On Educational Reform: The Need

While attending a workshop in 2008, after seeing this slide below I said to myself, this is the reason why education needs to change. Interestingly, the workshop wasn’t about educational reform.

EducationTimeline
The basis for my opinion is simple. The current educational model is based on preparing workers for an industrial age. Legislation designed with hopes of improving schools is also based on the same model. Attention everyone, the Industrial Age has long passed.

Sometime in the mid-1990s I heard someone from the Ohio Department of Education say something like the following (and this is close):

Given the system we have, there’s no doubt the teachers of Ohio are doing better because the testing statistics show such; but here’s the real question: Is this the system we want to perfect?

Brilliant … absolutely brilliant; thus something I’ve never forgotten. In similar spirit, I describe education as a car built on a Model T chassis with the top-performing districts displaying a Corvette or Cadillac body. As the public sees the beautiful outside, it doesn’t notice its outdated framework. In other words, regardless of the appearance, it’s a Motel T. Ah yes, the power of the illusion.

For those thinking I’m the only one with this thought, see the International Center for Leadership in Education.

Image property of TechEmpower

On Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 29

On Three Celebrity Deaths
Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson were gone within days. The best comment I heard was from Al Roker, who was quoting someone else – Death comes to three groups: the elderly, the suffering, and the unexpected.

On the President
One of the concerns I’ve had about President Obama all along is this – is he try to do too much? Is doing more important than doing well? I’m one of the independent moderates any candidate needs, which is also the group that political pundits carefully monitored. The numbers are showing the drifting away from President Obama has begun. Here’s a good column WSJ’s Peggy Noonan.

On Governor Sanford
Although many want to pipe in with their opinion of Governor Sanford (R-SC), I say that whether or not he resigns is a matter for South Carolinians to decide; thus not me in Ohio – just as the Iran demonstrations are an internal Iranian issue.

Meanwhile, while a congressman, Governor Sanford was highly critical of President Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal, as was Newt Gingrich. At his recent press conference, the governor asked for forgiveness. In a 2007 radio interview with evangelical leader Rev. James Dobson, Mr. Gingrich asked for forgiveness for his infidelities. Although both are understandable, there’s one more side to forgiveness – shouldn’t both  men publically forgive Mr. Clinton?

On Congressional Shorts

  • Cheers to Senator Lindsey Graham (R-FL) for praising President Obama on being a positive role model for fathers and family values.
  • Boo to Speaker Pelosi for continuing to lead in a partisan fashion; and of course denying it.
  • As Congress continues the health care debate, here are two headlines that truly state the issue at hand: Can Democrats Win Help Care? Can Republicans Steal Health Care? … Yet many still wonder why Washington has difficulty solving problems.
  • What’s worse than listening to a partisan legislator on a talk show? – Having two partisan legislators on the same talk show at the same time.

On a National Museum
Luke Chandler’s A Bible, History and Travel Blog brought this to the attention of his readers (post) that an Italian team has made an interactive virtual version of the Iraq National Museum. The Introduction itself is worth seeing as it leads viewers to the 8 halls of that world. Check it out!

On Old Ballpark Trivia

The old ballparks were special for many reasons: quirky corners, odd shapes dictated by various aspects as houses, streets, railroads, or whatever. On the other hand, the diamond palaces serving as an arena for the battlefield known as the national pastime were nowhere near the lavish facilities of today, although the distances within the diamond remain the same. Maybe these are some of the reasons Wrigley and Fenway remain special places, or why marks note the spot of some of the baseball shrines from the past.

Here’s a quiz about the old places. Actually two quizzes in one. For those needing a tune-up, match the ballparks to the city. Then (or otherwise) match the description or feature to the ballpark. There’s only one answer for each and all parks are used only once. Answers are found below the video, a YouTube musical slide show of some of those places of not all that long ago. Tell us how you did.

Ballparks
Baker Bowl, Braves Field, Candlestick, Coliseum, Comiskey Park, Crosley Field, Ebbetts Field, Forbes Field, Griffith Stadium, Jarry Park, League Park, Memorial Stadium, Municipal Stadium (1), Municipal Stadium (2) Polo Grounds, Shibe Park, Sportsman’s Park, Tiger Stadium (Detroit), Wrigley Field (East),Wrigley Field (West)

Cities
Baltimore, Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago (1), Chicago (2), Cincinnati, Cleveland (1), Cleveland (2), Detroit, Kansas City, Los Angeles (1), Los Angeles (2), New York, Montreal, Philadelphia (1), Philadelphia (2), Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Francisco, Washington

Descriptions

  1. A 40-foot high screen started at the LF foul pole (251 feet) and extended 140 feet toward center
  2. A sloping terrace in left field
  3. 483 feet to centerfield
  4. The famed exploding scoreboard
  5. The covered RF upper deck overhung the lower deck by 10 feet
  6. Its third deck behind home plate was known as the Crow’s Nest
  7. A peculiar centerfield corner with a high wall due to houses located behind it
  8. Swimming pool located just beyond the right field fence
  9. Had a mechanical pop-up rabbit to deliver baseballs to the umpire
  10. One of the few early stadiums built for football
  11. A small set of right field bleachers known as the “jury box”
  12. Before adding a 20 foot fence, the right wall was only 9 feet tall and 301 feet away
  13. Originally called Weeghman Park
  14. Deep center had a hump from an underground rail tunnel and sheep cut the grass
  15. LF 375, CF 20, RF 290 with a 40 foot fence
  16. The original dimensions of this spacious cavern: LF/RF 320, alleys 463, CF 473; but gradually shortened through the years
  17. The first concrete and steel baseball stadium
  18. Because of the short porch, the RF pavilion was covered and batters faced a high screen
  19. Morning visits to this site would sell the beauty and hide the nighttime misery
  20. Its 15 foot LF ivy-covered wall formed a straight line from the foul pole (340) to straight-away center (412); thus a 345 foot power alley

Answers Cities
Braves Field (Boston), Candlestick (San Francisco), Coliseum (Los Angeles),Comiskey Park (Chicago), Crosley Field (Cincinnati), Ebbetts Field (Brooklyn), Forbes Field (Pittsburgh), Griffith Stadium (Washington), Jarry Park (Montreal), League Park (Cleveland), Memorial Stadium (Baltimore), Municipal Stadium (Kansas City), Polo Grounds (New York), Shibe Park (Philadelphia), Sportsman’s Park (St. Louis), Tiger Stadium (Detroit), Wrigley Field (East) Chicago, Wrigley Field (West) Los Angeles

Answers Descriptions

  1. A 40-foot high screen started at the LF foul pole (251 feet) and extended 140 feet toward center (Coliseum)
  2. A sloping terrace in left field (Crosley Field)
  3. 483 feet to centerfield (Polo Grounds)
  4. The famed exploding scoreboard (Comiskey Park)
  5. The covered RF upper deck overhung the lower deck by 10 feet (Tiger Stadium)
  6. Its third deck behind home plate was known as the Crow’s Nest (Forbes Field)
  7. A peculiar centerfield corner with a high wall due to houses located behind it (Griffith Stadium)
  8. Swimming pool located just beyond the right field fence (Jarry Park)
  9. Had a mechanical pop-up rabbit to deliver baseballs to the umpire (Municipal Stadium-Kansas City)
  10. One of the few early stadiums actually built for football (Memorial Stadium)
  11. A small set of right field bleachers known as the “jury box” (Braves Field)
  12. Before adding a 20-foot fence, the right wall was only 9 feet tall and 301 feet away (Ebbetts Field)
  13. Originally called Weeghman Park (Wrigley Field Chicago)
  14. Deep center had a hump from an underground rail tunnel and sheep cut the grass (Baker Bowl)
  15. LF 375, CF 420, RF 290 with a 40-foot fence (League Park)
  16. The original dimensions of this spacious cavern: LF/RF 320, alleys 463, CF 473; but gradually shortened through the years (Municipal Stadium-Cleveland)
  17. The first concrete and steel baseball stadium (Shibe Park)
  18. Because of the short porch, the RF pavilion was covered and batters faced a high screen (Sportsman’s Park)
  19. Morning visits to this site would sell the beauty and hide the nighttime misery (Candlestick)
  20. Its 15 foot LF ivy-covered wall formed a straight line from the foul pole (340) to straight-away center (412); thus a 345 foot power alley (Wrigley Field-Los Angeles)

Note
A good resource: Ballparks.com; note the navigation links on the left side. http://www.ballparks.com/baseball/index.htm

On Baseball Announcers

Earlier this season, baseball lost announcing legend Charlie Kalas and Philly fans lost a longstanding voice and face of the franchise. His passing got me thinking about the many personalities occupying the broadcasting booth.

Life-long fans of a team or at least long-time residents know the trust and admiration we have for our announcers. On the down side, we don’t know the other great announcing traditions in other cities.

Whether it their homerun call, a tagline, or any other ism, baseball announcers give us many trademarks, so here’s just a smidgeon.

Charlie Kalas (Phillies) – Swing…and a long drive, and this ball is, outta here! Home run <insert player’s name here>

Harry Caray (Cubs, Cardinals) – It might be, it could be, it is!

Tom Hamilton (Indians) – Swing and a drive…Way back…GONE!

Ken Harrelson (White Sox) – You can put it on the board!

Dave Niehaus (Mariners) – And it will fly away … my oh my!

Rick Rizz (Mariners) – Goodbye baseball!

Michael Reghi (Orioles) – Oh, did he tag that one! It’s a bomb!

Bob Carpenter (Nationals) – See…You…Later

Dave VanHorn (Marlins) – It’s up … up and away!

Ernie Harwell (Tigers) – It’s lonnnnnnnng gone!

Bob Eucker (Brewers) – Get up… Get Outta Here… Gone

Jerry Coleman (Padres) ¬– You can hang a star on that baby!

Mark Scott (TV) – It’s a home run or nothing here on Home Run Derby.

Lon Simmons (A’s) – Tell it goodbye!

Ned Martin (Red Sox) – Mercy

Mike Shannon (Cardinals) – Get up baby, get up

Graham McNamee – Good evening, ladies and gentlemen of the radio audience,

Marty Brenamann (Reds) – And this one belongs to the Reds.

John Sterling (Yankees) – THUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU Yankees Win!

Jack Brickhouse (Cubs) – Hey hey

Red Barber (Reds, Dodgers) – They’re tearin’ up the pea patch

Vince Scully (Dodgers) –  Forget it.

Mel Allen (Yankees) – And how about that.

Bob Murphy (Mets) – Fasten your seatbelts, here we go!

Dave Niehaus (Mariners) – Get out the rye bread and mustard, Grandma, it is GRAND SALAMI TIME!

Duane Kuiper (Giants) – He hits it hiiiiigh, he hits it DEEEEEP, OUTTA HERE!”

Joe Nuxhall (Reds) – This is the old lefthander, rounding third and heading for home

For More Information

Although I’m a Reds fan, I always loved Haray Caray.

On Sports Shorts 062509

On the U.S. Open
Only hours following the conclusion of our national golf championship, many headlines were about Phil Mickelson’s second-place finish. Yes, he was playing in the shadow of his wife’s recently-announced cancer. Yes, he is a popular figure. Yes, he is a favorite of the Bethpage crowd. But hey – Lucas Glover deservingly won by having the lowest score over the predetermined tournament length. Congratulations Lucas!

On Past Players and Finances
It’s never good to hear bad news about notable people from the past. I’m not fond of the Cleveland Browns by any means, but this story about former quarterback Bernie Kosar filing for bankruptcy isn’t one I expected.

On Civil Rights Baseball Weekend
As I mentioned last week, MLB’s Civil Rights game and festivities were held in Cincinnati. Attending were honorees Hank Aaron, Muhammad Ali, & Bill Cosby; Major league greats Frank Robinson, Tony Perez, and Ernie Banks; as did the first African-American Cincinnati Red Chuck Harmon; Negro League players Charlie Whip Davis, Don Johnson, Tom Turner, and Ron Bunny Warren; as did former player Harold Reynolds, singer BeBe Winnans, Sugar Ray Leonard, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, and President Bill Clinton; as did the Reds Hall of Fame with their display honoring the Negro Leagues; as did the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (located nearby the stadium) acting as an event host and also having a Negro League exhibit; as did local celebrities, plus I’m sure a few others that I don’t know.

I also discovered that the San Diego Padres honored a group of Negro League players during pregame ceremonies on the same day. Good for the Padres and hopefully other teams would do the same in the future. On the other hand, they had the chance. Seems the Padres front office was the only one to tap into MLB’s promotion. Well done Padres on demonstrating one aspect of the weekend’s intent.

On the Reds
Oh how my Cincinnati Reds are struggling. Oh the pain. Then again, I’m not that surprised. Although they are better than a year ago, there are still gaps to fill.