Remember that panel I told you about earlier this week (here)? Well I finally got the audio and uploaded it and looked through my notes. The bottom line? Jesse Sharkey is intense and funny (and stylish in his tweed cap). Jennifer Husbands is smart and friendly and not to be messed with (in a good way). Don Fraynd is sincere and hopeful about the turnaround efforts he's overseeing (not the emotionless robot blog commenters have led me to expect). Xian Barrett says interesting things (despite his claim that he doesn't like public speaking).
What else? It was fascinating for me to learn that Fraynd had to ask for central control over the new schools process, and still quotes Arne Duncan ("What will your next excuse be?") on the question of under-resourced neighborhood schools. Sharkey derided the polluted rhetoric and the salvation narratives that are out there, the fates of the older black teachers who are out of work despite having never gotten a bad evaluation, and the turnaround stick that's being used to beat teachers and administrators at other schools around the head. Xian cited the DFC study showing schools can turn around themselves and spoke eloquently about the need for authentic parent and community voice. Husbands questioned the DFC study's validity, and reminded everyone that nonprofit does not equal corporate and that the CCSR report shows that AUSL is serving the same kids. All of them urged reporters to spend enough time to get the nuance of struggling schools and schools undergoing turnarounds, and to avoid the "________ messed up again" formula. "We are also working our tails off until midnight," said Fraynd. "We don't have to be caricatures trying to strangle each other,"said Barrett. "Moving the need a little, that has to be ok," said Sharkey.
Listen to it all here: CPS Turnaround 032412. What jumps out at you (besides the poor audio quality)? It's about an hour long.