Monday, March 30, 2015

B-Lo School Board's Reformy Majority Don't Know Squat About State Testing

Honorary Board Majority Member Sargeant Shultz

Maybe I was premature in questioning Larry Quinn's stunning ignorance on the topic of New York State Education Department's annual high stakes testing fiasco. It's unfathomable that a sitting board member would earnestly wonder aloud during a board meeting why parents refuse to let their kids take these tests. But at this point I am going to do the unthinkable and give Larry Quinn a little slack in his line. Not that I think it's acceptable that someone who calls himself a businessman and thinks he can just airdrop into education and use all the same tricks that paid him millions when the Sabres were bought and sold. I don't think that. 

It's the apogee of hubris when these swashbuckling capitalists awash in government subsidies pronounce their business fixes are the same as education fixes and all education needs is to be run like a business. I will say though that the gargantuan egoism attached to this mentality might have something to do with Larry's complete failure to grasp the high stakes testing paradigm as it operates in 2015. Because he's been somewhere else the entire 60 years he's spent on the planet I comprehend how Larry Quinn is grossly uninformed on the annual April Foolery. It's telling too that Quinn promotes the corporate ed reform agenda without even understanding how crucial these tests are to his own goals. The testing goes hand in hand with Common Core and junk science VAM scores and assessments stripped of all but 15% of local input. It's a package deal Larry and you don't even grasp that it's your package! O.k. I knew I wouldn't get too far with my charity towards the guy but he is from another field like so many of the so called experts the ed reform class spits out so I guess in some abstract fashion it could explain how he's lacking a huge block of basic understanding any board  of education member should have.

In yet another Sharon Belton Cottman sound byte for the ages SBC spoke for many of us in eduland asking Accountability Jim Sampson her voice fraught with exasperation "Are you senile?" Seems the former Grand Imperial Dragon of ReformEd Buffalo, founding member and trustee of WB-Lo Charter School and champagne wishing, caviar dreaming CEO of Gateway-Longview didn't understand prior to Wednesday's board meeting that the results from NY State/PearsonInc's testing don't come back for months and when they do it's at a time when they are of no use to teachers. Likewise, Sampson didn't appear to grasp that the information is presented in such a way that it's useless to parents and teachers for any educational purpose unless someone has a serious data fetish for pointless arbitrary cut scores. 

Of the 5 so called "majority members" Sampson is clearly their go to guy on matters educational. And if he's this uninformed and out of touch... Yes, friends, it appears the board majority, lacking as it is in actual educational practice and experience, has proven yet again that education will not be fixed, reformed or otherwise altered for the better by bartenders, cops, developers, prison wardens or NHL flunctuates. When you don't know what the hell you're talking about, saying you're "running it like a business" still doesn't fool anyone. Between his Buffalo ReformEd tenure, his entrenchment in the charter school movement, the high life as Gateway Longview's top moocher, James Sampson is supposed be their resident education guru. Bullshit. He's another faker parachuting into this board with his cronied connections, a career in Wisconsin prison system and a scandalous stint at Gateway where he clearly had his own comfort in mind well ahead of the welfare of any of the kids housed there. 

These two don't have the first clue about New York State testing. And if two of the more vocal majoritarians have unwittingly exposed this level of ignorance I shudder to imagine how badly informed Pappermint Patty and Bartender Jay and Carl the Churl Paladino must be. 

As a consolation laugh I had to love Sam Radford's impassioned speech to TWC News after Dr. Nevergold's motion was passed to end sit and stare in B-Lo schools. When did anyone EVER hear him or any of his crew at District Parents for Corporate Control say ONE WORD against this policy? When did they ever acknowledge that it even existed? But after BPTO people brought it into the public debate and Nevergold whipped out a resolution against it... Voila! We get a sermon from Sam about the odious policy that never should have been in the first place. Thanks Big Guy, now that everyone else has done all the work and brought the issue to a head, it's a great opportunity to get in front of the camera shaking your head in deep solemnity while bloviating about every day being a special day when you're in school. 

Next up, DPCC will travel to the Golden Dome in
South Bend, IN where they will boldly voice their solidarity with the Pope. 

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