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Author Topic: RI high school fires all of its teachers  (Read 103462 times)
merce
strange attractor
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« Reply #45 on: February 24, 2010, 11:57:04 PM »

Im so amazed at this. Im interested in all the responses so Im just marking the thread.
My mouth is agape.
Poor kids. Did you notice how sad some seemed (the ones I saw). Imagine the guilt they must feel.
The defeat the teachers would feel.

I could never teach K-12. Its far too hard.
And those who do get so little respect.
So few understand.
Too sad.
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msparticularity
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« Reply #46 on: February 25, 2010, 12:10:37 AM »

This particular school spends $11,798 per student. That's more than $2k over the state average. And it exceeds the average of all but 3 states.

I'm still blaming the teachers. A 7% pass rate in math can probably be achieved purely by random chance.

Are you being mindlessly provocative, or do you actually want to discuss this?

Remember, these teachers are getting students who have already experienced 8+ years of educational failure. The students (and teachers) are being graded upon the students' success at a norm-referenced test; IOW, this test is designed for 50% of all students to score below average. These students are from the lowest SES, and SES is notoriously associated with test scores in the U.S.

Could you get a student from first or second-grade math achievement to 10th grade level in a few months?
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"Once admit that the sole verifiable or fruitful object of knowledge is the particular set of changes that generate the object of study...and no intelligible question can be asked about what, by assumption, lies outside." John Dewey

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prytania3
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« Reply #47 on: February 25, 2010, 12:24:29 AM »

Central Falls is a completely corrupt cesspool with a very high population of unemployed indigent immigrants.  The best solution would be for the governor to declare an emergency and send in the national guard, with the FBI following soon thereafter to serve arrest warrants on public officials.

It is the school that is failing not the students. Fire everyone. Start again. This at risk population needs assistance. Similarly, the students need to be held accountable to the same standards as any other student anywhere, regardless of their parents' employment or immigration status. This is doable, and is done in other jurisdictions. The current approach was not working in RI, and the firing of the teachers seems like a reasonable start.

Read some Jonathan Kozol and get back to us.

Why? His book came out in 1991. That's about as relevant as reading a book about the transmission of light through the aether.

Right, because the impact of socioeconomic status and educational outcomes has radically changed since 1991.  [eyeroll]

Sure. After all, over the last twenty years the socioeconomic divisions Kozol addressed, and the structural constraints on inner city school systems he documented, have pretty much disappeared. So whatever ails school systems today must be the teachers' fault.

What a delightfully elegant analysis, if I may say so myself.

I'm not a big fan of Kozol. I think his books are a lot of left wing propaganda frankly, and though East St. Louis is a case onto itself--it is not representative of all inner city schools. Inner city schools get quite a bit of money through Title 1. I've taught at inner schools and my son went to an inner city school. In fact, the best (or highest achieving school re: test scores) in NYC is a Title 1 school. IS 223 (Mott Hall), and my son's school in NYC was excellent--better than the asshat schools in Darien, CT.

And poverty is no excuse for lack of a good education. In India, they stuff about 60 kids (many poor) up in a classroom, and they learn, but if they cause problems, out they go.

But I'm not blaming the teachers at all. A lot of those schools are like teaching in war zones and the teacher is everyone's enemy: administration rags on them, kids abuse them, and the parents? Many parents have no problem with getting in your face and threatening your life--which is why in these comunities you need to have strong programs for the parents. You have to teach them before you can teach their kids. The successful inner city schools have these programs in place.

Moreover, these schools need visionary leadership, but why be a superindent when you can make triple or quadruple the money in private industry? That job is a headache and a half, so the majority of superintendents have brains the size of a pea. And even if a district or city manages to get a fantastic superintendent--then you've got the school board, and each member has her or her own agenda. If people think department meetings are dysfunctional, try being on a school board. And school boards are notorious for chasing away good talent.

But firing all the teachers is just moronic.

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voxprincipalis
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« Reply #48 on: February 25, 2010, 12:59:47 AM »

U.S. Secretary of Education Lauds Central Falls Layoffs

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crowie
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« Reply #49 on: February 25, 2010, 1:21:23 AM »


Ok, that's it.  I'm so pissed off with Obama right now.
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alleyoxenfree
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« Reply #50 on: February 25, 2010, 1:29:27 AM »

Maybe I'm wrong, but has there been a time when a city's crime rate has been solved by firing the entire, obviously incompetent police force?  I wonder what the difference could be <thinking, thinking>......

And yes, as for Obama and his brainiac Education head, who I'm sure has done the work that collegekidsmom suggests (not), from the teachers of America, thanks! thanks so much, guys!  Because there's nothing like a suit to know what being on your feet with hundreds of troubled kids all day is like, while you're posing for photo ops in the cafeteria with the incompetent superintendent and her joannie-come-recently boss, and enjoying those moments with the kids over canned peas.
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msparticularity
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« Reply #51 on: February 25, 2010, 1:31:48 AM »

Maybe I'm wrong, but has there been a time when a city's crime rate has been solved by firing the entire, obviously incompetent police force?  I wonder what the difference could be <thinking, thinking>......

And yes, as for Obama and his brainiac Education head, who I'm sure has done the work that collegekidsmom suggests (not), from the teachers of America, thanks! thanks so much, guys!  Because there's nothing like a suit to know what being on your feet with hundreds of troubled kids all day is like, while you're posing for photo ops in the cafeteria with the incompetent superintendent and her joannie-come-recently boss, and enjoying those moments with the kids over canned peas.


Yeah, but the free market is going to save us all--hadn't you heard?

I am not feeling a lot of love for Obama or his administration right now--although I do think it is still the lesser of the evils, given the options we had. But d@mn, I hate voting for a lesser evil, time after time after time...
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"Be particular." Jill Conner Browne
oldadjunct
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« Reply #52 on: February 25, 2010, 1:51:34 AM »

I know RI very, very directly and Central Falls well.  Central Falls, on a smaller scale, is right up there with the very worst of dysfunctional urban areas that any one of us could reference.  Drugs, crime, low levels of literacy (many families are illiterate in their native language and in English), high unemployment, as well as multi and feuding enthnicities.

Anyone who accepts a value added vision of education (known quantities of input, predictable additions, leading to a standardized output) is entirely correct in blaming teachers for not producing an adequate percentage of successful McMuffins.

One of RI's unique problems is that in a state, which if it were a single city, would not be (I am pretty sure) among the nation's top ten cities (the state by population is roughly 1/7th the size of NYC, and geographically fits quite comfortably within the Dallas/Ft. Worth beltway).  Yet it has 38 independent municipalities, and 35 (maybe 34 or 33) independent school districts.

And no, corrupt as it and any other state may be, RI has for something nearing 20 years, not been run by La Cosa Nostra.  Raymond Patriarca Jr.(an idiot) went to jail in 1990; his successor, Nicholas Bianco (whose nephew I know and whom I intensely disliked as a person even as our children played together) went to jail in 1991.  I watch The Depaaated with both a significant degree of recognition and historical interest.
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t_r_b
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« Reply #53 on: February 25, 2010, 2:43:22 AM »

Maybe I'm wrong, but has there been a time when a city's crime rate has been solved by firing the entire, obviously incompetent police force? 

Actually, the US attempted something similar just a few years ago, but on a much larger scale. On the theory that it would help bring peace to Iraq, the US-led occupation fired the entire Iraqi army. Yeah, that one worked out brilliantly.

Duncan's endorsement confirms what has become increasingly clear in recent months: when given a choice between taking a principled stand in favor of sound policy vs. spineless Clintonian poll watching, the Obama administration will go Clintonian every time. It's disappointing, but not all that surprising, and underscores just how ridiculous all the accusations of "socialism" really are. I had hoped that Obama would follow Bush's example (say nothing of substance, and push through your agenda no matter what the polls say, since most voters don't really care about policy details) but no such luck. Of course, Bush had the advantage of full-bore corporate backing, which makes all the difference in Congress.
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prytania3
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« Reply #54 on: February 25, 2010, 2:49:01 AM »

Maybe I'm wrong, but has there been a time when a city's crime rate has been solved by firing the entire, obviously incompetent police force? 

Actually, the US attempted something similar just a few years ago, but on a much larger scale. On the theory that it would help bring peace to Iraq, the US-led occupation fired the entire Iraqi army. Yeah, that one worked out brilliantly.

Duncan's endorsement confirms what has become increasingly clear in recent months: when given a choice between taking a principled stand in favor of sound policy vs. spineless Clintonian poll watching, the Obama administration will go Clintonian every time. It's disappointing, but not all that surprising, and underscores just how ridiculous all the accusations of "socialism" really are. I had hoped that Obama would follow Bush's example (say nothing of substance, and push through your agenda no matter what the polls say, since most voters don't really care about policy details) but no such luck. Of course, Bush had the advantage of full-bore corporate backing, which makes all the difference in Congress.

Obama is NOTHING like Clinton. Bill Clinton: 8 years of peace and prosperity.
Obama: Stiill at war and unemployment continues to climb.

Clinton may have been too moderate for your tastes, but he wasn't spineless or clueless--Obama is appearing to be both.
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prytania3
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« Reply #55 on: February 25, 2010, 3:08:18 AM »

And another thing--Obama got support and lots and lots of money from the unions, and the union just got screwed and he and Arne celebrate.

Well, I was for Hillary.
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post_functional
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« Reply #56 on: February 25, 2010, 6:39:54 AM »

Hillary Clinton is no more immune to the same forces of realpolitik than Obama is.  The Clintons invented "triangulation" and "New Democrat" (i.e. Republican Lite) to pitch to what they perceive as the "moderate" big hump in the middle of the bell curve.  That's why Obama continues one of Bush's two wars and gets tough with teachers unions: that's what he perceives to be popular among those who live on the big hump of the bell curve.

Bill Clinton was fortunate to be the steward over a period of relative peace and prosperity (though he too was no pacifist and he also prosecuted foreign military excursions when he perceived the need to do so).  I seriously doubt Hillary Clinton would have been any more predisposed to ending our current foreign adventurism than Obama has been.  Less so, perhaps, given that Hillary Clinton's campaign rhetoric seemed to reek of the kind of overcompensating bellicosity required to assure the middle of the bell curve that the First Woman President wouldn't be afraid to break out the big guns and play with them like any man would.

Hillary Clinton has her own anti-union people.  She sat on a Wal-Mart board for god sake.  All corporatist Democrats have to reassure their corporate paymasters that they won't rock the boat too far in favor of staunch unionization.

And, I don't know if anybody has noticed this, but Hillary Clinton is actually part of the Obama administration.  That means any failure of the Obama administration partially redounds to her as well.

I also share the frustration of many with Obama, but for anybody to suggest the problem is that, unlike Hillary Clinton, Obama is a corporatist Democrat who is too utterly compromised to bring about effective change, I can only say that's really, really amusing.

But, this thread is not intended to be the re-litigation of the 2008 Democratic primary.  End of my contribution to the hijack.

As for Kozol being "left-wing propaganda", I'm going to assume the use of the term "propaganda" in this case is intended to be intentionally hyperbolic.  I appreciate that, because I've noticed some people on the fora can't tell the difference between a literally meant diatribe and hyperbolic satire.  Be that as it may, if it is propaganda, it's painstakingly researched propaganda.  But more than that, it's research that supports something that is hardly counter-intuitive: a correlation between poverty and poor educational outcomes.  I would think that anybody who heralds the value of the "moderate" and "common sense" would welcome research that supports, rather than challenges, intuitive common sense.  I've noticed that over the years people have a reluctance to admit that reality sometimes has a left-wing bias.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 6:42:14 AM by post_functional » Logged

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post_functional
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« Reply #57 on: February 25, 2010, 6:48:16 AM »

This particular school spends $11,798 per student. That's more than $2k over the state average. And it exceeds the average of all but 3 states.

I'm still blaming the teachers. A 7% pass rate in math can probably be achieved purely by random chance.

Are you being mindlessly provocative, or do you actually want to discuss this?

You have to ask?
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spork
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« Reply #58 on: February 25, 2010, 8:00:38 AM »

I still say the first step in solving the problem of Central Falls is mass arrests of public officials.
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sikora
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« Reply #59 on: February 25, 2010, 8:08:20 AM »

Reading this thread, I am reminded of an ethnography of East Harlem crack dealers, In Search of Respect:  Selling Crack in el Barrio by P.  Bourgois.  What does this have to do with inner city education.  Lots.  He examines the life these drug dealers in context, and education is included.  There is a whole chapter on how schools and neighborhoods fail(ed) each other in the 1980s.  Many may not approve - Bourgois is a critical theorist.

He's also got a paper out:  http://www.sjsu.edu/upload/course/course_3428/confronting_anthro_education.pdf

It's more than 10 years old, but that is one of the beauties of my line of work - it has shelf life.

When I get to work, I'll see if I can't follow Bourgois' citation trail and see if there is new stuff out there.
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