Sunday, March 16, 2008

News from the Blogs

Grading the Schools on Terror – Under Assault writes
As long as everyone’s going around designing “grading” systems for schools – first Klein, now Weingarten — I’ve decided to make one up myself. I see it this way. When the staff lives in fear, they can’t do a good job. Simple as that.

A brilliant concept modeled on the alerts at Homeland Security at Under Assault.

Untamed Teacher
Moriah has entered the red zone as she gives a graphic illustration of the above with her running (and painful) account of her U-rating hearings. Make sure to read the comments from her online support group. I know Moriah's school and principal, who feels obligated to choose at least one teacher a year to humiliate and drive out of teaching. If there's a deity, one day her time will come.

Unity on the Couch
by John Powers at the ICE blog on the March DA and the GHI/HIP merger.

Unity at the DA is an interesting machine to observe. If it were to be rated according to the fairest and most practical methods used to evaluate classroom teaching and community building, it would undoubtedly receive an unsatisfactory rating. It rarely starts on time or ends on time. There is plenty of chalk and talk or just plain talk and no chalk. There is also no "accountable- talk" amongst delegates. Its agenda ("objectives") goes unchecked, unmet and off on tangential paths. Certain members of Unity feel comfortable hurling aloud words and moans meant to intimidate and stop others from voicing their ideas and disagreements about a given topic. All of the above, from my perspective, creates a culture that attempts to dumb delegates down, maintains the status-quo and ultimately makes it difficult to create a stronger, democratic union capable of beating back the no longer creeping, but rapidly advancing privatization of our school system.

Leonie Haimson and the gang celebrate the 4th anniversary of the Monday Night Massacre at the PEP on St. Patrick's Day with the real St. Patrick (Sullivan) leading the opposition to the 8th grade holdover policy at the NYC Public School Parent's blog.

And the great Gary Babad at the same blog reports on Bloomberg's naming Elliott Spitzer to the post of Deputy Chancellor.

Have a Gneiss Day has a very hilarious (or very sad) post on recent parent teacher conferences.

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