"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Corporations Cough Up $65 Million to Save Rhee

Broad, Gates, and the Waltons intended for Washington, DC to be ground zero for the detonation of the bomb to explode urban public education. And that it remains, with the timer now set back while the oligarchs attempt to revive the reputation and standing of their poster girl, Michelle Rhee, the sneering, arrogant witch that teachers and parents of DC have come to despise since she was installed by corporate puppet mayor, Adrian Fenty.

With DC Schools facing budget shortfalls, the corporate ed reform juggernaut has offered up $65 million in tax-credited dollars to buy a temporary peace settlement with berated and abused DC teachers and to shield the radioactive Rhee during the upcoming Fenty campaign, which will surely be influenced by his unwavering allegiance to Rhee and the bags of money that bought his job to begin with. DC should not be diverted from the mission to vote out Fenty and to send a clear message to the Billionaire Boys' Club.

Here is a clip from Sam Dillon' piece in the Times:

. . . .“Just modestly innovative” was the way Allan R. Odden, an education professor at the University of Wisconsin who followed the talks closely, described the settlement. He said it would leave intact both teacher tenure and the traditional teacher salary structure, based on years of experience and educational attainment. “It’s a compromise,” Dr. Odden said.

But Emily Cohen, a director at the National Council on Teacher Quality who has studied scores of teachers contracts nationwide, said, “It’s a great leap forward.”

“This agreement would base teacher hiring, assignment and whether a teacher is going to be fired on actual classroom performance — the way it is in most professions,” Ms. Cohen said. And the agreement “chips away” at tenure, she said, because it will no longer operate, as in many school systems, as a job for life.

“The chancellor will be able to evaluate poor teachers out of the system,” she said.

Under the tentative settlement, teachers would receive 20 percent raises over five years, with a three-year, retroactive payout. In an unusual feature for a teachers’ contract, a portion of its cost would be paid by $64.5 million from four private foundations, including $25 million from the Walton Family Foundation, which has financed charter schools and other educational initiatives involving nonunion teachers.

Ms. Cohen, who became a teacher quality expert for NCTQ's conservative bosses by serving as a long term temp with Teach for America, appears confused over what tenure is, or she is intentionally misleading the public about what tenure is. Ms. Cohen may be surprised to know that tenure was never intended to protect teachers from dismissal for incompetence or insubordination. The bigger stumbling block to weeding out incompetent teachers has always been the supervision load of 50 to 1 or 75 to 1 for principals.

No comments:

Post a Comment