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Monday, April 18, 2011

Echos from Chicago

Rahm Emanuel, the mayor-elect of Chicago, just appointed a new head of schools.  Jean-Claude Brizard comes from Rochester, NY schools and is a Broad superintendent.   From the Huffington Post:

Brizard, a native of Haiti, embodies two types of urban superintendents. On the one hand, he’s a former principal with masters' degrees in school administration and science education. He’s a product of the classroom who went on to follow a traditional path of school management, serving as a regional superintendent of New York City schools.

On the other hand, he’s a graduate of the Broad Foundation’s Superintendents Academy -- a program that stresses the corporate-tinged, charter-school championing policies emphasized by the Obama administration -- that is much maligned by teachers unions.

His tenure saw improved graduation rates and higher test scores in math and English, but was also marked by clashes with teachers' unions over a push for increased charter schools and merit pay. An overwhelming 95 percent of teachers voted "no confidence" in Brizard, in an unprecedented vote taken by the Rochester Teachers Association. 

Sound familiar?  Here's what the comments say:

I do not envy you, Chicago. Brizard earned himself a 95% no-confidence vote from teachers, a 5% college-re­adiness in graduates (of which are only 46% of students), unsafe schools and cut programs. Rochester is not sad to see him go, but I am sad to see that he still managed to get another superinten­dent job. Business men think the business model can apply to anything, sadly. 

One of my favorites is that he virtually eliminated suspensions.....what Jean Claude leaves out is that he took suspension rights away from principals­. Do not kid yourselves­, the Rochester City Schools are no safer and behavior is no better....­if anything it is worse. Now students get to come to school and be afraid of the students they are around. Additional­ly, he did not meet with teachers on any regular schedule and most certainly refused to answer emails from teachers or even look at teachers when they were speaking at board meetings. Instead, he typically would be texting on his cell phone while teachers, parents and students would try and express their thoughts to him.

He also signed his new contract with a guaranteed raise each year without tying that raise to any signs of student success yet he refuses to commit to any teacher contract unless their salary is tied to student success...yet he has yet to define how he would measure that success.

The story also said that Providence, Detroit, Newark, Atlanta, Broward County, FL and Montgomery, Maryland are looking for new supers.  I guess the question is how fast can the Broad Academy churn them out?

9 comments:

dan dempsey said...

Hey only 95% no confidence ... He was more popular than MGJ.

Little doubt that the Reform Centered Obama/Duncan "Race to the Top" .... makes a "Broad" Academy trained Superintendent a big priority for Rham. ... Anybody done an independent analysis of those scores? Sounds a lot like the Bogus Data provided by NTN to Seattle to get $800,000. Gee those scores might even be as good as Rod Paige's Houston ISD test scores. The Texas Mirage.

The "Race to the Bank" for new venture capitalists is well underway. Just ask the Directors of KnowledgeWorks Foundation the Parent of New Tech Network. They are likely really happy with the SPS giving them $800,000.

NWEA/MAP for all ... good for Value Added Model ... of teacher evaluation and compensation ... while claiming to be a formative assessment tool. Dude...Gag me with a hanging chad.

Eric B said...

Am I the only one who saw the 5% "ready for college" number and wondered if they had the same statistical issue we did?

WV: readsome. Sounds like excellent advice.

Melissa Westbrook said...

No, Eric, I was startled at the similarity of the numbers as well.

Never Again said...

After MGJ, I wouldn't wish a Broad on anyone!

Anonymous said...

I'd love to Rahm the finger (that he's missing). ^$#)&%

grumpy

pjmanley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josh Hayes said...

The HuffPo said, in part:

"Additional­ly, he did not meet with teachers on any regular schedule and most certainly refused to answer emails from teachers or even look at teachers when they were speaking at board meetings. Instead, he typically would be texting on his cell phone while teachers, parents and students would try and express their thoughts to him...."

This is remarkable -- I wonder if Broad actually trains their administrators to act like that? Maybe it's supposed to show how busy they are, and how hard they're working on everything but listening to anyone else?

And what are they texting, anyway? "All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy."

WenD said...
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WenD said...

@Josh: I've wondered the same thing. Broad training either attracts or encourages arrogance in management style. You can certainly be arrogant and incompetent without Broad training, but it's a defining feature of their alumni.

This arrogance also appears to be the key to the notable failures among Broadies. Fidelity to their self-serving agenda trips them up in the end.