Good Friday News

Just finished reading the annual report from New Schools for New Orleans (pdf).   You should, too.  Hard work and enormous challenges down there, but they’re making more than a dent.  Their approach is a model for elsewhere as well.

5 Replies to “Good Friday News”

  1. More Good Friday news:
    Co-principals hired for Central Falls High School

    From the article:

    CENTRAL FALLS — The Central Falls Board of Trustees approved the appointment of two co-principals at troubled Central Falls High School in a 5-to-0 vote Tuesday night, even after it came to light that one of them had misrepresented some information on his resumé.
    Sam’s resumé claimed, incorrectly, that under his leadership at the MET over the past four years, math scores had improved by 79 percent.

    But the combined test scores for the three MET campuses are roughly the same as low-performing Central Falls High, with just 55 percent proficient in reading in 2009 — the same as Central Falls — and only 4 percent proficient in math, even lower than Central Falls’ 7-percent proficiency. Math test scores did not improve, although reading scores did jump 14 points over the past three years.
    Meanwhile, Gallo said she had “complete confidence” in Sam and said his strong interviews won him the job, not the details on his resumé.

    “Reform” American Style

  2. It’s Not OK to Hate Teachers

    Earlier this year Arne Duncan and Barack Obama publicly affirmed the decision of a Rhode Island school district to fire every teacher at a failing public high school. Do we really think every teacher at that high school deserved to be fired? Subsequent negotiations between the district and the school board have led to the rehiring of many of those teachers, but under enforced new work rules. This spring the governor of New Jersey, angry at the pace of negotiations with teachers’ unions, publicly urged citizens to vote down their school levies knowing full well what kind of devastating impact that would have on public school classrooms in his state. This Sunday The Cleveland Plain Dealer published a front page report on teachers in the Cleveland Public Schools that, at least to me, seemed designed to paint teachers in the worst possible light as overpaid, underworked, intransigent about reform, and not overly competent.

    What’s going on here?
    The city I’ve lived in for the last 18 years has as its community slogan, “A city is known by the schools it keeps.” If that’s true, then our nation increasingly should be embarrassed. Many of our public schools are a mess, and until we all take a good look at ourselves in the mirror, blaming the teachers will not only be unfair, it will only make matters worse. How many of our best and brightest young people, watching the jobs in education dry up and the public perception of the profession under assault, will be eager to devote their lives to the public schools?

    Here in Chicago there are many trying to ring the warning bells about the plight of our schools and our teachers. Sadly, for many those warning bells, like school bells, don’t seem to be very compelling or urgent. Here there seems to be more attentiveness to the horns at the United Center signaling another goal in the Black Hawks’ run for a Stanley Cup. When Jesus took a child in his lap, he demonstrated a central vocation of the church. Today that vocation means many things, but at the center ought to be our shared commitment to public schools and to those who teach in them.

  3. Latest Michelle Rhee sighting
    D.C. school chancellor Michelle Rhee says New York must learn from her groundbreaking union deal

    Does groundbreaking referring to that Guatemala City sinkhole?

    In no other industry or business would decisions be made about employment based only on years of service and not effectiveness. It’s time to use common sense.
    Like the way she was able to determine in 2 months that her 900 summer hires were better than those ones she had RIFfed in Oct ’09.
    But she created a Baltimore Miracle, so she knows of what she writes.

  4. Thanks, Jacob.
    I read Good News Friday and had good news to share.
    You read New Orleans.
    Must be my substandard Catholic school education.
    My parents should demand a refund.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.