Monday, October 19, 2009

"Academy" for new teachers

From the Tribune, Gates money is expected to fund an Academy that will among other things address "the belief system and mindsets" of teachers:


Observer said...

I found a couple of comments to be wildly hilarious. First, this gem:
"A lot of teachers realize that it's not what they thought it would be, once they get into the classroom," Tarka said. "We want them to recognize how very important preparation is and that we're teaching a student body that is very diverse."

This coming from a man who is about as out of touch with real classroom issues as administrators. Mr.Tarka, your continued capitulation to this administration makes it clear. You should be made to re-enter the classroom...immediately. As should ALL PFT staff.

And if that wasn't enough, the master of being out of touch chimes in with this pearl:

"We need to do a far better job identifying what the belief system and mindsets of our teachers should be," Roosevelt said. "It's about looking at your classroom and believing ... that every one of these children can reach the standards."

First, Roosevelt talks about mindsets. Amazing thoughts coming from a man who will only enter a school with personal security. Secondly, you would think that teachers mindsets are the reasons can't reach standards. Baloney, Mark. There you go again. Your teachers are the ones who fight through defeatist notions. They're the ones who trump the idea of giving grades away via your 50% policy. Teachers aren't the problem, Mark. Apparently you've convinced Tarka, but any real teacher will tell you that where educating kids is concerned, people like you are simply unneeded obstacles.

Anonymous said...

"It is peculiar that you would take students right out of education school and plant them down in a classroom — 'Here's a classroom, here's your students, go at it,'" said Superintendent Mark Roosevelt.

Uhh, didn't we take a superintendent right out of superintendent school and plant him down in Pittsburgh?

Anonymous said...

Wow, does PPS hire 100 teachers every year?

Anonymous said...

That's exactly how we got our superintendent - straight out of the Broad School/Academy or whatever it's called. Do as I say, not as I did, quote the boss.

And no, we don't hire 100 teachers a year. Obviously they intend to get rid of a large number of the ones we have.

Observer said...

I used to feel that given the exit of John Thompson, some bit of information regarding the man's stay here in Pittsburgh--indeed, some sort of information which tarnished his time here--must have been in the hands of some type of power to hasten the departure of an individual who had a great deal of confidence in himself and his abilities. I still wonder about how that scenario went down.
I remember reading about the three finalists for superintendent to replace Thompson and remember thinking that the least qualified, strictly from an educational standpoint, was Mark Roosevelt. While the man had a splendid resume and accounting of accomplishments, it was more in line with corporate dealings and politics. With that in mind, the man has conducted business just as I would have expected.
Mr.Tarka and the PFT however are another matter. I will grant the idea that in the last years of his tenure as PFT chief, Al Fondy was not the lion he had previously been, but look at what the PFT has become.
Is there any teacher out there who still believes that he has a viable union? Whether in terms of salaries or in terms of working conditions, the targeting of teachers and the incredible micro-management that comes from administration, one can only wonder how a once proud union has been emasculated in such an embarrassingly public manner. It seems to me that the union may be able to make headway in terms of class sizes, teaching periods and the like, but not much else.
How did this happen?
How can a union chief continually stand by and watch his rank and file take decimating hits?
To top it all off, Tarka comes off more as an ally to Roosevelt in article after article these days. To any observer, union bosses and administration are necessarily adversarial. In Pittsburgh, the cozy public relationship has only served to leave a great many teachers frustrated and disillusioned.