From the I can’t make this up file and the Times Union:
Deep breaths, deep breaths, now I don’t want to be that guy who hates puppies because the super likes them, you know who is just anti-whatever the super says and does, just today in the paper he talked about the need for additional mental health resources something I have been writing about for nearly a decade because so often why a kid acts up or does poorly in school has nothing to do with school, so if the super recognizes that and can marshal more resources to dealing with the problem, then kudos to him and we will be better as a district for it, but that being said there is a lot to unpack in that Times Union passage.
First principals are just as often retaining new teachers who don’t know they can say no and can be brow beaten into working eighty hours a week, while running off veterans. Good luck keeping them around for long.
Then the super refuses to name names. Um does he have a list of teachers that think poor and mostly minority teachers can’t make it? Was there a survey I missed and that was a question? At a meting did Mister and Miss so and so go you know what Superintendent Vitti, I’m not giving my all because have you noticed that my students are poor? Where is this list of names coming from?
But say he has this list, he is at the same time saying, I’m gonna just shift them to more affluent schools because they will make more of an effort there. It is just the poor kids that they go through the motions with. does that sound rational to anyone? Maybe to a super who approved a charter school in an affluent area of town that he said he wouldn’t let near poor kids, but I think to most of us that sounds pretty ridiculous. Also I have found that a lot of veteran teachers at our poorer schools think of it like a badge of honor, they aren’t just collecting a check with their feet up on the table.
Thank God we got rid of those crappy teachers right?
UGH!!!! Are you kidding me?
Why did those schools improve? Maybe it’s city year, that is making a difference, or the QEA which pays veteran teachers a kings ransom to go to our neediest schools, and yes I am a critic of the QEA, but not of having veteran teachers work with our neediest students just the system we are using to do it. Maybe it’s just one year and we got lucky, or maybe its the new test which the super has railed against which led to the gains at the schools that had all those crappy teachers who didn’t believe in poor kids.
I have no doubt that there are great things going on at those schools just like there are at all our schools and for the most part I believe it is happening in spite of not because of the district and I believe I can use the last part of the TU passage as proof of that.
The super says, “They get out of that tradition that says, ‘I’ve taught it, now I’m moving on,’” he said. “Now they might have to reteach it.”
Um, what tradition is that? That’s not a tradition I have ever heard of and I have been in the classroom for sixteen years, as for teachers reteaching, most I know lament that they can’t because the pacing guide is to be so strictly enforced that any deviation is met with frowns and veiled threats. Is he talking about another district there or is he making up things out of whole cloth like he did with he won’t name names thing?
Some of you might be thinking I am being to critical and that the schools and to some degree Superintendent Vitti deserve a victory lap and I agree on the lap. I just wish our super wold say something like, there is a lot of hard work going on at those schools and it paid off. That after all is really what happened.