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There’ll Be More School & Early College Dreams

by Melissa Bailey | May 26, 2010 6:21 am

(38) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Schools, The Hill, Davis Street School, School Reform

Melissa Bailey Photo Staying open all summer. College prep for 3-year-olds. Sound ambitious? Those are two of the first ideas on tap as New Haven starts reinventing its schools.

Look for those changes at Davis Street and John C. Daniels schools.

They were among seven pilot schools graded and placed into three tiers in March as part of the city’s nascent school reform campaign. That meant they would try new ideas to get better, even though some of the seven schools are already doing well.

Daniels, a bilingual school, was given a middle-performing, second-tier grade; Davis Street, which has championed innovations and closed the achievement gap, was placed into the top tier, granting it more autonomy.

Leadership from the seven pilot schools has been meeting weekly with central office staff to brainstorm improvement plans for the fall.

Davis Street Principal Lola Nathan (pictured with Davis staffer Mary Derwin) and Daniels Principal Gina Wells presented initial plans at the school board’s regular meeting Monday night.

Both K-8 schools plan to launch summer programs, a college prep program, and increase the amount of time spent on instruction.

Starting in the fall, Wells plans to extend the school day at Daniels by 45 minutes, four days a week. The extra three hours would make time for more math, reading and study skills lessons, she said.

According to the teachers union contract, the Tier I and Tier II improvement plans both need approval by 75 percent of the school’s staff, as well as by the superintendent and union leadership.

The two school improvement plans would come at no additional cost to the district, according to Imma Canelli, the district’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. Schools were instructed to make some cuts to accommodate added programming, she said.

Neither school currently runs a summer program outside of the mandatory one that the district runs for kids who are falling behind. Both plan to jump start learning by rolling out new summer programs in June.

Principal Wells (pictured) said she’s planning a four-week summer program for 100 students in grades K to 5. The Daniels school is bilingual: Students read, write and speak in both Spanish and English. The summer program will focus on preparing incoming 3rd and 5th-graders for the dual language program, especially who didn’t grow up speaking Spanish, she said.

Davis Street is planning a five-week, site-based summer program focusing on grades 2 and 3. It may join forces with the Edgewood School, the other Tier I school.

The extra classes would follow Davis’s trajectory of providing more opportunities for kids who would otherwise be stuck at home doing nothing, said Principal Nathan.

Along that vein, Nathan proposed holding special school sessions during some holidays and breaks—an experiment she tried out in February. A lot of kids spend holidays watching TV at home, and aren’t aware of what the holidays are for, she said. Her student body has 32 cultures. She proposed holding school on holiday breaks to teach students about the meaning behind holidays from different cultures.

At Daniels, Wells plans to extend the school day to seven hours per day. Teachers would stay longer on Mondays for professional development. By using staggered start times, Wells said she has worked out the schedule so that only 14 to 15 teachers would end up working more hours—and thus would be paid more. She said she is asking teachers to come in a couple days a week in the summer, too.

Both schools set a goal of preparing their kids to succeed in college. That’s one of the core goals of the city’s school reform drive.

To that end, Daniels and Davis both plan to implement a program called College Ed for students in grades 7 and 8. The program, published by the College Board, teaches middle schoolers college readiness skills. It includes materials for getting parents involved, too.

Davis Principal Nathan said the program will be part of a wider focus on college readiness that will extend all the way to the 3-year-olds who start pre-kindergarten classes there.

At Daniels, students in 7th and 8th grades will spend 30 minutes per day on study skills or college prep, Wells said. She also plans to use the new SchoolNet online data system to track how Daniels graduates perform when they get to 9th and 10th grades.

Wells said she’ll devote some of the longer school day to increase time spent on math and reading. Daniels students’ math scores have been “inconsistent,” she said. To deepen the school’s emphasis on “HOTs,” higher-order thinking skills, Wells and a group of staffers will attend a summer training institute paid for by the state Culture and Tourism Board.

At Davis, Nathan looked for creative ways to boost literacy skills, in keeping with the magnet school’s arts theme. One is a pre-existing program called Project Zero. The goal is to teach kids to think critically about art and music. Nathan also plans to have kids put on more plays, and forge new partnerships with city theater and music groups.

At the end of the presentations, both principals were met with a question from board members Mayor John DeStefano and Alex Johnston (pictured, from right)—how will the new programs translate to the “bubble” chart? They were referring to the district’s new way of grading how well schools are closing the achievement gap between city kids and their suburban counterparts.

DeStefano has set the ambitious goal of closing that gap in five years.

Both principals said they have literature to show that the new programs they plan to implement have produced results.

Johnston pointed out that it’s easy to produce literature supporting any education initiative. The district’s task will be to make sure the new programs work for New Haven—and keep students on track to academic success, he said. He suggested the school board serve as a “data team” to ensure the schools stay on track toward the district’s bigger goals—closing the achievement gap, cutting the dropout rate in half, and ensuring all public school kids can succeed in college.

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posted by: Townie on May 26, 2010  7:02am

Hate to say it, but all of these new programs will not close the achievement gap between the urban and suburban schools. The only thing that will dilute the difference is a radical reconditioning of urban society. I.E. ‘you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink’. Also, why is there a bilingual school in New Haven? This sounds like an enormous waste of time and money. Now, children can be illiterate in two languages. Pick a language and stick with it, at least until 7th or 8th Grade and then students can have the option of learning another language.

posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on May 26, 2010  7:23am

Lets give credit where it is due.

More time on task with a longer school day and year is fundamental if we are to have a chance to experience dramatic improvement.  As we have read in the past, these two principals in particular seem very focused on being successful.  The right school leadership matters a lot. 

The results of the teacher vote will be a good proxy as to whether most are all aboard the reform express. 

And Alex Johnston is right…Track results.

posted by: V on May 26, 2010  8:34am

3 year old “college prep”?

How would that be different from reading to them, teaching number and letter recognition, etc?  What is, exactly, that these 3 year olds are now getting in school, if they need a separate college prep curriculum?

posted by: Threefifths on May 26, 2010  8:36am

posted by: Townie on May 26, 2010 8:02am
Hate to say it, but all of these new programs will not close the achievement gap between the urban and suburban schools. The only thing that will dilute the difference is a radical reconditioning of urban society. I.E. ‘you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink’. Also, why is there a bilingual school in New Haven? This sounds like an enormous waste of time and money. Now, children can be illiterate in two languages. Pick a language and stick with it, at least until 7th or 8th Grade and then students can have the option of learning another language.

I agree with you on this one.In fact the reason
why these new programs will not close the achievement gap between the urban and suburban schools is that the corporate school reform vampires will loose there profits.So the must keep the school reform food chain going. Also a study was done and it showed that Longer School Year Won’t Improve Student Achievement.

http://www.educationreport.org/pubs/mer/article.aspx?id=10856

You already have extend school days.It is call home were the parents pick up after the children come home from school.Also I am sick and tired of compare US schools to Europe on a single factor such as length of day or length of year.I was reading In some countries such as Germany, students are separated and tracked by their abilities into technical school or liberal arts education. In many other areas, districts are not forced to keep students who are chronically troublesome. In Latin America and Asia, they would never tolerate behavior that is common here. And so many of the worst pupils are simply thrown out into the street. Education becomes an issue of survival, and this fact inspires the children greatly. Also
in many of these countries they take yearly assessment tests that are pass/fail. If the student passes ALL the subjects, he or she moves on. If not, the student must repeat the entire year—all subjects. If we are going to look to successful foreign schools, we should at least look at everything they do differently and consider how we can implement all the best ideas. Simply extending the school day or school year will not fix our problems.

posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on May 26, 2010  9:05am

3/5,  You’re right lengthening the school day by itself will not help.  In fact, one could argue that if we lengthened the school day and didn’t improve the quality of instruction, that it would be HARMFUL to have children be in school longer!

But thankfully that’s not what we’re talking about.  We are talking about having a longer school day in conjunction with a higher quality educational experience. 

How? The district will differentiate good teaching from poor teaching, track what works and what doesn’t, place the best teachers in the toughest assignments - and pay them more to do it. 

Its not just doing more of the same thing. Its doing everything better - and then doing it more.

posted by: MMM on May 26, 2010  9:23am

Those are some very BOLD GOAlS, don’t you think?

posted by: Townie on May 26, 2010  11:04am

Maybe we should consider the “suburban model”. Parents teach their kids, almost from birth, to be respectful, hardworking, patient, thoughtful, etc. and then when they (the kids) get to school the teachers won’t have to spend half of their time (or more) babysitting. The problem with the schools is not the quality of teachers, it is not the age of the buildings, it is not the length of the school day. The problem with the schools is the quality of New Haven’s parents, families and communities. Of course, I am generalizing and there are a lot of exceptional parents and families in the city. But, the stats do not reflect this to be true of the majority. For some reason we view education as a fix-all for our city’s (society’s) problems. It’s not, education is a tool and like any other tool it is only as good as the person using it. We have to fix the major problems with our society before any real “change” will be seen in our school systems. The Mayor, the BOE and the citizens seem to ignore the very blatant fact that liberalistic school reforms, like many other liberal policies, have zero benefit and only cause greater problems for everybody. Education should be simple and inexpensive, period. Children sit down, listen, learn and then go home and work. This model worked for hundreds of years and continues to work in this modern age.

posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on May 26, 2010  12:43pm

Townie, You have it exactly backwards.  We cannot eradicate poverty UNTIL we effectively educate all children.  If you think that changing our public schools into reform engines is going to be hard, and it is, then just try to turn 7th grade educated 35-year olds into educational role models for their kids.  How would you go about this? 

Just because you WANT people to turn into perfect responsible “suburban” parents doesn’t make it possible.  In fact, it’s dream-land.  Why not start with something that we already know works?

posted by: Townie on May 26, 2010  3:30pm

Fix The Schools: We know urban educational reform works? Name one example of success. Hartford, nope, New Haven, nope, Boston, nope, Baltimore, nope, Philly, nope, etc. Also, your logic that poverty causes ignorance is illogical. There are a lot of poor smart people in this world. And one does not have to be educated to raise responsible, well-behaved children. My grandfather didn’t graduate high school yet none of his children turned out to be convicts, drug dealers or delinquents in fact they all turned out to be functional and contributing members of society. Education can be used to OVERCOME poverty, but it is not going to solve the problems that cause poverty. 
How do we fix the wayward parents? Good question. Maybe education should cost money, then if these parents realized that they would have to pay for school they might think twice before procreating. I think some parents view public school as nothing more than free childcare. But, maybe that’s too drastic.
The solution is simple? Eliminate the culture of dependency that exists in the inner-city, the sense of entitlement, the ethos that rewards opulence and materialism and denigrates hard work, self-reliance and sacrifice. Eliminate the culture that promotes and glorifies violence and crime. Show people that this nation cares only for those who care for themselves and that no one is entitled to anything except for an equal chance to succeed or fail. This city, any city is what the people make of it. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

posted by: Threefifths on May 26, 2010  3:50pm

posted by: Townie on May 26, 2010 12:04pm

The Mayor, the BOE and the citizens seem to ignore the very blatant fact that liberalistic school reforms, like many other liberal policies,

I disagree. In fact this school reform movement
is run by conservative policies. Case and point look at The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 which pass with most of the votes comming from the conservatives.


Maybe we should consider the “suburban model”. Parents teach their kids, almost from birth, to be respectful, hardworking, patient, thoughtful, etc. and then when they (the kids) get to school the teachers won’t have to spend half of their time (or more) babysitting.

Not all true.In fact read this report write by
the Manhattan Institute, a New York-based conservative think tank.

Little behavioural difference between
urban and suburban teenagers
A report by the Manhattan Institute, NYC


http://www.citymayors.com/society/urban_teens.html

posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on May 26, 2010 1:43pm

Townie, You have it exactly backwards.  We cannot eradicate poverty UNTIL we effectively educate all children. 

If this is true that eradicate poverty until we effectively educate all children.Than how do you explain the high unemployement rate for the past five years for College Graduates?


http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/08/the-job-market-for-college-graduates/

posted by: Townie on May 26, 2010  5:15pm

Threefifths: Even though No Child Left Behind was the product of a Republican Administration does not mean that it is not Liberalistic. Any governmental intervention aimed at correction social problems is by definition liberalistic.
The report you cite does a very good at explaining the similarities between urban and suburban teenagers. However, it ignores the affects of the average “family”, the lack of parental supervision and the underlying culture in which many urban kids are raised. True a suburbanite may behave in similar ways, but that behavior is mitigated by effective parenting and functional communities. Again, these are generalizations, but they apparently explain the typical. And I am sure that the urban attitude is spreading to the suburbs, the American culture is quickly devolving to a level of near barbarism, so the report is not completely invalid. But for now the suburbs remain a solid model for effective and safe communities.
My basic point is, teaching children is not difficult and should not be expensive.

posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on May 26, 2010  6:25pm

Townie, There are 20,000 low income minority kids in KIPP charter schools across the country who are hitting the educational ball out of the park. 

Achievement First, based right here in New Haven operates 17 high performing charter schools in CT and NY with over 4,500 kids enrolled.  99% minority and 75% low income.  I am partial - but their results are undeniable and are delivered for a cost at or below what we spend in the district schools today. 

So that is what I mean when I say we know how to do this.  For a district the size of New Haven, Hartford, or Bridgeport - just pick one and watch how, if we aggressively expanded the capacity of some of these charters, we could create real choice and take pressure off of the system to turn around its high number of failing schools. 

3/5,

Everyone has been hit throughout this recession.  But by far the segment that has been hardest hit with unemployment has been non-college educated African-American males.

posted by: anon on May 26, 2010  7:44pm

Fix:

The only way to improve school performance as a whole is to improve neighborhoods.

You may see limited gains in achievement with charters for a few students but if you consider the system as a whole, the needle is not going to move until we have neighborhoods that are worth the investment of parents’ time and money.

Currently, parents with choice are fleeing neighborhoods because of basic quality of life issues, lack of jobs and transportation, litter and noise.  Invest in fixing these things, which is much easier than building $100 million new magnet schools, and the schools will turn around on their own. 

I often hear that the only way to solve poverty is to fix the schools so that individuals receive a good education.  Although it’s true that increased education can mitigate poverty for a single individual, there’s no evidence that improving education within a city will result in a long term improvement of an entire neighborhood.  Educated people will leave the neighborhood, making the city less and less educated on the whole. 

It’s funny policy makers ignore this, but the fact is you could spend the equivalent of the Apollo Space Program on each school and the city would just get poorer and poorer. 

The only way to solve poverty in a city—and therefore improve education for EVERYONE—is to make that city’s neighborhoods livable, economically and socially vibrant places that are attractive to a diverse variety of families and individuals.

Sadly, our school reform movement doesn’t seem to want any part in this.

posted by: sjbj on May 26, 2010  7:54pm

Hey Townie,
Take a look at the recent performance of Branford’s (last time I checked, a SUBURB) public schools and it’s wonderful suburban children /families. http://newhavenindependent.org/index.php/branford/entry/its_time_to_act/

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on May 26, 2010  8:01pm

Townie,
I agree with much of what you say, but a few points I find peculiar. I agree that the sense of entitlement in American culture is pervasive and problematic, but it is also most prevalent in the suburban middle class, not in the inner city. The entire post 1930s era suburban expansion of the country was a public project that is maintained and continued through massive subsidizing and increasing reliance on expanding our national debt. I would propose that the pre 1930s era suburbs and the post 1870s work force housing neighborhoods are the models to emulate because of their inherent flexibility and adaptability as well as their relatively low impact on the environment, debt, and faster return on investment than standard suburban sprawl. Lower Westville or Southern Beaver Hills are great examples of late street car suburbia, Whitney Ave or in East Rock or the Edgewood neighborhood are great examples of early streetcar suburbs, and Upper State Street and Trowbridge Square are great examples of work force housing neighborhoods. The typical automobile suburbs appear so functional because it is the living arrangement most endorsed by the federal government through development policies, subsidies and funding that favor suburbanism over urbanism. If we were to rework zoning, codes, subsidizing and funding for urbanism, than that would be the successful and sought after living arrangement.
Currently we favor suburbanism while trying to inadequately support cities, we need to just drop the suburban project-its a massive failure that has cost too much money-and adopt an urban and rural discipline. Its like how we try to support a rail system and a highway system-both end up sucking-we need to pick one and make that one great.
I don’t necessarily think that urban problems cannot be addressed through the schools, I just think it is much more complicated, expensive and misguided. The easier and cheaper solutions come from addressing problems at the level of the neighborhood-jobs, housing, commerce, recreation, transportation and public assembly space.

posted by: Threefifths on May 26, 2010  8:28pm

posted by: Townie on May 26, 2010 6:15pm

Threefifths: Even though No Child Left Behind was the product of a Republican Administration does not mean that it is not Liberalistic. Any governmental intervention aimed at correction social problems is by definition liberalistic.

So would you say that govermment programs like
workers compensation,unemployment benefits,Hurricane Disaster Relief Grants.Social Security Disability and veterans with service-related disability benfits Are liberalistic? Also if you are geting any of these benfits would you give them up? What you fail to understand is that we have a no breed of poor people who worked all of there lives and never ask for govermment help.Also the corporatist make there money from these programs that you talk about taking away.


The report you cite does a very good at explaining the similarities between urban and suburban teenagers. However, it ignores the affects of the average “family”, the lack of parental supervision and the underlying culture in which many urban kids are raised. True a suburbanite may behave in similar ways, but that behavior is mitigated by effective parenting and functional communities. Again, these are generalizations, but they apparently explain the typical. And I am sure that the urban attitude is spreading to the suburbs, the American culture is quickly devolving to a level of near barbarism, so the report is not completely invalid. But for now the suburbs remain a solid model for effective and safe communities.

The suburbs remain a solid model for effective and safe communities. Give me a break. Check out this report from the Brookings Institution.


The Suburbanization of Poverty: Trends in Metropolitan America, 2000 to 2008


http://www.brookings.edu/papers/2010/0120_poverty_kneebone.aspx

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/21/suburban-poverty-surges-t_n_430068.html

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2008/06/suburban_poverty_economy_bring.html

And we can’t forget the good old food stamp programs in the suburbs.I wonder how much shrimp and lobseter thet are eating.

Food Stamps and the Growing Suburban Safety Net.

http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2009/1201_food_stamps_berube.aspx

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/29/us/29foodstamps.html


And we can forget about suburban drug use.Which
is on the rise.

Action News Investigates How Suburban Drug Money Helps Fund Yakima’s Gang Violence

http://www.kimatv.com/news/93034279.html


http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200505/down-and-out-in-suburbia


I think you get the point.

 


posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on May 26, 2010 7:25pm

3/5,

Everyone has been hit throughout this recession.  But by far the segment that has been hardest hit with unemployment has been non-college educated African-American males.

Not true Check this report out.


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/01/us/01race.html?_r=2&em;
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121163120

posted by: Somewhere in CT (maybe New Haven, maybe not) on May 26, 2010  8:49pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9LelXa3U_I

Interesting video on educating young people.

posted by: Concerned Citizen on May 26, 2010  10:01pm

There’ll Be More School & Early College Dreams
Leadership from the seven pilot schools has been meeting weekly with central office staff to brainstorm improvement plans for the fall.  Maybe it would be more accurate to say the leadership members from the seven schools are meeting to get approval from Central Office before they try doing anything innovative.

Top Tier Schools have more autonomy.
“We’re a ‘Tier 1 school,’” Lola Nathan, Davis St. 21st Century Magnet School’s dynamic principal, told the teachers. “But for how long?”
“I wanted them to start thinking. I wanted them to know: ‘You can be Tier I [today]. In two years, you can be Tier III,’” she said later. “The bottom line is: We don’t go backwards.”

Let us all hope that Mrs. Nathan will not be retiring anytime soon.  Let’s hope that with all of this positive publicity she is bringing to NHPS she will not be forced into retirement.  It has been known to happen.  Lola Nathan is a breadth of fresh air in the NHPS system; she has more courage than most of the other good educators who are buried in the system waiting for retirement age.

Regardless of how much children read and write in English and Spanish if they have no context and no relationship with these activities, it will make no difference.  They will not be able to apply any of it tomorrow because there is no integration and therefore no real learning.  Children in many of New Haven’s Waterbury’s, Bridgeport’s and other big inner-city schools are not being taught how to think,  comprehend, integrate and analyze what they are supposed to be learning with their lives, their social environment and their place in society.  They do not see or understand a future in which education and good health are the corner stones, the bedrock of existence.  Until that happens any learning that takes place will be transitory and it is hoped long enough for them to score adequately on the CMTs.

The extended day:  Three hours more for math, reading and study skills.  What about activities that teach them how to think and how to solve problems?  How to read, understand and interpret? What about civic engagement activities? Teaching them to pay attention to the world in which they live?  So many of these children go on to high school and behave like zombies.  They take jobs in stores but they cannot count.  They do not watch the news unless it is about pop culture icons. Their social development is very limited.

Summer School idea will serve two useful purposes: 1) Get kids off the street and away from the TV for a few more hours.  2) With smaller classes and maybe less regimentation these kids may actually learn something during these five weeks.  3)  The best idea yet is what Mrs. Nathan did teaching kids about other cultures; if they learn how to value differences in cultural norms and mores, they will learn math, science, history and geography. When children are energized by curiosity they will learn perpetually; their brains will not turn to mush during summer.  Learning should never be by rote; it should always be dynamic and it can be.

Some of the most effective teachers are not those who have degrees in education, or those for whom teaching is a profession.  The best teachers are passionate learners who know how to engage children. Dynamic teachers cannot be placed in straight-jackets and told to conform.  Great teachers vary their lessons based on the students they have each day and where each child is emotionally and socially.

There is a malaise in NHPS (and in many other large inner-city schools) that will not be erased by perfunctory brainstorming sessions, or hyped-up reform plans.  NHPS needs many more Lola Nathans and a Central Office that takes its collective thumb off her head.  She is a true educator and she knows what works for the students in her school. Central Office needs to support those who are educating children and do less dictating. History and the records have shown that NHPS administration lacks the ability to direct and manage a sustained reform education effort.

In Sept. 2009 the NHI published an article titled:  Comer is Back.  Although Ms. DeBlasio (mentioned in that article) turned her class into a morning meeting, and it was greeted by the students with enthusiasm and better test results – how many other teachers have followed her example? The article generated all of five comments.
Comer has not been maintained in NHPS!  Why not?  It seems too many egos and not enough “real educators” are running the system; there are certainly too many such egoes at the Central office.

NHPS should STOP hiring ill-equipped substitute teachers.  Avoid the connected boneheads who can’t teach anything, but can sue and get $45K from a district that cannot hire enough good teachers, but have to give 45K taxpayer dollars to someone who could not earn that amount in a year in a full-time job.

Lastly, every public school can abide by NCLB and still teach children how to think critically, how to read, write, comprehend, interpret events in their lives, solve problems and understand the world in which they live.  Education without full social development falls far short of preparing students for a productive future.  If college dreams are to be realized, real education needs to start in Pre-K and it MUST continue through the 12th grade.
NHPS administration needs to spend less time racking up PR points and more time supporting real educators who do effectively children.

posted by: Tom Burns on May 26, 2010  11:32pm

Townie and three-fifths you are spot on—- hope one day you are on our BOE—great stuff—

Fix——why doesn’t KIPP or Achievement First offer to take one of our schools now——with Reform all options are on the table——-can you give them a call and let them know we would like to see what they can do——

posted by: Townie on May 27, 2010  7:08am

Fix The Schools: You cited the success of a charter school as an example of effective public school reform. As we know Charter schools are not truly public schools. Are Charter schools an example of success? Sure they are, but the results cannot be cited as true progress because they serve only a small selection of the public. If we were to expand charter schools the Federal, State and Municipal budgets would only get bigger and so would our tax bills. In a sense Charter schools would simply replace traditional public schools and any potential benefits would quickly be diluted. One of the reasons that charter schools are a bit more successful than public schools are because they limit enrollment and thus keep classroom sizes to a manageable level.
John Hopkins: When I mention the sense of entitlement I am speaking about the pervasive attitude that people have a right to welfare and other public assistance programs. I have seen examples of people (teenagers) who gloat about having more children and receiving a larger amount of food stamps and housing payments (this happened in New Haven). It would be nice if that incident was an exception, but I cannot see that it is. Urban areas, New Haven in particular, have a good size population of people who seem unwilling to wean themselves from the Government’s teat. The people who left the cities and moved to places like Branford, East Haven, Guilford, etc. were people who understood that hard work and self-reliance were essential to survival and success, they were mostly working class people who made do with what they earned. Sure the suburbs were/are subsidized by Government funding, but the communities that were developed remained (for the most part) stable, clean and safe. What matters is not the structure of the physical community, urban or suburban, but what matters is the attitude of the people that live there. This world is full of “poor” people who live in modest communities, but still manage to control crime, educate their children and care for themselves and each other. Unfortunately the U.S., urban, suburban and even rural, is experiencing a dramatic cultural decline and the ethos that allowed this nation to prosper is slowly being abandoned for an attitude that is destructive and parasitic.
Anyway, as for our schools, they are reflections of this attitude and unfortunately the children are left as undeserving victims and surprisingly no one really seems to care. All that matters is that some of them get into a nicely branded University so that they can hopefully snag that job that will probably not exist when they graduate.

posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on May 27, 2010  7:36am

Tom,

Why don’t you ask KIPP, AF, or other high quality CMO to come into the New Haven district and open 3-5 schools over the next three years? Lottery admission. The CMO runs their own program without any stipulations from the BOE other than the requirement that they provide an excellent education for kids. 

Under this plan there would be approximately 750-1,250 students who would immediately find themselves in schools that work.  No waiting around for the reform plan to take effect.  Wouldn’t this take ther pressure off of the district to have to turn around so many underperforming schools?

Of course, the district will have to assure the charter operators that they will be paid the full cost of operations and facility.  What would that cost be?  The same as your district is spending right now. 

So, are you and your union ready to advocate for this to happen?

posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on May 27, 2010  8:00am

Townie,  Charter schools ARE public schools.  Look it up.  The KIPPS, AFs, or UNCOMMON SCHOOLS run like effective private schools but they admit only through lottery, do not charge tuition, are funded largely by tax dollars, and report directly to the State Board of Ed.  Name a private school that runs like that.

They serve only a small selection of the public?  Certainly in aggregate there are far fewer kids who attend charters than traditional district schools right now.  But my point is that there is now enough scale to show that charters can be big players in medium size districts.  Today AF serves 4,500 kids, roughly 25% of the population of a New Haven district.  And they do it across multiple cities and districts which complicates the management challenge.  There would be significant operational and financial advantage in clustering schools within a single district. 

You say that if we were to expand charters that “Federal, State and Municipal budgets would only get bigger and so would our tax bills.”  Why?  Charters spend on average less than their peer districts and far less on facility.  And what about the return on your tax dollar? 

And once again you assume incorrectly that charters have a lower classroom size.  Wrong.  The charter schools that I cite have the same average class size as tradtional district schools.  The difference is that they spend a higher percentage of their funds at the school level and not at the administrative level. They are also, for the most part, not saddled with the stifling burden of collective bargaining agreements with teacher unions.

posted by: Townie on May 27, 2010  8:33am

Fix the Schools: I said Charter Schools are not true public schools; they’re not, if they were they would be called Public Schools and not charter schools. They are pseudo-public, because they do receive public funding. However, they also receive private funding. If they were to increase in number the amount of public funding would have to increase, and I am sure the teachers’ unions would begin to intervene if that were to happen. Charter schools do deal with a smaller student population, maybe their class sizes are comparable to public schools, but they don’t have to deal with drastic increases caused by authentic public enrollment. The reason why Charter schools work as well as they do is because they are not the norm, they are an alternative, and if they were to increase in number and become the norm they would face the same problems real public schools face. But, my point all along has been that the real problem is the culture, not the schools. It is the people having children who are too lazy and ignorant to care for them, the communities that promote violence, materialism and dependency. These are the problems that cause education to suffer. And as a taxpayer I do not want city, state or federal funding to pay for any more “reforms” until the people in these communities wake up and take responsibility for the mess that they created. No more welfare-state liberalism, I’m sick of it. Children in parts of India and China grow up to be engineers, doctors, etc. and their schools are little more than clapboard buildings with old chalkboards and dirt floors. The difference is the children who attend these schools actually respect and honor the privilege of education and value its inherent worth, they don’t squander it and they don’t take it for granted.

posted by: Threefifths on May 27, 2010  9:50am

posted by: Tom Burns on May 27, 2010 12:32am
Townie and three-fifths you are spot on—- hope one day you are on our BOE—great stuff—

Fix——why doesn’t KIPP or Achievement First offer to take one of our schools now——with Reform all options are on the table——-can you give them a call and let them know we would like to see what they can do——

You forgot also how kIPP has a high teacher turn over rate they public schools due to teacher burn out from long school days. it is so bad tat NY KIPP Teachers Ask for Union Protection.


http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2009/01/ny-kipp-teachers-ask-for-union.html



posted by: Townie on May 27, 2010 8:08am

Fix The Schools: You cited the success of a charter school as an example of effective public school reform. As we know Charter schools are not truly public schools. Are Charter schools an example of success? Sure they are, but the results cannot be cited as true progress because they serve only a small selection of the public. If we were to expand charter schools the Federal, State and Municipal budgets would only get bigger and so would our tax bills. In a sense Charter schools would simply replace traditional public schools and any potential benefits would quickly be diluted. One of the reasons that charter schools are a bit more successful than public schools are because they limit enrollment and thus keep classroom sizes to a manageable level.

I agree with you on this one.I have never been a fan of charter schools for the reason you are taking about, Also most charter schools will not take special ed students.

Charter school screened special ed students.

http://blog.timesunion.com/schools/charter-school-screened-special-ed-students/598/

They also don’t take students with language barrier problems.

John Hopkins: When I mention the sense of entitlement I am speaking about the pervasive attitude that people have a right to welfare and other public assistance programs. I have seen examples of people (teenagers) who gloat about having more children and receiving a larger amount of food stamps and housing payments (this happened in New Haven). It would be nice if that incident was an exception, but I cannot see that it is. Urban areas, New Haven in particular, have a good size population of people who seem unwilling to wean themselves from the Government’s teat. The people who left the cities and moved to places like Branford, East Haven, Guilford, etc. were people who understood that hard work and self-reliance were essential to survival and success, they were mostly working class people who made do with what they earned

And most of those live in places like Branford, East Haven, Guilford, etc. Make there money in the urban areas as teachers,Judges lawyers doctors firefighters police officer. and this is not just going on in this state,This is across the country.You talk about Eliminate the culture of dependency that exists in the inner-city, How about Eliminate the culture of dependency that exists with the corporate vampries that subsidized by Government funding, bank bail ots, Auto company bail outs. the two wars. How about the pervasive attitude that people like the late Leona Helmsley who said that “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.So let stop dependency for all not just one group.


posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on May 27, 2010 8:36am
Tom,

Why don’t you ask KIPP, AF, or other high quality CMO to come into the New Haven district and open 3-5 schools over the next three years? Lottery admission. The CMO runs their own program without any stipulations from the BOE other than the requirement that they provide an excellent education for kids. 

Under this plan there would be approximately 750-1,250 students who would immediately find themselves in schools that work.  No waiting around for the reform plan to take effect.  Wouldn’t this take ther pressure off of the district to have to turn around so many underperforming schools?

Of course, the district will have to assure the charter operators that they will be paid the full cost of operations and facility.  What would that cost be?  The same as your district is spending right now. 

So, are you and your union ready to advocate for this to happen?

But what happens when mangement doesn’t want to work with union. Case and point.


city and teachers union nearly reach deal on
charter schools, only for it to fall apart later on.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/education/2010/05/21/2010-05-21_charter_deal_wait_nope_tentative_pact_falls_apart_for_city_teachers_union.html

Plus more and more charter school teachers want a union. How come charter school Management are try to stop this.


http://labornotes.org/blogs/2010/03/more-chicago-school-charter-teachers-aspire-union

Townie,  Charter schools ARE public schools.  Look it up.  The KIPPS, AFs, or UNCOMMON SCHOOLS run like effective private schools but they admit only through lottery, do not charge tuition, are funded largely by tax dollars, and report directly to the State Board of Ed.  Name a private school that runs like that.

Not all true fix.


Are Charter School Public Schools? I’m Afraid Not.
by Alexander Hoffman


http://gothamschools.org/2010/03/26/are-charter-school-public-schools-i’m-afraid-not/

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on May 27, 2010  1:07pm

Townie,
The total cost of providing the suburban lifestyle-its infrastructure, energy requirements, and land use-is much much more than providing the poor inner city welfare state, section 8, food stamps, etc. In terms of social costs-“ethos”-I would probably agree that the urban government dependence is more severe and damaging to the country, but I woWildon be surprised if there were a compelling argument for the opposite. We should probably also say that while the most severe poverty in this country is generally urban, the most wide spread poverty is rural and non-minority. Then again, if we federally supported the poor urban and rural lifestyle as much as we did the middle class suburban one, we likely wouldn’t see much difference in social degradation. Physical neighborhood design is also extremely important, as are the actual residents who live in them. Typical suburbia in its current form, for example, has absolutely no future, no adaptability and no worth other than the imaginary worth we give it. Traditional neighborhoods, on the other hand, may be in bad physical condition today, but they have enormous capacity to adapt to higher and new uses and therefore have an intrinsic value that we simply ignore today.

As for charter schools, the friends of mine that I’ve known who went to charter schools had mixed feelings about them. The kids I knew went to the main stream public elementary schools in the city and at various times during middle school were transferred to charter schools by their parents who were concerned about their academic and/or behavioral problems. While in the main stream schools, they did not perform to the desired standard, didn’t do much homework and were disruptive during school by bullying, disrespecting teachers and often getting suspended.
The one really good friend of mine that went to a charter school used to call me several times a week and just talk for extended periods of time about random topics and every once in a while I’d hear yelling and loud sounds, which he would explain as his mom going crazy. I could tell his mom cared about him a lot and wanted him to do well, but she was also extremely stressed out whenever I saw her (I think about problems at work, their neighborhood, and in their home), and a lot of that transferred to her son. IN middle school he started skipping a lot and hanging out on the streets and getting into problem with police, so his mom got him into one of the charters (Amistad, I think). We rarely talked after that, but one of the few times were did, he said a lot of what they taught him, he already knew from the main stream public schools and it was basically reviewing old material he had picked up from previous classes (he just didn’t do the homework so he got bad grades, but he essentially understood the material). He was able to get pretty good grades at the Charter, but he was still hanging out on the weekends and getting into trouble. So he was sent to live with relatives down south for high school, where he seems to be doing pretty good and not hanging out with as bad a group as he was here, which is a similar story to most of my other childhood friends. They either never went to college and stayed around New Haven getting into trouble or moved to live with relatives in other states to stay out of trouble, or they went to college and now live and work in the place where they go to school at and a few stayed here to work or have come back since being at college, but that is a minority.

posted by: Bilingual Ed on May 27, 2010  3:00pm

Townie wrote: “Also, why is there a bilingual school in New Haven? This sounds like an enormous waste of time and money. Now, children can be illiterate in two languages. Pick a language and stick with it, at least until 7th or 8th Grade and then students can have the option of learning another language.”

Actually waiting till 7th or 8th grade to teach new languages is a bigger waste of time and resources as humans are biologically more ready to take on languages at around age 5.  That is why almost every public school teaches foreign languages starting in high school and most U.S. born young people speak one language.

Studies show that dual language programs increase language and learning capacity all around and actually build the capacity for 3rd and 4th languages as well as comprehension of other subjects (math, history, etc.) I think the real question here is why don’t more schools have dual language programs?

Look to any other “developed” country and you’ll see that they’re teaching their young people multiple foreign languages starting at much earlier ages and they are far outperforming us across the board.

posted by: Tom Burns on May 28, 2010  12:23am

Hey Fix—
We did invite them—they said no——so I am asking you to talk them into it—-you see, this union welcomes competition on an even playing field and we really want to be the best urban district in the nation. So if they want to help out—we welcome them.. I believe they’ll say no, because they might feel they can’t succeed under the rules that we public school educators have to abide by———It would be nice to be able to select kids by lottery and then not have any other students show up in the middle of the year (that static population would do wonders for our public school students performance)

If we really want our students performance to improve——-we need to be open to anything—-and our new contract states emphatically that we are——The problem is the Charters won’t come and help us

The invitation is there to be had——-seriously, call some people you know and let’s get going—-

Please don’t talk about this union in a negative fashion——-do not lump us in with your perception of other unions—-for we are nothing like any that have come before us in any way, shape or form. We embrace positive change even at the expense of our own existence———-BUT WE DON’T EMBRACE FACADES——Tom

posted by: Townie on May 28, 2010  7:21am

John Hopkins: My point has always been that poverty is no excuse for bad behavior. The inner-city communities in New Haven are rife with crime and reflect an apparent lack of self-respect and respect for their neighbors. It is this attitude that follows the children of these communities into the school system and it is this attitude that makes educational success very difficult to achieve. No amount of money will correct social problems which are caused by, simply said, boorish selfishness. The welfare system perpetuates this attitude. While suburban communities do receive funding for public work projects, the individuals who live in those communities manage to raise children who reflect the positive values of self-respect, self-reliance and cooperation. Of course these are generalizations and I am sure there are examples of suburban miscreants. But, the difference is obvious. Drive through Clinton on any day, it’s quiet, people are polite, the neighborhoods are clean. Walk (or drive) through Edgewood or the Hill section, etc., the neighborhoods are in disrepair, the people are crass and rude , I myself have been verbally assaulted and threatened on several occasions just because I was walking on Edgewood in the “wrong neighborhood”. Young men drive dirt bikes and ATVs at high speeds all hours of the night. I could go on, but I won’t. You’re correct, most poverty is rural. A lot of my family is from West Virginia a very poor state. They don’t have a lot of money, but all of my cousins managed to get through school and go on to college. And all of them did so while working full time jobs.
Anyway, what I hope people in New Haven realize is that they live in a pretty good area of the world and it is ridiculous to squander such an opportunity. There are people in other cities, states and nations that would kill to live in a place like New Haven. What the city leadership/BOE needs to realize is that building new schools, creating new and expensive programs and expanding the school day are not going to correct systemic cultural deficiencies. It’s like putting a new coat of paint on a rusting ship, eventually it’s going to fall apart and sink. The only thing that will happen if the BOE and city administration continue this pattern of reactive and ineffective spending is an increase in the number of people who simply leave. A lot of people think that white flight was a phenomenon caused by racial prejudices. It wasn’t, it was caused by a reaction to the liberalistic policies of Kennedy and Johnson, Et al. that seemed to ignore the cultural deficiencies that plagued some urban communities. People left New Haven because they knew that by ignoring such problems crime would escalate and their once safe homes and families would be denigrated by crime. Good example, the New Haven Co-Ops. Well intentioned but in the end a huge waste of time and money.

posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on May 28, 2010  8:19am

Tom, you say “this union welcomes fair competition”.  Really?

Then why does your state union try to kill high performing charter schools at every turn, even several in your own city which are making a huge difference in the lives of the kids to whom you say you are so dedicated? 

Its kind of confusing to read your comments about “bring it on” and “we’re all in this together”, and to then learn that your president appears before state legislators and the education commissioner and tries to cut funding and dismantle public charter schools at every turn.

Look, I suppose you could consider those tactics to be “fair competition”. I know how the politics work. But don’t say on one hand “bring it on” and “lets link arms” and “lets even the playing field” - and then behind the scenes wage a constant political war on charter schools.  At least call it like it is.

posted by: Threefifths on May 28, 2010  9:40am

FIX THE SCHOOLS on May 28, 2010 9:19am
Tom, you say “this union welcomes fair competition”.  Really?

Then why does your state union try to kill high performing charter schools at every turn, even several in your own city which are making a huge difference in the lives of the kids to whom you say you are so dedicated? 

Its kind of confusing to read your comments about “bring it on” and “we’re all in this together”, and to then learn that your president appears before state legislators and the education commissioner and tries to cut funding and dismantle public charter schools at every turn.

Look, I suppose you could consider those tactics to be “fair competition”. I know how the politics work. But don’t say on one hand “bring it on” and “lets link arms” and “lets even the playing field” - and then behind the scenes wage a constant political war on charter schools.  At least call it like it is

And how come the charter schools are trying to keep there teachers from have a union.


ASPIRA charter teachers launch union drive, want more transparency


http://www.chicagoacts.org/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=135


Teachers at Brooklyn charter school seek city union membership

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/brooklyn/2009/01/13/2009-01-13_teachers_at_brooklyn_charter_school_seek.html

Also why does new haven try to kill a elected school board.

posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on May 28, 2010  10:26am

3/5,

Teacher unions, just like their evil twin politically motivated Boards of Ed., are not conducive to a great educational experience for students. 

I make no pretense about saying that in our vital national interest, teacher unions (not ALL labor unions) should be outlawed in public schools. 

However, the law currently says that teachers in ANY school can elect to join a union with a simple majority vote of the faculty.  So today any group of teachers in any charter school in our state can unionize.  Some actually have.  But the question is why not most? 

There are as many reasons as their are teachers.  But here are some:

Teacher unions don’t promote the sort of standards of professionalism that match the personal ambitions of high performing teachers;

Teacher unions tend to promote an “us against them” mentality with respect to collaboration and communication w/ administrators;

Teacher unions protect incompetent teachers, a practice which does irreparable harm to students;

Teacher unions argue vehemently against higher pay for higher performance thereby discouraging the best teachers;

Teacher unions wish to differentiate pay based only on seniority and not on performance.  (No high-functioning professional organization works like that);

Through a lengthy comprehensive collective bargaining contract, unions try to codify every single beahvior that goes on in a school.  This stifles flexibility, creativity, and innovation which are hallmarks of any high-performing organization;

Through their political action, teacher unions detract from a positive public image of this important profession.

Those are a few reasons.

Teachers ought to be revered.  But in order to be placed on a high pedestal, the profession has to embrace the highest standards and stop protecting lousey teachers.  But that is the antithesis of the union business model.  As long as the high performers are locked into the union system, then the union can sell itself to the mediocre and the less than mediocre.  The only strength that a union has in in its numbers. A merit-less, mediocre membership is the goal.  Why? Because it results in the most members and the most revenue.
 
BTW, why does CT law REQUIRE automatic union membership?  What if a teacher doesn’t want to join the union and doesn’t want to pay dues to the AFT or CEA?  Can they opt out?  Do they still have to pay in?  Why?

posted by: Townie on May 28, 2010  12:03pm

Quote from FixTheSchools: “BTW, why does CT law REQUIRE automatic union membership?  What if a teacher doesn’t want to join the union and doesn’t want to pay dues to the AFT or CEA?  Can they opt out?  Do they still have to pay in?  Why?”

Answer: A lot of our state legislators and government officials were elected with the help and support of Union officials. Quid Pro Quo. It’s part of the system we live in. American Labour Unions are useless, especially the teachers’ unions.But also, so are politicans and governments. But, that’s another issue.

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on May 28, 2010  1:45pm

Townie,
Relatively speaking, poverty in America’s urban areas is not poverty at all-its quite a decent standard of living. The problem, is that we cannot compare American inner cities to favelas in Sao Paolo, or slums in Mumbai, we have to compare them to what is geographically close-this is the key to understanding the seemingly reasonless “selfishness” in this cities underclass. My mother for example, grew up in a house without plumbing in the rural Virginia, but she had no idea she was poor, because most people in her town lived like that, so life was not centered on worrying about comparing one’s situation to another’s it was about just living. If my mother had grown up in the same house but it was located in the Hill, she would have been aware of how poor she was because extremely wealthy people were in such close geographic relation. The is the source of social degradation in inner cities, it is not the level of poverty, but the great divide between those who have a lot and those who don’t and this is a constant reminder every day, multiple times a day. The physical decay was accelerated after WW2 when the federal government (mostly misguided “liberal” policies) provided the cheap loans for new housing in suburbs instead of for renovations on existing urban housing. The cities decanted and housing fell apart, most of which had gone without repairs since before the great depression. That physical decay translates to stress, which is only magnified when the accepted American culture is consumerism and materialistic tendencies. The working class neighborhoods in this city were developed as work force housing for railroad workers, factory workers and mill workers, with those gone, many of our neighborhoods loss a purpose to exist and the only replacement for the jobs seems to have been government checks, which I don’t think can simply be cut off, they must be replaced with working class jobs that provide goods that people need, and help established a network of local commerce to provide services and deploy those manufactured goods. I know it is difficult to think that the public “owes” this to welfare recipients, but the greatest beneficiaries of having a stable working class as opposed to an underclass are not the underclass, but the middle class people who would be able to move back into the city with lower crime rates, more affordable housing and the reduced need to spend 30% or more of annual income on transportation.
I also disagree that suburban kids are being raised with a positive mentality, I think most of these kids are growing up thinking that they too deserve a single family home on a quarter acre with 2 cars and just have to pay a monthly bill as a right, when the reality is, the suburban lifestyle costs much much more than anybody would be willing to pay if the true cost were revealed. I see very little difference between people assuming they deserve a suburban lifestyle simply because they want it, and people expected a government check every month. I think suburban families mean well and are working hard, its just that they are not paying the full cost, and actually the urban working class is contributing quite a lot of money to support the suburban middle class life style and living arrangement.
I think both issues can be addressed at once-we need to bring jobs back to city neighborhoods for the existing populations, and provide incentives for middle class families to move into these neighborhoods to serve as somewhat of a stabilizer and to help them to reduce their cost of living and raise their quality of life.

posted by: Threefifths on May 28, 2010  3:44pm

FIX THE SCHOOLS on May 28, 2010 11:26am
3/5,

Teacher unions, just like their evil twin politically motivated Boards of Ed., are not conducive to a great educational experience for students.

What does union membership has to do with being conducive to a great educational experience for students. Unions are there to protect the rights of workers.


I make no pretense about saying that in our vital national interest, teacher unions (not ALL labor unions) should be outlawed in public schools. 

So would this also include public colleges.Because professors who teacher at public colleges have a union.


However, the law currently says that teachers in ANY school can elect to join a union with a simple majority vote of the faculty.  So today any group of teachers in any charter school in our state can unionize.  Some actually have.  But the question is why not most?

Because of fear ofthis harping to them.

Teacher Says Charter School Fired Her for Organizing to Improve Pay Scale
          By ELISSA GOOTMAN
Published: June 28, 2006


http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/28/nyregion/28charter.html?_r=1


Teacher unions don’t promote the sort of standards of professionalism that match the personal ambitions of high performing teachers;

And they not suppose. the job of the union is to protect the rights of the workers.

Teacher unions tend to promote an “us against them” mentality with respect to collaboration and communication w/ administrators;

And administrators have the same mentality with respect for the teachers.

Teacher unions protect incompetent teachers, a practice which does irreparable harm to students;

And so do other unions.Look at the police union
here in new haven that got a cop back his job who should have been kick of the force.


http://www.nhregister.com/articles/2010/05/11/news/aa3nebandy051110.txt

BTW, why does CT law REQUIRE automatic union membership?  What if a teacher doesn’t want to join the union and doesn’t want to pay dues to the AFT or CEA?  Can they opt out?  Do they still have to pay in?  Why?

You cannot be required to be a union member in any state.If you are not a member, you are still fully covered by the collective bargaining agreement that was negotiated between your employer and the union, and the union is obligated to represent you. Any benefits that are provided to you by your employer pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement (e.g., wages, seniority, vacations, pensions, health insurance) are not affected by your nonmembership. (If the union offers some “members-only” benefits, you might be excluded from receiving those.)

If you are not a member, you may not be able to participate in union elections or meetings, vote in collective bargaining ratification elections, or participate in other “internal” union activities. However, you cannot be disciplined by the union for anything you do while not a member.Feel free to read the rest.

http://www.nrtw.org/a/a_1_t.htm

Bottom line fix the job of any union is to help the workers. As the late Albert Shanker said a union Thank God! Help has come.

posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on May 31, 2010  12:54pm

3/5,

Thats been my point all along…unions only help the teachers…not the students.  The power balance is way off right now favoring the unionists at the expense of the children and their families.  This must stop if we are to close the achievement gap and reduce minority poverty in New Haven.

And another Al Shanker quote:

“When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.”

posted by: Threefifths on May 31, 2010  6:59pm

posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on May 31, 2010 1:54pm
3/5,

Thats been my point all along…unions only help the teachers…not the students.  The power balance is way off right now favoring the unionists at the expense of the children and their families.  This must stop if we are to close the achievement gap and reduce minority poverty in New Haven.

And another Al Shanker quote:

“When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.”

Again you don’t under stand what unions are surpose to do.All unions IE;Police firefighters
Postal Workers and workers in non cvil service jobs that have a union.There Union is there to protect the workers rights when it comes to violation of there labour and contract rights. Case in point would you say that doing away with the police officer union would make crime go down.Would you say that if you get rid of the firefighters union,There will be no more fires. This is what happens when you don’t have a union.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/china-business/7763699/Protest-at-Chinese-iPad-maker-Foxconn-after-11th-suicide-attempt-this-year.html

The teachers union has nothing to do with poverty.How about the 4 precent tax hike that king john got passed.Now that is going to put a lot of people in poverty. Stop blaming the teachers union.How about bad administrators who the unions report and these bad administrators are protect by political patronage,How about the harm it does to the students and teachers when you can’t get rid of bad administrators. 

And another Al Shanker quote:

“When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.”

And he was right. Due to the fact that school children do have there own union. It is call Family Union, Where they parents are the union reps. As the children union reps they are to fight for make sure that there rights as students are not violated when it comes to school.Last if teachers unions are so bad< They why are the Charter Schools teachers starting to form unions.

posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on June 1, 2010  8:29am

3/5,

The labor movement was a great thing for working class people - a very long time ago when many worker abuses were not prohibited by law.  But our laws today contain a multitude of worker protections, grievance rights, rights to bring suits etc., lots and lots of guarantees.  Government unions now advocate not for basic rights but for more and more perks for their members.  This goes beyond levelling the playing field.  They are now deep into rip-off territory. 

Policing is not the same as educating.  While crime would not go down if police had to work more hours for less pay etc., we might see faster response times.  I don’t know enough because I haven’t studied the community impact of police an fire unions.  I do think in general though, that government unions work against the interests of the taxpayer and the people who pay for the services.

As for education, we know what good schooling looks like.  Parochial schools have been doing a version of it forever.  So too private schools.  Our country is in desperate need of higher quality educational experience for all of its kids, but far more so for poor minority children.

By arguing for a mediocre staff quality, fewer hours, less time a year, and resisting any changes to accountability, the teachers union is in direct opposition to the best economiuc interests of low-income minority children and their families. 

With a moniker like “Three-Fifths” I am always amazed that you tend to side with the labor movement over the civil rights movement in this argument. The teacher unions have already won their fight - many years ago.  But poor black and hispanic families are still in poverty laregly because of they have been denied equal education.  While this is not exclusively the fault of the unions, the unions have gained enormous political power and have used it to erect high walls against better urban schooling. 

Your arguments support upper-middle class people who reside outside the city and who wouldn’t dream of sending their kids into New Haven for ice cream let alone to attend school.  I know that this is a generalization, but it is also a mindset of many. 

And while I agree with the direction of the mayor’s reform, the emphasis on collaboration with the union slows progress down.  But because he has said judge me on my schools, in a way he already has taken on the challenge that you cite to be a better administrator.
Because if we don’t get the progress that he has promised, then his adminstrators ARE on the hook.  It will then be up to us the voters to judge.

As to the parent union, why do you think that parents who themselves have never been sufficiently edcuated can suddenly become family and edcuational role models? When and where has shame and blame worked to miraculously turn bad parents into good ones?

As for charters forming unions, there is an old saying “You get the union you deserve”.  And there are plenty of charters which DO deserve a union.  A new union in any school or business for that matter is very much a reflection on a failure of management.

posted by: Threefifths on June 1, 2010  6:38pm

posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on June 1, 2010 9:29am

3/5,

The labor movement was a great thing for working class people - a very long time ago when many worker abuses were not prohibited by law.  But our laws today contain a multitude of worker protections, grievance rights, rights to bring suits etc., lots and lots of guarantees.  Government unions now advocate not for basic rights but for more and more perks for their members.  This goes beyond levelling the playing field.  They are now deep into rip-off territory. 

And just like the vampire corporation who are in bed with Government geting there perks. IE:
Golden Parachute which me and you have already talk about.You say that our laws today contain a multitude of worker protections, grievance rights, rights to bring suits etc., lots and lots of guarantees. This is true.But some time you still need the protection that a union can give it’s workers.Case and point studies have show that when there is a contract in affect between mangement and union and it goes to court the judge will go by the writing in the contract.Also union contracts expire so if mangement can sit down at the table and come to agreement to change the contract.Did not king john do this with the teachers union,A lot of perks you talk about are gone.Also look what was done on the state level.


Policing is not the same as educating.  While crime would not go down if police had to work more hours for less pay etc., we might see faster response times.  I don’t know enough because I haven’t studied the community impact of police an fire unions.  I do think in general though, that government unions work against the interests of the taxpayer and the people who pay for the services.

I never said that the police and firefighters unions are the same as educating. I said that
Again you don’t under stand what unions are surpose to do.All unions IE;Police firefighters
Postal Workers and workers in non cvil service jobs that have a union.There Union is there to protect the workers rights when it comes to violation of there labour and contract rights. And that is what unions do for there memebers.
You need to do your homework on unions. The goverment does have or run the unions.I think that the wall street and vampire bank profiteers who the goverment has Giving Authority and Sovereignty of America into the Hands of Bankers and Wall Street.


As for education, we know what good schooling looks like.  Parochial schools have been doing a version of it forever.  So too private schools.  Our country is in desperate need of higher quality educational experience for all of its kids, but far more so for poor minority children.

Townie answer that question with what I would have said and he was on the money with this statement.Charter schools do deal with a smaller student population, maybe their class sizes are comparable to public schools, but they don’t have to deal with drastic increases caused by authentic public enrollment. The reason why Charter schools work as well as they do is because they are not the norm, they are an alternative, and if they were to increase in number and become the norm they would face the same problems real public schools.Same for parochial schools and private schools.

With a moniker like “Three-Fifths” I am always amazed that you tend to side with the labor movement over the civil rights movement in this argument. The teacher unions have already won their fight - many years ago.  But poor black and hispanic families are still in poverty laregly because of they have been denied equal education.  While this is not exclusively the fault of the unions, the unions have gained enormous political power and have used it to erect high walls against better urban schooling.

The labor movement and the civil rights movement go hand in hand. You need to read both of there History. Remeber Dr. Martin Luther King Jr help Sanitation Workers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBDgH435oaU


How about Cesar E. Chavez.

Lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speech by Cesar E. Chavez


“My friends, today we honor a giant among men: today we honor the reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King was a powerful figure of destiny, of courage, of sacrifice, and of vision. Few people in the long history of this nation can rival his accomplishment, his reason, or his selfless dedication to the cause of peace and social justice.

Today we honor a wise teacher, an inspiring leader, and a true visionary, but to truly honor Dr. King we must do more than say words of praise.

We must learn his lessons and put his views into practice, so that we may truly be free at last…” Cesar E. Chavez

And I can’t for get this group beacause my grand parents work with them.You remeber fix the Sleeping Car Porter Union run by A. Philip Randolph. In fact A. Philip Randolph Help Dr.king with the march on Washington.A. Philip Randolph also led 250000 people in the historic 1963 March on Washington.So fix both are hand and hand.What did you do to help the civil rights movement and does you good old high perfoming charter schools teach this type of history.

“Every advance in this half-century-Social Security, civil rights, Medicare, aid to education, one after another-came with the support and leadership of American Labor.”

—*Jimmy Carter*—

 


Your arguments support upper-middle class people who reside outside the city and who wouldn’t dream of sending their kids into New Haven for ice cream let alone to attend school.  I know that this is a generalization, but it is also a mindset of many. 

I never said that. But I will say this. How about the corporatist that who reside outside the city and make money off of the inner cities.Did you know that you man CEO, Geoffrey Canada of the harlem zone lives in Long Island
New York and other Charter School CEO.


And while I agree with the direction of the mayor’s reform, the emphasis on collaboration with the union slows progress down.  But because he has said judge me on my schools, in a way he already has taken on the challenge that you cite to be a better administrator.
Because if we don’t get the progress that he has promised, then his adminstrators ARE on the hook.  It will then be up to us the voters to judge

Were is king john going to get the money to run this. Don’t hold you breath.Also If King john did get rid of the bad adminstrators then, What makes you think he will get rid of them now.School reform will never get off the ground.

As to the parent union, why do you think that parents who themselves have never been sufficiently edcuated can suddenly become family and edcuational role models? When and where has shame and blame worked to miraculously turn bad parents into good ones?

The question should be why do we here in America on a whole scale.Not just in inner cites have bad parents.Second as a teacher in the public school told me,Why do we let bad parents keep us from teaching there children. You should never give up on children for the sin of there parents. How about bad people that run this goverment. Do we give up on goverment.

As for charters forming unions, there is an old saying “You get the union you deserve”.  And there are plenty of charters which DO deserve a union.  A new union in any school or business for that matter is very much a reflection on a failure of management

What does labor want? We want more schoolhouses and less jails, more books and less arsenals, more learning and less vice, more constant work and less crime, more leisure and less greed, more justice and less revenge. In fact more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures, to make manhood more noble, womanhood more beautiful and childhood more happy and bright.”

—*Samuel Gompers


In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, as ‘right-to-work.’ It provides no ‘rights’ and no ‘works.’ Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining… We demand this fraud be stopped.”

—*Martin Luther King, Jr.*—


The more you write the more you expose yourself
fix. Which One come clean Skull Lawyer or Banker. If I had to bet I would say banker. I like you fix and I can deal with a skull or Lawyer but Not a banker which I hope you are not. To many friends lost they homes to those vampires.See you on the next post fix.

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