Sunday, July 1, 2012

Turn Around This officials have also argued that turnaround is also the fastest way to help the schools improve because it would allow them to shake up their teaching staffs overnight....  Gotham Schools
And there it is, the entire idea behind the ed deform national agenda. Place the blame on the teachers for every failure while avoiding responsibility. Thus the myth of the bad teacher.

What even some teachers failure to understand -- and the union itself fails to point out (intentionally I might say) is that the overall idea is to reduce teacher union contracts to ashes so that ultimately the average pay will drop drastically (remember that salaries are the highest costs of education) and teachers can be squeezed into sweat shop work places and with no protections or other options (all schools in the urban areas ultimately to be standardized) either leave or continue working. And by making it a snap to become a teacher, the revolving door is a win-win for them. And NO PENSIONS since no one will ever reach pension age. And think of the productivity. More classes, more hours, less pay -- except for a few getting lots of money in some kind of merit system so they can hold the carrot in front of the poor rabbits.

So why have the teacher unions signed onto so much of this plan by supporting the concept of charters and turn-arounds, the essence of which are replacing teachers and until recently closing schools? But don't worry about the oligarchs running our unions -- they will do just fine while the members sink. I'll leave dealing with that to a follow-up later which will link back to this blog but note this for a start from this blog:

Yesterday, Randi Weingarten proposed a Bar Exam for potential teachers.  Ignoring the different needs of each region she proposed a national standard for teacher readiness. yet another one size fits all approach. Feeding the naysayers, here proposal implies that yes, perhaps the one size fits all approach just might work.
In other words, Randi is joining the deformers in the teacher blame game, agreeing in essence with ed deformers assault on teacher training programs. But what would a teacher union leader who had no formal training and taught semi-full time for 6 months know about that?

And this from RBE:

How Will The UFT Pull Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory?

I want to share an email that came in this morning from a teacher who is at one of the schools rescued the other day -- rescued temporarily as so many bloggers are pointing out. This teacher gets it.
Here is an article from GothamSchools that suggests why Bloomberg went with the "turnaround" strategy rather than phase out.

Here is an excerpt that gets to the heart of the matter:
But city officials have also argued that turnaround is also the fastest way to help the schools improve because it would allow them to shake up their teaching staffs overnight. Here’s what we reported when Bloomberg vowed to go through with the turnaround plans even after the city made progress on teacher evaluation negotiations:

Bloomberg said the aggressive overhaul strategy was necessary because no teachers would be removed from schools because of low scores on the new evaluations for at least a year and a half.

“It would be unconscionable for us to sit around for two years and do nothing, so we’re going to use the 18-D process,” he said, referring to a clause in the city’s contract with the teachers union that the city says allows turnaround’s rehiring process.

What a waste of time and energy this has all been. Instead of being able to concentrate on being an effective teacher and receiving help from the start, the entire school community has had to deal with years of threats from the DOE and the NYSED. We never received help, only threats and attacks. Not once did we have meaningful PD sessions in the past three years. Not once. If [my school] was such a lousy school, where was the help from the DOE? In fact, the faculty and staff had been trying to figure out how to move forward on our own. Pleas for help to the DOE went unanswered. We, in our particular case, were stuck with a weak and ineffective principal who could not figure out how to deal with any of the threats against our school community. He never called faculty meetings because he was too afraid to even face us. So we rose to the occasion and tried to fend for ourselves. We called in Pedro Noguera and other advisers on our own to try and move forward. Noguera, to his credit, met with us on numerous occasions. We formed our own committees to address our needs without the administration helping us. Fight Back protests arose out of this effort and were meant to inform the DOE and the community of our successes. Teachers formed action committees with the help of the Alumni Association and came up with strategies to strengthen our school. Never any help from TWEED. I can only imagine what it may be like to be able to go to work and think only about being an effective teacher in my school as compared to being an effective teacher who also has to always fight and struggle for what is right.

The opinions expressed on EdNotesOnline are solely those of Norm Scott and are not to be taken as official positions (though Unity Caucus/New Action slugs will try to paint them that way) of any of the groups or organizations Norm works with: ICE, GEM, MORE, Change the Stakes, NYCORE, FIRST Lego League NYC, Rockaway Theatre Co., Active Aging, The Wave, Aliens on Earth, etc.

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