Monday, November 4, 2013

Shimon Says - Or Doesn't

New York City has slammed the brakes on a plan to expand a much-heralded Brooklyn elementary school after less than 10% of its first class of third-graders passed state exams last spring....Leo Casey, a former vice president of the United Federation of Teachers who sits on the board of the charter school version:
“There’s nothing that I have found in my visits or in my conversations or anything else that makes me think the school is anything but a very good school.”
Master teachers are paid $125,000 a year to help their less experienced colleagues. But just two students out of a class of 22 passed the state math and reading tests last spring... the New American Academy has captured headlines with its unusual setup of 60 kids in a single classroom...
Daily News
Boy, Leo is the gift that keeps giving. He endorses an outrageous pay scale for "master teachers" like the failed TEP model. And 60 in a class -- OK I know there are 4 teachers - theoretically - so that makes the ratio lower -- still, doesn't that in these times sort of send a wrong message about class size?

But how about Principal Shimon Waronker who has had numerous articles written about him. (I just am too tired to compile them - just google "hype.") Now, I'm not going to express Schadenfreud because some of the concepts I can see being supportive of -- but not in these times of assault on public education.

Read the story here.

And you should read this oldie but goodie: RELATED: MOLLOY: CATHIE OUGHT TO SEE HOW SCHOOL LIFTS SPIRITS

1 comment:

  1. The American public wants so badly to find a gimmick that will magically reverse our politically polluted inner-city public school systems.

    Shimon Waronker had an unmitigated success in the Bronx at that middle school he turned around.

    So the Peter Principle went to work, and Waronker was sent to Harvard for a little while, where he was welcomed with open arms and indoctrinated with education-establishment mumbo-jumbo. Then DOE brought him back, after Waronker had been wined, dined, and immersed in the hallowed halls of academia.

    He was now given carte blanche to open a dream school: emphasis on the word "dream". His program depended upon a number of totally unrealistic dream-premises. And of course it is failing, unfortunately for the children involved, and unfortunately for the taxpayers who paid for this "feel-good" boondoggle.

    Since even before Waronker was sent off to those ivy-covered walls of Harvard, I have felt that the DOE should have done something quite different than what they did with Waronker. They should have sat down, examined what he did in the Bronx, and taken heed of why he succeeded there, then employed him to replicate it at middle schools throughout the five boroughs. For starters, the DOE could have taken note of what prepared Waronker to succeed in that Bronx middle school: He is a former military man, unafraid of making changes that he knew were necessary, and knowing how to gain respect. Also, he is bilingual, and bi-ethnic (not just white, but also hispanic). There's also the added twist of his Orthodox Judaism, which means that he comes from a community with strong ethical values. And it doesn't hurt that he works very, very hard. Plus, he'd had a few years of experience as a teacher before becoming a principal.

    (I'd like to see principals have several more years under their belts as teachers before becoming a principal, but at least Waronker had a few years in the trenches, unlike so many of the ones recruited and drone-trained by the Bloomberg administration, as statistics-driven [figures can lie; liars can figure] bureaucrat double-speakers of ed-jargon which they don't truly understand: their only classroom teaching-background--or most of it--being their time in the so-called DOE Leadership Academy!)

    So I'm not surprised to see the outcome of this latest American pony-show that has distracted so many from the real issues in inner-city education. I'm not worried about Waronker: He'll always get his public speaking gigs, and he'll probably get pushed further upstairs within the DOE--let's hope he's sent somewhere he can actually do some good, helping other failing middle schools.

    But it is still sad, nevertheless: sort of like seeing the seamy, slimy underside of a traveling circus. And of course, most of all, it is sad for the children and for the taxpayers, and for all of those who foolishly pinned their hopes on this misuse of the talents of Mr. Waronker.


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