A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Supe and his Algebra Camp

Check this out: The superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools ran his own algebra camp during those precious summer months of vacation. And kids actually came!
Summer fun and algebra are not exactly synonymous, but Tulsa Superintendent Michael Zolkoski is trying to make them equate in the minds of some local middle-school students.

Nearly 130 students from Tulsa Public Schools, surrounding districts and private schools turned out for the first day of Zolkoski's three-week Algebra Camp at Carver Middle School.

Zolkoski held class in the Carver cafeteria, which had been converted into a giant classroom with 17 dry-erase board easels lining the walls.

"Some of you may be wondering, 'Why do we have all of these boards in here?' Because we're going to all be getting up and working on the boards," Zolkoski said. "You cannot sleep in here."

He went over the camp rules, which were pretty simple: be on time, no breaks longer than 10 minutes each day, and do not forget your notebook.

There's plenty more to read in the entire article. But I'm intrigued by that set of rules he's got going there. Would he allow classroom teachers to set the same standards in their everday classrooms? Because, if he did, he would get MY vote for superintendent of the year!

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At 6/14/07, 5:42 AM, Blogger CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Not sleeping in the classroom/workspace? What a novel idea! Wish someone would enforce that rule at our school...

At 6/14/07, 7:00 AM, Blogger mrschili said...

You know, if we could all just agree to un-handcuff teachers - let them set (reasonable) standards and enforce them, have the administration back teachers up when they encounter, shall we say, recalcitrant students, and get parental buy-in, we'd have FAR fewer problems in our classrooms than we do.

I know I'm off in a fantasy world over here, but those would be MY three wishes...

At 6/14/07, 8:26 AM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

CTG and mrschili- I know. We ARE living in a dreamlans.

And I really do admire this gentleman's gumption for trying this idea. He's DOING something that directly impacts instruction.

At 6/14/07, 8:04 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

He was my former superintendent. He's a d*ck. We cheered when he left. My guess is he shanghaied some real Algebra teachers to be there and do all the work while he takes all the credit. That's his style.

At 6/18/07, 8:23 PM, Blogger Brian B said...

130 students out of the 38k+ in Tulsa? Guess you have to start somewhere.


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