We’re asking educators to deliver better outcomes, but we haven’t given them the flexibility and authority they need to meet high standards.
The problem is that we’ve built an education system based on our distrust of educators, and we didn’t rethink it when we embraced accountability.
Latin starts in first grade. Second-graders learn Greek history. Everyone memorizes poetry.
But it was really fun. The ideas I have include two lectures on Arkansas history (pre-history to 1899 and 1900 to recent times); a lecture on modern Arkansas and its demographics, commerce, infrastructure, laws, education, etc.; a lecture on Arkansan flora and fauna; a lecture on Arkansan politcs; downtown visits to the MacArthur Musuem of Arkansas Military History, Union Station, the trolley, the Clinton Presidential Center, the Riverwalk, and the state capitol; day trips to Hot Springs and Jenkins Ferry State Park; an overnight trip to NW AR to visit the U of A, the original Wal-Mart, Pea Ridge battlefield, Dogpatch USA, Monte Ne, and Fort Smith, with a screening of True Grit thrown in in the evening; a Sunday service at the Cathedral of St. Andrew’s, Little Rock’s oldest continually operating church, followed by lunch at Franke’s Cafeteria, Arkansas’s oldest restaurant; an arts day to celebrate Arkansan music, poetry, literature, cuisine, and visual arts; and student presentations of their own Arkansas projects.
Ideas for said projects?
- Plan a seven-day road trip across the state, including sites to see, place to stay, how much it would cost, what time of year to do it, etc.
- Record a cover of at least one “Arkansong,” or write your own (may be done individually or in a group)
- Compile a mini-encyclopedia of Arkansan trees, or flowers, or birds, or what have you
- Write an essay about an event in Arkansas history
- Write a short story in which the Arkansan setting is a significant part of the story
- Write an essay about two Arkansas films, or two Arkansas books, or an Arkansas film in comparison with Arkansas book (for example, compare the two cinematic versions of True Grit, or compare one of them with the novel)
- Create a photo album of some place in Arkansas (for example: Pinnacle Mountain State Park, the Riverwalk, or Dogpatch USA)
- Plan and cook a multi-course meal using only food grown in Arkansas (try getting it from the Farmer’s Market!)
- Write a thorough (and documented) Wikipedia entry for some Arkansas topic that does not have a page, or improve an article that is just a stub
Man, I really want to teach this class now. Would you take it if you were at LRCA for J-Term?
Northwest Arkansas is easily the prettiest part of the state. It’s also one of the richest. So I got to thinking, “Could a high school teacher make good money there?” Fortunately, the Dem-Gaz asked that same question in 2008-2009, and they published a spreadsheet of the result.
Let’s say you’ve got a bachelor’s degree and are a brand new teacher. What school districts in AR would pay you the most?
- Bentonville ($42,230)
- Springdale ($41,757)
- Fayetteville ($41,310)
- Rogers ($41,300)
Yep, those are the four major cities of NW AR. What if you’ve got your bachelor’s and you’ve been teaching for fifteen years? Same four districts, but the order is Rogers, Bentonville, Springdale, Fayetteville—all paying $50,000 or more. What if you’re a new teacher with a master’s degree? Bentonville, Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers.
Salary and scenery? Yes please!