R.I.P.


#1

I just found out that my education mentor, Marva Collins, died back in June. That she didn’t even warrant a single mention in the news tells how biased they are. And, she’s black! But, she bucked the system and went her own way starting an independent classical school in her basement. She eventually had two independent schools running in Chicago that graduated students who would go on to high level colleges and universities. How sad for us. She did a lot of good.


#2

May God comfort you through Christ in your time of mourning.


#3

I did an internship with her at her school “Westside Preparatory School” back in the 80’s. She was a marvelous teacher and educator. She bucked the public school system in Chicago and started her own school in the top floors of her home after 14 years teaching in Chicago public schools. She was a classical teaching master. She employed the “Socratic Method” of education. Almost all of her students went from being told (by the Chicago Public School’s officials) that they were un-educable, to being admitted to some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country. She was a marvelous teacher and did everything the “pros” said she couldn’t. Sadly, her schools have been closed due to not having enough funding. She refused to take a penny from the goverment–federal or state–and ran her schools on tuition and benefactors.


#4

I remember seeing a TV film about her many years ago, and it made me yearn to be a teacher.

Needless to say, I was EXTREMELY impressed by her.

'Course, since she did not feed at the government teat, she was/is a female “UNCLE TOM”!:yes:


#5

Yes, that movie, “The Marva Collins Story” in 1981 starred Cicely Tyson and Morgan Freeman. She truly was a pioneer and a “David” going against the giant “Goliath” of the Chicago Public School system. In 1982, Kevin Ross 23 and a Creighton University basketball player, managed to get to his senior year without being able to read. How does a public school allow a student to graduate from elementary school and then high school without being able to read??? Marva Collins took him under her wing and taught him to read so that he could graduate in 1983.


#6


Marva Collins, renowned educator, dies at 78 - Chicago Tribune
Chicago Education Pioneer Marva Collins, 78, Dies « CBS Chicago
Pioneering Chicago educator Marva Collins dies at age 78 | abc7chicago.com
Marva Collins, ‘a natural force’ in inner city education, dies at 78 | Chicago Sun-Times


#7

Wonderful articles, DHL. Thanks so much for providing them.


#8

No problem. As a teacher, I love people who buck our pathetic public education system, and like you guys I blame the government. Most teachers would cheer if the Dept. of Ed ceased to exist.


#9

You’re a teacher? What age group? What subjects? Yes, I view those who buck the system as those people who truly care about children and the education they deserve. I agree that most would cheer if the Dept. of Education were abolished. I would also go one step further and that is to outlaw all teacher unions & federations.


#10

I expect my half-brother would also cheer if the Dept. of Ed. went away. He was in education in some manner, shape or form from the time he graduated from college. He was the first (I think) Director of Education for the state of PA. It was apolitical then, but he said as soon as he resigned it went political, and he was glad to be out of it.


#11

I taught 5th grade for 15 years, and this is my first year with 3rd graders, whom I adore.

I was a union officer, and I saw both good and bad: tenure is given much too early and is much too strong, greedy administrators who would park 40 kids in a room if the union wasn’t there to fight for smaller class sizes.

My union is very small (130 teachers). The big city unions are terrible. They give us all a bad name.

I’m currently on the union negotiating team, and I wanted to forego any raise this year so we could lower class sizes in K-6 from 32 to 26. I told the other team members that I wasn’t going to walk a picket line and tell some parent I’m underpaid when I’m making $82,000 (I work in Los Angeles county, so we’re paid extremely well). I WILL walk a picket line and tell some parent I want smaller class sizes.

But the other team members just want money, and the district wants to INCREASE class size. It made me sad. I might just quit when my term is up, and I might get my science credential and get out of California. It’s like a 3rd world nation out here.


#12

My entire education was in classes of 30-35 students. NEVER any smaller and my teachers had no trouble teaching us–nor in maintaining discipline in the classroom. Of course, in those days if someone dropped the “f” bomb in class they’d be expelled in a heartbeat, too.


#13

I think in terms of corruption and misuse of federal funds, Chicago has to be on top of the heap. The Chicago Board of Education is, imo, the most corrupt system in the country. They have had more scandals than any other board of ed. Plus, Chicago has to maintain its reputation as the most politically corrupt city in the nation. Sigh They seem to outdo themselves…

When I was in first and second grade in a Catholic school in Chicago, there were 60 kids in my first grade class and only one little nun (Sr. Mary Lynn) in the classroom. Believe me, we behaved ourselves. There was never an undo amount of noise or getting up out of our seats, etc. She was the boss and we knew it. I think part of that also is that if we got into trouble in school, we were sure to get our second punishment once we got home. Private/Parochial schools consistently do a better job in education than public schools. Charter schools can sometimes be very successful, too.

I am a classically trained teacher (as was Marva Collins). My area of expertise is math and science particularly in middle and high school. I’ve generally had 7th through 10th grades. I’ve taught every subject but my expertise is in math and science. I was principal in three schools for approximately 8 years total. I prefer being in the classroom rather than the administrator. I don’t like having to deal with parents. They’re schizophrenic when it comes to their kids. I still have to deal with that in the classroom, but only with my kids, not the whole school’s.


#14

Chicago teachers were working something like six hours a day at one point. L.A. Unified is almost as bad. The only thing worse than the L.A. teacher’s union, is the L.A. superintendent, and Board of Education.

When I was in first and second grade in a Catholic school in Chicago, there were 60 kids in my first grade class and only one little nun (Sr. Mary Lynn) in the classroom. Believe me, we behaved ourselves. There was never an undo amount of noise or getting up out of our seats, etc. She was the boss and we knew it. I think part of that also is that if we got into trouble in school, we were sure to get our second punishment once we got home. Private/Parochial schools consistently do a better job in education than public schools. Charter schools can sometimes be very successful, too.

It was a different time back then. The district I work for is almost 100% free and reduced lunch. Most of the parents are on welfare, and the kids have no moral guidance at home. I become a surrogate father to a lot of them (especially the black kids, because so many of their fathers are either in jail, dead, or gone). Our feckless superintendent won’t suspend or expel any minorities because “it looks bad” (our principals hate him- a real POS). We had a black kid bring a knife to school and he was back the next day because the blade was less than two inches long.

Any school that parents can choose to put their kids in is going to do well, because the parents who care enough to go through the trouble of changing schools are typically parents who care about their kids, and at least TRY to be decent parents. It’s the parents who send their kids to school in clothes reeking of smoke that are the problem. We run a couple of adult ed parenting classes and I wish their welfare could be tied into mandatory attendance. I’m a liberal, but man welfare just destroyed the black community. It’s probably the worst domestic policy either party has come up with in the last 50 years.

I am a classically trained teacher (as was Marva Collins). My area of expertise is math and science particularly in middle and high school. I’ve generally had 7th through 10th grades. I’ve taught every subject but my expertise is in math and science. I was principal in three schools for approximately 8 years total. I prefer being in the classroom rather than the administrator. I don’t like having to deal with parents. They’re schizophrenic when it comes to their kids. I still have to deal with that in the classroom, but only with my kids, not the whole school’s.

My hat goes off to you principals. All the good principals I’ve worked for put in at least 10 hour days, usually 12. The school just becomes their life.


#15

It’s true. School becomes your child. I can’t remember how many times at night I starred at the ceiling trying to go to sleep and saw all their precious faces marching past me; worrying about this one, worrying about that one. If those kids knew how much I cared for them, they’d be embarrassed. I am semi-retired meaning that I hold up a lot of hope that my health will improve enough that I can teach again.

Yes, it was a different time back then. But, there’s been a significant lowering of values across the board which directly impacts children and how they relate to adults since the 60’s. I put in a lot of time while teaching and being the principal. Even when I was the principal, I had to have a class or two to teach.