Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Age bias

A common complaint in the Roosevelt years, and perhaps to a lesser extent the Lane years, was a perception of bias against older teachers, principals and administrators. Cost was felt to be an issue (more experienced teachers earned more), but beyond that a common impression was that younger teachers were less likely to ask questions.  Has the situation improved under Hamlet?  Or are there enough older teachers, staff and administrators remaining to make a determination?

A book from last year, "Disrupted:  My misadventure in the start-up bubble," about a 50+ individual who goes to work at a Boston tech company where most employees are under 30, is entertaining and echoes some of the experiences mentioned by experienced teachers.  In addition, some of the techniques used by administrators are eerily Rooseveltian.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Discipline for failure to wear uniforms

Anonymous wrote:

"I taught for 8 years at a middle school with students who wore uniforms. On the surface students being suspended for not wearing a uniform sounds outrageous. However, I can tell you first hand there is more to it than just not having a uniform. First, many of these schools are magnet schools in which a parent applied to get their child in knowing it is a uniform school. The student and parent sign a contract agreeing to the uniform policy. When students do not have a shirt or pants, had an accident and so on uniforms were given to them through the school donation centers. These suspensions, at least the ones I witnessed were all students who repeatedly and defiantly choose not to follow the rules repeatedly. We had students wear red belts to show their gang affiliation and create gang groups in schools. Many of the students who were warned several time about their persistent defiance regarding uniforms, after phone calls homes, restorative conversations and other interventions were finally suspended. I guarantee if you look at the WHOLE situation for these children you will see the WHOLE picture because you decide to judge. I welcome you to come into a school and see the lack of authority teachers and administrators actually do have and then see with your own eyes the result of how our students are running wild in these buildings, fighting, not completing work, assaulting teachers, running out of the classrooms because there is NO let me repeat NO accountability for students. But please continue to make judgement based on surface information"

Is the blog alive?

Anonymous wrote:

"new topic: is the blog still alive? lots of issues swirling around-- you are missed "

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Superintendent found to be "proficient"

Anonymous wrote:

"New Post
Hamlet's "achievable stretch" constitutes "proficiency".
http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2017/08/25/Anthony-Hamlet-Pittsburgh-Public-Schools-job-evaluation-proficient/stories/201708250217

Ha. Has PPS become a yoga class? If so I'm all for 'downward-facing dog'. It's rejuvenating and there's no hiding in how to achieve the pose."

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Less time to be spent taking PSSA's

Anonymous wrote:

"New Post: Complete Education - critical thinking skills - PSSA Testing.
http://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2017/08/14/Wolf-announces-reduction-in-classroom-time-for-taking-PSSA-tests/stories/201708140091

In reducing the amount of classroom time students spend taking standardized exams are we in fact reducing the amount of "critical thinking" skills that we deem important?

An anonymous op-ed in defense of these PSSA Exams ( length and merits ) would be timely here as the changes go into effect next spring. "