Thursday, August 30, 2012

Unproven Methods and Unqualified Hacks - Ed Reform at Work

Tipsy from the Bottle of Reform Eh Arne? 

Raise your hand if you're surprised an arbitrator ruled in favor of the BTF when it was decided that the 50% Stupid turnaround plan was determined to be in violation of their contract.  Administration knew this idiotic shuffle of the teachers was illegal but I guess in some lame assed tribute to James Williams they figured hey,  let's just wipe the old Florsheims on that contract one more time as a shout out to J-Dubz wherever he's running his game these days. One loudmouth in the B-Lo Nooze comments on the article has all ready uttered the refrain : "once again the children suffer." Implied of course is that "the children" are paying yet again because those selfish lazy shiftless unionized teachers are up to their old tricks again whining and groaning whenever their labor agreement gets trampled on.

The notion that shuffling 50% of the faculty from a "failing school" will somehow turn the school around is typical Race the the Top beat up on the teachers bullshit. It's predicated on the smug notion that the teachers are the problem. They must be doing crosswords and sudokus, texting and watching porn on their classroom computers instead of teaching "the children." So shuffling 50% of them to other schools and replacing them with "good teachers" from another school will somehow flip the switch and now Dre and Brittney will stop cutting class, disrupting instruction, coming to school at 11:00 high, skipping school, provoking fights in the cafe and bringing their crazy addled parents in to challenge the AP to a fistfight. Yeah that'll do it.

 There exists NO DATA anywhere to validate or verify this pinheaded scheme as a successful turnaround strategy. It has the look of something crafted by lobbyists which it moreless was. Obama's administration selected as their point man good old dopey Arne Basketbal Dunkin, the Prez's pickup pal in roundball. Of course like Rahmbo he hails from Chicago and knows about as much about education as he does about medieval French poetry. In typical brazen Edu-reformer fashion he has ZERO background in education but hold a bachelor's in sociology. Hilariously, he cancelled a pledged drive by at Bennett High School last year when it was announced that the Buffalo Teacher's Union would meet him with a picket to protest his outrageously anti-union, anti-teacher policies as well as his generally being an appointed crony and clueless imbecile. This must be a pattern among the ed reformers. I left a comment on their website a week ago and instead of printing it like I did here when 2 charter schoolers weighed in to take me to task they hid it but said that 1 comment was posted privately. Hmm, there's a good one, right up there with my dog ate my homework. It's private because they are too spineless to admit that they have much less support in the community than they pretend to have.

 For the record Bill Gates pretty much ordered Race to the Top crafted to his own peculiar and unproven standards. Sadder still we'd expect such a brilliant computer nerd, allegedly, to back up his brilliant ideas with some research before he tells Obama and Arne how the rich and powerful are going to swoop down on inner city schools with their noblesse oblige and 4 or 5 billion and lead them out of the desert into the promised land. But alas, Gates and Co. have nothing to prove their ideas are worth listening to unless you count their $30 billion endowment which they will use to demonize public schools and teacher unions and forward their assholic merit pay schemes which, if research tells us anything, FAIL MISERABLY and are more likely to lead to cheating scandals than pedagogical excellence.

What's most ironic and infuriating about these people is that their scheme is to base school, teacher and student evaluations on results of standardized tests that have in recent memory right here in NY State proven to be invalid and unreliable. And as much as they claim to love "the data" they are unable to provide ANY that proves their ideas are worth a fart in a downgraded hurricane. They want to fire teachers and close schools with the results of unreliable and invalid testing yet they can't even produce one study that proves any of their ideas work. It must be great to be a billionaire. 


  1. Here is a headline and a blurb from today's news (Huffpo):
    Poverty: The New Growth Industry in America

    "The percentage of people in extreme poverty, with incomes less than half of the poverty level, is likely to again hit an all-time high since the data has been collected.

    The situation is made even worse by the fact that so many of those in poverty are children. In 2010, 27 percent of all children in the country were reported as living below the poverty level. For African-American children, the share in poverty is approaching 40 percent."

    Now, here is how this plays out for teachers. Again another cut/paste from Schools Matter blog:

    "Meanwhile, the steady drumbeat of accountability for teachers, test scores and competition is deafening. Yet, the silence on increasing poverty, growing numbers of working poor, underemployed and unemployed, is just plain horrifying.

    Those who should be held accountable have successfully shifted the focus and the conversation to the teachers and education, with a promise that education is the way out of poverty and teachers and public schools are the problem.

    The smoke and mirrors are everywhere as a failed, leaderless, spineless government beholden to its corporate bosses can no longer provide its citizens with basic protections like safe streets and the necessities of life such as health care and education for its most vulnerable children."

    As teachers, we cannot hope that either political party will change or "see the light". We must fight this battle ourselves.

  2. Perhaps the best we can do for ourselves politically is to attempt to get Obama to dump Arne Duncan? Check this out:

    Of course, there are millions of other unqualified EdDeformers who would most likely be appointed in his stead, but hey, it could make us feel better?

  3. An arbitrator in Buffalo doesn't help change the national reform chaos orchestrated by right wing corporations and supported by selectively ignorant democrats. Buffalo schools will still be left without these funds as Cuomo and King make an example of BPS. The bad guys will be the teachers.
    A loud national cry has to happen.