education & tech

mLearning, teacher, scholar, social media

Education + Tech

Education & Tech, was created to build hope that education based on social technologies, can transform the new century, and enable abundance not only spiritually but economically. Milton Ramirez, Ed.D. - @tonnet is the founder & editor. He is a teacher, tech blogger, writes on education, and hails this blog from Union, NJ. For further questions, tips or concerns please e-mail him to:miltonramirez [at] educationandtech [dot] com

Teacher + Scholar

If you are a regular to Blog Education & Tech, you shall remember that I am a blogger and I'd written a post about education almost everyday since 2003. Education & Tech provides you with education news, expert tech advice, classroom management ideas, and social media tools for educators, administrators, parents and k-12 students.

Welcome Twitterer! Why not like our site for more updates?

DC Teachers Union Opposed to Rhee's Merit Pay Program

The U.S. spends more per pupil on elementary and high school education than most developed nations.

This is an statement Times recently published to back what Washington D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee is doing to behold the title of country's best-known urban school reformer.

By September 2008, the chancellor of one of the nation's lowest-performing school districts in the nation, closed 23 schools as the head of the District of Columbia's public schools, fired 36 principals and cut about 121 jobs from the central office staff. And she keeps on making changes.

She's been doing media headlines nationwide on the reforms she intents for DC schools. But with less visibility and a bit further East, Newark Superintendent Clifford Janey is also working to fulfil a better achievement in another of the worst performing districts school in America, Newark. He's instituted a mandatory uniform policy for students in grades K-8, revised the district's lunch policy and launched a also controversial initiative around teacher quality.

Speaking of controversial, this is how Rhee's proposal is perceived by DC teachers union. She plans to do away with teacher tenure and replace it with an ambitious merit pay program. NPR has an interview of Chancellor Rhee on how her proposal has divided the Chocolate city's teachers union.

Listen the interview made by Claudio Sanchez, here.

If you want to receive my future posts regularly for FREE, please subscribe in a reader or by e-mail. If you have concerns, Contact Me at anytime.

INSIDE EDUCATIONANDTECH.COM

Post a Comment

  1. Jesse said...
     

    I am a veteran teacher in Houston seeking a dialogue with Teach for America teachers nationally regarding policy positions taken by former Teach for American staffers who have become leaders in school district administrations and on school boards. I first became aware of a pattern when an ex-TFA staffer, now a school board member for Houston ISD, recommended improving student performance by firing teachers whose students did poorly on standardized tests. Then the same board member led opposition to allowing us to select, by majority vote, a single union to represent us.

    Having won school board elections in several cities, and securing the Washington D.C Superintendent's job for Michelle Rhee, Wendy Kopp's friends are pursuing an approach to school reform based on a false premise: that teachers are the cause of sub-par academic performance in urban schools, They disregard major factors like the degree of parent commitment, students habits and economic inequality. 

    The corporate-TFA nexus began when Union Carbide initially sponsored Wendy Kopp's efforts to create Teach for America. A few years before, Union Carbide's negligence had caused the worst industrial accident in history, in Bhopal, India. The number of casualties was as large as 100,000, and Union Carbide did everything possible to minimize its responsibility at the time it embraced Ms. Kopp. TFA recently started Teach for India. Are Teach for India enrollees, who presumably love their country and its people, aware of the the Union Carbide/TFA relationship?

    When TFA encountered a financial crisis, Ms. Kopp  nearly went to work for the Edison Project, and was all but saved by their managerial assistance. The Edison Project sought to replace public schools with for-profit corporate schools funded by our tax money. Think Haliburton in your neighborhood. Ms. Kopp's husband, Richard Barth, was an Edison executive before taking over as CEO of KIPP's national foundation, where he has sought to decertify its New York City unions.

    In 2000, two brilliant TFA alumni, the founders of KIPP Academy, joined the Bush's at the Republican National Convention in 2000. This gave pivotal cover for Bush, since as Governor he had no genuine educational achievements, and he needed the education issue to campaign as a moderate and reach out to the female vote. KIPP charter schools provide a quality education, but they start with families committed to education. They claim to be improving public schools by offering competition in the education market-place, but they take the best and leave the rest.

    D.C. Superintendent Michelle Rhee's school reform recipe includes three ingredients: close schools rather than improve them; fire teachers rather than inspire them; and sprinkle on a lot of media-thrilling hype. Appearing on the cover of Time, she stood sternly with a broom in hand, which she was using to sweep trash, the trash being a metaphor for  my urban teacher colleagues. MS RHEE, MY COLLEAGUES WHO WORK IN SOME OF THE TOUGHEST SCHOOLS IN THE NATION ARE NOT TRASH.  They are American heroes!  

    TFA teachers are highly effective educators. My mentor, when I started teaching, was a TFA teacher, ironically, Ms. Rhee's interim Director of Human Resources, and he saved me in that first, difficult year. But when TFA's leadership argue that schools, and not inequality and bad habits, are the cause of the achievement gap, they are not only intellectually dishonest, they feed the the corporate influence which has blocked social changes we need to bolster our middle class, they aid the people who say the public sector can do nothing right, and thus should never regulate businesses or provide national health insurance or protect a workers right to organize.

    Our society has failed schools by permitting the middle class to shrink. It's not the other way around. Economic inequality and insecurity produces ineffective public schools. It's not the other way around. Ms. Kopp claims TFA carries the civil rights torch for today, but Martin Luther King was the voice of unions on strike, not the other way around. His last book, Where do we go from here?, argued for some measure of wealth distribution, because opportunity would never be enough in a survival of the fittest society to allow most of the under-privileged to enter the middle class. My e-mail is JesseAlred@yahoo.com.

Blogger User's Comments

HTML: < b >, < i >, < a > accepted. Try the scaped code here.

Still didn't find what you were looking for? Please, try again


Loading