Mar 29, 2011

Joe Louis Walker in Saratoga

Just announced: a new show for Saratoga Springs, NY.

Joe Louis Walker, recognized as one of the premier blues artists in the land, will make a local nightclub appearance at The Parting Glass Pub in the Spa City on Thursday, May 26.

The timing is interesting, given that the show will commence three weeks after the Blues Music Associations's 2010 Awards ceremony. At that time, we will know how many of the coveted trophies Mr Lous has won -- he's nominated in five different categories.

An early showtime of 8PM. Catch this big time talent in a small cozy room.

Tickets: $20 at the Door ... or ... $14 Advance (with no service fees) RIGHT HERE.

Mar 5, 2011

On teacher certification, innovation and compensation

Teacher Certification serves little useful purpose and needs to be done away with. I, myself, could not walk into a HS and teach Business / Entrepreneurship 101 because of the fact that I don't have that tag. Neither could Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, for that matter.

All that teacher certification does is to declare that someone is deemed as being capable of following a formula that was established by someone else.

The modern day Elem/MS/HS teacher -- thru no fault of his or her own -- is allowed very little room for creativity and innovation. The subject matter, curriculum, schedule, and techniques are all mostly defined by others. We are paying them, therefore, to perform a rote exercise.

Such a process, mind you, is most likely the best means of achieving what is currently defined as the ultimate goal or outcome of the system: to show positive results on standardized tests and other similar easily-observed events such as graduation rates. And there lies the even-bigger shortcoming to the whole thing.

The desired outcome SHOULD be the successful integration of the client (aka student) into both the social community and the workforce.

Once we start with that as our alternative and new given, we can then work backwards and create strategies to achieve said vision. I personally believe the the current system -- with the aforementioned rote teaching, standardized testing, etc-- would NOT survive such a critical analysis.

Until we adopt such an operating philosophy, I think we're spinning our wheels in debating the compensation value of a modern day teacher. Formulaic teaching is not worthy of the current pay scale that is observed in most school districts, in my view.

Instead, I say we give them a better environment: turn them loose to unleash their creativity and innovation, and then reward them for just that, and at that time. Again: it is not necessarily their fault that their chosen profession has been relegated to a follow the leader type of order, but that IS the reality.

After all, we do define ourselves as being in an Innovation Economy, right? With Talent Development being Need #1 to compete globally, why are we not giving the front line soldiers (aka teachers) the freedom to innovate? We should. But until/unless that happens, we (as taxpayers and community citizens) are not getting our proper value-return from our investment in them.