Tony Gurr

Canlı Para – “Engin Abi”, Can’t our schools keep it all?

In Our Schools on 28/02/2011 at 11:39 am

This weekend I mentioned that I’d been watching Waiting for Superman. You have to see it!

The documentary talks a great deal about the “lottery systems” used in US charter schools but reminds us that it is not only “entrance” to these schools that is a lottery. The success of our kids depends on whether they get a good teacher – or whether the Principal can do much to impact the culture of the school.

As you know, I also have some other “dirty little secrets” or “guity pleasures”!

The past few days, I also spent a lot of time talking with family members about Endemol’s hit-TV show “Canlı Para” (also known as “The Million Dollar Money Drop” in the States and “The Million Pound Drop” in the UK). This was because my wife’s cousin and his fiancée are getting ready to make an appearance on the show – good luck, guys!

Endemol, one of the world leaders in multi-platform entertainment programming (just “learned” that phrase), has been really busy spreading “McTV” around the globe for the past few years – making so much money that it is almost obscene!

Anyway, I had no idea what the show was about – but quickly discovered that contestants have to divide up their “canlı para” onto 4 tables – and watch it “disappear” as they answer a series of questions! Even if they give the “correct” answers – now, that is just “evil”!

OK – so games like Canlı Para have turned the tables on more traditional game shows – actually giving young couples and brother-sister teams their winnings “up front”.

The problem is that it still pretty much a lottery – and you are pretty much guaranteed to leave the show with nowhere close to “the promise”.

Sound familiar?

School Systems promise our kids so much: an education, success, university, a career, a future – dare I say it – a “real difference”!

In truth, what goes on in many schools is pretty similar (Endamol! I have another great show for you – “The Learning Drop”) – the only difference is that we see our kids’ futures “disappear”!

So, what “drop boxes” do our schools use?

Any teacher worth his or her salt knows that a great school needs 4 things:

  • Great Teachers
  • A Great Curriculum and Assessment Process
  • Great Leaders
  • A Great “Culture”

It’s that simple!

So, why is that we have to divide our kids’ futures over these four drop boxes?

This year “let’s pay more attention to Principals and their leadership”. Oh, wait – that didn’t work – let’s tweak the curriculum a bit. OK – that wasn’t so great either so let’s focus on teachers (and what a terrible job they are all doing) this time around…..

The politics of the pendulum just keep on swinging!

Guys! You need to pay attention to them all – all the time!


P.S: My daughter was on an Endemol show over 18 months ago (first female to make it to the final of the Turkish version of “Wipe-Out”) – she is still waiting for her prize money! We can wait for the cash (but not much longer) – can we really wait for our schools to get it right?

P.P.S: This post is dedicated to my dear friend, Janeyou know why!

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