I learned the most about teaching from other teachers. Duh!
BIGGEST SIN: CLASS SIZE ISSUES OFF THE TABLE
CHECK BIO OF MAIN CHARACTER DOUG LEMOV*.
CAN THIS GUY HOLD DOWN ONE JOB? LIKE ACTUALLY TRY TEACHING ON ONE PLACE FOR A LITTLE WHILE. GIVES YOU A BIT OF PERSPECTIVE, YOU KNOW. I THINK THAT PEOPLE LIKE LEMOV LEAVE TEACHING FULL-TIME BECAUSE THEY DON'T LOVE IT ENOUGH TO STAY.
Forgot test scores, measure the love quotient when you talk about teachers who can teach others.
There's a lot more than teacher methodology underlying Green's article which I talked about yesterday. It seem to look like not standard ed deform stuff by de-emphasizing incentives and firing teachers. But when you dig a little it is ed deform. The Times wouldn't print anything less.
A parent commented on the NYCEdNews list:
I thought the piece was generally valuable in looking at actual classroom practices and considering their relationship to content, and challenging the effectiveness of carrot-and-stick approaches to improved learning. But I was startled that she cited the "value-added" model several times without skepticism, particularly stating that teachers' stats for raising student performance are consistent over time. I thought that statistical argument had been debunked. Diane Ravitch makes a strong case in her new book that studies show that teachers' stats for improving student test scores fluctuate dramatically over time and are not a predictor of future performance.Of course Green had to ignore the research that shows value-added is unproven because the rest of the thesis laid out doesn't work without it. The article is all about measuring by test scores. My favorite quote "he [Lemov} decided to seek out the best teachers he could find – as defined PARTLY [my emph] by their students' test scores [which can so easily be manipulated]..
Exactly what were the other PARTS than test scores?
A lot of the last part of the article is good touchy, feely stuff - good ideas for teachers to use. And we all can benefit. Talk of the video taping set me to chuckling. I was involved in a program to improve teaching by video taping lessons and cataloguing the kinds of questions I was asking - in 1969.
I learned so much of what is talked about in this article (which offers a blueprint of the high and mighty descending to give actual working teachers "The Word") by seeing experienced WORKING teachers (are there any left) in the context of working in their class - in action. I adapted their stuff to my personality and made a lot of it work. Almost every teacher I ever knew had mastered classroom management - at least 85% of them - or they left, often to become people who end up training other teachers.
What if every so-called great teacher who left to become some guru actually stayed in the classroom and taught for an entire career? Maybe close the achievement gap (that's a joke folks.)
"What makes a good teacher" asks Elizabeth? She asked all the wrong people.
She could have talked teacher quality with teachers in the trenches...
Chaz's School Daze
Have a Gneiss Day
The Jose Vilson: The Blog
And the newer generation of teachers: It's Not All Flowers and Sausages
Mrs Mimi said the other day:
WHY ARE WE GIVING POWER TO EVERYONE IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD, EVERYONE WHO HAS EVER COME IN CONTACT WITH A SCHOOL OR THOUGHT ABOUT SCHOOL OR SAID THE WORD "SCHOOL" EXCEPT FOR TEACHERS???!?!?!
Riddle me that one.
Perhaps it's because we want them to remain Candidate Numero Uno on the old chopping block when it comes time to passing around some blame. Or keep them in our line of sight so that they are at a arms reach for some extensive finger pointing?
Instead Green spoke to:
Doug Lemov: "after a successful career as a teacher, a principal and a charter school founder."
Successful? Based on what? I love this: Lemov "set out to become a teacher of teachers [because] he was shamefully aware of his own limitations." So he left teaching. Nice.
And Deborah Loewenberg Ball, "an assistant professor who also taught math part time at an East Lansing elementary school and whose classroom was a model for teachers in training."
[Note this comment from Columbia prof Aaron Pallas:
Aaron Pallas said...
You're a bit harsh on Deborah Ball, my former colleague at Michigan State. She was a full-time elementary classroom teacher from 1975 to 1988 before and during graduate school -- and continued teaching third and fourth grade mathematics for four years as an assistant professor. Not a dilettante by any stretch of the imagination.
- when people you respect speak, I listen so I take it back. 13 years is a serious amount of time in a classroom. I wonder though how views change in the midst of the ed deform movement. I'll try to say more about what I think it would take to upgrade teaching and also on the accountability question - I always felt my major accountability was to parents and students not bureaucrats.]
What about trying full time teaching, year after year, decade after decade? You gain a certain perspective and context when you talk to teachers. Then talk to us about training teachers.
In my 6 week summer of training to become a teacher in 1967, all my instructors were teachers, assistant principals and principals (in those years supervisors actually had to teach for a long time before rising up) and I learned more from them and my later colleagues than anyone.
What Green has done under the guise of what looks like a more genial approach than Joel Klein's "lets go on a witch hunt" using Lemov's "we can't replace them fast enough, so let's retrain those heathens" is to validate the ed deform model of blame the teachers.
Green's biggest sin: She used the words "reformers" and Michelle Rhee in the same sentence.
Related: South Bronx School blog does some research into Doug Lemov and why Whitney Tilson likes him and as he so often does, takes it over the top.
Whitney Tilson Is In Love With Doug Lemov
*Thanks to SBS for the bio:
.......Founder of School Performance, an Albany-based non-profit that provides diagnostic assessments, performance data analysis, and academic consulting to high performing charter schools. He is a founder and the former principal of the Academy of the Pacific Rim Charter School in Boston, regarded as one of the highest performing urban charter schools in the country. After leaving Academy of the Pacific Rim, Mr. Lemov served as the Vice President for Accountability at the State University of New York Charter Schools Institute, the leading authorizer of charters in New York, where he designed and implemented a rigorous school accountability system. He has since served as a consultant to such organizations as KIPP, New Leaders for New Schools, and Building Excellent Schools. Mr. Lemov is a Trustee of the New York Charter Schools Association and of KIPP Tech Valley Charter School. He has a B.A. from Hamilton College, an M.A. from Indiana University, and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.
Let's see. When I was 42 years old, I had taught 17 years of self-contained grades 4-6 classes and one year as a special ed cluster, mostly in one school while getting MA's in Reading instruction and computer science.