Sunday, October 14, 2012

If you swapped the teachers with those from Upper St. Clair

On another post Anonymous wrote:

NEW POST PLEASE:

PPS Central Office needs get off the bandwagon and stop blaming their teachers...

From Brian O'Neill's Article in Sunday's Post-Gazette:

"If you took the teachers from Upper St. Clair and swapped them for a full year with teachers in Wilkinsburg,'' he asked. "Do you really think there would be some miraculous difference in each school's test scores?"

No, nobody would. Teachers matter. They matter quite a lot, as anyone who's had a great one would tell you. But teachers aren't the biggest factor in low -- or high -- test scores.


Just ask Diane Ravitch, who was in the White House East Room with President George W. Bush in 2001 when he announced the reforms that became the No Child Left Behind Act. Since then, Ms. Ravitch has made a 180-degree turn, writing a book, "The Death and Life of the Great American School System,'' that decries a "simple-minded focus on standardized testing'' and the "punitive'' use of test scores.

"Part of what is going on is to try to blame low performance on teachers instead of recognizing that poverty is the single greatest determinant of low scores,'' Ms. Ravitch, an assistant secretary of education during the first Bush administration, told the Economic Policy Institute a couple of years ago.


Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/brian-oneill/standardized-tests-are-alas-all-we-have-to-measure-school-success-657504/#ixzz29Hci7xoz

53 comments:

Farouk Williamson said...

What a powerful quote...

"Part of what is going on is to try to blame low performance on teachers instead of recognizing that poverty is the single greatest determinant of low scores,'' Ms. Ravitch, an assistant secretary of education during the first Bush administration, told the Economic Policy Institute a couple of years ago.

The antithesis of what I have heard Dr. Lane and crew say at their parent meetings, stating that an effective teacher is the single most determining factor of student achievement. While this is true to a degree it is not the only factor as Mr. O'Neill and Diane Ravitch reveal with their commentary...

Questioner said...

What the studies say is that teachers are the single most IN SCHOOL determining factor. Overall families and communities may well be more important.

Farouk Williamson said...

Thanks Questioner! Yes, I agree, that is an important distinguishment that often is left out in PPS administration's argument for EFFECTIVE teachers. The title of this post "If you swapped the teachers..." speaks volumes about the challenges all teacher's face and the overall blame they often receive.

Anonymous said...

If teachers do not believe that they can teach poor, urban children to the highest levels, they must move to wealthier, suburban district. (period)

We need teachers who know, who will, who believe, who can, who do---bring the more vulnerable children to the highest level. (period)

Questioner said...

We should be crediting those who know, who will, etc. and have successfully achieved these higher levels- they can be role models. Names?

Questioner said...

This is not to say that these super successful teachers need special recognition (although everyone likes to be appreciated), but rather that if the identities of these teachers are not widely known it is difficult for them to be district-wide role models.

Anonymous said...

They are not "super successful teachers" but teachers doing their job with knowledge and caring for which there is not substitute!

That is the expectation for all professionals who take pride in doing a good job. Good teachers are not "role models", but merely professional representatives of the teaching field.

Others need to find other work.

Urban schools, in particular, need knowledgeable, caring professionals in every classroom. There should be no need (nor time) for "role models".

Anonymous said...

3:34 - The "appreciation" comes from satisfaction in a job well-done and the inherent and long-term RESPECT of students well-served!

Questioner said...

At this time, teachers who bring the most vulnerable children to the highest levels are not routine and would make excellent role models.

Anonymous said...

2:24
Did these teachers have more support than other teachers? From a principal or social worker? Did they teach in smaller classes?

I'm not discounting the ability of some teachers over others to move student achievement. But, the comparisons never seem to be between apples and apples.

In general, the focus on effective teachers has taken away from the focus on real issues of poverty and access to resources.

I'm not a teacher--I'm a parent with 2 young children. I have skin in this game. Yes, I want my kids to have great teachers. But, I also want my kids to be safe.

I don't crave data, as Mr. O'Neill suggests, when the data shows an inaccurate picture of my teachers and school.

I'm so glad, however, that Mr. O'Neill wrote this column today to bring awareness to our community. We deserve the truth!

I have and will continue to advocate for measures that will strengthen our public schools. And Farouk, you are correct, it is the antitheses of the malarkey coming from Dr. Lane and Company.

Anonymous said...

Good teachers best serve children in classrooms. It is rare that the assignment of "role model" does anything but take them from the classroom and make them objects of disparaging remarks such as the comments on this blog about model principals which roughly makes the point about "role model" teachers.

Anonymous said...

4:48. Good teachers are not required to read from a script, why are you forcing them to do so. (I assume you are from central office) IT IS NOT working.

Questioner said...

5:09, the analogy to principals isn't really clear, but there are lots of ways other teachers could learn from any teachers who are bringing the most vulnerable children to the highest level, without pulling those teachers from the classroom.

Such as, videotapes, or having teachers visit, or having the most successful teachers speak at in-house training days when students are not in school anyway. They don't need to be labeled as role models, it can be low key, just say so and so had a lot of success doing x y and z. And provide the data to show that the success that took place.

Anonymous said...

Are some of these people serious...since when has being a role model become a bad thing? Seems to me that everyone benefits from positive role models, whether that be a parent, a community member, or heaven forbid, a teacher.

Anonymous said...

2:24, I do believe you are missing the whole point of this entire post and your rhetorical soap box speech solves nothing. No one said that teachers that do not believe they can teach poor urban children, etc. should stay. The point of this entire post is that even those teachers who know, who will, who can, and who do bring the more vulnerable children to higher levels are often STILL ridiculed by people like you who demand the "highest levels" which cannot be readily defined (period, exclamation point)

Anonymous said...

Research also shows that children that are nurtured during the formative years birth to age 5 will almost always outperform those children who are not. I don't believe many teachers would argue that they cannot make a difference in their student's performance and 2:24 you are making many generalizations about "poor, urban children" vs. "wealthier, suburban".

Old Timer said...

2:24, what an outrageous posting, even for you. Perhaps you are thinking of teachers from the 1960's. Thanks to Dr.Lane and her lieutenants, who spend more time in planning cook-outs and Steeler Fridays than they do actually getting to know their teachers, the ranks have sliced to the bare minimum. I will say this: I know of no teacher who ISN'T in it to help the kids. Period.
I will go one step further for you.
I would gladly bet whatever sum you would like that if teachers were allowed to run this district--from central administration down to curriculum writers in each department and WITHOUT INTERFERENCE of PITT's IFL--scores and achievement would go up literally overnight. PERIOD.
Whatever sum you wish or better yet...your job for mine.
Most teachers have forgotten more than central administration will ever learn about education. Most teachers have dedicated their lives to working with our city's children and have done so for more than the past ten years with not even a cost of living raise.

Walk a mile in my shoes. Let's see if you could last in my classroom---a classroom the kids enjoy, mind you---for more than a day.

I say you can't.
I say it's easy to cast aspersions from behind a keyboard.
I say it's easy to point fingers from the Ivory Tower.

And my thanks to Mr.O'Neill and Ms.Ravitch.

Somewhere, Judy Johnston is writing a letter to the editor to say it's all the fault of teachers.

Farouk Williamson said...

Who is this Judy Johnston and what is Pitt's IFL? Thanks.

dee said...

My 3rd year college student just pulled away from the curb to head back to school after a one night visit home to get warmer clothes. I have stated before that the recent pps grads are an untapped resource for righting the local public education ship. The connection to the Pittsburgh Promise office gives pps easy access to the people who can pinpoint exactly where public education is failing students. Pittsburgh is so stinkin' proud about being ahead of the stinkin' teacher evaluation process coming down the pike form stinkin' Harrisburg that it is all they are hanging their stinkin' hats on. Get over it already central admin and move the heck on!

Mr. Williamson, the IFL is the Institute for Learning. They were big on writing curriculum when my kid was still in school. You know what I say I want my kid to learn from? Find me a teacher who is passionate about a book or an author and let her teach all the lessons through the book she feels so strongly about. Give teacher some autonomy and watch them soar and screw the standardized tests.

Anonymous said...

Bravo!

Autonomy is a MUST for professionals!

If you don't trust the people you hire to do the job of teaching, then you are hiring the wrong people.

It is that simple, for professionals!

Scripts for teachers are the ultimate insult!

Anonymous said...

2:24 is a central office plant. They have no conception of the problem. They will not accept reality. They are committed to delusions that serve no-one but themselves ($$$). "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain."

Anonymous said...

7:20 - Do you really think that there are no teachers that can teach Pittsburgh kids to high levels?

There are people who are not central office plants who think that teachers can teach PPS kids and that PPS kids CAN learn. Do you think they are that wrong?

Anonymous said...

No, 10:10, what I and many others here, it would seem, object to is the idea that it's "easy" and that it just takes belief and some simple steps.

If that were the case, there wouldn't be a problem. There wouldn't be an achievement gap. Poverty wouldn't be correlated with poor academic performance anymore.

Paul Tough's new book does a really good job, I felt of describing the true challenges faced when trying to raise up kids who are in a pretty profound sense disadvantaged. This doesn't speak to the their intellectual capacity, but to the stresses and traumas of their everyday life.

To expect that most teachers in 50 or 90 minute increments can overcome those challenges AND advance them several years in a year academically is requiring a herculean task. It does get done, in some classrooms, in some schools...and still it is sometimes not enough.

That's not to say to give up or that it can't be done, but everyone seems thoroughly sick of the idea that it's easy.

Anonymous said...

NO ONE can do anything that they don't "believe" they can do.

So let's start there!I

Questioner said...

Is that really true? It seems like lots of times people try something hoping they can succeed and determined to work hard but not sure of whether they will succeed. They believe they MAY be able to succeed, and sometimes they do.

Anonymous said...

Your question and your own response to it never uses "believe they can" and that is the missing piece.

You use lots of qualifiers to mediate belief; thus you are a doubter, not a believer.

Anonymous said...

Questioner;

You pick and choose among responses on your blog. It distorts the flow of the discussion and the purpose of a forum. It is then no longer an open forum; but rather a very controlled and political one.

Questioner said...

Sometimes people "believe they can" and fail.

Sometimes people "believe that maybe they can" and succeed.

The issue is, how important is "belief." It certainly is not determinative- it is not enough to believe. For some individuals their beliefs about their chances for success may matter not at all.

Questioner said...

If your comment is not posted there is a good reason. Of course, name calling is out. But also check if you are "mocking" other commentators, perhaps by doing nothing more than casting doubt by putting parts of their comments in quotation marks. If you have an issue with a comment explain it rather than throwing the comment back with quotation marks.

Anonymous said...

Quotation marks are generally used to separate your own words from those of someone else.

How would you eliminate the quotes without seeming to take credit for some else's words.

In school, we were taught that taking someone's words or ideas as our own was plagiarsm.

Questioner said...

This is a little different- it is words plucked out of comments and put in quotation marks as if to imply an issue but without explaining it.

Anonymous said...

Questioner, you are talking to a pseudo-intellectual who is also an apologist for adults--black, white, red, yellow--who simply don't care about education. That this thinking often results in having children who do not care is scoffed at by this individual, who time and again has shown her anti-teacher bias via many posts on many threads.
Teachers are tired of hearing it.
Again, let me throw down the gauntlet: you seem to have all of the answers. Why not come in and try to my job for a week, a day, an hour? Let's ee if you can last?
Let's see how dedicated you are. Let's see how effective you are, when apathy and troubles are all around you and when your student body have numerous troubles.
You talk a good game. You do well in pointing fingers. You do well in giving us the Linda Lane mantra of nonsense.
Kids see through phonies quickly. I suspect that with this in mind, you wouldn't last an hour.

Anonymous said...

Infusing a little levity... finally saw Won't Back Down. Had to go all the way to Bridgeville today to see it. less than a dozen in the theater. I suspect several were retired teachers. Two or three, parents like me with a lot of history. I laughed out loud during the impromptu vote scene. Mr. Weiss would never have allowed an unscheduled public vote.

Anonymous said...

Truly, this back and forth is ridiculous. If you've never taught at a school in a distressed area then you're simply reiterating what other academics have told you. If you have taught in a school like King or Westinghouse and have made that change everyone says is possible then put your name down so I can come watch you. Because all of this grandiose belief in what might be possible if only people can believe in themselves is infantile. Either put up the results or shut up...period. Keep in mind results are not what the MET project bought and produced, they're not the nonsense perpetrated in weekly PD sessions. Results are teacher names, classrooms and schools in THIS city. As of yet, none of this has been presented.

Questioner, you do a great job and have done us all a great service by providing this service. Thank you for your time and energy to keep it going.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what to make out of your posting, as it is borderline ridiculous.
I don't need test scores to validate the fact that I am a tremendous teacher, and that is no wild boast or exercise in vanity. The countless students who have made something of themselves, those who have been in touch, those who have gone on to do great things, it all transcends test scores and the asinine logic that comes from the board room at PPS.
It's unfortunate that what really matters in life---what kids make of themselves--is obfuscated by the apologists, talking heads and those in positions of authority who continue to sell their sould for a feew dollars more.
We haven't had a teachers' superintendent in this district since Louise Brennan or John Thompson.
Now, we have a bandwagon approach to education: let's all jump on board and lambaste teachers. uncle Bill is driving the wagons. Know nothing and do-little adminsitrators can jump aboard and make a fortune. Test-writers? welcome. Consultants? You betcha. Retirees seeking to augmnent their pensions by becoming said consultants and bringing in university-based researchers? Yes, we have a place for you. And parents who have long blamed teachers? well, we can't pay you but you can join in on the fun.

Meanwhile, let's keep the teacher pay stagnant, let's find ways to fire those making the most (and be creative in doing so!) and continue to assault in the media.

Anyone in teaching who is not living as a mushroom understand the great deal of blather that soletimes shows up here from non-teachers. It's been around for decades, and now it is validated by the Bill Gstes of the world.

It's a pity that "union leadership" doesn't have the balls to tell the aforementioned and smart alec blog posters where they can stick it, period.

Anonymous said...

7:35 - Yes, I agree, it's funny how all the culturally responsive reforms that have been implemented in the Teaching centers such as King and Brashear have NOT produced increases in student performance. In fact, there has been a steady decline. Yet, district leaders tout the progress that is being made at these institutes. Why do they not use the data when it is not in their favor. Take Faison for instance - the cry of losing the district's most effective young teachers to seniority. The scores had double digit declines, don't hear much about that argument anymore, do we?

Anonymous said...

FYI, school administrators (principals) actually receive a smaller annual percentage increase than the teachers do so be sure you know what you are talking about before you state something here. As far as their bonuses are concerned, the district makes them so hard to achieve that most principals are hard pressed to make a small percentage of what they are eligible for if anything at all. Their bonus is all tied into student scores so they aren't any happier being totally judged by scores than the teachers all. Central office is the problem, not the staff in the schools.

Anonymous said...

Sorry friend, but that's bollocks. Come back to me at some point and tell me how a principal who is making well in excess of $100K is "making less." Who are you trying to fool?
I find it wildly hilarious that principals garner huge raises when "improvement" (read, PSSA improvements) occur. Witness the train wreck that took place at Arlington a couple years ago, when a staff full of outstanding teachers moved the kids forward, and a PELA-type who had little to do with it all gained a huge windfall.
Yes, that's real equity.
I have zero regard for most building administrators anymore. They drink the kool aid and enjoy putting teachers on improvement plans and then out to pasture via forced resignations. Most. Most are PELA people who weren't able to cut it in the classroom and are now rating the effectiveness of teachers. How ridiculous.
No sympathy here. They discipline less than ever, are insulated from furloughs and cuts, are immune to attacks on teachers via RISE, and still make more for their "work."

Anonymous said...

We still have a few veteran admins leading buildings, trying desperately to build positive school culture in spite of the absolutely inane central office leadership. I work for one of these tough cookies, and I can tell you that she is caring, compassionate, and puts the ultimate needs of her faculty above all else, often at great personal and professional expense. She has a building full of teachers who would dance on the edge of a dime for her if asked. In return she receives no positive accolades and seems to often be put on the defensive during learning walks when she goes above and beyond to support her staff. Given full autonomy, this principal could do great things. Unfortunately, she is micro managed, criticized and targeted by those who would rather see a PELA run the entire institution into the ground. It's demoralizing, demeaning and just plain assinine top down management that is destroying this district--one building at a time.

Anonymous said...

6:22....REREAD MY POST. I didn't say that principals didn't make more than teachers. I said that their percentage of increase yearly is less than the percentage of increases that the teachers earn. Also, teachers don't work NEARLY the days that a principal works. They are 12 month employees now and have to use vacation time at Christmas, Spring Break etc....now. SO, by the day, they aren't making all that much more than a step 10 teacher. AND, don't you think that they should make more????? They are the ones that get the direct pressure from central office. As teachers, you answer to one person...the building administrator but the building administrator answers to many people. YOU don't have a clue as
to the stress that they are under and the personal time that they put in away from their families. All of the late afternoon and evening meetings that they are required to attend in addition to whatever additional time that they give on their own to complete their work load. Don't get me wrong, I know that teachers have it tougher and tougher these days but teachers are paid very well in this district as compared to many other areas of the state and the country for that matter. Everyone wants to blame their principal because they don't like to follow rules. Guess what, a lot of the rules and new policies and procedures that the principals implement they are forced to implement. They might not agree with them either but if they want to keep their jobs don't you think that they have to???? Sorry, you have me REALLY fired up. No, I'm not a principal myself just in case you are wondering. I know that there are some principals that shouldn't be principals but there are many good ones also just like there are some teachers that shouldn't be teachers but many are good there as well........Please think through what you say before you say it and be sure it's based o facts and not just impressions or opinions. My statements here are based on fACTS.

Old Timer said...

I almost fell off my chair when I read your posting, 8:09. You claim to have facts and then slaughter the truth in your defense of building administrators. For the record, let me agree with you in theory: "some" building principals are trying to maintain the balance between the steady dosage of ivory tower thinking that comes from the overly out of touch on Bellefield Avenue and the needs of their buildings.
But their ranks have thinned considerably over the years.
I will refrain from naming names, but it occurs to me that you have one of these individuals in mind and as such, your perception is your reality. Nothing wrong with that, but unfortunately, you are painting with a broad brush that does not begin to describe the overall landscape. That's the problem with your thinking and your facts.
Secondly and more pointedly is your contrasts between principals being on the front line and the teachers who just go back to the classroom. The problem of course, is that Gates money has not been earmarked to deal with principal effectiveness. Moreover, I am not seeing large quantities of administrator names in the board minutes every month. The cold slap in the face where "facts" are concerned comes down to terminations and forced resignations. I know a number of the poor souls who were good teachers and had their lives suddenly go through incredible mid-life upheavals thanks to the process which holds the principals as the middle managers. Yeah, there may be some principals who don't like the process and who are being threatened themselves--no doubt the is true--but the end all of "facts" coms via the loss of gainful employment. And we both know that the process is subjective more than anything else. That's the problem.
Next up is your assertion about being "well paid." In the mid 1980's, your comment was spot on but now, it is patently ridiculous. In espousing the political view that somehow teachers are lackeys who deserve to be at just above subsistence level because, well, they are funded by taxpayers, you give the green light to all of the true charlatans in central office who are doing nothing and making more.
Priorities, anyone?
Education is teachers and students, and not central administrators and students. It's not consultants and students. It's not researchers and students.
"Well paid?" Hardly. I find it humorous that the average citizen will say such a thing and yet prioritize placing their funds in the hands of football teams or beer companies.
Most of us did not get into education for a salary, but in this region we are no longer in the top 25. And yes, I have those facts, too.
Point is, like most teachers, I have a number of degrees, from a Master's on down, and I don't owe anyone an apology for making a salary. I could have done better in life, but dedicated my life to working with kids. I deserve more than a USC or NA teacher as I've had to deal with much, much more. And you're getting "fired up" notwithstanding, I've done more in education to impact students on a daily basis than any administrator--building or otherwise--could ever dream of.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I wanted to make one additional salient point to your posting that needs corrected. Now more than ever, teachers are working long hours to complete all that needs to be done.
You know, it's funny. Back when we had a union, one of the points that we appreciated was the "obsessive paperwork" point of contention that got administration off of the backs of teachers by NOT allowing them to foist endless paperwork upon them. Those days are gone.
Ask any teacher these days and they will tell you that they just can't get caught up, that the days are endless.
Your comment about length of day amounts to six of one and a half dozen of another, and it gets down to the basic point that no one forced principals or VP's/deans to go this direction with their careers. It was their choice.
Point is, no one gets paid for working into the evening.
I don't get paid for working well into the night or through my whole weekend.
I don't get paid for working through a great deal of the summer.
It's all relative now.
Yes, principals have entire schools to think about--that's their job. But you're employing a decades-old view of teachers if you think they don't work just as hard, and are completely in denial if you don't think the fear of losing your job is a constant worry for every teacher.

Anonymous said...

I don't know that arguing over the pay solves anything. The fact of the matter is that there is good and bad in both ranks. It seems to me that the real issue is central office is putting pressure on everyone - desperately grasping onto the only scare tactic they know - Implementing stage 1 of Kotter's Model of Change "Creating a Sense of Urgency", marathon of the movie Groundhog Day. The outcome? MR, LL and crew have taken this to the extreme and have proven time and again they cannot effectively implement change. (Accelerated Learning Academies, Westinghouse, King, Faison) The reason? Most employees no longer trust their leadership, their decisions, or just trust them in general as human beings. Look at the cover up with the school police scandal. Now, everyone at every level is doing their best to survive. Broad and Gates have utilized these pawns in central office who seem to have no original thoughts of their own and created a dog eat dog environment. Meetings at all levels are silent because the trust is gone. When trust is gone people turn to self preservation, you get those who silently try to do the right things, those who jump on the latest bandwagon (Pelas), and those who are too weak and scared to say anything. Again, at all levels. The only way for trust to return, for everyone to begin to heal, and for children to start making real gains is to eliminate the private funding and return to a district that can self-manage without corrupt influences of big funding. The current regime needs to move on and this probably can only be accomplished if a new majority is elected to the school board.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, the one statement above should read, "it's like a bad movie marathon of the film Groundhog Day".

Anonymous said...

Correction to 10:00 - The "reform" started with principals as they were put on performance pay over six years ago a year after Mark Roosevelt arrived. As for accountability, look up PULSE on the district's web site. They were on and still are on RISE like rubrics years before it hit the teaching ranks. The teachers are now just starting to get a dose of what many administrators have had to deal with. If you look back in the minutes, I can find a few that were demoted prior to all of the teacher resignations and many that were forced out by Mark Roosevelt's pipeline PELA plan. What happened to principal's was a forshadowing of what you are feeling now in your teaching position. And I think many would argue that approximately $80,000 at the top pay scale not a cry me a river salary. In addition, if you would like to make more money you can take advantage of your $23.00 an hour workshop rate for the extra trainings you attend. Those that are salaried employees don't get extra pay for extra meetings. I am not the same person as you were replying/arguing with but did feel the need to point that information out. Now pick your chair back up and go work on your lesson plans as I am sure everyone will be having a pity party for you because you devote countless hours to your job like the rest of America.

Anonymous said...

Yeah 10:00 - no one forced you to be a teacher either, with all of those degrees, it seems to me you could write your own ticket. Perhaps you are bitter that you didn't get the chance to move ahead? However, we all know you will reply with the appropriate canned response that you decided to stay in the classroom where you could have the most impact...that was YOUR choice.

Anonymous said...

10:00: "I deserve more than a USC or NA teacher as I've had to deal with much, much more. And you're getting "fired up" notwithstanding, I've done more in education to impact students on a daily basis than any administrator--building or otherwise--could ever dream of."

Really? Talk about painting with a Broad Brush. You have a high opinion of yourself...

Don't be so bitter about how your life turned out - if you want to make the wages of USC and NA, go apply! You seem to think you have a lot to offer and most certainly will edge out all of the competition.

Anonymous said...

Old Timer: I think McDonald's employees should make as much as their manager's because they work very hard too. Why should they get any less because their work is of a different nature? Oh that's right, the basis of jobs is that there are different level's of employees, that have different job functions. Managers are paid more because they oversee a group of employees. Otherwise a burger at McDonald's would cost upwards of 12 bucks. I think everyone realizes that all work is hard but the fact is there must usually be a boss that oversees the overall operations and takes on additional responsibilities, whether you agree with that or not, it is how organizations run. I am not taking sides, as I am sure there are many effective and ineffective persons at all levels. But do realize that you are only seeing it from your little corner of the world, which is not necessarily factual, but rather filled with emotion.

Anonymous said...

9:51, it sounds to me like you are full of yourself. You are correct, I did have one administrator in mind but I also know of others that are the same way. Once again, I never said that there weren't some principals that are the way that you describe just as there are teachers that deserve many acolades.

10:44.....I am 8:09. I agree with you too. I didn't mean to bring so much about money up but it seems to me that some people have some missconceptions that need corrected. EVERYONE has the same possiblities in this district. If a teacher decides that they want to become a principal (because it's such an awesome job) then they should get their principal papers and go for it. I used to work for the district so I do know that there are MANY excellent teachers......:)

Questioner said...

Commentators, please discuss the issues without making it personal.

Old Timer said...

Questioner, it's no problem. I actually appreciate the vitriol that comes from non-teachers. It grounds me and reminds me what a thankless profession teaching is and once again, reinforces my idea that I have forgotten more about children than most here will ever learn. Any city teacher can say the same. High opinion of myself? You bet. I'm among 2000 of the best teachers anywhere, doing a job that few people would or could do--especially people who cast aspersions from behind keyboards.
I had to laugh at some of the comments about a teacher salary being "great." How ridiculous. The thread concerned USC teachers. Let's throw well paid NA teachers into the fray, too. Both types earn over $100K and both types would run out of a school like mine in under an hour.
I would list the situations I've dealt with in classrooms over three decades in comparison to the aforementioned types of teachers but why bother. When you are dealing with intellectual impotence, the point is moot.
Additionally, I had to laugh about the Pulse comparison. Yes, there were a few "demotions." Please apprise me of the firings. Please apprise me of the mass terminations/forced resignations. Please remind me of the massive amount of money that was thrown at this district to cure the culprit of bad building leadership. Where and when was that? Apples and oranges again. is this the best you've got? I was around for other ratings systems, too. Please define the words "subjective" and "objective" and then discuss Pulse vs RISE, and see if you employ some logic.
Loved the McDonald's comment, the idea of pity, etc. Usually I have to go to a bowling alley to find such incredible thinking.Middle schoolers could come up with better.
Lastly to the poster at 7-15...name them. I can name perhaps two that are left. Perhaps. And I am familiar with most buildings, if not all. Lord knows we've closed enough. You are describing old school principals. God bless them. I worked for many, many good ones over the years and the couple that are left are likely feeling the pressure you write of. But to say that there are many of these types of principals left is patently erroneous. In fact, I ran into an former administrator a couple years ago who painted the picture of principal meetings where one side of the room is loaded with PELA types and the other side a few "old school" types. Shame. The kids suffer.


Anonymous said...

4:06

There are many teachers doing great things beyond yourself. Really, there are. They are positive and productive!

Anonymous said...

Old timer........apparently your knowledge and talents are being wasted. I nominate you to be the next superintendent.