Author Topic: JOHN LEGEND....  (Read 10161 times)

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

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Re: JOHN LEGEND....
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2010, 03:49:07 pm »
Could we possibly have a discussion about school reform in DC and elsewhere? With facts, goals, beliefs, lines of argument, stuff like that instead of dismissive insults?

Michelle Rhee has been a divisive figure in DC but she is not without her supporters. How about a reasoned discussion on her initiatives that might shed some light on why you feel so strongly? I, among others, would be interested.

Lets get it.

1. Privitization- Michelle Rhee is supported by figures like Bill Gates and Eli Broad who intend to privatize elementary education in America. Their intent is not to bolster the performance of students, but rather to create a revenue stream through schools.

2. Demagogue- Rhee is at the forefront of demonizing teachers as being "Anti-child" while their profession earns the second lowest wage of all college graduates. Rhee, turned the D.C. public school system into her own public playground while marginializing :teachers, administrators, and parents that disagreed with her tactics.

3. Propaganda- Rhee's elevation to chancellor of D.C. public schools after a whopping 3 years of experience was the first salvo in the corporate war against unions. Rhee knowingly became the face of anti-union rhetoric disguised as reform. Rhee did nothing in San Francisco and yet she has been made out to be the greatest teacher since Socrates.

4. DAMN LIES- I mentioned propaganda but this has reached a whole new low. WAITING FOR SUPERMAN is the culmination of a decade long war against unions with the UFT being at the forefront.

Charter Schools are a failed model and yet on CNN, almost every week they are portrayed as the savior of public education. Charter schools succeed only 17% of the time despite tremendous advantages i.e. cherry picking students, reduced class size, new facilities, more teachers etc.

Geoffrey Canada aka "Superman" got rid of an entire grade when they couldn't pass the standardized tests. What public school could cancel an entore grade level in order to avoid negative test scores?

Why is a model that fails 83% of the time being pushed at the expense of public schools?

Rhee's place in this propaganda campaign is self-evident as she is prominently featured in WAITING FOR SUPERMAN.

5. Tenure- Despite what saint and PROFESSOR of education, Oprah Winfrey, has to say about the subject, Tenure is not a "Job for life". Tenure is simply due process for teachers. Given the dictatorial manner in which Rhee ran the D.C. public school system, it is quite obvious that teachers need protection against administrative abuse.

What is even more despicable about the tenure issue is the link that most people are not privy to.

Teach For America, is a union busting entity; created to enlist a large pool of cheap available labor to replace unionized teachers. The vast majority of Teach For America students don't remain in the profession beyond their legal commitment.

Essentially, with the removal of tenure, people like Rhee and other corporate advocates can remove high-paid experienced teachers in favor of Teach For America rookies.

You need more?



Offline Magic Wand

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Re: JOHN LEGEND....
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2010, 05:54:16 am »
How to fix our schools: A manifesto by Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee and other education leaders
Sunday, October 10, 2010


The glacial process for removing an incompetent teacher -- and our discomfort as a society with criticizing anyone who chooses this noble and difficult profession -- has left our school districts impotent and, worse, has robbed millions of children of a real future.

There isn't a business in America that would survive if it couldn't make personnel decisions based on performance.
That is why everything we use in assessing teachers must be linked to their effectiveness in the classroom and focused on increasing student achievement.

District leaders also need the authority to use financial incentives to attract and retain the best teachers. When teachers are highly effective -- measured in significant part by how well students are doing academically -- or are willing to take a job in a tough school or in a hard-to-staff subject area such as advanced math or science, we should be able to pay them more. Important initiatives, such as the federal Teacher Incentive Fund, are helping bring great educators to struggling communities, but we have to change the rules to professionalize teaching.

Let's stop ignoring basic economic principles of supply and demand and focus on how we can establish a performance-driven culture in every American school -- a culture that rewards excellence, elevates the status of teachers and is positioned to help as many students as possible beat the odds. We need the best teacher for every child, and the best principal for every school. Of course, we must also do a better job of providing meaningful training for teachers who seek to improve, but let's stop pretending that everyone who goes into the classroom has the ability and temperament to lift our children to excellence.


And....go!
Agree, disagree, question, wonder, etc. But be specific and constructive. I think we all want better schools. How do we get them?


This pretty much sums it up for me.
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." --Aristotle, Greek philosopher

Доверяй, но проверяй

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: JOHN LEGEND....
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2010, 05:58:31 am »
Could we possibly have a discussion about school reform in DC and elsewhere? With facts, goals, beliefs, lines of argument, stuff like that instead of dismissive insults?

Michelle Rhee has been a divisive figure in DC but she is not without her supporters. How about a reasoned discussion on her initiatives that might shed some light on why you feel so strongly? I, among others, would be interested.


Lets get it.

1. Privitization- Michelle Rhee is supported by figures like Bill Gates and Eli Broad who intend to privatize elementary education in America. Their intent is not to bolster the performance of students, but rather to create a revenue stream through schools.

Any evidence to support your claims?
- that she is supported by Gates and Broad (does that mean financially or they just like what she has done?)
- that their intent is what you claim. I'll take a look at their programs eventually but is there something specific that you would like to cite?

2. Demagogue- Rhee is at the forefront of demonizing teachers as being "Anti-child" while their profession earns the second lowest wage of all college graduates. Rhee, turned the D.C. public school system into her own public playground while marginializing :teachers, administrators, and parents that disagreed with her tactics.

Again, specifics would be useful to bolster your conclusions. Although she herself identified communication as the area that she would try to improve in retrospect.

3. Propaganda- Rhee's elevation to chancellor of D.C. public schools after a whopping 3 years of experience was the first salvo in the corporate war against unions. Rhee knowingly became the face of anti-union rhetoric disguised as reform. Rhee did nothing in San Francisco and yet she has been made out to be the greatest teacher since Socrates.

Could we focus on the actual policies instead of speculating about intent? After all, she's gone. What would meaningful reform look like?

4. DAMN LIES- I mentioned propaganda but this has reached a whole new low. WAITING FOR SUPERMAN is the culmination of a decade long war against unions with the UFT being at the forefront.

Charter Schools are a failed model and yet on CNN, almost every week they are portrayed as the savior of public education. Charter schools succeed only 17% of the time despite tremendous advantages i.e. cherry picking students, reduced class size, new facilities, more teachers etc.

Geoffrey Canada aka "Superman" got rid of an entire grade when they couldn't pass the standardized tests. What public school could cancel an entore grade level in order to avoid negative test scores?

Why is a model that fails 83% of the time being pushed at the expense of public schools?

Rhee's place in this propaganda campaign is self-evident as she is prominently featured in WAITING FOR SUPERMAN.

I haven't seen the movie yet so I have little to say about it.
Regarding your claim about Charter Schools being a failed model, I am interested but skeptical (as always). What is the criteria for success you site and what is the evidence supporting that claim? Most of the studies I have seen are rather mixed in their conclusions. Further, what is your view about an appropriate role for charters, if any? I would agree that the model has been executed poorly in some instances and is inappropriate in others. I hesitate to throw the baby our with the bath water.

5. Tenure- Despite what saint and PROFESSOR of education, Oprah Winfrey, has to say about the subject, Tenure is not a "Job for life". Tenure is simply due process for teachers. Given the dictatorial manner in which Rhee ran the D.C. public school system, it is quite obvious that teachers need protection against administrative abuse.

What is even more despicable about the tenure issue is the link that most people are not privy to.

Teach For America, is a union busting entity; created to enlist a large pool of cheap available labor to replace unionized teachers. The vast majority of Teach For America students don't remain in the profession beyond their legal commitment.

Essentially, with the removal of tenure, people like Rhee and other corporate advocates can remove high-paid experienced teachers in favor of Teach For America rookies.

Did you see the Education Manifesto I posted? Do you disagree with the performance evaluation plank? If so, why?

You need more?

I'd like more if you're willing. Seriously, I'm interested in moving beyond castigating individuals to have a real discussion about education reform. What could work and how? Because too many schools are seriously broken.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: JOHN LEGEND....
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2010, 06:54:33 am »
Just because rich people are interested in fixing education doesn't mean there want to make it their "business". It's a piss-poor business to be in.

I certainly don't see the problem as "just" demonizing incompetent teachers, and yes, we have to make sure we don't strip them of needed protections as the system is reformed. 

But making it easier to get rid of bad teachers and reward good ones seems like a good idea.

And terrible administrators and bureaucrats also need to get the boot.

But more importantly the whole system - WHAT we teach and HOW we teach it - has to be overhauled.

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: JOHN LEGEND....
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2010, 07:34:20 am »
Just because rich people are interested in fixing education doesn't mean there want to make it their "business". It's a piss-poor business to be in.

How can you make a small fortune in education?
Start with a large fortune.

I certainly don't see the problem as "just" demonizing incompetent teachers, and yes, we have to make sure we don't strip them of needed protections as the system is reformed. 

But making it easier to get rid of bad teachers and reward good ones seems like a good idea.

And terrible administrators and bureaucrats also need to get the boot.

Here's a dirty secret: teachers aren't what they used to be:
Why aren't our teachers the best and the brightest?

But more importantly the whole system - WHAT we teach and HOW we teach it - has to be overhauled.

I think that's right. But I don't know how to make it so.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

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Re: JOHN LEGEND....
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2010, 07:48:57 am »
Just because rich people are interested in fixing education doesn't mean there want to make it their "business". It's a piss-poor business to be in.

I certainly don't see the problem as "just" demonizing incompetent teachers, and yes, we have to make sure we don't strip them of needed protections as the system is reformed. 

But making it easier to get rid of bad teachers and reward good ones seems like a good idea.

And terrible administrators and bureaucrats also need to get the boot.

But more importantly the whole system - WHAT we teach and HOW we teach it - has to be overhauled.


Rich people want to become richer.

Why would hedge-fund managers be flocking to an area that wasn't lucrative?

Public schools are a much more secure source of income than the stock market. There will never be a crash in school funding, there will never be downsizing, and best of all taxpayers will foot the bill.

I watched "Mr. Legend" on Bill Maher and he was still pushing the same moronic talking points from Propaganda film X.

The statistics for firing teachers are badly skewed due to one conveniently overlooked fact.

Most teachers quit within 5 years.

Back to the benign rich people argument.

In Texas you can currently see just exactly what Broad and others have in mind. KIPP is currently funneling money into one district to take over the school board. This school board will make decisions about staffing, allocation of sites, and of course, the expansion of Charter schools.

Dr. Diane Ravitch recently confronted a KIPP representative face to face and of course he obfuscated with the "Pro kids" rhetoric that supposedly absolves all.

There is clearly an agenda here and the money from Gates and Broad that was used to fund propaganda x speaks volumes about their intent.

Offline Vic Vega

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Re: JOHN LEGEND....
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2010, 10:22:08 am »
Specific and constuctive sugesstions?

OK: I'll bite-

Increase the U.S. Poverty Line by 5%-More families will quailfy for food stamps and other aid which will remove stressors from the parents. A poverty struck stressed out parent equals a poverty struck stressed out kid who is not gonna be a good student .

Expand the School Breakfast program and make sure that all Public Schools Participate in it:This will pretty much insure that kids will be in the schools earlier as struggling parents are on the hook for one less meal. This might very well be the ONLY way a lot of poor kids get any Breakfast at all.

Expand Vocational Schools at the secondary/high school level-College isn't for everybody and I've never met a broke Plumber. Teach a kid a working trade and he or she has a pretty good foundation. You can't outsource your leaky faucet or busted tranny to India.  And if you tell a kid you have a way for him or her to make ligit money NOW, RIGHT NOW you might actually get through to him or her.

Expand funding for extracurricular activities and make that particpation tied to grades- Do well you get to play ball or be in the band. Fail, and you don't. Keeps students in school longer (and out of trouble) and gives them a reason to set goals (Harlem RBI is noted for this).

Create more School Annexes: If optimal learning is done with class sizes of 15-17 and kids are having to learn in classes that are double that, there's a problem.  It might be too much to build new Schools but certainly existing vacant spaces could be used constructively.

I don't mention Teachers yet in any of this because unless you make headway with the about an army of freaking Mary Poppinses can't do much, IMO.

I believe in having standards, but you'd have to first separate the kids out by socialzation and intellect (And I can imagine how well THAT'D go over)
and then judge the teachers by standard for that specific student body.

But you can't fairly judge the Teacher of the bright class by the same standards you'd use to judge the slow witted trouble makers. And my empathy for the Teachers Union is NONEXISTANT. But that's just common sense.

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

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Re: JOHN LEGEND....
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2010, 04:42:21 pm »
Reggie, you doubted the machinations of corporate entities in regard  to education.

Let me reveal the game.

The Long Con

Lafayette High School is a very large high school serving a lower class neighborhood filled with the Marlboro Houses and Coney Island houses.

The school was notoriously racist and underperforming. Instead of seeking substantive reform, they opted for the bait and switch of "Closing the school". They stopped future enrollment, the announcement allowed a mass exodus from the school for those who wanted it, and they emptied the school of the veteran staff.

Here is the long con.

The exodus of students had to be absorbed by surrounding schools which were already at or over capacity. One of the schools that was particularly affected was a prominent high school named, John Dewey. The principal complained that the incoming students from Lafayette were: disruptive, lacking credits, violent, and were taxing their resources to the limit.

Fast forward a few years.

What do I see on today's local evening news? John Dewey high school in danger ( Danger means almost certaintly) closing.

This personifies the game.

You keep closing public schools instead of improving them, the students that leave ultimately overwhelm surrounding schools, and those schools are then closed.

All of the closed schools are replaced by charter schools.

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: JOHN LEGEND....
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2010, 09:47:49 pm »
I am a union member.  I appreciate the importance of unions in protecting workers from corporate exploitation. 

And racism has always been a factor in public education, from segregated schools to the launch of private schools and "Christian Academies" for well to do white kids to avoid mixing with black kids, especially poor black kids. 

I'm not debating which problem exists...I say they all do. 

The teachers union set themselves up for all this by not policing their ranks and not using their power to execute a vision for making the schools better.  It's all good to protect your membership and fight for raises and benefits, but that's not enough. 

I see all these black neighborhoods, full of black teachers, black administrators, black school board members, and crappy schools.   I'm sure there are good people in all those catagories, but the bottom line is that there is so much failure that everyone is at fault in one way or another.  And the system is so impervious to change, the notion of blowing it all up and starting over looks real appealing.  And logical.

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Principal writes memo full of typos - parents & teachers give him an 'F'
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2010, 10:28:16 pm »
from THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS:

Principal writes memo full of typos - parents & teachers give him an 'F'
BY Ben Chapman
DAILY NEWS WRITER

Originally Published:Friday, October 22nd 2010, 4:00 AM
Updated: Friday, October 22nd 2010, 2:34 PM

A rambling letter from the principal of a Brooklyn middle school was so poorly written and full of grammatical errors that parents and teachers say he deserves a dunce cap.

Principal Andrew Buck of the Middle School for Art and Philosophy was defending his policy of not providing textbooks in the email sent last week.

Or at least he seemed to be.

It was hard to tell because his logic was so bewildering, his language so stilted. His subjects and verbs didn't always match. He repeatedly misspelled "textbook" as two words.

After Buck fired off the email to teachers, parents got a hold of it and passed out copies in front of the East Flatbush school. Many are calling for his ouster.

"Our principal denies us books and then he sends this nonsense," said Paulette Brown, a nurse assistant from Flushing whose daughter is in the eighth grade. "You can't understand what he's saying in the letter. He has to go."

Buck, who earns $129,913 as head of the C-rated school, noted in the email that "a few influential parents" have been pushing for more textbooks in the classroom.

"Text books are the soup de jour, the sine qua non, the nut and bolts of teaching and learning in high school and college so to speak," he wrote in one head-scratching passage.

Buck appeared to switch positions midway through the document. After saying textbooks are useful, he went the other way:

"[J]ust because student have a text book, doesn't mean she or she will be able to read it . . . Additionally students can't use a text book to learn how to learn from a textbook..."

In one particularly bizarre section, Buck revealed that not being able to correctly answer questions at the back of many textbooks made him feel "dumb and inadequate" when he was a middle school student.

The missive contains about 50 errors of grammar and logic, said experts who reviewed it.

"The letter is a confusing mess," said Alan Ettman, who has taught English at Dewitt Clinton High School in the Bronx for 26 years.

"The grammar is horrible. The logic is tortured. I can't figure out what he's trying to say," said Ettman, who gave the letter a grade of F.

"It's as though each paragraph is not related to the one that comes before or after," Ettman said. "I think he's just trying to make excuses for not buying books."

Jack Wolkenfeld, a professor of English at Kingsborough Community College for 36 years, said the letter suggested a confused thought process.

"It's hasty, like the author hasn't thought it out," Wolkenfeld said. "The writing and logic are so confused I thought it was a joke."

Nobody's laughing at the Lenox St. school where only 13% of eighth-graders passed state reading exams last year.

Students have no books at all for some classes, forcing teachers to pull material off the Internet or make copies of books to distribute in class. Pupils also don't have computers or a library.

Buck, who has worked for the Department of Education since 1997, has been principal since the school opened in 2007. He is not tenured, officials said.

He was voted the "least trustworthy" principal in Brooklyn by the teachers union in 2008.

In an email to the Daily News, Buck insisted the school has "plenty" of textbooks and said all the fuss is unwarranted.

"I often correspond with teachers on educational issues to enhance communications and generate discussion," said Buck.

"If any parent has concerns, I am available to speak with them."



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/10/22/2010-10-22_andrew_buck_is_the_dumbest_principal_in_city_says_hes_against_text_books_in_idio.html#ixzz139lz1C6G

Offline Hypestyle

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Re: Principal writes memo full of typos - parents & teachers give him an 'F'
« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2010, 11:21:47 am »
Principal writes memo full of typos - parents & teachers give him an 'F'
A rambling letter from the principal of a Brooklyn middle school was so poorly written and full of grammatical errors that parents and teachers say he deserves a dunce cap.
Principal Andrew Buck of the Middle School for Art and Philosophy was defending his policy of not providing textbooks in the email sent last week.
Or at least he seemed to be.
It was hard to tell because his logic was so bewildering, his language so stilted. His subjects and verbs didn't always match. He repeatedly misspelled "textbook" as two words.
After Buck fired off the email to teachers, parents got a hold of it and passed out copies in front of the East Flatbush school. Many are calling for his ouster.
"Our principal denies us books and then he sends this nonsense," said Paulette Brown, a nurse assistant from Flushing whose daughter is in the eighth grade. "You can't understand what he's saying in the letter. He has to go."
Buck, who earns $129,913 as head of the C-rated school, noted in the email that "a few influential parents" have been pushing for more textbooks in the classroom.
"Text books are the soup de jour, the sine qua non, the nut and bolts of teaching and learning in high school and college so to speak," he wrote in one head-scratching passage.
Buck appeared to switch positions midway through the document. After saying textbooks are useful, he went the other way:
"[J]ust because student have a text book, doesn't mean she or she will be able to read it . . . Additionally students can't use a text book to learn how to learn from a textbook..."
In one particularly bizarre section, Buck revealed that not being able to correctly answer questions at the back of many textbooks made him feel "dumb and inadequate" when he was a middle school student.
The missive contains about 50 errors of grammar and logic, said experts who reviewed it.
"The letter is a confusing mess," said Alan Ettman, who has taught English at Dewitt Clinton High School in the Bronx for 26 years.
"The grammar is horrible. The logic is tortured. I can't figure out what he's trying to say," said Ettman, who gave the letter a grade of F.
"It's as though each paragraph is not related to the one that comes before or after," Ettman said. "I think he's just trying to make excuses for not buying books."
Jack Wolkenfeld, a professor of English at Kingsborough Community College for 36 years, said the letter suggested a confused thought process.
"It's hasty, like the author hasn't thought it out," Wolkenfeld said. "The writing and logic are so confused I thought it was a joke."
Nobody's laughing at the Lenox St. school where only 13% of eighth-graders passed state reading exams last year.
Students have no books at all for some classes, forcing teachers to pull material off the Internet or make copies of books to distribute in class. Pupils also don't have computers or a library.
Buck, who has worked for the Department of Education since 1997, has been principal since the school opened in 2007. He is not tenured, officials said.
he was voted the "least trustworthy" principal in Brooklyn by the teachers union in 2008.
In an email to the Daily News, Buck insisted the school has "plenty" of textbooks and said all the fuss is unwarranted.
"I often correspond with teachers on educational issues to enhance communications and generate discussion," said Buck.
"If any parent has concerns, I am available to speak with them."
Yeesh!  Clowns.. I wonder if the school board will defend him..
Be Kind to Someone Today.

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

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Re: Principal writes memo full of typos - parents & teachers give him an 'F'
« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2010, 01:59:54 pm »
Principal writes memo full of typos - parents & teachers give him an 'F'
A rambling letter from the principal of a Brooklyn middle school was so poorly written and full of grammatical errors that parents and teachers say he deserves a dunce cap.
Principal Andrew Buck of the Middle School for Art and Philosophy was defending his policy of not providing textbooks in the email sent last week.
Or at least he seemed to be.
It was hard to tell because his logic was so bewildering, his language so stilted. His subjects and verbs didn't always match. He repeatedly misspelled "textbook" as two words.
After Buck fired off the email to teachers, parents got a hold of it and passed out copies in front of the East Flatbush school. Many are calling for his ouster.
"Our principal denies us books and then he sends this nonsense," said Paulette Brown, a nurse assistant from Flushing whose daughter is in the eighth grade. "You can't understand what he's saying in the letter. He has to go."
Buck, who earns $129,913 as head of the C-rated school, noted in the email that "a few influential parents" have been pushing for more textbooks in the classroom.
"Text books are the soup de jour, the sine qua non, the nut and bolts of teaching and learning in high school and college so to speak," he wrote in one head-scratching passage.
Buck appeared to switch positions midway through the document. After saying textbooks are useful, he went the other way:
"[J]ust because student have a text book, doesn't mean she or she will be able to read it . . . Additionally students can't use a text book to learn how to learn from a textbook..."
In one particularly bizarre section, Buck revealed that not being able to correctly answer questions at the back of many textbooks made him feel "dumb and inadequate" when he was a middle school student.
The missive contains about 50 errors of grammar and logic, said experts who reviewed it.
"The letter is a confusing mess," said Alan Ettman, who has taught English at Dewitt Clinton High School in the Bronx for 26 years.
"The grammar is horrible. The logic is tortured. I can't figure out what he's trying to say," said Ettman, who gave the letter a grade of F.
"It's as though each paragraph is not related to the one that comes before or after," Ettman said. "I think he's just trying to make excuses for not buying books."
Jack Wolkenfeld, a professor of English at Kingsborough Community College for 36 years, said the letter suggested a confused thought process.
"It's hasty, like the author hasn't thought it out," Wolkenfeld said. "The writing and logic are so confused I thought it was a joke."
Nobody's laughing at the Lenox St. school where only 13% of eighth-graders passed state reading exams last year.
Students have no books at all for some classes, forcing teachers to pull material off the Internet or make copies of books to distribute in class. Pupils also don't have computers or a library.
Buck, who has worked for the Department of Education since 1997, has been principal since the school opened in 2007. He is not tenured, officials said.
he was voted the "least trustworthy" principal in Brooklyn by the teachers union in 2008.
In an email to the Daily News, Buck insisted the school has "plenty" of textbooks and said all the fuss is unwarranted.
"I often correspond with teachers on educational issues to enhance communications and generate discussion," said Buck.
"If any parent has concerns, I am available to speak with them."
Yeesh!  Clowns.. I wonder if the school board will defend him..

He is an administrator, he will be protected to the hilt.

Judging from his quick ascent he may be a leadership academy product.

I've never heard of this school; it may be a charter which given recent events here in Brooklyn is perfect irony.

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

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Re: JOHN LEGEND....
« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2010, 02:11:55 pm »
I am a union member.  I appreciate the importance of unions in protecting workers from corporate exploitation. 

And racism has always been a factor in public education, from segregated schools to the launch of private schools and "Christian Academies" for well to do white kids to avoid mixing with black kids, especially poor black kids. 

I'm not debating which problem exists...I say they all do. 

The teachers union set themselves up for all this by not policing their ranks and not using their power to execute a vision for making the schools better.  It's all good to protect your membership and fight for raises and benefits, but that's not enough. 

I see all these black neighborhoods, full of black teachers, black administrators, black school board members, and crappy schools.   I'm sure there are good people in all those catagories, but the bottom line is that there is so much failure that everyone is at fault in one way or another.  And the system is so impervious to change, the notion of blowing it all up and starting over looks real appealing.  And logical.

This doesn't quite describe the reality of the teachers union and how it directly impacts schools.

The union doesn't hire teachers, administrators do.

The Union doesn't give teachers tenure, administrators do.

The systemic failure that we see in schools is due in large part by greed and cronyism at the district level. The union has called it out but then it is dismissed as bias on their part on behalf of the teachers.

If people knew the truth about, Randi Weingarten, they would know that the UFT/AFT is no advocate of teachers or students. They exist to protect those that are using the system to aggrandize themselves.

Weingarten as president of the UFT helped strip away almost 30 years of hard fough protections for teachers. What was the result of this action? NYC schools are now worse than ever in almost every objective review.

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

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Re: JOHN LEGEND....
« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2010, 02:35:06 pm »
Reform

Fiscal Equity- Every state should have a fiscal equity law which requires all public schools to be funded at the same rate. Here in NYC the verdict was in favor of fiscal equity and yet chancellor Joel "Manifesto" Klein and Emperor Bloomberg haven't enforced it.

Educators lead- No principals without a minimum of 15 years experience. No superintendents without a minimum of 20 years experience. Chancellors must have been educators at least 15 years in the state in which they are going to hold office.

Civil Rights enforcement- There have never been fewer Black and Latino teachers in the history of NYC. Children seeing a reflection of themselves in the classroom has been proven as a means of raising achievement. There has to be a mandatory level of teachers of color in relation to the student population.

Curriculum- Black Males are the highest achieving students before the 4th grade... and then it collapses. There has to be a revamping of the curriculum to hold the interests of 21st century students.

Decentralization- Schools should be governed at the local level. There should also be monthly public meetings on all school related activities.

Clean stats- No more in-house grading. No more state specified tests. No more data entry firms. The NAEP test is the only test given to every child in the country.

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: JOHN LEGEND....
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2010, 07:44:44 pm »
Reform

Fiscal Equity- Every state should have a fiscal equity law which requires all public schools to be funded at the same rate. Here in NYC the verdict was in favor of fiscal equity and yet chancellor Joel "Manifesto" Klein and Emperor Bloomberg haven't enforced it.

Educators lead- No principals without a minimum of 15 years experience. No superintendents without a minimum of 20 years experience. Chancellors must have been educators at least 15 years in the state in which they are going to hold office.

Civil Rights enforcement- There have never been fewer Black and Latino teachers in the history of NYC. Children seeing a reflection of themselves in the classroom has been proven as a means of raising achievement. There has to be a mandatory level of teachers of color in relation to the student population.

Curriculum- Black Males are the highest achieving students before the 4th grade... and then it collapses. There has to be a revamping of the curriculum to hold the interests of 21st century students.

Decentralization- Schools should be governed at the local level. There should also be monthly public meetings on all school related activities.

Clean stats- No more in-house grading. No more state specified tests. No more data entry firms. The NAEP test is the only test given to every child in the country.

I can get behind pretty much all of these. 

Why decentralization?