Media: Turnaround Costs

From TWIE:  Two quick thoughts about Sam Dillon’s NYT story on Locke high
school (about which I am writing a book).  First off, it was interesting
to watch as the headline for the story changed overnight from Cost

of Progress at a Failing School to School
Is Turned Around, but Cost Gives Pause
.  The newer headline seems
slightly more favorable to Green Dot in that it establishes that Locke
is much improved.  The original headline hit lighter on the cost issue
but might have made readers think Locke was still the same as before.  

ScreenHunter_17 Jun. 
02 18.15Speaking of the cost
issue — the only real news in Dillon’s piece — I’m sure the folks at
Green Dot and elsewhere in the state would want it noted more
prominently that California’s spending on education has fallen to levels
much lower than in other states, and that at least some of the extra
funding required at Locke — $1250 per kid, I’m told — is a function of
that low reimbursement rate rather than a real turnaround cost. And,
it should be noted, not all of the schools needing turnarounding are as
large and surrounded by violence as Locke – many are substantially
smaller and in somewhat less dangerous locations, requiring less by way
of additional security.  I’m not saying turnarounds are cheap or
that Green Dot hasn’t spent a lot of outside money, just that the state
per pupil and the size of the school and the extreme dangers of Watts
should probably be taken into account a little bit better than they were
in this particular story. 

Filed under: The World Outside CPS


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  • One thing in Sam Dillion's story grabbed my attention, especially since Alexander is writing a book about Locke High School. It was this passage "In August 2008, Kevin King, a retired police lieutenant hired by Green Dot, toured Locke

  • That is totally scary. You mean tell us that 100% of the staff fulfill their contractual obligations? 100% of teachers in the building do what they are supposed to do? 100% of Prosser workers actually leave work at the end of their workday? Holy Cow!

    Of course, if they worked in the 'burbs they'd get paid for sponsoring and leading extracurricular activities. But still, that 100% really is frightening!

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Doing extra above and beyond is usually a major function of effective management styles. The vast majority of teachers get into teaching because they want to put the futures of children even beyond their own needs and wants.

    The problem is that if you are abused by administration it, over time, wears down your ability to go above and beyond.

    It's perfectly human and nature that if you build beautiful structures to help children and big bad bureaucracy and administration comes in and blows your house down, it will affect your desire to do it again.

  • My only real point was that sponsoring extracurricular activities is not a requirement of teaching. Anyone aware with a clue of what it means to be a teacher knows that putting in whatever hours are necessary to be an effective educator is part of the job. Though only based on my anecdotal experience it appears to me that the vast majority of teachers do work longer than contractual hours. That doesn't make them saints. But that contractual work day also does not give everyone and their mother license to bash teachers for "the shortest work day in America", either. That's just silliness.

    Last year I worked over 2800 hours as an educator. (Yes, I keep track of such things.) However, many of those hours were spent working from home or outside of the school. Planning and preparation are, of course, extremely important to teaching and learning. Shock of shocks - perhaps some of the Prosser teachers go home to prepare for the next unit/day/week/etc. I don't know and so I won't make assumptions. Neither should anyone else.

    For me, teaching is a 2nd career, I've been at it for 5 years, and I love it. I have never worked so hard in my life. However, as I become more experienced and build a repertoire of materials, units, projects, etc. I do expect the hours required for planning and preparation to decrease. And I admittedly look forward to those shorter work weeks so I may focus on growth in other professional areas.

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