May 28, 2010

Blog friend Steve wondered how an old man comes to be known as Choochie?

His actual name is Jesus.  In Mexico, and I presume other Latin American countries, boys and men named Jesus are often called Chuy (pronounced Chewie), or less often Chucho (Chew-cho).  You can see that it is a short trip from Chucho to Chuchie, which I misspelled as Choochie.

Today marks the start of the Memorial Day weekend here in Hooterville.  The city government is closed today for the most part.  City workers are having a day without pay as part of governmental belt tightening.

Tuesday, the new sales tax goes into effect, so many places are having a "last chance" sales event.  Car dealers are trying to woo buyers before the tax increase.  Maybe this will draw in some folks who were thinking of buying anyway.

The big promise of the tax increase is to plow money into education and avoid big cuts in state assistance.  Here in Hooterville, it means that the districts get to keep doing what they have been doing.

Teachers and students are merely props to be trotted out whenever the administration feels threatened.  No one is looking at how to do things differently, as near as I can tell.

Small example.

Every school in HUSD, and in the US of A, as nearly as I can tell, has an attendance clerk.  That clerk takes calls from parents whose kids are going to be absent.  The clerk records those names and makes lists to go to each classroom and presumably headquarters.

At the middle school where I worked our attendance clerk had her own office and a parttime assistant.

If parents could usea central website to report their kids out, teachers could just check their classroom computer for absentees. That would eliminate the need for hundreds of clerks in our department.

Twenty-eight kids in a box was a swell educational model when we were training the next generation of factory workers or farmers.  What we need is a new model and continuing to fund the past will not get us there.

Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky


The Bug said...

I'm always surprised when computers aren't used more than they are - they can be such an efficient resource.

Megan said...

I'm quoting that last paragraph the very first chance I get.

I'll tell everybody I got it from you, though!

Barbara said...

Maybe you should hire yourself out as a consultant to the Hooterville School System and promise you could save them some money with ideas like this one.

Kurt said...

Barbara is right - districts love spending money on consultants, who usually get paid far more than teachers.

Steve said...

Thanks for the Choochie explanation!

I think there's still a chance, particularly in lower income areas, that parents may not have easy access to a computer. I think that's why Internet-only options for doing things like reporting absences (or approving report cards or whatever) are problematic.