Monday, March 9, 2009

Broad Foundation Influence

From another post:

Anonymous said:
I agree about all the forces against teachers and administrators (and parents) speaking out and getting heard (rather than just nodded at). I don't have a solution, but I do think there are some things each of those groups can do. One is to get together a group -- perhaps teachers from different schools who all live in the same board member's district. Set up a meeting with your school board member and talk about the changes for the worse that have been seen in the last few years. Talk about the fear of speaking out. Recommend times that those board members should come to visit schools. Include like-minded parents.Make suggestions here for what's needed in terms of change or what's been lost. For instance, there have often been calls here for a comprehensive long-range plan, something that spells out 5 and 10 year goals and plans for buildings, programs, etc.

Sometimes just having lots of different people saying the same thing gets that message heard.For parents, the Parent Hotline does seem to get quick action on specific school issues if they haven't been addressed when you dealt with the school directly. It's my understanding that a school has a pretty short turn-around time to get back to the BOE with information regarding those calls. If only the parent hotline were set up to take complaints about the administration...

This is more abstract, but I do think we all need to realize that this isn't just a Pittsburgh/current administration thing. This is happening in districts across the country and Broad "trained" administrators are heading them up everywhere. Check out the Broad program website and read the details of the "10-month" It's got a pretty partisan view but this blog pulls together all sorts of news stories and research about the current wave of "reform":

March 8, 2009 10:06 PM

Anonymous said...
The post about the Broad "trained" administrators hit the nail on the head. When a Broad graduate gets a position, ie. Roosevelt, they are supposed to bring in other employees from Broad. Roosevelt has brought in at least one Broad trained person. I can't remember who it is right now. Broad is like a giant pyramid scheme taking over the education in our country.

March 9, 2009 6:42 AM


Questioner said...

Others from Broad include or have included Deputy Superintendent Linda Lane, former Deputy Superintendent Lynn Spampinato, former operations chief Paul Gill and administrator Cate Reed. School board member Thomas Sumpter indicates that he received Broad training for board members.

Anonymous said...

One difference about Linda Lane (she and Roosevelt have done the superintendent's training, Reed did a different Broad program for "early career" people) is that Lane was in education as a career prior to Broad -- she didn't just switch from "business" or politics or the military, as do many if not most of the other Broad superintendents. It seems like she has more of a feel about teaching and managing in education.

The Broad site says there are two other Broad fellows (like Reed) either currently with or on their way to PGH. Their degrees are also in business, I believe.

gigi said...

Eddy Jones was Broad trained and as a parent I can say he is extremely talented and highly motivated. I think in his former life he worked in finance. He did Parent Engagement for a year and has done work for Pittsburgh Promise. Cate and Eddy are fromer PPS students if my memory serves me. I also think someone new named Marni Pastor is Broad trained.

Anonymous said...

I'd say that most of the Broad people are smart, talented and motivated.

However, I'd say that the agenda that they are carrying out is, well, not going to get our schools to where they say they are going to be. There is such a gap between their rhetoric and the hands-on reality of what's happening in the schools that I'm not sure it can ever be bridged.

Questioner said...

Issues with the Broad program seem to be related not so much to particular individuals as to a lack of regard for parent and community input.

In New York a couple of years ago, some parents actually asked the Foundation NOT to award their district a Broad Prize and the funding that goes with it.

Anonymous said...

Another initiative...destined for failure within 5 years.

Anonymous said...

Everything about the Broad Program is yet another step in the process of the government getting out of the education business. Read the website and understand what is transpiring in Pittsburgh--our darkest days are being shared in other cities.
If you want to turn around education in this urban setting, bring together the most successful teachers in every school---from every department. Let them come up with real world scenarios in which kids can achieve and academic integrity can be maintained. Let them discuss the real problems our kids face--the real dilemmas each teacher faces each and every day. Let them discuss the neighborhoods our kids come from and the many problems which are there in the home and in the community.

Get rid of the superintendent and his staff immediately. Urban education is no place for corporate types and no place for failed teachers who have matriculated into administration. It's not a place for those who devise policies so grossly out of touch with the realities of the classroom that their beliefs seem to emanate from comic books.
This is a crucial time in education, and this is no time or place for pseudo-educators.
You want success? Ask the most successful teachers.

Anonymous said...

Broad Administratos are destroying Christina School District in Wilmington Delaware!