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Remove Bronx Theatre from Do Not Apply list

April 1, 2009 am30 3:54 am

A teacher, HB, has written in, challenging Bronx Theatre’s place on the Do Not Apply list. He also thinks it never belonged. I rechecked my work, which could have been mistaken. But I don’t think so. I also went back to my sources, and must agree with part of what HB says:  today Bronx Theatre does not belong on the Do Not Apply list. I am removing it.

HB also asks hard questions about my methodology. He’s right, it is not objective, and my samples cannot be representative. I am not a union official, nor do I have privileged access. I talk to people, I listen. And when my judgment is challenged by a teacher, I look more closely. That’s the best I can do. It’s better than the DoE.

Is it worth making the list, if some of the information might be questioned? Of course it is. Most of the schools that got on the list last Spring still belong there. The list is a red flag, a warning for Fellows and teachers seeking to transfer. And it has extra value because it has the potential to grow, shrink, adjust, be corrected. Every teacher, from those who suggest adding a school, to those who tell me that a school has improved, to those who add anecdotes or incidents, to those who challenge a school’s inclusion, all of those add to a valuable discussion that might not take place without the Do Not Apply list.

—   —   —

When I started the Do Not Apply list, I used a combination of sources to decide whether a school belonged there. Some were easy: Aerospace, Fordham Arts, Eximius, clearly the worst three high schools to work in in the Bronx. For others I used a combination of sources. I added no schools without at least 2 sources plus some additional confirmation. In the case of Bronx Theatre, I had 5 sources, including current teachers, not including the Chapter Leader from 2 years before, who’d ended up in the Rubber Room (in the DoE, 2 years old info is out of date) I think their collective judgment, as of last Spring, was correct. Today I looked at their “Learning Environment” surveys, which I generally hate, but I noticed that 58% of the teachers as of last year did not trust the principal at her word.

But things change. When HB wrote in, I was surprised. I pushed hard questions back at him. But I also returned to my sources. None gave as glowing a positive review as HB. But none could supply fresh information for keeping Bronx Theatre on the list, and some thought things had calmed down.

So, thanks for challenging. The Do Not Apply list is better for it.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 1, 2009 pm30 2:55 pm 2:55 pm

    Many thanks for taking the time to look into this.

    It’s appreciated.

  2. April 3, 2009 am30 1:17 am 1:17 am

    thanks for clearly and promptly correcting your work
    as publicly as the “mistake” itself. common in math of course
    but somewhat rare in publishing. you could have chosen
    a better calender date to do in on…

  3. April 3, 2009 am30 8:16 am 8:16 am

    Man, I hate apologies and corrections. I do. But failing to correct, that would just undermine my credibility, and who would be served by that?

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