So much is happening in our schools, we have to blog about it!
Some young people in the Alisal, where assistant principal Raul Ramirez was arrested for allegedly having sex with a minor (and allegedly attempting to destroy the evidence of the liaison) are defending his behavior. "People should stay out of his life," a girl familiar with the situation told me via Facebook. Several of her peers "liked" her comment.
While I don't know the specifics of the situation, it would not be surprising to see a 14-year-old become infatuated with a man in a position of power -- particularly if the girl came from a broken home, where she lacked affection and attention. Not that surprising either is to see a 38-year-old male become infatuated with a young, energetic, attractive girl.
Because Ramirez has been a very popular assistant principal for many years, it's natural to see young people have his back -- and their peer's.
But like I told my Facebook friend, if they had a sexual relationship, it's illegal. Children's brains have not fully developed by age 14 -- or 16, or even 21. It's up to adults to be their prefrontal cortex, to think about the consequences of doing something stupid. Or unlawful. That's why it's so sad to see those who should be doing the thinking leave their brains at the door and allow other parts of their anatomy to do their thinking.
"These studies help explain why teens behave with such vexing inconsistency: beguiling at breakfast, disgusting at dinner; masterful on Monday, sleepwalking on Saturday. Along with lacking experience generally, they're still learning to use their brain's new networks. Stress, fatigue, or challenges can cause a misfire.
"The slow and uneven developmental arc revealed by these imaging studies offers an alluringly pithy explanation for why teens may do stupid things like drive at 113 miles an hour, aggrieve their ancientry, and get people (or get gotten) with child: They act that way because their brains aren't done! You can see it right there in the scans!"
We don't know what went on between Ramirez and the 14-year-old girl, but those who stand by the popular educator abound, including a letter writer who calls him "innocent until proven guilty."
Which groups gets all the attention?
If you guess the three teenagers who were probable bored out of their brains and decided to go get their kicks, you guessed well. On Friday, I was planning to go out to Alisal High and talk to the philanthropic teenagers, but something more urgent, more compelling was happening a few blocks away. Three teenagers -- probably their classmates -- were caught when they were allegedly trying to rob a house. The full force of Salinas finest was unleashed to catch the would-be bandits -- apparently they had no time to take anything. The Fourth State, always vigilant, was present in full force also to bring those news to the viewing audience.
The result: those teenagers that had worked so hard for so many weeks to do something positive for their community hardly got any attention. Instead, it was the three mischievous teenagers who got the top-of-the-hour treatment.
No wonder those kids at the Alisal get so frustrated. They try to do something positive and nobody pays attention. A few knuckleheads with no adult supervision get in trouble, and we're all focusing on them. It's a distortion of reality that very much upsets many Alisal residents.
So here's to Marian, Ramon, and all the students of Alisal High who went out door to door to collect 7,000 of food: stay on this path. What you're doing is the right thing. Sometimes, doing the right thing doesn't get the attention that you deserve, but in the long run, you'll be better off for it.
And thank you for your good work. We're a better community because of you.
"One goal of the discussion was to promote the idea that states facing budget shortfalls should consider teacher compensation—a sacred cow in many states—as a viable area for spending cuts.
"Jason Richwine, a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, another conservative-leaning think tank, and co-author of the study, dismissed Education Secretary Arne Duncan's claim that teachers are "desperately underpaid." He contended that the standard regression method, which compares teachers to workers with equivalent education and finds that teachers are underpaid, is flawed because it doesn't consider "unobservable ability." People going into teaching have lower SAT and GRE scores than people who pursue other fields, he said. Thus, in the case of teachers, "years of education could be an overestimate of cognitive skills." In addition, the education major itself is not as rigorous as other fields of study, Richwine said. When teachers and other workers are compared by cognitive ability, he added, "the wage penalty has essentially disappeared."
"Richwine also pointed out that public school teachers on average make more than private school teachers, which he said could be taken as an indication that the public sector could pay teachers less. To support the point, he later said the "experience of the private school teacher is similar in terms of working conditions" to the public school teacher—an assertion that received an audible gasp from the audience."
The way I see it, this is another salvo in the battle to blame teachers for everything that's wrong with this country. First it was the terrible state of our schools, now it's the massive budget deficits the nation, the states, the cities are facing. It's the teachers! The big bankers, they don't count?