Accountability NOW! now w NYT links

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Yah.

… for Teachers.

War Criminal Torture Champions roam free, teach Law, and show up as guest/experts on the Sunday Talk Shows, but failing to teach all those brown kids to pass those tests is just … wrong!

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – President Barack Obama says a Rhode Island school that recently fired all its educators is an example of how there needs to be accountability.

He made the comments Monday in Washington at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He called for “accountability” if a school continually fails its students without improvement.

He said that is what happened at Central Falls High School, where the school district’s board of trustees voted last week to fire 93 teachers, administrators and other staff. No more than half could be hired back under federal law.

Obama pointed out that just 7 percent of students at the high school have tested proficient in math.

Right. That’ll fix it. Fire them. Just fire them all.

Don’t question the method, or the curriculum design, or the numerous extra-curricular factors that impact the students and their families. That might help us understand WHY or maybe HOW this happens. Just toss out the teachers. It must be their fault. Don’t doubt the frikkin NCLB Teach to the Test way of …. teaching… that is imposed on the teachers by Administrators etc.

“There’s got to be a sense of accountability,” Obama said in announcing his latest get-tough school proposal at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The president’s plan would seek to help 5,000 of the nation’s lowest-performing schools over the next five years.

“In this kind of knowledge economy, giving up on your education and dropping out of school means not only giving up on your future, but it’s also giving up on your family’s future,” Obama said. “It’s giving up on your country.”

more

This is so stupid I can’t stand it. Okay, I’ll calm down and actually go read the rest of it now. I promise I’ll let you know if it gets any better. It’s possible ya know. I’m so impatient.

:-/

To get a share of the new money, states and school districts must adopt one of four approaches to fix their struggling schools:

   * Turnaround Model: The school district must replace the principal and at least half of the school staff, adopt a new governance structure for the school, and implement a new or revised instructional program.

   * Restart Model: The school district must close and reopen the school under the management of a charter school operator, a charter management organization or an educational management organization. A restarted school would be required to enroll, within the grades it serves, former students who wish to attend.

   * School Closure: The school district must close the failing school and enroll the students in other, higher-achieving schools in the district.

   * Transformational Model: The school must address four areas, including teacher effectiveness, instruction, learning and teacher planning time, and operational flexibility.

Oy.

Guess I better go check out the America’s Promise Alliance site.

sigh. Remind me again… Didn’t we elect a Democrat POTUS?

Tuesday morning UPDATE: h/t to commondreams.org again: NYT article has a little more & the response from the AFT:

The president’s comments incensed the leadership of the American Federation of Teachers, which criticized Mr. Obama for “condoning the mass firing” of teachers at the Rhode Island school.

“We know it is tempting for people in Washington to score political points by scapegoating teachers, but it does nothing to give our students and teachers the tools they need to succeed,” the president of the union, Randi Weingarten, said in a statement.

In their efforts to overhaul failing public schools, Mr. Obama and his education secretary, Arne Duncan, have frequently drawn the ire of teachers’ unions.

and… this tasty little morsel:

Mr. Obama is seeking to use federal money as an incentive for local schools to improve their standards. The initiatives his administration is pursuing are similar to those of the Bush administration. At the event on Monday, Mr. Obama recognized Margaret Spellings, a secretary of education under President George W. Bush, who was seated in the front row.

Niiiice.

More to read in this short NYT Editorial, dated Jan 16, 2010, entitled: Walking the Walk on School Reform.

Ms. Weingarten called for a new collaboration between schools and unions that would replace this “perfunctory waste of time.” She called on the states to adopt basic professional teaching standards that would spell out what teachers should know and be able to do.

She rightly warned against using test scores in crude, statistically invalid ways, and proposed a sophisticated analysis to determine if students were showing real growth under a given teacher. Just as important, Ms. Weingarten said districts that so often take a sink-or-swim approach to teaching should develop support and mentoring programs that both improve teachers’ abilities and keep them from leaving the profession.

Crap. I honestly don’t have time for this, but let me just mention that, of COURSE, there’s a lot more to all this. The NYT editorial linked above has a few more links to follow which gives more of the lead up and back story…. I need to catch up on that but it will simply have to wait.

This whole thing really pushed my buttons, on so many levels. Among other things, I have worked in a (county) bureaucracy and I know first hand how intensely flawed that culture can be. I also worked in a small non-profit drop-out prevention outfit that was a different kind of mess. Sigh.

34 comments

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  1. … how Obama would fare in governance under these so-called “standards.”

    In this economy, where losing a job means losing your home and hurting families, to be so cavalier about throwing folks to the wolves like this bears no resemblance to any democratic values I’ve ever believed in.

    Unbelievable.

  2. Firing the teachers… replacing them with other teachers? …  without actually fixing the system they are trying to function IN is not going to work. Its the system that is broken, you dumbshits.

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  3. the globalists installed an Indonesian Muslim as pResident of the United States to sell the dystopian fascist post industrial world dictatorship devoid of all redeeming human qualities.  That being said is the real issue teaching or conditions in urban gulags like Central Falls.

  4. this PBS NewsHour blog

    In a bid to cut the nation’s high school drop out rate, President Obama on Monday proposed as much as $900 million in federal aid to states that agree to shake up or even close their worst schools.

    The president’s plan would target 5,000 underperforming schools at a time when some 30 percent of high school freshmen never go on to graduate.

    The president’s push to lower the dropout rate is just one peg of his overall education agenda, highlighted by the $4.3 billion Race to the Top program

    ya know but look at this article about Work-Family Conflict and Class at the same time and my head is just exploding.

    So it should come as no surprise that Americans report sharply higher levels of work-family conflict than do citizens of other industrialized countries. Fully 90 percent of American mothers and 95 percent of American fathers report work-family conflict. And yet our public policymakers in Congress continue to sit on their hands when it comes to enacting laws to help Americans reconcile their family responsibilities with those at work.

    Sure, dont do anything about that, but go ahead and fire  teachers…. and call it “reform”. pfffft.

  5. We elected a Pol, just like the other Pol but younger, handsomer and we thought more, well, ethical, sane, smart, progressive, ya know all those things we wanted to think and all those things his campaign wanted us to believe but hes a Pol.

    Shit fire a few teachers LOL people want to see him do something, anything.  It doesnt have to be right, smart or effective just action and that’ll keep the sheeple quiet.

     

  6. Must be Rant Day. heh.

  7. That’s where the problem is.

    They can’t even get them while they’re young because I heard that this school has a lot of transient kids.

    New teachers aren’t going to do shit.

    • Robyn on March 2, 2010 at 4:42 am
  8. he’s taking it out on these teachers. He’s gonna pick up

    some points for toughness. No need to consider socio-economic factors. That’s for liberals and union organizers, not neighborhood organizers. We got to take em as we find em and show em who’s boss. This is a fierce urgency of now. Ya!

    So what if they have 2 or 3 sleeping in the same room. So what if their families are dysfunctional. So what if nobody has health insurance. So what if they’re in debt up to their necks. So what if their neighborhoods are flooded with drugs. So what if you risk your life walking the streets past 6:00 P.M. So what if half the people in the neighborhood are permanently under or unemployed. So what if half the kids speak another language. I can go on forever, but it’s pointless.

    Obama is Ronald Reagan reincarnated. Remember tough guy Ronnie kicking the air traffic controller’s asses. Ya!

    Remember, this action is a warning shot to public education as we’ve known it. Great to know that Barack will be the first Democratic president in history to turn his back on public school teachers. Ya!

    Shit, teachers don’t sell derivitives or health insurance policies. They don’t fight wars to protect free enterprise and the American way. They don’t manipulate oil prices. They don’t encarcerate criminals. Bottom line, they don’t do anything that creates wealth. We have to remember that today’s students are tomorrow’s tax payers. Ya!

  9. You know, if President Obama thinks this is a good model for accountability, we now have his word on it.

    We have Barack Obama agreeing that to fire everyone is good for accountability.

    We should hold him to it, and fire Congress.  All of Congress.

  10. seriously fucked up…. I cannot even find the words….

  11. The link at the bottom of the essay.

    It’s one big corporate fiesta. They are DLC/Repub types who believe that corporate “involvement” in Education can be more effective than government in improving “results”.

    I think that busting teachers unions is one of their unstated goals.

  12. I had to sign up there to read projo news but… today…

    Marcia Reback, president of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers, which represents the Central Falls teachers, said the local union filed three charges against the district: failure to negotiate; refusal to provide information to the union and terminations in retaliation for the teachers’ union activities.

    “The primary reason [for the filings] is that we want to secure the jobs of the Central Falls teachers themselves,” Reback said. “But we also know this situation is a national situation. If what happened in Central Falls is upheld, it will set a precedent across the United States.

    If the seven-member State Labor Relations Board decides that the complaint has merit, it will schedule a hearing.

    The complaint, submitted by labor lawyer Marc Gursky, says the Central Falls district is attempting to bust the union.

    “On or about Feb. 18, 2010, every teacher at Central Falls High School received notice that he or she will be terminated from their employment as a teacher at the end of the 2009-2010 school year,” according to the one-page document. “On or about Feb. 23, said teachers received notice that the Board of Trustees voted to terminate their employment … Said termination is in retaliation for the teachers’ exercise of their rights and was made to discourage membership in a labor organization.”

    Reback said the teachers union also intends to appeal the firings to the school Board of Trustees. The board’s next meeting is March 9.

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