We all know what today  is. The 11th anniversary of 9/11. The second day of infamy in our history.

Who would ever have expected such death and devastation from a bunch of long bearded fanatics living in a cave in Afghanistan?

Diligence renewed became the order of the day following 9/11. It continues to this day. Let us hope that a similar tragedy never occurs again. Especially on our shores.

The Chicago teachers’ strike! I question the mental acumen of the striking teachers. I laud Rahm Emanuel.

The Chicago teacher situation is unique. It differs from what has been occurring in other states where school teachers have come under attack. I support the teachers in those states. In Chicago, I cannot.

The Mayor has offered the teachers a 16 percent raise over 4 years. Big money in these days of economic crisis! The problem is not a money one.

The problem centers about two issues. One minor. The other significant.

The minor issue has to do with the length of the school day. Emanuel wants it increased some minutes just below one hour per day. Why not? Children seem to go to school fewer and fewer hours each day and number of days per year. A little extra time may contribute to a better education being received.

The major problem has to do with the method by which teachers are evaluated. The Mayor wants the results of standardized tests to be the measure. The teachers are opposed.

The teachers are opposed because the students do poorly on standardized tests. Which means…..they are not learning. Which means…..they are not being taught.

I believe Emanuel is on the correct side of the issue. The proof of the pudding is where students rank nationally. Chicago’s 8th graders are at the 79th percent grade level in reading and the 80th percent grade level in math. These numbers are near the bottom of the barrel.

Remember the Santorini volcano I could not climb to the top? It may be in trouble. It was in trouble when I tried to climb it. I and others climbing at the time did not know.

It may be getting ready to blow!

Oxford University did a recent study. Nature Geoscience Magazine reported the study yesterday.

There is something called magma which builds in a volcano. It is like a balloon. The magma chamber in the Santorini volcano is shallow. Near the top. The magma is continually charged by small batches of melted material from below. The magma chamber expands as a result.

Apparently the magma chamber has been increasing in size since January 2011. It is now estimated to be 15 times larger than the size of London’s recent Olympic Stadium.

Nothing may happen. Something may happen. The last eruption was 1955.

Did I have a yesterday? Yes.

I walked in the dark early morning. Swam in the pool later in the morning. Read and wrote all day. Stayed on my diet. Day 1. Did the Chart Room last night. No alcohol. Visited with Captain Peter and Mary. Then to Outback for a quiet dinner and read the newspapers. My final activity of the evening involved perusing Office Max. I need a couple of things for my prospective You Tube Show. Found nothing to satisfy the need.

Enjoy your day!



  1. 11 years ago today I was flying some folks to Boston when the first plane was high-jacked and made the turn back south east towards NYC right over us..
    Every other industrialized country has 210-220 days of school,, I can’t stand with anyone that does not want to increase our number of days spent in a classroom.. I too believe tenor needs to be more restrictive and teachers need some kind of regular re-evaluation..

  2. Key West Lou,

    Love your daily posts, but you have no idea about teaching inner city students that have no money and no support at home. Even if they have two parents, the parents don’t care. It’s not about education, it’s about surviving. How can a teacher’s job be based on a student’s scores when the student does not care? I dont teach in an inner city school, but I do teach in an emotional support classroom where the students come from tough homelives. I show empathy towards Chicago teachers because as an emotional support teacher, where my students have similar backgrounds to their students, I couldn’t imagine having my job based on students that are more worried about where they get their next meal or if they will get a beating when they get home. I do agree that there must be good measurements for teachers but not soley based on test scores. If that were the case, I would have been a drunk at Schooner Wharf years ago! HAHA!

  3. So Lou, if a student just doesn’t feel like taking a test and tanks it, that’s the teacher’s fault? You are assuming every student wants to learn as much as they can and do as well as they can on a test. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Many students get no help from their parents, no structure or direction in terms of their future or how important education is to them. These students then daydream in class, disregard tests and generally go to school for social purposes or just go through the motions. By using only test scores to determine if a teacher is good will prove inaccurate. You’ll be then getting rid of some very good teachers, leaving more of a void in the education system.

    You seem to trust the kids that they want to excel. It isn’t like that anymore. My son and daughter go to a public high school in St. Louis. There are 2500 kids in the school. They tell us about 90% of the kids don’t care. They don’t try. They don’t want to even attempt to learn. They are more worried about going to a party, smoking or figuring out ways to cheat. But, I guess that’s the teacher’s fault, right?

    I guess, by that logic, policemen should be judged and fired if crime rates go up in a certain community? Firemen should be canned if too many fires occur?

    I guess there are people who truly believe teachers should be able to control everything a kid does or thinks. So how best to force a kid to learn and do well on a test? Do you think you could make a kid learn and score 80% or above on test when that kid doesn’t give two craps about school?

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