Thursday, April 14, 2011

TFA LIFO Afterthoughts -Part 1- and Response to Gotham Report

 I got pretty hot (angry) reading this Gotham School piece on the TFA LIFO panel (see my live blogs At TFA LIFO Panel Part 1, TFA LIFO Panel Part 2).

I left this comment. Go leave your own.
Can you ask Willoughby if by "those teachers who are not working with students" he means coaches and all the people assigned to DOE headquarters or networks? I bet if you search schools you will find people acting as assitants to the principals who do little or no teaching. How about all those bloated networks? And Tweed bureaucrats?

And what does this mean: "While some do work in classrooms teaching students, others are marginally employed doing administrative tasks, and all of them remain on salary."

Based on what facts? Using the words "some" and "others" is more than ambiguous. And dangerously misleading.

And why not make the point that Leonie made that 90% of the ATRs are teaching full-time programs (not "some" and "others") and the rest are doing day-to-day sub work in the schools (which is why so many schools don't have to call subs every day)? Do you think people are just sitting around? The DOE and E4E attempt to create a link in people's minds between the rubber room and ATRs is intentional.

And by the way, a sidelight of this is that one of the more difficult things to do in the system is cover different classes every day but doing it in the same school makes that process work better. (I did it for a year and a half). As a matter of fact reformers in years gone by (me) used to call for each school to have an ATR to do just subbing work and do necessary admin work when no one was absent. Yes it costs more but no one seems to be subtracting the costs of the subs saved.

Administratative work? How much paperwork has been dumped on schools that just can't get done. The DOE is not giving schools people to do it and it's getting dumped on teachers who teach regular programs or they are relieved from full-loads to do that (how much does that cost?) In fact school secretaries are so overloaded. How much does loads of paperwork dumped on teachers impact on learning conditions for kids? (How well would an actor do in a play if he had to run off the stage and rewrite the play?)
Making full use of ATRs helps the system, not hurts it.

So while I know this is not an article about ATRs but the fact that a major focus of the E4E asault on LIFO is based on the ATRs the lack of nuanced reporting - and I also blame the moderator Lyndsey Christ for not delving into these issues - and also the UFT's Leo Casey who touched on the issue but did not really nail it.

And yes, why not touch on at least some of the issues raised by Julie Cavanagh in a 2000 word defense of LIFO which I handed out at the meeting - which I know Christ had printed but never raised even one point?

You can find Julie's defense at ed notes:
 See Chaz' School Daze: My Response To Principal, Matt Willoughby's So Called Compromise On "First In, Last Out" (LIFO) To Terminate The ATRs.

This post below was supposed to get posted yesterday but I raced out without hitting the send button.

Wed., Apr. 13

Now that I have some time to talk about last night - make sure to read my 2 live blogging reports - I will have a lot more to report, especially on my discussions with Sydney and  Patrick from E4E, discussions that went long into the night - until we were surrounded by TFA and E4E staffers who wanted to go home. I left my staff at home. We parted with Sydney asking if I were going to be nicer to E4E. I said I would always be nice in person but don't count on the blog. But more on that conversation later tonight.

I actually went up and congratulated Leo Casey last night as he won the day with the mostly TFA audience. He did a good job presenting the UFT position in a rational way. He was calm and fairly charming - I know, I know, but not the often shrill Leo.

I thought he still seemed to resist (as predicted) any out and out defense of LIFO until the end when NY1's Lindsey Christ (also a TFA alum by the way) pushed him and he said - somewhat sheepishly?- that it was still currently the only objective way. But he was very strong in essence defending LIFO by bringing up abusive principals, discrimination against gay and lesbians and sexual harassment - smart move with this audience which was mostly women.

I still think Julie would have been stronger - she would have really connected with that audience in age, gender and fact that she is in the classroom - but in fact would have liked to have seen them both on the panel. Look at the lineup - E4E and Michelle Rhee get 2 slots. Julie and Leo would have made a good tandem.

The Rhee slug was useless and Sydney was contradicting herself and tossing off inaccurate info.

The emergency replacement for Noguera (TFA staffers claimed they were told it was a family emegency but 2 ladies coming in told me they just saw him at AERO conf in New Orleans and there was no way he would have been there- Question: What did TFA know and when did they know it?)

Well, off to the city  - I might stop by the delegate assembly later and the Teachers Unite bar mixer afterwards. Maybe try some live blogging again - need to practice using thumbs.

Coming soon: Part 4 - Conversations with E4E at the post event bar mixer (where I got free food courtesy of TFA - Thanks Wendy Kopp).


Michael Fiorillo said...

Norm, you're far too nice. While some ME$ME members may simnply be naive and/or misguided, Evan and Sydney are scabs who should be attacked at every opportunity, whether online or in person. They are doing a bad thing, and deserve whatever shunning and reprobation they receive.

As the good people of Appalachia would say, "I wouldn't piss on them if their hearts were on fire."

Anonymous said...

I agree with Michael.  These two frauds deserve every student, teacher and parent's wrath for their part in attempting to steal the best Educators away from our nation's children.  They are attacking experienced educators who understand how their actions  effect children over the course of their lives in order to replace them with inexperienced Educators who have no knowledge of how their actions can effect children over the course of their lives.  ALL inexperienced Educators take short cuts because they simply do not know any better.  It takes many years in the classroom or as a parent to learn and understand the lasting effects that our actions can have on the lives of the children we nurture. For example: yelling at a child may cause a reaction that can seem to have solved a problem.  Inexperienced Educators do not understand how yelling sets a precedent and models for a child that intimidation is the proper way to get your needs met. ME$ME, gates, Bloomberg, Walcott, Klein, TFA do not understand this fact and openly admit their educational ignorance about how experience is directly linked to a teachers effectiveness!