Over the past 25 years, I've seen a lot of evaluation practices come and go. One thing that has remained consistent is the inability to close the achievement gap between city and suburban students. Maybe we should stop attempting to close gaps and makes comparisons and simply teach students "where they are!"
There is great research out of the Center for Education and the Economy that highlights what it takes for students to be college and career ready. Instead of the state using research to guide us through multiple paths, they have used politics to guide us to a one-size-fits-all approach to educating students and evaluating teachers. This is an empty-headed approach that only benefits the state's "numbers game" making for easy data tabulation to justify political agendas.
If student achievement is truly at the heart of every educational policy makers vision, then they will develop and implement a system of education that had multiple paths to obtaining an education, with career in technical education as one of the focus areas. This would undoubtedly change to achievement outcomes for many student, as well as, improve performance scores for teachers!
Student who want to go to college will still be able to do so, under the Regents pathway. But students who prefer to go to work, get a skilled trade career, or enter the military won't be denied an opportunity just because they could not pass 5 regents exams and courses like Geometry Regents, Algebra II and Trigonometry, courses that less than 5% of the nation needs to pursue certain fields of study in college!
What's the BIG SECRET? Well, we all know that their is a lot of money to be made in failing public schools in high poverty area. But this mindset is developed through what I call "Big Business Conditioning." As we can see, this approach has only worked for Big Businesses that services schools. But it has had a devastating impact on businesses that serve the local community due to the lack of a continual pouring in of a qualified workforce for the school district.
If we are serious about combating poverty, than we must first reverse this condition!
In addition to Joan's comments, which I fully support, City teachers work under much more stringent conditions than teachers in Victor [no comparison]. Until you've spent a few years in schools in the RCSD, you can't imagine the complexities of the job, especially in the high schools! Attempting comparisons is frivolous at best.
One parent homes does not necessarily correlate to poverty, which is also NOT the key reason for failing schools in RCSD [all are not failing]. These are presumptions from a standpoint of being out of touch with the community and speaking from the outside looking in, in my opinion.
When their is a point to be made, over-exaggerating the situations causes your point to be lost, or not well received. We all need to find a way to help improve the situation in Rochester, without looking to point out all the negatives!
I can't believe the attempt at marginalizing inappropriate comments like this by implying that it is okay for anyone to be a "Covert Racist," as long as their doing a good job. This may be okay for the average citizen [which I don't except for anyone], but it's certainly NOT okay for an elected public official!
Winston Churchill once said, "The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it, but in the end, THERE IT IS!" Some folks just can't handle the truth! KEEP PREACHING THE TRUTH HOWARD! Now I will count my dislikes! 😊
The reality is that the SEG group designation was a bad idea that got progressively worse. Absolute power in the hands of the wrong individual is bound to lead to abuse. The article states that the board is comprised of individuals that do not have a background or training in education, well neither does the superintendent!
I have tried back in 2010 to get the board to realize the damage that this kind of absolute power has caused and I glad to see that they are finally doing something about it!. In fact, when I researched SEG through State ED (in 2010) they had never heard about it and had to get their attorney to research it. I finally got the information from Malik Evans. Also, the New York State School Board Association informed me that if the board is not satisfied with the "addendum" policy then all they had to do is vote it out of the superintendent's duties. This is an option that was made available to some districts, not a mandate required by law. Vargas, as well as pass superintendents, have continually abused this privilege which has led to numerous lawsuits, including contract abuse, abusive spending practices, hiring uncertified and unqualified personnel for district-wide administrative positions, and the list goes on! In fact, I recently petition the district to provide account of the $31 million (800%) increase in the spending allocated to the Chief of Schools Department and sadly, they were unable to provide an account for the money! So these practices cannot continue to continue or their won't be anything left to abuse! I feel that the action from the board should have came sooner. But "better late than never!" Congratulations school board...keep moving forward on this effort!
Did this district really expect Vargas to be effective? It's really shameful! Anybody can't do this job, as some would have us believe. What's even worse is that it is humanly impossible for Vargas to do it. Over the past 20 years he has done "nothing" to prepare himself for what he has been appointed to do. Those who supported him (BB) are certainly getting a return on their investment.
"One thing is for certain is that, if you create programs that interest students and meet them where they are, then you won't need to go knocking on their doors because they will be knocking on yours!" Josh J. Mack
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