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Truth to Power? –> From School to Exile

February 21, 2011 pm28 12:29 pm

(Read The Audacity of Hope on The Notebook)

All eyes are on Wisconsin. And rightfully so. But we should not forget what is happening right here in New York, as the bully Mayor and his new Chancellor continue targeting teachers and schools.

But here’s a story from down the road a piece – head down the Jersey turnpike an hour and a half, take a bridge into Philly, and we see teachers and schools with problems that overlap with ours. But in many cases, the problems are worse. Remember, they had private contractors running schools? (Edison?) I think it turned out bad, even from the administrators’ points of view. And now they have strings of charter schools and “Promise Academies” called “Renaissance Schools” – with far greater penetration than we have in all but a few neighborhoods in NYC.

When a school goes “Renaissance” teachers find jobs elsewhere in the system, or reapply, but without union representation. Some will be laid off. There is of course no reason to believe that the education of the kids improves at all. This is a bald power play.

So here’s the story – yet another school announced to go Renaissance, Audenried High School. Parents, students and teachers were vocal in their opposition. Five teachers wrote a guest post in defense of Audenried at The Notebook (a Philly pro-public school news and commentary round-up site). At least two of them were disciplined with exile and an attendant gag order, and one of them went public!

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers says that it will defend its members with every tool available.

Hope Moffet despite being TfA is now sitting in a basement office instead of teaching for the crime of speaking on behalf of her students, her school, and justice. Read more about her in The Audacity of Hope.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    February 21, 2011 pm28 3:56 pm 3:56 pm

    Just wanted to post an anonymous side-note to beware the NCAT (National Center for Academic Transformation)

    I teach at the college level and have learned the danger in the following paragraph:

    “All successful math redesign projects share six best-practice characteristics:

    * Whole course redesign. In each case, the whole course rather than a single class or section is the target of redesign. In contrast to traditional courses where each instructor typically does his or her own thing, redesigned courses are consistent in content, in coverage, in assessment and in pedagogy across all sections of the course.”

    from NCAT Changing the Equation
    This project is sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    This is an incredibly intrusive move into instructors’ classroom autonomy – at least it was in my department. I’ve managed to maintain some control over “content, coverage, assessment and PEDAGOGY” but gained a few (more) gray hairs in the process…beware

    • February 21, 2011 pm28 4:07 pm 4:07 pm

      You want to e-mail me some more info?

      • anon permalink
        February 23, 2011 pm28 9:34 pm 9:34 pm

        I sent a message from this email account…

        • February 24, 2011 am28 1:40 am 1:40 am

          Thanks. I see it. I am not sure I really understand the events or background, though.

  2. chaz permalink
    February 21, 2011 pm28 5:29 pm 5:29 pm

    Boy, can I sympathize with the Philly teacher. When they are out to get you they will do anything. Thank god for our “due process” rights.

  3. February 21, 2011 pm28 6:28 pm 6:28 pm

    Wow – thanks for sharing. Perfect example of funneling public money into private hands.


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