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Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's Not TFA; It's the Board

Last night was quite interesting (I always like a barn-burner Board meeting).

I will make some final points so it goes on record and I'll have one more thread with answers from TFA national on some questions I put to them. Then I'll take my TFA efforts off-line.
  • About Peter Maier's assertion that TFA will not cost the district anything, I have no idea if he is ignorant or naive or disingenuous. Of course, there are costs whether the TFA fee is paid or not. There is always overhead and the TFA recruits need to have a Special Ed teacher mentor. (Don Kennedy, COO, was just complaining on Tuesday to the Operations Committee about how thinly central staff are spread trying to keep up with new initiatives.)
  • That any Board member believes that at the district-level there will be no pressure or direction to principals at high poverty schools to hire TFA applicants is nonsense. It says right in the contract "agreed number of teaching candidates - 20-25." Why pick a number at all if not to encourage/pressure the district to hire TFA? Why not just sign the contract and the district hires as many or few as they want? That number is in there for a reason.
  • Also, the contract directs the district to hire pairs of TFA recruits so again, there's a directive on numbers. (I guess it's so they have a best friend at the school to eat lunch with).
  • The new HR person did not get it right on the hiring pool for Phases I, II, and III. Holly Ferguson, a senior staffer, had to jump in and correct her. (They are 3 different pools of candidates.) That's worrisome.
  • Legal counsel Neal Treat did what was termed a "tour de force" legal briefing. He did cover it quite well except for a couple of things. I don't care if it's the district or Arne Duncan who will take it on the chin should the Ninth Circuit Court decision go to the full circuit or even the Supreme Court. If a final decision is made in favor of the appellants, then TFA has a problem. Also, he stated this from the contract about FERPA:
"TFA further agrees to return or destroy any student educational records obtained through the District, in its possession..."

Lots of nodding from the Board. He left off one key phrase at the end of that sentence:

..., upon request from the District."

I'll have to remind him and the Board of that request to be made every year.
  • This business of diversity. Just to be clear, there is NO guarantee that because the current TFA recruits are 32% (I believe that was the figure) of color that the pool of TFA recruits who apply to Seattle will be that big. Ditto on the math and science. The Board seems to take it on faith that the pool will be expanded. I think that figure is surely greater than the average pool of teachers but again, there is no way of knowing who will apply here. (Odds are good, though, because if I were a 5-week teacher, I'd rather go to an easier "urban" district like Seattle instead of say, Detroit or LA.)
  • I agree that Kay did the most nuanced thinking but it was quite funny for her to plea with TFA recruits not to come to Seattle if they truly didn't intend to be teachers.
  • While I appreciate levity, I thought that Michael's remark that the 5-week training that TFA recruits get is more than what the School Board has, was a little off.
  • Betty was the only one who seemed to get how this might look to teachers who already feel pressured and alienated. (I had a teacher, from a low-poverty north-end school, come up to me who is worried about how her evaluation will be under the new teacher contract. If she's worried, I have no idea how teachers in the south-end might feel.) That no other director saw it that way is fine BUT several seemed to take pains to make it sound like the TFA recruits would be the only teachers in the building with passion and the desire to follow-thru with every student. It was striking because as they described the TFA recruits, your mind did the contrast to "well if TFA is this, then they must mean the current teachers are that." Not a good picture.
The overall theme to the directors passage of this item is that it's just one more thing in the quiver/arsenal/deck of cards/flock of birds/holster/pool/list/ to use to fight the achievement gap. I do agree with Harium somewhat that it may be worth it even if it makes a difference for one class of kids. But we were initially getting sold on TFA's ability to close the achievement gap and several directors now said they doubted that could happen with TFA.

But in the larger picture, last night we had the Board bypassing what most of us believe should happen in the way of accountability.

One, to vote in the very late and under-quality (and this is the staff admitting this) school reports was surprising. Steve and Peter stayed true to their "staff at all costs" voting pattern. Steven piped up that the Board was just "saying we had these done to OSPI" and Peter said "now if we don't vote for this, we don't get the money, right?" Good points guys but you miss the big point: get your work done in a timely manner.

Also, (with apologies to Dorothy for using her analogy), if your kid doesn't do his chores and says, "Mom I can't do them now, I have to go to soccer practice, the team is counting on me", is this anyway for the Board to allow the staff to behave? There were apologies all around but the fact is that staff didn't put much stock in these reports until Charlie rattled their cage. Clearly, the Board doesn't either as no one but Sherry seemed to care that they had no chance to do their oversight as Board members.

Second, public engagement. I was tired last night and hurrying to my car and a woman, who had testified for TFA, was trying to engage me as I walked. I was nodding and hurrying along and I mentioned that there had been no public engagement and that next time it might be something she was against. She said, "But there was public discussion" and I lost my temper and said something to her loudly and with effect. She walked off. I do apologize for speaking loudly and with effect.

But understand, that there would have been NO public discussion or even awareness of this issue without this blog, the Seattle 2010 blog, and other activists who raised this issue.

TFA wasn't going to do it . The district wasn't going to do it. The Board wasn't going to do it.

That should make everyone a little angry.

Onward.

45 comments:

wseadawg said...

You fought the good fight MW. And you're right, it's not about TFA. It's about the Board buying into every reform gimmick on the market. TFA can make a difference where it is needed. I doubt anyone can disagree with that.

But this board talking about "arrows in the quiver" and such baloney never bothered to consider for a moment the impact on teachers already busting their butts in thankless jobs in underperforming schools.

And think about the classism and racism that this board and this SI have embraced and enhanced. "Seattle is a segregated city" says MGJ. Well, gee, then by all means go ahead and re-segregate the schools Madam! And further stress out the teachers who fight every day at those schools to make a difference.

A parent brought that point up at the Garfield meeting the other night: That splitting up or moving APP out will destroy the most diverse, highest achieving, centrally located High Schools in the nation, and will be "Bad for Seattle." How much of this adopted, imported Arne Duncan style reform agenda will Seattle have to digest under this Board and SI.

News Flash Folks: After huge changes and hundreds of millions of dollars poured into Chicago's schools, the scores have barely moved in 10 years and the reform crowd is on the way out. Do we need to "replicate that [brand of so-called] "success" in Seattle and live through a decade of disruption before we discover the truths? That class size does matter? That poverty impacts and inhibits performance? That jacked up 22 year olds can't save the world? That union teachers didn't plot and carry out 9-11?

I can live with KSB. At least she brushed aside the propaganda and investigated on her own. Yes, the sample of principals is tainted, because it's a given that anyone who opposes MGJ on anything will be shown the door. But at least Kay didn't guzzle the Kool Aid pitcher like the rest of them.

And kudos for Betty Patu for being the only person strong enough and caring enough to put her foot down and say "No." Best of Betty I've seen yet, and I hope to see more in the future.

Good for you and your hard work MW. If nothing else, you shined plenty of spotlight on the shameful, exploitative tactics of TFA and this Board.

AIEC said...

I am not sure what was more concerning about the new "Chief Talent Officer," that she clearly had no idea how the SPS hiring process works (I know she is new, but get briefed before going on camera or have someone else from HR there to defer to) or that she thinks "irregardless" is a word.

Anonymous said...

The "tour de force" comment made me laugh just like the board did, but not in a good way. Mr. Treat got some basic information wrong, like he when he said that they all know what FERPA is, but then didn't get the actual name of the law right. Maybe the board was impressed because the last General Counsel rarely said anything, and when he did, it was obscure. Looks like Mr. Treat is more comfortable in front of the camera, but is still short on substance. Given what his wife's role at SPS was and who tightly she is tied into the corporate ed reform crowd, I am still surprised that no one has raised concerns about him being the ethic's officer. Isn't his wife's new corporate ed group one of those people who would want info from TFA?

Skeptical in Seattle

Central Mom said...

I am more than "a little angry" about this episode. Not about the ultimate vote. About the light it shined on the continued shock and surprise Staff and some Board members have when it comes to the incontrovertable fact that Seattle is a community full of interested, engaged individuals who - rightly - demand a voice at the table of SPS policy and operations.

I hope to NEVER see another episode in which a 3rd party-driven initiative quietly appears on a board agenda (at a time not meeting the minimum public announcement threshold) for a vote.

I hope to NEVER see another episode where a 3rd party, not the District itself, conducts the public engagement portion of an item up for Board vote.

I hope to NEVER see another episode where "public outreach" only to like-minded civic organizations is defended as "adequate" by the District.

Look, Staff and Board: When the public at large got wind of the TFA proposal, you were deluged with emails on all sides of the issue. You had a longer list of potential public testimony speakers than DeBell said he could ever remember. Let me say it again: This is a "thinking" city, and the citizens here want an opportunity to engage with SPS. Perhaps it doesn't work this way in other cities in America. But it does here.


Do not ever, ever, ever attempt to shortchange the public input process again. It is a black eye on the District. It enrages the community and staff. It creates chaos. It invites lawsuits. It taints ideas that might have had merit but have become flawed by all of the above. And, if you want to just be self-serving about it, it will ultimately undermine your positions of leadership in the district.

Learn, District. Learn.

Sam Carpenter said...

I am a Nathan Hale parent, and I am curious if there was discussion of the banning of "Brave New World" at last nights meeting. I believe the parent who had the book removed from the reading list at Hale planned to lobby for the removal of the book district wide. Did she make the agenda? Is there some group some where fighting back against this?

Chris S. said...

I want to kudo Betty Patu not only for her vote but because she invited TFA to speak directly to RBHS parents. That was really the only community outreach.

I also want to think Dora Taylor for also speaking and filling in some details Janis Ortega conveniently left out: length of training program and length of commitment.

StopTFA said...

Any WS Elementary parents who are mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore, contact me at StopTfASeattle@gmail.com

SolvayGirl said...

My thanks also to Betty Patu. It's sad to see that she will now be in the Mary Bass position of being the only board member to have the guts to go against the District.

I would also like to point out that I don't see how having TFA teachers at RBHS will do anything to draw the families who have been avoiding the school. If anything, it will be one more reason to look elsewhere. Unfortunately, since, supposedly, the TFA teachers will not be hired until Phase III, few parents will know if their child will be getting a TFA teacher until the first day of school (and possibly not even then unless the District does a big PR shout-out).

mirmac1 said...

Sam,
Check the Seattle Times today.

Sam Carpenter said...

Please take a moment to contact Nathan Hale Principal Jill Hudson (jshudson@seattleschools.org) and ask her to reverse this dangerous decision. Banning books is not acceptable, and the specious reasons for this act in particular are quite ludicrous. Please also contact School Board members and let them know that censorship will not be tolerated in this district.

Anonymous said...

I know where *I* would start. I'd start with the Special Ed parents. I'd do house visits -- yes, house visits, at their homes -- with every Special Ed parent at my school, and explain to them what has happened, and what is coming down.

Remind them of the battles that they waged to get their kids mainstreamed. Ask them if they want that all flushed down the toilet now, so that MGJ can put some five-week wonder from some scab school in front of their kids.

Ask them how they expect some five-week wonder to implement their kids' IEPs.

Organize them in a group to descend en masse on their principals and to tell those principals: No scab teachers for MY kids!

Hell hath no fury like a Special Ed parent scorned. They are the spearhead of the attack that will turn the tide of battle in our favor. They need our support, and they need it now. From what I have heard, the District respects their muscle.

If anyone thinks any of this is inaccurate, please hasten to correct me. In this company, I hardly consider myself the last word. But I damn sure know how to rattle a cage or two.
--
Ivan Weiss
Proud father of Salmon Bay and Hale graduate. Friend of teachers and their students.

Dorothy Neville said...

Sam, this needs its own thread and I am sure it will get one. I listened to both sides and the issue seems to be more nuanced than simply a book ban. The issue includes the whole HS LA alignment work. Is there any way it was taped for further viewing? It would be very eye opening to hear Vasquez trying to defend the book's role in the curriculum (because that was the issue, not the book itself).

If you, as a student who was perhaps there, has a different perspective and understanding of the facts, I hope (when we get a thread) that you will share it in a thoughtful constructive way.

mirmac1 said...

Sorry Ivan,

I've tried to organize the Spec Ed community to balls out challenge as a group the crap handed under this Super. The silence was deafening.

Anonymous said...

Point taken, mirmac, and I have no basis to dispute anything you say. But why rule out another try? Might be "another arrow in our quiver."
--
Ivan

Melissa Westbrook said...

Sam, that Brave New World hearing was directly before the Board meeting. I'll write a separate thread on that. You need to hear ALL the facts. The parent isn't asking for a ban nor was any decision made.

Solvay, interesting point. I don't think TFA OR the district want parents to know who these teachers are and what schools they are in. Quite the dilemma. I mean, to want something in the district and then want to keep it on the down low.

chunga said...

Helping just one class is not, as Director Martin-Morris claimed, a sufficient success criteria. Not if other classes are hurt because of TFA. Seattle's neediest kids shouldn't be asked to shoulder the burden of figuring out which few of the many TFA recruits will be good teachers!

chunga said...

Beyond the immediate concerns for how this will impact Seattle students, the decision on TFA was symbolic of national trends of corporate intrusion on education and of trends of this superintendent's autocratic approach to decision making. Even if their impact on Seattle is minimal, TFA's expansion in Washington and nationally is concerning. When some of the prime funders (the Walton foundation for example) are openly against the very idea of public education, I don't think I'm being paranoid in my concerns. And, after attending the last two board meetings, the arrogance I saw on display by a majority of the TFA alum was frankly galling, and unlike anything I've seen since watching the contempt of Wall Street bankers for the American public last year. This lack of humility is really something I'm concerned about exposing not just Seattle students to, but any students.

Maureen said...

It's interesting to me that most of the target schools for TFA are probably in the district of the one Director who voted no.

Thanks Melissa for your testimony and special Thanks to all of our teachers, who have to go to work today with this decision hanging over them. I can't believe six Board Directors place so little value on the morale of our classroom professionals.

ArchStanton said...

Here's a link to the Brave New World appeal record.

The first part is boilerplate. Documentation of the various letters and meetings starts about 1/4 down.

/haven't gone through it all myself, yet

chunga said...

To StopTFA and others, a new parent group has formed called "Parents Across America Seattle". Though affiliated with a national group (PAA), this is a true grass-roots group (no corporate foundation influence). We have already been active in opposing the TFA proposal (and, in fact, are still looking at ways to block it). More broadly, we're working to support the ideals of public education in a democratic society. You can find more info at http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/parents-across-america/parents-across-america-seattle/. Check us out and then come help us out!

hschinske said...

I was really impressed with Shannon Conner's and Keven Wyncoop's letters (especially compared to some of the awful prose at the beginning -- geez, three texts, two of which are BNW? COUNT, people -- either there was another title, or there were two texts).

While I don't agree with every element of Ms. Sense-Wilson's summary, it's clear that she raised important issues. I'm very happy that teachers aren't just seeing this as a question of what they may or may not teach, but learning something about HOW to teach, and addressing the matter proactively.

One idea that does disturb me, though, is that the superintendent mentioned identifying particular texts that "address complex cultural issues" -- uh, sorry, that kind of thinking is part of the problem. We don't have regular, easy-to-teach, problem-free books over HERE, and culturally-complex books over THERE. We don't have to put our multiculti hats on only when we're looking at _The Bluest Eye_, and not when we're reading Wordsworth.

Helen Schinske

Kathy said...

Last night, more than ever, I missed the voice of Mary Bass voting "NO".

Thank you Betty for representing my voice, my thoughts and my feelings.

I didn't go to the Board Meeting. I knew TfA would pass. I just couldn't watch the horse and pony show.

I feel hurt, angry and betrayed.

I expected a 5 :2 vote. I am disappointed.

Melissa and Charlie- Thanks for being our eyes and ears. Without you, busy parents would be blind to district operations.

Special thanks to Melissa for being brave and speaking up- even though we knew the outcome had been decided.

Before you close this link - Curious made an interesting comment. I'd like to know more about this:

Full text of slide:

Phase III hiring starts at different times:

School Improvement Grant (SIG) schools (3) go immediately into Phase III, skipping I & II

Per the teacher contract, Level 1 schools start in Phase I and move to Phase III, skipping Phase II

All other schools start in Phase I, move to Phase II and end in Phase III

Therefore the Phase III process starts earlier for SIG & Level 1 schools

Particularily, if a school is failing doesn't MGJ have ability to intervene? If so, how does this play into TfA hires?

Thanks again

dan dempsey said...

Here are Anderson's and Martin's responses to the Directors for whom recall is sought today at 3:00 p.m..

ArchStanton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The Directors were well apprised of the TFA contract, if approved, creating the risk that the District could lose its Title 1 funding, as a result of the contract causing a situation of violating NCLB (the all-teachers-must be highly qualified clause).

There is a very strong case for an appeal of this decision.

I think we have our strongest case yet for a recall petition. In this case, more than for the previous two recall petitions, it will be very difficult for the Directors overcome the recall petition through the means of last resort: i.e., that they did not have knowledge and intent that they were, by the very act of voting for the TFA contract, breaking state and federal law.


Even if these petitions don't succeed, they have the potential to accomplish the following:

1. To discourage certain board members from running for re-election

2. To encourage the board members to follow all applicable state and federal laws and regulations and board policies in their decision making.

3. To discourage any new folks from running for the board who would be wanting to behave similarly as those how are now facing their second recall hearing, and may have to face a third in the near term.

SolvayGirl said...

I'm still thinking about how TFA is going to apply to RBHS. With only 400 students, how many NEW teachers would it be hiring in any given year? Would there even be more than one or two opening?

I'd like to hear Michael Rice weigh in on this; he's been silent on the matter and I believe he would have some good insight.

Joan NE said...

The following two posts on the S3B blog pertain to the TFA vote.

http://seattleshadow.blogspot.com/
2010/11/
legal-analysis-of-tfa-contract.html

http://seattleshadow.blogspot.com/
2010/11/
in-tfa-vote-six-directors-provide.html

Anonymous said...

Shall we suggest that the School Board replace the superintendent and Stanford Center management staff -- and themselves -- with TFA kids?

Five weeks of training should be more than sufficient to prepare any college graduate for a superintendent's position, senior administrator or school board seat in a major school district.

After all, it is well documented that a superintendent's certificate is no guarantee of quality administrative and leadership skills, and certainly no guarantee of reducing the achievement gap or raising test scores, no matter what prestigious university the certificate comes from. TFA kids, with their youth, enthusiasm and can-do spirit, would be able to lead the District to the educational promised land.

Experience? It means nothing! Professional training? Five weeks have got it covered! Job savvy? Just gets in the way of learning.

Besides, think of the savings. Although that is certainly not the first consideration. Of course not.

Jan said...

Anonymouses at 2:54 and 4:53 -- please put in some sort of identifying name (nom de guerre?) either at the top or bottom of the post, so they don't get deleted by the anonymous posting policies!!

seattle citizen said...

Speaking of data, Nina Shapiro writes about "The Data Queen" in this week's Weekly. It's illustrated.

MapleLeafer said...

Shall we suggest that the School Board replace the superintendent and Stanford Center management staff -- and themselves -- with TFA kids?

Five weeks of training should be more than sufficient to prepare any college graduate for a superintendent's position, senior administrator or school board seat in a major school district.

After all, it is well documented that a superintendent's certificate is no guarantee of quality administrative and leadership skills, and certainly no guarantee of reducing the achievement gap or raising test scores, no matter what prestigious university the certificate comes from. TFA kids, with their youth, enthusiasm and can-do spirit, would be able to lead the District to the educational promised land.

Experience? It means nothing! Professional training? Five weeks have got it covered! Job savvy? Just gets in the way of learning.

Besides, think of the savings. Although that is certainly not the first consideration. Of course not.

seattle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
seattle said...

From the Nathan Hale Principal to parents:

Dear Community,

You may have heard stories recently about the use of the book Brave New World, by Aldus Huxley, at Nathan Hale High School. Recent news stories have been inaccurate about the actions we have taken with this book.

Brave New World has not been banned at Nathan Hale.

We believe strongly in the freedom to allow students to read what interests them, and are not in the habit of “banning” books.

Last spring, the Language Arts department at Nathan Hale worked together to select prospective texts from the newly adopted curriculum list for Seattle Public Schools. I am proud of our Language Arts department for selecting a variety of texts from authors of varying cultural and racial backgrounds. We selected texts that better represent not only the diverse student population we serve, but also the diverse population of the City of Seattle.

At the same time that we were selecting prospective texts, feedback came to us about Brave New World from our Native American community. Indigenous community leaders educated us about the hurtful connotation of the word “savage” and the unexamined stereotypical presentation of Native Americans in Brave New World. For this, we are grateful. We continue to work collaboratively with our community to understand culture, race and difference and how such a book and other books like it fit into that process.

Brave New World remains in our curriculum as one of the texts students may choose in Literature Circles. In Literature Circles, students choose their own reading material and meet in small groups with other students who are reading the same book. The teacher acts a facilitator. This context provides a better opportunity for critical thinking about the novel.

To ensure that our students graduate from Nathan Hale ready for college and careers, we must focus on texts that challenge them to think at deep levels about themselves and the society we live in. The texts we have selected have many controversial elements and we are continuing to engage in professional development that helps our entire staff to be more prepared to address culturally and racially charged issues. As staff we have come together to improve our ability to address the issues of equity and race. I am proud of our staff for engaging in the discourse and using their minds well as we hope to help our students learn to use their minds well.

Sincerely,

Jill

Jill Hudson, Ed.D.

ConcernedSPSParent said...

I noticed that the Raikes
Foundation is a generous donor to the
TFA. The Raikes family (when
combining donations from husband and
wife) donated $12K to Carr (5th
largest donor), 8K to Maier (#5),
6K to Martin-Morris (#1) and to round
it off 4.5K(#7)to Sundquist. I guess
it's just a common name in Seattle:)

Melissa Westbrook said...

Interesting letter from Dr. Hudson. One, it doesn't mention any of the professional development Ms. Vasquez of the district talked about at the hearing. And two, there was nothing specific about what they are doing to make sure teachers teach in context and with nuance.

seattle citizen said...

They donated 32,000 to school board elections? Four candidates?

Why on earth...oh, they wanted to see their agenda enacted. I get it.

Must be nice to be able to buy policy: We like TFA: We will give them money, then buy us some board directors to git them in there pronto!"

Pretty undemocratic, enit.

ConcernedSPSParent said...

Interestingly the gang of four had
the same seven top donor 'families'.
They donated $70K to Carr, $62K to
Maier, $34K to Martin-Morris and
$39K to Sundquist. The 'normal' amount required by a winning
candidate in an expensive district
is 40K....

Oh, Raikes came in at #2 for Carr.

Charlie Mas said...

Here's an important point to note:

The District staff said, on several occasions, that the Teach for America corps members will only be in the Phase III hiring pool. They won't be in Phase I or Phase II.

No. They won't. But not because of the contract and not because the District won't allow them into the Phase I and Phase II pool, but because there won't be a Phase I or a Phase II hiring period at any of the schools where they want to teach.

One of the elements of the District's Performance Management System dictates that Level 1 and Level 2 schools - those which are under-performing - will go straight to Phase III hiring.

Let's remember that Teach for America corps members are only interested in working in low-income communities, which are the schools south of I-90 and the schools in the far north. These are also the schools which are in Level 1 or Level 2 for Performance Management.

So there won't be two rounds of internal hiring that come before the Teach for America corps members can enter the candidate pool. They will be among the first to apply and be considered for those jobs.

Charlie Mas said...

I was thinking that I would apply for a teaching job at an under-performing school this spring.

I don't have a teaching certificate, but the District can't use that as a reason to exclude me from the candidate pool - not unless they exclude everyone else without a certificate from the candidate pool. And none of the Teach for America corps members will have their conditional certificates until after they are hired.

Joan NE said...

Per Jan having warned me that my earlier post might be deleted, I am reposting this:

The Directors were well apprised of the TFA contract, if approved, creating the risk that the District could lose its Title 1 funding, as a result of the contract causing a situation of violating NCLB (the all-teachers-must be highly qualified clause).

There is a very strong case for an appeal of this decision.

I think we have our strongest case yet for a recall petition. In this case, more than for the previous two recall petitions, it will be very difficult for the Directors overcome the recall petition through the means of last resort: i.e., that they did not have knowledge and intent that they were, by the very act of voting for the TFA contract, breaking state and federal law.


Even if these petitions don't succeed, they have the potential to accomplish the following:

1. To discourage certain board members from running for re-election

2. To encourage the board members to follow all applicable state and federal laws and regulations and board policies in their decision making.

3. To discourage any new folks from running for the board who would be wanting to behave similarly as those how are now facing their second recall hearing, and may have to face a third in the near term.

Reference: http://seattleshadow.blogspot.com/
2010/11/
in-tfa-vote-six-directors-provide.html

dan dempsey said...

Many Thanks for the financing of the Raikes family's preferred candidates.

Pretty easy to see why Carr, Sundquist, Maier, and Martin-Morris do so little evidence based decision-making. Most of their decisions are apparently bought and paid for in advance. Why care about the data.

Betty Patu has a nose for baloney and she is not buying. Thanks Betty.

I will post the declarations of each of these four filed for the Recall hearing ... individually tomorrow.

I am bushed. Night night.

wseadawg said...

So Harium says TFA won't close the achievement gap. But the CAO and SI say that's the key legal reason and necessity for TFA. So, Harium debunks and doesn't buy the district's sole rationale for TFA, but votes for it anyways.

What else is in his quiver, I wonder?

Charlie Mas said...

That reminds me of two more extended quotes that I am going to transcribe and retain:

Harium's teary-eyed speach about "if it improves just one classroom" it's totally worth it. I will remind him of that when he opposes a motion because it will only have a small effect.

Also, all of the talk about having "one more arrow in the quiver" for when they oppose changes that appear superfluous.

Jan said...

The other thing flawed in Director Martin-Morris's speech is the logic of his argument -- "if only one classroom is helped . . . ."

Well, what if, in 3 other classrooms, principals drank the koolaid and hired TfA teachers who taught significantly worse than the teachers who would have otherwise been hired (we would never know, of course, but that doesn't make it any less plausible). And what if, when that TfA teacher leaves, after 2 years, the NEXT set of 30 kids parked in front of the NEXT newbie teacher learn 50% less than if a regular teacher had been hired in the first place -- and would have been on her third year of teaching experience in front of that very same class.

Any tears shed now, Director Martin-Morris, for the kids getting worse instruction so your hypothetical one classroom could be saved? Do you not see the need for a NET gain analysis here?

Of course, short of the ability to run an alternate universe where identical classes are taught by different teachers, I cannot prove that results will be worse. But it is expensive, it will consume district resources, it is incredibly divisive, it has no proven track record in any peer reviewed study I am aware of, and it may be illegal. All this for an additional "arrow in the quiver?"

dan dempsey said...

Odd how Director Martin-Morris sees no need to use evidence in his selection of arrows for the quiver.

Look at the Math results and yet he unquestioningly believes in waiting for the Strategic Plan to become effective. .. My what a visionary.

He ignores reality on an ongoing basis. The Studies on TfA in any situation like Seattle's shows there is nothing to be gained and much to be lost.

The idea that anyone of these Board directors believes that MGJ will not put pressure on schools to hire TfA newbies is absurd. Or is it 17% absurd.

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From St. Martin's University on Alternative Route Certification:

Unique qualifications may include: Non-certificated district employees of school districts who hold Bachelor’s degrees (or higher) and who are seeking residency certification and endorsement in an area with shortages and/or professionals who have Bachelor’s degrees (or higher) in content areas that could lead to endorsement in a district-specific shortage area.