Thursday, June 25, 2009


Walking up the steps to the state level we find this and this.

I feel for the staff trying to make progress in the face of student apathy and outright resistance to learning.



I like the idea of reassigning the teachers at "bad" schools. That's a real good idea. That will fix everything.

You know, its almost funny how stupid those people are.

No one wants to assign blame where it belongs. Go ahead and blame teachers, reassign them, threaten them, bribe them with "incentive" pay. At the end of the day, nothing will change because the problem is not teachers.

We're an easy, politically safe group to use as scapegoats. Most will meekly do as they are told and even accept the blame. I see them worrying about their students lack of motivation, devising new, more "fun" ways to teach. They know its not their fault, yet the will not stand up for themselves and the profession they claim to love.

Its not the teachers fault that kids don't care about learning.

All the new programs will not cure the apathy. The politicians know that but they cant blame their constituents.

Its so much easier to blame the teachers. We make is so easy for them.

Anonymous said...

Well put Tom.

The teaching "addiction" is seeded with those moments of authentic teaching/learning we experience.

It is an overwhelming feeling of success born of cooperation that we seek to replicate daily.

It gives us purpose and drives us to look for different avenues to the same "high".

It makes us ignore the slings and arrows that target us. We begin to jump on board any bandwagon that promises us "success".

As time goes by we forget what we did we when started and like all junkies become susceptible to the manipulations of the "latest and greatest."

We need an intervention.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE the addiction analogy. It is so true!

Suzie Creamcheese said...

A poster known as "terminator" responded to this post with this:

"I used to work at DOE and have a pretty good grasp of the so-called sanctions."

"The reality is, NO Florida school has ever been reconstituted. Edison Senior in Miami has had F grades eight of the past ten years and nothing different (besides re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic) has been done."

"Performance pay was tried in Miami-Dade's Zone schools (20% increase) and the final results......drum-roll please....there were NO measurable improvements in FCAT scores after three years and $107 million down a black hole."

"Incidentally, all of Miami-Dade's low performing inner city high schools have slipped down to F's this year. One (Central) was an F last year and improved to a D after intense intervention with a new principal."

"These schools can fail until hell freezes over and nothing will ever be done about it."

"Another year of district managed status? Pleaaazzze? Aren't these the same guys who screwed the pooch to begin with? What's with that? Charter status? They can fail for another year on that. So basically, it would take four years for the state to actually order a shutdown but we know they don't have the intestinal fortitude to do that because all the African-American alumni would be screaming and yelling about how they would bring the school back if they were given the chance. Gotta ask, where have you guys been all these past years when your former schools were D/F?"

"The same goes for NCLB sanctions which are a toothless tiger."

"Teachers, stop wasting your time worrying about this because in the end it won't amount to a hill of beans if a school is failing or not."

"It looks good for the state or feds to talk tough about failing schools but the bottom line is it will be business as usual for the districts."

"termie" can be blunt but I've found him to be consistent in philosophy and interpretation.

Thomas Vaughan said...

The former DOE guy is absolutely right.

Nothing will happen. They don't have any answers. Hell, they don't even have the right questions. The true questions are very politically incorrect.

Its NOT about teachers. The big guys downtown are not going to get rid of any teachers who happen to work at under performing schools.

Noise will be made, very public threats will be made.

They are going to reassign teachers at under-performing schools? Great. I'll bet those teachers wont be complaining. Who are they going to get to replace them? What teacher is going to volunteer to teach at a school where all they will get for their hard work is blame and recrimination.


We worry because we care about kids.

No one is really scared about losing their jobs because students fail. Some of us worry about losing our jobs because we speak openly but if you are quiet and meek you will be safe.

All the threats, merit pay and Springboards are for public consumption.

"Lets look like we are doing something".

"We can blame the teachers because they will accept it and as long as we don't actually fire any of them, they will play the game with us."

I dare anyone to tell me that what I say is not true.

The vast majority of the teachers in Hillsborough County truly care about their students, want to do the best for them and do NOT need threats or financial inducements to do the very best job they can.

Frankly I don't know what is more insulting to me as a professional educator, the threats or the "pay for performance". The data shows that neither really work.

We're tired and discouraged and most of us are looking forward to getting back to work in August because we love what we do.

We would like a little respect.