Discussion in 'General Education' started by Rainbowbird, Jun 29, 2013.
Jun 29, 2013
Is the complaint about the person in particular or the state takeover in general. The course detailed in the article sounds ridiculous to say the least, but I am all for doing everything and anything necessary to stop throwing money at these problem schools and actually fix them.
If that means forcing parental involvement (by withholding entitlements), extending school days, even mass student expulsions and transfer into what would be considered a boot camp if they are preventing their peers from learning. Every crazy idea (and I know these are some crazy ones) should be on the table. It does not really matter to me if a Superintendent has a PhD or a certificate. I've read about plenty of corrupt and terrible ones with both.
The point is that if teachers and principals must work to be certified and pass certain tests and courses, than so should a superintendent. He was in violation of state law, and it is disgraceful that the CT Board of Ed. and University of CT allowed this sham to occur.
It was cronyism at its worst.
As for fixing schools, the real issue is the city and community. Fix THOSE instead of blaming the educators, and you might see an increase in student learning.
"In her 27-page decision, the judge agreed with critics of Vallas that he had taken a "sham" course to become qualified to serve as superintendent."
That's the problem, they're all sham courses.
Fixing schools is the only way to turn these communities around.
We can't wait to do one until the other is done. I didn't blame anyone, only pointed out things need to change.
We already allow teach for america teachers into these schools I'm sure. Why not the equivalent in a leadership position. Could things really get worse?
I honestly cannot fathom how you believe that.
Failing schools are only a symptom of the larger ills of society.
I'm tired of educators having to take the blame. We are only part of the equation. And I don't think that letting in unqualified fly-by-nights who collect bloated salaries that are skimming off the poorest districts that have NO money is the way to go.
Give me a break. That is a blanket generalization if I ever heard one.
You're saying all your education courses were worthless? That educators shouldn't take courses and be certified to do their jobs?
Jun 30, 2013
I know nothing of this guy but it sounds like he got a bogus degree in about 10 weeks that was supposed to allow him to be the superintendent? What is his background? Was he a teacher/former principal?
If I'm not mistaken, Paul Vallas is a Broad Academy graduate (surprise, surprise) He left his mark in Chicago, Philadelphia and New Orleans and was poised to do his magic in Bridgeport. His legacy speaks for itself.
But don't worry, he'll find another system that will put him in charge. It's all part of the "churn" process that Broad's Academy advocates. There will probably be another "properly qualified" Broad graduate in line to take his place.
"In many ways, the Broad philosophy is identical to "corporate education reform" - top-down decision-making, a heavy emphasis on standardized tests to rate how schools are performing, a menu of "school choice" heavily larded with charters, and a reduced role for teachers' unions.
What's unique - and why the Broad Foundation wields so much influence nationally - is that unlike a traditional think-tank that spends millions to study and promote new ideas, Broad's focus is to place and train leaders. That includes not just superintendents but their aides, principals and school-board members, many of whom come from nontraditional backgrounds, such as business or the military.
Paul Vallas, a former Illinois state budget director who arrived from Chicago in 2002 to take over Philadelphia's schools, was an early archetype - and he won a $4.3 million grant from the Broad Foundation three years later to train new principals in an Academy for Leadership in Philadelphia Schools. His short-term successor here - a retired Army colonel named Tom Brady - was a graduate of a Broad academy."
Note: To see entire article where this quote came from see http://articles.philly.com/2013-04-...tion-eli-broad-detroit-central-high-schoolTom
Also, Tom Brady was our superintendent of schools in PROVIDENCE, RI until he moved on a couple of years ago. Isn't THAT interesting?
Yes, that is precisely what I am saying. I have never taken a worthwhile education course, the latest research demonstrates that teacher training as now practiced is almost entirely ineffective, and, yes, I do indeed favor abolishing teacher certification. Since you seem so mortified by "blanket generalizations," I'll add a little nuance for you: administrative certification is even more meaningless than teacher certification, the associated courses even more inane.
So you'll have to look elsewhere for that break you seem to need.
"That includes not just superintendents but their aides, principals and school-board members, many of whom come from nontraditional backgrounds, such as business or the military."
I would go the other other way, only hiring as principals those who have over a considerable time - 15 years, say - demonstrated excellence as a classroom teacher, not the careerist short-timers whose commitment to teaching is limited to its utility as a stepping stone to greater glory. I think that teachers, students, and community ought to have the dominant say in who is chosen, over all the blowhard adminstrative types (superintendents), whose minds are so irredeemably befuddled by whatever the latest fad might be among the educational cognoscenti, so called.
As for superintendents, who should be seen and not heard, I would for that role repurpose a Walmart greeter, providing him with a very large plasma TV and a selection of boring ties. Job done.
Just thought I'd share where I'm coming from.
I honestly do believe that. Short of gentrification, how else will you turn these communities around without educating their citizens?
Yeah, a school reflects its community. If a community burdens itself with a self-defeating value system or subculture, one for example which denigrates the importance of learning, or fosters notions of entitlement which cripple ambition, that community's schools will reflect those values: they will suck. Schools can make differences at the margins in the face of such social pathology, but until the community undertakes to change its ways, the schools' efforts will be largely wasted.
We need to start improving students' lives before they are even conceived. Attention to prenatal care programs, birth to 3, Headstart, and most importantly, getting their town's economy going so that their parents might actually be able to support themselves.
I have a friend who teaches special ed in a priority district. I've never seen anyone work so hard to help her students. Guess what? Children who were crack babies don't learn very well. They don't pass standardized tests. Children who have been severely abused and passed around from foster family to foster family also don't learn very well. Neither do kids who have been malnourished. And the list goes on. These are all kids she has taught in the three short years that she has been there.
Yet, you are suggesting that if we could just get creative and think outside the box, if schools would just do their jobs and work a little harder, if we hired untrained and uncertified teachers or supers, these kids will succeed? Some of them are brain-damaged or so traumatized that their ability to learn is permanently impaired. But they just need a better teacher/school/superientendent, right? My friend won't give up on her kids. Yet she and her colleagues are being blamed for their failure to pass standardized tests.
Sorry, but that line of thinking makes you part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Vallas is not a professional educator. He was a state legislative aide and budget director in Chicago before becoming its schools chief. He said he did teach for a while in a parochial school and also taught some college courses.
(From an online bio)
Nope, not a teacher, nor a former principal. It was totally bogus and it is a case of corruption and complete cronyism at work, which is why CEA is overjoyed at this ruling.
Editing to say apparently he did "teach for awhile" at a parochial school based on his own admission. No one seems to know what "awhile" means. His résumé seems to be buried.
I'm sorry that you experienced that type of education.
Thank you for sharing this.
Well, I didn't experience much of it, to be honest. I refused to waste a single credit hour of my Ivy League education on ed courses, renowned as they were for their pointlessness, then after graduating talked a state teachers' college into letting me replace nearly all of the ed courses with extra time student teaching. This was one of the best things I've ever done. While others were farting around with Bloom's Taxonomy and contriving footnoted hosannas to Piaget, I was in the schoolhouse, learning how to teach. I was there for an entire year.
I would wish such an experience for all aspiring teachers.
So I regret having caused you sorrow, but it is really quite unnecessary. I have had a very successful 30+-year career, and have read Piaget - to considerable benefit - on my own.
Well, this doesn't exactly reflect what I said, but the views you express are perfectly honorable, I think. Those who struggle in such schools to help their students have my profound respect, and more than a little of my sympathy. I wish their efforts could yield more fruit, though, and I certainly do not think that it is their fault that they do not. It is the fault of the wretched individuals, and of the wretched communities, who put their students in such dire straits and at such disadvantages in the first place. The solution rests in the community's hands. I blame (yes, blame) them, not the teachers, for whose sisyphean labors I probably lack the heart.
As to my being part of the problem, I do not think so. I have worked to build children up all my working life. The problem here is with those who tear them down, even - often the case - when it is their own children.
Separate names with a comma.