Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ed Notes in Bid Against Bill Gates for Educators 4 Excellence's Sydney Morris

Last update: Friday, April 15, 12:30PM

I had a lovely chat with Sydney Morris the other night at the post TFA sponsored gathering in a bar. I was duly impressed. I've become a believer in what Sydney has to say. She is all about putting children first and ahead of those nasty adults.

And she is for merit pay. She was obviously a top-notch teacher in her three years in the system before leaving with her partner Evan Stone to organize Educators 4 Excellence (she is supposedly working part-time F-status), where she gets to pontificate on the most important issue facing education and educators today: changing seniority rules.

One million school children and their parents just dream of the day when Sydney and her merry crew of hired staff at E4E win this victory so the sun can shine again and all women will be strong – Sydney clearly wears the pants in E4E – all the men will be good looking and all the children will have the achievement gap closed and be above average.

Sydney was a fabulous teacher totally dedicated to her children but also a firm believe in merit pay. I asked her how much harder she would have worked and how much more she would have closed the achievement gap had she been paid say, $10,000 more? $20,000? $50,000? Wow! Imagine, how the scores would rise exponentially as the piles of cash grew. And since E4E never even mentions class size, we could could pay her that extra money by firing the worst teacher in her school – most likely a senior teacher making a hundred grand despite spending the entire day reading a newspaper or being absent all the time. Just give her all those kids that were being denied an excellent teacher.

Sixty in a class? No problem. Sydney can handle it. As a matter of fact, when I asked why E4E never mentions class size, Sydney did admit class size can make a difference – if we could lower it to 15. "I taught 34 children", she said. "Since we might only be able to lower class sizes at best to 28 the extra 6 children wouldn't make that much of a difference." Now there's a real teacher for you. Sees no difference between 34 and 28 children in a class. I told you the woman was strong.

Well, Sydney wasn't giving me an answer to the contradiction between favoring merit pay and how her performance would have been affected by being offered merit pay.

She switched tactics - said it was all about incentives. Like luring someone from going to work for Goldman-Saks into teaching high school math instead. What a great idea. I hear many people at Goldman are already lining up to teach high school math in the Bronx. And imagine the math scores the GS guys who pulled those credit default swaps will bring in for an extra 10 Grand!

So, I tried another tactic: Getting into a bidding war with Bill Gates for Sydney's services.

"Sydney, how much do I have to pay you to lure you back into to teaching those poor kids you abandoned?"

I'm still waiting for her answer but she smiled at that, so there is hope.

Now you all know that even though I am a Tier 1 retiree, I may not be able to compete with Bill, Eli, DFER and who knows who else funnels money to E4E (check out their fancy new offices at 333 W. 39th Street). But I don't want to leave those poor kids abandoned by a great teacher like Sydney Morris.

So I am pleading for your help. Join the Ed Notes in a gala fundraiser at a time and location to be announced in the interests of children first:

SSBT: Send Sydney Back to Teaching

Be sure to read my previous blog posts on the TFA/LIFO event  over the past few days.


Anonymous said...

Great! If Sydney doesn't want to work in NYC, we can use a genius teacher like her in Buffalo. Send her right up. Although we are some of the lesser paid teachers in the state, I know Sydney's love of children will not prevent her coming here. Many of our schools are about to be taken over by an EMO and I'm sure they would like to pay Syd a bit extra for her efforts.

NYC Educator said...

The line about class size not mattering unless it can go down to 15 is right out of the "reform" playbook, and sheer idiocy. The desired, conclusion, apparently, if we cannot get it to that size instantly, we ought to do nothing.

Tough to believe anyone buys such crap. But e4e, while their leaders are on the payroll, picks up believers here and there. No wonder Bloomberg gets elected.

Anonymous said...

Can one draw any parallels between E4E and the protesters of the late 60's? Same S#*t-young people w/o any life experience, fresh out of college who think that they know everything about everything.-difference is, E4E folks are better looking!!

ed notes online said...

Hey! My best friends were protesters in the 60s. And I started protesting in the 70s. We were just as good looking but you couldn't tell due to all the hair.

Michael Fiorillo said...

Wait a second: '60's protesters, despite their many shortcomings, were fighting against racist, war-making elites. Sydney is a courtesan of the rich, who is working to extend their wealth and power. It's a totally false comparison.