Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tying Up Loose Strings

Some thoughts based on a variety of input coming in.

Aug. 26, 2010

Why Did Louisiana Not Get Race To The Top?
Louisiana lost out to the Race To The Top is that so few school systems statewide were willing to collaborate with the Louisiana Department of Education.  Why?
Because they have had an up-close view of what happened in New Orleans when the state took over the system and privatized schools, abolished democratic control of local schools, and replaced veteran teachers with temporary untrained teachers.  New Orleans was a beachhead for the anti-democratic forces of privatization, and the market reformers who see democracy as an obstacle to progress tried to impose limits are board authority statewide. They also were more likely to see the research that shows virtually no change in the rate of student performance before and after the takeover. Ultimately, Louisiana lost the Race To The Top because local schools officials learned from experience that trading democracy for technocratic top-down control is a bad deal.

Lance Hill, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Southern Institute for Education and Research
Tulane University

Rachel Maddow is in New Orleans tonight and while she didn't address how they privatized the school system, her show addressed the housing issue where homes for the poor were knocked down in favor of gentrification. Same issue in essence. She and a guest talked about privatization and the pushing out of the poor.

Now that ties in with the bogus super duper success of the New Orleans schools since they basically wiped out the public schools and the teachers union with it. Paul Vallas, who ruined Chicago and  Philly was brought in to bring in a Katrina like disaster to the school system. By the way, he is leaving. But he said that no more than 60% of the schools should be charters. Of course, they got rid of poor people but they have calculated there is enough left that they don't want sullying their charter schools with.

AJ Duffy on The Mind of a Bronx Teacher radio show - NOW

An excellent discussion with Duffy, a Brooklyn native by the way who used to hang out on Ave J - is talking about the situation in LA. Now we know that he seemed to be waffling - Randi is getting credit for this in her adoring ed deform press - but he is talking about the flaws of value added. He was diplomatic when Bronx Teacher made an anti UFT comment.

Duffy just made a very good point. Some teachers in LA started off saying, "Sure, I'm a good teacher. Let them come in and evaluate me any way they want." Then they found out that some of the best teachers they know were not coming up roses in the Value-added system the LA Times is using to expose teachers.

Uh-oh. He is talking about self policing out profession. We can't self police until we along with community people get to pick the school admins.

A call from blogger Queens Teacher. Hi QT. (I wanted to say hello but couldn't log on.)
Now he's talking about why the short time teachers are so favored by ed deformers - no health care or pension costs. They can give them decent salaries but it forces them to teach dumbed down curriculum through Open Court systems.

He says: "They're doing away with a wonderful profession."

Ahhh. "The same people who push "smaller is better" - small schools, etc. - deny class size is important. A contradiction. We should throw this back at them (I'm paraphrasing here)."

Bronx teacher says he went to small high school. All the teachers knew him. Bad break for them.

Some great original reporting by SBS. He spoke to LA Times reporter Jason Felch who did the story.

Mr Richard Buddin And Jason Felch Man And Wife


Anonymous said...

Exceptionally frustrating. This is akin to defecating in your hand and throwing fecal matter at the wall in an attempt to create a work of art.

ed notes online said...

Works for me. My walls look like Picassos.