Checkin: Weekend Open Discussion

Picture 69Despite the short week it's a miserable time of year between the weather and the credit card bills from the holidays coming due, another long week before the next training day (here), budget cuts looming.  But we still need to hear from you.  There's been a fair amount of discussion about subbing (here) and a smattering of interest in Ben Joravsky's look back at Chico (here) but the rest of the week's news - mayoral campaign stuff, the new lights at Parker (here), the return of the seven charter proposals (here) hasn't generated much interest, which usually means that there's something else going on.  So here's a weekend open thread for topics not otherwise covered in previous postings.  Got something new or different to talk about?  Go for it.  We want to know.  

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  • Did Michelle Rhee move to San Antonio?

  • There seem to be fewer pretty PM power point slides around these days, and the ones I do see are just as uselss and out-of-date as the ones that were pouring in daily a couple of months back. I guess they are all enjoying their big salaries while doing less, those jobs currently being financed by the savings in formerly wasted printer ink.

  • Yes. But that seems so obvious that it is an embarrassment for our district that this is even still an issue.

  • no No NO! to a standardized grading scale for all the schools in the city.

    I don't even want a standard scale for all teachers in the building. Let individual classroom teachers decide what grades to assign.

    I mean, really, the more standardization in grading, the more teachers have to "jigger" the grades to get them to come out the way they want them.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    Danny, if you are having to "jigger" grades within a ten-point grading scale then, franky, you are doing something wrong. Are you a new teacher? Are you at a school with a low mobility rate? Those are the only two possible reasons a teacher wouldn't want this.

  • How about getting rid of the grade scale altogether and using standards-based grading instead? Use a 4 point scale and base it on the standards to which we teach. It wouldn't be complicated, but it would tell us a whole lot more about our students and what content they are and are not mastering. Seriously, the grading scale we have now allows for much more grading inaccuracies than we really need to be seeing. And, I think of it this way, if they want to pay me according to student progress, I want to be able to SHOW student progress accurately. It shouldn't be based on how well a student "does" school.

  • I'm curious what people think of the letter some schools are sending out saying no store bought food can be brought into the school by teachers or parents (no more pizza parties, no birthday celebrations)
    and they are even saying kids can't bring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch or candy bars for themselves. To me, this will never work. I understand that the policy is due to a student dying from eating chinese food that a teacher gave him that was cooked in peanut oil but if we have kids this allergic then maybe they don't belong in the regular schools. This seems to be a case of a very small minority trying to dictate to the majority. If they can't tolerate someone bringing peanut butter and jelly for lunch or a candy bar then maybe they should either eat in their classroom or go home for lunch.

  • There is an alternative certificate program that allows someone to become an adminstrator with no teachering experience. When CPS and other districts were having an administrator shortage, a fast track lane was created to fill the void. One of these administrators came to our school and was mediocre at best. I have concluded this is one of the most hubris acts a person can do: thinking they can manage a service without any experience within that service. Sadly, Mayor Daley would not agree.

  • Mazany would agree with you. If you recall he opined that all the testing was a "tyranny of accountability."

  • Good reading on the Gates and Broad Foundations latching on to public education like lampreys. Broad, by the way, is a major contributor to Emanuel's campaign. The "renaissance" will be in full effect if he is elected, we teachers should be worried and talking with ALL our private sector friends and relatives about choosing someone else.

  • Yes, you can have celebrations with nonfood items, but any that you can think of pale in comparison to food/food treats. Let's face it, for kids that is the number one reward/incentive.

  • In reply to QuietObserver:

    I am constantly amazed at how much instructional time is wasted on parties and celebrations at schools. At my old school they used to have dances for jr. high kids at the end of the school day, and by that I mean from 1:30-2:30 and dismissal was at 2:30. I mean, are you kidding me? These were kids who in the 7th grade could barely read at a 3rd grade level and we were spending their school day on dances????!!!!
    Parties and celebrations should all be held AFTER school hours. On school grounds with teachers and parents willing to volunteer? Fine. But until a school is producing 90%+ meeting standards and 50%+ exceeding, they have no business "celebrating" anything.

  • What's going on at Orr High School. The staff was told by their principal Mr. Jamie Poole that he wasn't being retained at the end of the year. He was even offered a buy out to leave this week. He is telling his staff that he is going to get the South Shore High School principalship. Has anyone heard anything about who is going to be the next principal at South Shore? How did a turnaround's principal relationship sour so fast with AUSL?

  • In reply to Martez:

    Another turnaround will happen June 23, 2011 I betcha. Jammie Poole Jr is out and already he has his little people at Orr thinking they are going to South Shore with him. Oh how silly they are to think that CPS, the LSC and the parents of South Shore High School are going to allow all the people he has molded into his personal flunkies to treat him like a God and game play happen. You know who's going already with him because the braggers are really so stupid of course and they better understand being his friend will not be the same there as it was in Orr.... Each day that I am at Orr now I feel so much more calm in the building since he is no longer there to make me feel that my teaching skills are not worthy of his liking.

    [comment edited 03/19 -- unsubstantiated allegations, personal behavior. contact me if you have substantiation or provide links to verified information.]

  • Yes it is. But you can't expect every other student to change their life because one student has a disability either.

    I brought peanut butter sandwiches to school for my lunch regularly when I was a student because they were cheap to make and I would eat them. None of the other nut spreads is as cheap or ubiquitous as peanut butter. Can't they simply make a special lunch room available for students with peanut allergies? And have epipens available for use in emergencies when a student goes into aniphylactic shock?

    I am allergic to bees and if I get stung and don't get treatment I will die from the shock, so I do understand the severity. But, on the other hand, I never expected the schools I attended to go out and remove all the bees from the play ground before recess or lunch.

  • CTU and Chicago Public Schools must sit down and discuss what will become the standard system for teacher evaluation. CTU is drafting its proposal and we need our members at the table. All members are encouraged to attend this important meeting.

    What: CTU Teacher Evaluation Meeting
    When: Tuesday, January 25, 2010 4:30 PM
    Where: Chicago Teachers Union

  • What a lot of bureaucratic nonsense. To evaluate a teacher you need to observe classes and review results.

  • No.

  • comment removed -- unsubstantiated allegations.

    contact me if you have substantiation or provide links to verified information.

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