After attending a five-day training on a new math adoption, I think you should consider using school district trainings on newly adopted curriculums as a method of gleaning information from those "enemy combatants" we've been detaining.

This new form of torture, shall we say, is certainly more humane than what we've been using and can still achieve many of the same results. Critics of our current methods might also be more amenable to this newer form of "information acquisition." To that end, let me point out that CNN and MSNBC have never shown up at any trainings I've attended asking tough questions of the interrogators

…I mean trainers…

about their feelings on torturing people who may or may not have done anything wrong…

I mean TRAINING people who may or may not require five days of instruction on a program that comes WITH instructions.

So it's a pretty safe bet that using the proven methods I suggest, you can torture away without any interference from the media or other critics.

Take the now infamous waterboarding we've used in the past, for example.

Criticism of this method of "information acquisition" has filled the newscasts for months now. If I understand it correctly, interrogators simulate the feeling of drowning in an effort to "encourage" detainees to give up information.

Well, after only two days sitting in a five day math training on a relatively straightforward math adoption, I felt like I was drowning in deep pools of wasted time. Additionally, we were weighed down with more standards to teach than are humanly possible to learn in 180 days. Even if I could utilize the mountains of components available in the curriculum (which they made pretty clear we are required to do) such as the EL Handbook, the centers cards, the Advanced Learners (who?) Handbook, and the Review Workbook just to name a few, I'm pretty sure I will never be able to teach all the standards and sub-standards to a mastery level in one year.

Oh yes, dear Mr. President, I feel like I am drowning all right. All without a single drop of water (because water was unavailable due to budget cuts.)

What about the use of stress positions used in Guantanamo? Asking detainees to remain uncomfortable positions for hours on end, right?

Twenty-five year old folding chairs.

Need I say more?

By day three, my butt was worn so flat I was actually sitting on my pelvic bone.


Of course there are more techniques available at district trainings, but for now I'll leave with you with those above.

Think about it, Barack.

Just think about it.


6 comments:

Melissa B. said...

Sing it, sister! Not only do I agree with you-most in-services are an insipid waste of time-but if you get a petition together featuring your torture proposal, I'll sign it! The only saving grace here is that I don't start school 'til the day after Labor Day, and LD is late this year...

Ms. P. said...

You totally nailed it on the head! Those district staff development sessions are torture. The presenters talk to you like you're stupid and way to intellectually challenged to read things for yourself, so they read it to you. Then,.....*zzzzzz, snore*...oh, sorry, even the thought of those trainings are so boring that I dozed off for a moment. We also got a new math adoption which came with 5, yes, 5 TEs, student books, 8 intervention books (to meet the needs of all learners), state testing workbooks, and on and on. We were also the lucky recipients of 3 cardboard boxes of additional support materials that I never even opened in all of my spare time. I'll also be happy to sign your petition.

Edna Lee said...

Our new adoption came with 16 separate TE's. That does not include the handbooks.

I feel your pain...

Angela said...

Sign me up, too! You should circulate that petition on Facebook... :-)

Edna Lee said...

Feel free to, Angela!

TFT said...

I also feel your pain:

http://thefrustratedteacher.blogspot.com/2008/09/everyday-math-stiil-sucks-even-more.html