Weekly Meanderings

Greatest sports scandals — and they didn’t mention Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire or Rafael Palmeiro or Brady Anderson. Come to think of it, how did they forget Paul Hornung and Alex Karas?
Our prayers are with Minneapolis:

The risks, evidence show, are higher for women than for men if they negotiate for salary increases. (HT: RJS) [My link is not working so if anyone knows the link let me know. MSN page.]
Great conversation on minimum wage and read those comments. Thanks Bob.
Nice set of posters on the emerging movement.
I’m Centrist. What are you? (HT: TD)
Home of the Cubs …
Good report on smashing stereotypes by Tony.
1. My great aunt lived in Collinsville, IL, and we used to see the World’s Largest Ketchup Bottle — now I’m glad they’ve also made the World’s Largest Ketchup Packet.
2. If you live in a big city like Chicago, here is a good newspaper article about evaluating teachers. The only way to measure teacher effectiveness is to have good evaluations of students before and after the class year, and assess how much each individual student developed under that teacher’s care. All other evaluations are false objectivity when it comes to teacher “effectiveness.”
3. Emerging Tweel?
4. The last Jews in Baghdad.
5. “Wary of inexplicable kindness…” … that’s the line that got me.
6. Nan Talese fires back at Oprah. Talese clarifies something for me — that for some today, especially in a postmodern worldview, the distinction between fiction and memoir is not all that great.
7. Anyone know much about womenpriests among the Roman Catholics?
8. One of the best compliments a teacher can have is affirmation from a mature student … and I so enjoyed Sarah Ondrey’s, one of NPU’s finest, review of “our” Mary book.
9. I agree with Brad’s concerns on Piper’s comment.
There are five good reasons to cheer for the Cubs: 1907, Ivy on the Wall, Wrigley, Ernie, and Jack Brickhouse. And now a sixth: 1st place (it’s Thursday morning as I write this).

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  • J-Marie

    Evaluating teacher’s effectiveness using data that shows the percentage of increase in student performance levels is similar to evaluating dentists on whether their patients have gum disease or tooth decay from appointment to appointment.
    The dentist can examine, clean and fix teeth and he can model and demonstrate good home techniques, but ultimately the patient is responsible for his/her dental health.
    A teacher cannot be evaluated based upon a student’s performance. Teachers cannot physically do the work for the student. Teachers can model, give guided practice opportunities, try different strategies, and try to work with students individually (very challenging to do with 20-28 kids in a classroom). Student effort is required, as is parental support.

  • Mike H

    The posters are a perfect introduction to give to someone about what “emerging” is. The posters (linked in the blog post) that the author is responding to are a perfect representation of the mean spiritedness of the anti-emerging movement.

  • Christine

    The link for “evidence shows” appears to be broken. I tried it thrice.

  • I’m a centrist too, more on the left of that the first time I marked it, so safely so, as some of those I’m not sure about (which marking subsequently just to check it out, put me in the middle of centrist).
    Brad expresses it well and I certainly agree, about the Piper quote.

  • About women priests in the RCC – You hear about them every so often. Pray for their repentance, they’ve incurred excommunication. (Their ordinations are not considered valid by the Catholic Church.)
    About teachers – While such knowledge may ideally hold true for a teacher with a student wanting to learn, I’d agree with J-Marie that there are too many other factors involved that allow any kind of proper evaluation. It just ain’t that simple – even in the best-case scenario. We’re talking about students, not ketchup bottles or automobiles.

  • Scott and J-M,
    There is a correlation in studies between good teaching and measurable outcomes other than test scores.
    Nice simple summary, and for the college level dig around Alverno College’s stuff a bit.
    Scott, it’s a little disingenuous to compare outcome-based education with ketchup bottles and automobiles (or tweels), don’t you think?

  • Christine

    Scot, since the link doesn’t work, could you tell us what risks are greater for women who negotiate salary increases?
    I didn’t read Scott’s comment as being disingenuous at all – just that there is more complexity when dealing with human beings than inanimate objects.

  • Christine,
    I maybe should have put a smiley on my comment to Scott, but the question threw it back …
    The point of the article which I read earlier in the week was that women have more to lose when they negotiate for a salary raise. Males, in particular, develop a more negative attitude toward women who negotiate than men who do.

  • Scot,
    Thank you for the link. Both sets of posters have fueled quite a bit of interesting conversation around the blogosphere.

  • jim

    sorry, my brewers are back in 1st…gonna be an interesting couple of months from here on out.

  • jim,
    I hope it is a battle down to the wire.

  • pat

    Love the Chicago photo!

  • Heather

    Centrist, just a tad to the left.
    I have to say Scot, I love Weekly Meanderings. And then on Sunday when you post the prayer–it adds to the rythm of my week. Thank you!

  • RE: Largest Ketchup packet.
    Today I visited what just may be the largest treehouse in the nation. The man who built it said God gave him a vision. He calls it the Gateway to Jesus. It seems God is a basketball fan. It has a half-court.
    Stairway to heaven rises from Cumberland County countryside
    Robertson County Times – TN,USA
    By KEN BECK CROSSVILLE, Tenn. — Horace Burgess’s treehouse may be as close to http://www.rctimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article AID=/20070722/FEATURES01/707220315/1004/MTCN0303

  • Scot,
    There’s definitely a correlation between good teaching and good learning. No questions about it. There is, however, an undue amount of responsibility that is constantly heaped on teachers’ shoulders – the sins of the educational system and the family are laid on their shoulders (by the educational system in order to justify itself) and they are sent away, out into the wilderness.
    And while the factory comparison (the tweel throw-in was nice, btw) is an exaggeration, it’s not disingenuous. Indeed, it’s an exaggeration that has a good deal of merit based on my experience with educational policy. It would be a relief, coming from a teacher’s perspective, to have the lidless, baleful eye of Who-to-Blame turned on someone other than a teacher once in a while.
    But I’m not bitter. 😉

  • Scott,
    There is a tendency for some to blame social ills on education and educational policies — and to look to education for improving society. Education, even if it can be overemphasized and overdramatized, is a vital and potent institution of both learning and social development.
    I agree that some blame teachers too much. But I take that as a compliment of the vitality of what we do.
    What I’m speaking about is teacher effectiveness and student learning outcomes. I think in many ways we don’t think hard enough about what we want to happen and we assume all sorts of things (that students will make connections or “apply” what we have “informed them of”) — and outcome-based education forces us to think more carefully about what we want to achieve and how best to get there.
    When it comes to recalcitrant students … yes, completely different issue. I teach college students that that is much less of an issue and it does throw a little more wait on the teacher.

  • Piper’s comment to his little girls about the collapse of the bridge in the twin cities is the best argument for “open theism” that I know. Good grief.

  • I like Piper’s stuff sometimes, but other times, like this example, really bother me…maybe that’s part of God’s plan, is for me to be bothered by Piper’s comments?
    I love Weekly Meanderings!

  • Diane

    Yes I too read with some interest about women being penalized for trying to negotiate more pay while men are rewarded for negotiating. As I said to my husband, I didn’t need a “study” to know that to be the case: I can’t say how many times I saw that exact phenomenom while working in the computer industry. I think this has something to say about the premise in the minimum wage debate (another blog link) that economics are rational. There is an incredible amount of blindness in these debates, which is where loving others can come into play.

  • Peggy

    Yes, Diane, I followed that minimum wage debate and got a little fumed remembering the times when it wasn’t important to pay me for what I was actually doing, but what they could get away with because I was single and newly returned from the mission field…it took 10 years and lots of different groups of promotion budgets to finally make up for being hired well below both my skills and the demands of the job…sigh…
    And I made a comment on Piper’s comments on another blog. Talk about adding insult to injury…

  • Brian

    If I were to write a piece on the bridge collapse I would not say what John Piper did. But to Piper’s credit he does not respond to tragedy by making God smaller. How we read Romans 8:29 needs to make room for things like the last part of Amos 3:6 as well, even if that is difficult to do.

  • Brian

    Actually, it’s Romans 8:28.