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After Layoffs, Schools Reshuffle

by Melissa Bailey | Mar 1, 2011 9:24 am

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

Posted to: Schools

Melissa Bailey File Photo As the school district rearranges staff in the wake of 42 job cuts, Medria Blue-Ellis will leave Edgewood Magnet School to take the helm of the city’s “geeky” science-themed magnet and two other assistant principals are returning to teaching posts.

Blue-Ellis (pictured) is currently the assistant principal at the Edgewood Magnet School.

Starting next Monday, she’ll take over as the interim acting principal of the Engineering Science University Magnet School (ESUMS). The school, which is awaiting a permanent home at the University of New Haven in West Haven, is currently housed in a swing space on State Street.

Meanwhile, two laid-off assistant principals have returned to work as teachers, bumping one teacher out of a job.

Michelle Bonora, one of three assistant principals at Hill Regional Career High School, and Shanta Morrison Smith, one of two assistant principals at King/Robinson Magnet School, were both laid off on Feb. 17. Because of a clause in their labor contract that insulates administrators from layoffs, they were both hired back on Feb. 18 as teachers with only a $1,000 pay cut, leaving them each with a salary of $103,498.

Bonora was rehired as a business teacher at Career High, displacing teacher Lisa Huber, who made a salary of $42,875. Smith bumped into a vacant position as an itinerant instructional coach in math. According to their contract, Bonora and Smith will have their salaries reduced by $1,000 per year until they reach the teacher pay grade.

The shakeup was detailed in a personnel report released at Monday’s Board of Education meeting, during which next year’s school budget was approved.

The shake-up comes as the district reacts to the latest round of layoffs last month. Schools Superintendent Reggie Mayo and Mayor John DeStefano together cut 96 positions, 82 of them filled, to close a $5.5 million budget gap this fiscal year. More cuts are likely to come next year, according to the budget DeStefano is unveiling Tuesday—including up to 190 Board of Ed layoffs.

ESUMS Principal Marjorie Edmonds-Lloyd was one of 33 school employees who lost their jobs on Feb. 17. The district also eliminated nine vacant positions. In total, the 42 education job cuts will save $1.8 million annually, according to schools spokesman Christopher Hoffman. If no new revenue is found, the school district may face up to 148 layoffs more next fiscal year, Mayo said.

ESUMS parents who showed up to the school board said they hoped their school’s new leader would bring stability in a year of many staff changes and uncertainties over the future site of the school. 

“It’s been a rocky road,” acknowledged Mayo. Principal Edmonds-Lloyd missed a lot of school this year due to illness, he said.

Edmonds-Lloyd was ESUMS’ first principal when it opened in 2008 with just a sixth grade. The school now serves 226 students in grades 6 to 8, and plans to add another grade per year until it becomes a full high school. 

After two years of school of Edmonds-Lloyd’s leadership, students returned in the fall to find her gone. The school has no assistant principals, and there was no replacement principal, parents said. In her absence, the school’s two magnet resource teachers stepped up into leadership roles. Eric Yuhas, an assistant principal at Sound School, joined the school for a month-long stint as acting principal at ESUMS in the fall. Citing personal reasons, he returned to Sound School in December instead of seeking a permanent job there.

Edmonds-Lloyd was “great with the kids,” said parent Darlene Flynn, one of four parents who showed up to the school board meeting Monday.

In her absence, the atmosphere in the school this year has been “chaotic,” Flynn said. She said those left in charge did the best they could, but the school needs permanent leadership.

Adding to the uncertainty, plan to move ESUMS to a new building in West Haven has been delayed, and school officials are scrambling to look for a new spot to accommodate expansion into the 9th grade.

The combination of not having a building for next year and not having a principal has been stressful, said Michelle Lebell, mother of an 8th-grade student.

“We just hope somebody stays past the interim,” she said.

“We’re hoping for more stability, direction and honest answers on the future of the school,” Flynn added.

Edmonds-Lloyd took a voluntary layoff and will not bump anyone out of a job, according to Superintendent Mayo. With 20 years’ experience in education, she made a salary of $124,560.

Her replacement, who has 15 years’ experience, will stay on at her current assistant principal salary of $111,077.

Mayo said he chose Blue-Ellis for the job because she has a strong grasp of math/science curriculum and has a “personality and interpersonal skills” that will fit will with the school.

“She did a great job at Edgewood,” Mayo said. Her position will be temporary, at least at first.

“We’re just asking her to fill in until the end of the year,” Mayo said. “She may very well wind up with the job. We’ll see.”

Blue-Ellis joins ESUMS after a series of teaching and administrative jobs. Before working at Edgewood, she was an instructional coach and assistant principal of Roberto Clemente Leadership Academy. She has a B.A. from Howard University, a Master of Arts in Education from the University of New Haven, and a sixth-year degree in School Administration from Southern Connecticut State University.

In her spare time, she’s also been known to pitch in as a volunteer teacher at Davis Street Magnet School.

Despite their concerns, the parents were quick to add that they still think ESUMS academics are top-notch. Flynn’s eighth-grade daughter is learning trigonometry and aeronautical engineering—“aeronautical engineering!”—she said.

Students, who hail from New Haven and surrounding towns, have posted high marks on standardized tests. She said the school is a supportive environment for bright students who like school.

“They’re geeky kids under one roof,” Flynn said.

“It’s a great school and I’m hoping that the Board of Ed cultivates it” into a full high school. If so, she said, “these kids can go anywhere after they graduate.”

School Budget Stays Level

The school boar voted Monday night on its own proposed new $370 million education budget for the coming year. Some $173 million of that budget comes from the city’s general fund, a figure that would remain the same for a third consecutive year if approved by aldermen.

The budget includes $142 million in Education Cost Sharing money from the state and $22.7 million in a so-called city contribution, which means city taxpayer dollars. On top of that contribution, the city would pay $37 million in school-related debt service and $44 million on medical benefits, pensions and workers compensation for school employees.

Schools Chief Operating Officer Will Clark rattled off those final figures Monday in a brief presentation before the board. Board members asked no questions about the budget. With no discussion, they voted 7-0 to approve the budget as Clark presented it. All members were present except the mayor, who came in about an hour late.

The budget includes a $14.5 million gap, projected savings that need to come from somewhere.

Melissa Bailey Photo In a public comment portion of the meeting, ESUMS PTO President Andrea Frasier (pictured) offered a cost-cutting suggestion.

Frasier said she noticed that during the summer, 12-month school employees report to the building five days a week.

If those workers changed to a four-day-a-week shift, she suggested, it might free up some money by lowering utility costs.

Board member Alex Johnston acknowledged there wouldn’t be a lot of money saved, but he welcomed her idea. Workers in other lines of work have enjoyed that kind of flexibility in their schedules, he pointed out.

Superintendent Mayo said the proposal may be taking the cost-cutting quest too far.

“We’ll look elsewhere” before “we go to something so drastic,” Mayo said.

“I consider layoffs to be drastic,” replied Johnston.

Mayo later said the number of layoffs will be less than 190, but he couldn’t predict the number. The 42 job cuts that were made on Feb. 17 will save $1.8 million per year, narrowing next year’s budget gap to $12.7 million and cutting next year’s layoffs to 148. The final number will depend on whether the district can find new sources of revenue and how many people leave their jobs at the end of the school year, Mayo said.

“As we save dollars, less people will be laid off.”

Mayo said he remains committed to the city’s school change initiative, which aims to cut the dropout rate in half and close the achievement gap by 2015.

“We’re going to find the money for school change as best we can.”

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posted by: NH English Teacher on March 1, 2011  10:11am

I believe Dr. Mayo meant “fewer” people.  Believe it or not, teachers are individuals, not an undifferentiated mass.  You’d think $330,000 with company suv and gas card could buy us a superintendent who knows his grammar.  Nineteen years presiding over a failing school system—that’s what I call a well-oiled machine.  Let’s continue heaping laurels upon our “reform” efforts while laying off hundreds of teachers—that’s not going to affect our children’s education at all.  What a crock.

posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on March 1, 2011  12:56pm

NH English Teacher: 

I believe that teachers are individuals. But sadly you have chosen to throw your individuality away to become part of the undifferentiated mass when you joined the AFT.

When you are ready to break the bondage of collective bargaining and stand up for yourself and for the students in your school who most assuredly suffer from un-even teacher quality, we the public will recognize and celebrate you as an individual and as a true professional.

posted by: New Haven Parent on March 1, 2011  6:23pm

Why use a derogatory label-“geeky” to describe one of New Haven’s most promising schools?  This would never fly if this same writer slapped a derogatory label on one of New Haven’s other schools.  And why can’t New Haven get it right.  There are dedicated monies for the development of this school and yet the space has not been secured, and the support is not there for the true development of a school infrastructure complete with leadership.  An absolute shame!!

[Editor’s Note: Thanks for the comment. Believe it or not, I consider the word a compliment!]

posted by: Threefifths on March 1, 2011  6:58pm

posted by: NH English Teacher on March 1, 2011 10:11am
I believe Dr. Mayo meant “fewer” people.  Believe it or not, teachers are individuals, not an undifferentiated mass.  You’d think $330,000 with company suv and gas card could buy us a superintendent who knows his grammar.  Nineteen years presiding over a failing school system—that’s what I call a well-oiled machine.  Let’s continue heaping laurels upon our “reform” efforts while laying off hundreds of teachers—that’s not going to affect our children’s education at all.  What a crock

This is why this is happening.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_HwI6S92Eo


The Union Busting, Dumbing Down, Corporate Hijacking of American Schools
July 18, 2010


http://raginghorse.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/the-union-busting-dumbing-down-corporate-hijacking-of-american-schools/

And this is what happens to teachers with out a union.


First-grade teacher Sauda Johnson docked $9,700 for missing two days of work at charter school
BY RACHEL MONAHAN
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Thursday, October 07, 2010

 

http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-10-07/local/27077407_1_arts-charter-school-school-teacher-first-grade-teacher

Thank god for unions.

posted by: In the know on March 1, 2011  7:17pm

Medria’s promotion to Interim Principal at ESUMS is without a doubt Edgewood’s loss.  Medria is an incredibly intelligent, professional, and genuine lady who works tirelessly to develop adolescents to their fullest potential. The expectations she sets on both students and staff challenge all to step out of their comfort zones. Medria’s passion for her vocation is evident every day.  Medria is never too busy to give support to both students and staff in need of support.  She is so very well versed in all facets of curriculum-her in depth knowledge of learning theory, the use of data,and research based instructional strategies have brought Edgewood to new heights. In terms of literacy, no one has a better grasp on how to move students’ reading level. Without a doubt Medria displays one of the highest levels of professionalism I’ve ever observed. The mark of a true leader is that others will follow.  In a heartbeat I would follow Medria.

posted by: NHPS Teacher on March 1, 2011  8:09pm

@NH English Teacher: Say it LOUD!  Superintendent Mayo is a puppet for DeStefano.  He was a third rate educator and is a horrible “leader”.  Of course, when it comes to politics, none of THAT matters.  Education… whatever… let’s play politics and deliver fluff jobs to our friends and cash to our church.  DeStefano knows there’s good money in “reform” - Mayo and Cicarella genuflect.  Teachers?  What teachers?  They don’t matter.

@ Jeff ” FIX THE SCHOOLS” Klaus: does your wife Dacia Toll know you are wasting time in the middle of your “work” day from your “community” bank to propagate these right-wing diatribes?

If we were hearing creative ideas from Achievement First teachers, that might (MIGHT) be a different story.  We’re not.  We ONLY hear from YOU… and we’re BORED. 

If your wife’s schools are so “great”, why do we never hear from her or her teachers?  Are they shy???  Or are they censored?

We believe your agenda has nothing to do with helping New Haven students.  We believe your agenda is to undermine public education with the hope stupid and foolish bureaucrats will give you and your crooked banks more public money to screw up!  NO!  NO!  NO! 

You know (fact checker you are…) that collective bargaining, and unions per se, are not the major problems we face in our public schools.  Of course, you NEVER let the FACTS get in your way… hell - if you confuse people enough, you may shake some more MONEY into the public trough.  We’re wise to your tactics and are pushing your corporate snouts BACK!

One last thing, Jeff.  When have YOU or your BANK “recognized and celebrated” a New Haven public school teacher?  You live across the park from Wilbur Cross in East Rock.  Have you visited the largest school in the district?

posted by: AF Teacher on March 1, 2011  10:06pm

@NHPS Teacher:
Our schools ARE great. We get results, which is something I could never have said about the dropout factory at which I began my teaching career. Show me any school in the city with better CMT or CAPT scores.

We are neither shy nor censored; we work long hours and don’t particularly feel the need to spend our time posting comments on forums such as these, particularly when our ideas are frequently dismissed by other educators and those in the community.

Our agenda has NOTHING to do with undermining public education. AF is, after all a network of PUBLIC charter schools. I, for one, would love to see even a small fraction of the great work we do implemented at schools (and if other schools have great ideas, we take no shame in borrowing from them to improve ourselves).  Our goal, and the goal of those who support us, is simply to educate our students to the best of our abilities.

posted by: brutus2011 on March 2, 2011  4:18am

...  the failure of Dr. Mayo and his (bloated)staff to achieve any significant gains in student achievement or in quality learning environments within many of our schools. How many people know that bullying is rampant in our schools? How many people know that at Barnard School, a 6th grade boy forced 2 girls to fondle (put nicely!) him under his desk while IN CLASS!!! Or that the same school, 4 middle-school students were arrested for bullying a classmate after the student’s parent warned the new principal that she would take legal action if her son continued to be targeted? How many people know of the chaos and disrespect rampant at Beecher School? Add this to what this article has reported about the climate at ESUMS, then does one see a pattern of mismanagement at the school and central office levels? If real education reform is to occur in our schools, then ineffective administrators need to be held accountable. In fact, the entire SYSTEM in our city needs close scrutiny. But alas, the foxes are guarding the chicken coop.

posted by: trainspotter on March 2, 2011  4:43am

Geeky is the new cool, at least at ESUMS. Finally a school where being smart and motivated is o.k. We look forward to Ms. Blue-Ellis taking the helm and hope she decides to stay a while. We also hope she continues to nurture the culture that made this school so special to begin with. No matter what building we are in, when it’s operating on all cylinders, this school is exciting to be a part of.

posted by: Threefifths on March 2, 2011  9:00am

posted by: AF Teacher on March 1, 2011 10:06pm
@NHPS Teacher:
Our schools ARE great. We get results, which is something I could never have said about the dropout factory at which I began my teaching career. Show me any school in the city with better CMT or CAPT scores.

You are right.You don’t have a drop out factory.But what is your “counsel-out student rate? How many of your students do you have with a disability.How about students do you have who speak no english.

The Myth of Charter SchoolsNovember 11, 2010Diane Ravitch.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/nov/11/myth-charter-schools/?pagination=false

posted by: The Scarecrow on March 2, 2011  9:13am

The notion that Unions are good for anyone other than the Democratic party is a joke.
Yes, at one point in our history the Union served a purpose of protection for workers, they provided a voice, and provided strength, but today they have become a perversion of what they were intended to be. Look at the BILLIONS of Federal stimulus dollars that have been funneled through Unions only to end up back in the hands of the Democratic Party and our illustrious potentate Barrack Hussein Obama.
The teachers in Wisconsin should stop the show they are putting on, a show which is being underwritten by the National Democratic Party and Obama, and get back to teaching. Despite being some of the highest paid “professionals” in the country 2/3 of the kids in Wisconsin read below average. These teachers have had it too good for too long. It’s funny, of all of the people I know, friends, colleagues, professionals, small business owners, it is only the teachers that I ever hear complaining about how hard they work, and how under-appreciated they are. I wish I was an under-appreciated as much as some of the teachers in the article. Let’s see $110,000.00 for 186 days of work… that in the real world of work where the year is 365 days is roughly $220,000.00 per year, plus benefits.
... a whole bunch of people that would gladly take your place.

posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on March 2, 2011  9:23am

NHPS TEACHER,

You seem to have done a lot of homework to know my family, where I live, and where I work.  But then you should also know that my agenda is and has been for twenty years to close the achievement gap - as quickly as possible. 

If that means speaking out about the major problems baked into a system that harms children, their parents, and taxpayers, I have no choice but to continue to talk about that.

As I see it, the political sway of the teacher union is a big part of the problem. This belief, by the way, is neither radical nor rabidly right wing. (I actually happen to be a lifelong democrat)

If I am wrong about my ideas, what would you say are the main problems?  Caution:  If you argue that poverty prevents any substantial progress to closing the gap, we don’t have much to discuss. Other than that caveat, lets have at it!

And btw, I LOVE great public school teachers - I married one! 

And finally if you or any of your fellow teachers want to discuss with me the criteria for some kind of outstanding teacher recognition or award, that is an EXCELLENT idea!  Let me know. (It sounds like you know where to find me)

Maybe we can even find a great teacher to celebrate from my alma mater - Wilbur Cross High School.

posted by: Threefifths on March 2, 2011  9:32am

posted by: The Scarecrow on March 2, 2011 9:13am
The notion that Unions are good for anyone other than the Democratic party is a joke.
Yes, at one point in our history the Union served a purpose of protection for workers, they provided a voice, and provided strength, but today they have become a perversion of what they were intended to be. Look at the BILLIONS of Federal stimulus dollars that have been funneled through Unions only to end up back in the hands of the Democratic Party and our illustrious potentate Barrack Hussein Obama.

How about the stimulus dollars that went to bail out the crooked bankers and wall street crooks.You want to see the real deal check out this you tube.in fact this man should run for president.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tq1zpHF0J04

posted by: ElisaQ on March 2, 2011  10:21am

@Fix the Schools

You may be able to train students to meet goal on the CMT and CAPT, but what’s about the tests such as the SAT and AP tests that require critical thinking skills? 

AP classes at AF are stretched over a year and a half, but the students still can’t pass the tests.  The students at Cross spend only one year preparing for the AP exams and have you beat.

http://newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/ap_test_takers_increase/

posted by: Laurie on March 2, 2011  10:43am

I’m interested in this heated debate about charter schools, public schools, and teacher unions.  I teach in the public schools and I agree that the union is not helping us educate children.  I also see and applaud the outstanding success of Achievement First.  But if AF’s goal is to close the achievement gap, then they need to share their wealth of teaching skills with the rest of the public schools.  I thought that was the original point of charter schools anyway.  I sure would love to teach in an environment such as that of an AF school—and there is no good reason why we neighborhood schools can’t adopt at least some of AF’s strategies.  So what’s stopping us?

posted by: ElisaQ on March 2, 2011  11:16am

@Laurie

The AF instructional model is grounded in a Madeline Hunter-esque lesson plan format.  It’s nothing new. You can find information about the approach on their web site.

If you want to teach your students the same way they do, you’ll need to put achieving high tests scores above real learning.  Personally, I prefer when the two go together. It’s possible to train students to do well on the state standardized tests if that’s all you want to achieve. If you want their scores to reflect their ability, it’s a far greater challenge.

posted by: Threefifths on March 2, 2011  11:47am

posted by: Laurie on March 2, 2011 10:43am

I’m interested in this heated debate about charter schools, public schools, and teacher unions.  I teach in the public schools and I agree that the union is not helping us educate children.  I also see and applaud the outstanding success of Achievement First.  But if AF’s goal is to close the achievement gap, then they need to share their wealth of teaching skills with the rest of the public schools.  I thought that was the original point of charter schools anyway.  I sure would love to teach in an environment such as that of an AF school—and there is no good reason why we neighborhood schools can’t adopt at least some of AF’s strategies.  So what’s stopping us?

It is not the unions job to educate the students.It is the unions job to make sure that the teachers have a good working conditions to teach the students.Sound to me I think you are not a teacher.Also the union jobs is also to make sure nothing like this happens again.My friend in New York grandmother
was a part of this and if it was not for the unions she could have lost her job.

When Suspicion of Teachers Ran Unchecked.

By RALPH BLUMENTHAL
Published: June 15, 2009


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/16/nyregion/16teachers.html?_r=1

http://www.isreview.org/issues/62/feat-charterschools.shtml

May be you need to go work for AF.I bet you will be back.

posted by: AF Teacher on March 2, 2011  2:13pm

@ElisaQ:
I can’t speak specifically to Cross, but our students do quite well on the SAT.

As far as AP exams, our data is likely skewed by the fact that our students have traditionally been REQUIRED to take both the AP biology and AP US history exams. All Cross’ data indicates to me is that there is a small portion of students (140 of more than 2,000) receiving a high-quality education, while there is no data for the vast majority of students at the school.

I’m not saying we don’t have a ways to go - we definitely have set high goals for ourselves, and don’t always meet them. However, the teachers here work tirelessly to make sure our students are not only prepared for standardized tests, but are equipped with the skills they will need to succeed in and graduate from the best colleges in the country.

@Threefifths:
This is a common argument against my school that is completely unfounded. I cannot speak for AF as a whole, but my grade has lost two students this year, both of whom were counseled to STAY. They left despite numerous grade-level and team-level meetings, despite multiple parent meetings, and all of our other best efforts to keep them. I’m not sure what we could have done (short of chaining them to a desk?) to keep them. How many students do Cross and Hillhouse send to Adult Ed every year?

As far as students with special needs, we have approximately the same percentage as New Haven as a whole (10%), at least within my grade. I don’t have any English Language Learners, but that could be due to the fact that all but three of my students have been at AF since 5th or 6th grade. Many of my students speak English as a second language, however.

Last one! @ Laurie:
Use the AF website to contact a principal or teacher whose grade/subject area corresponds to your own. We love to share our ideas and hear the good ideas of others. You can also visit a school, if you’re so inclined. Also, I highly recommend Doug Lemov’s book, Teach like a Champion, which outlines many of the techniques used by AF as well as other successful charter organizations.

posted by: Threefifths on March 2, 2011  4:41pm

posted by: AF Teacher on March 2, 2011 2:13pm

@Threefifths:
This is a common argument against my school that is completely unfounded. I cannot speak for AF as a whole, but my grade has lost two students this year, both of whom were counseled to STAY. They left despite numerous grade-level and team-level meetings, despite multiple parent meetings, and all of our other best efforts to keep them. I’m not sure what we could have done (short of chaining them to a desk?) to keep them. How many students do Cross and Hillhouse send to Adult Ed every year?

My question was what is your “counsel-out student rate.Don’t tell me two.What is the rate
for each year.Also as far How many students do Cross and Hillhouse send to Adult Ed every year.I can find that out.The record is public on that. Are you records at AF public on how many students are counsel-out..Also How many from you school go back to the public system.

As far as students with special needs, we have approximately the same percentage as New Haven as a whole (10%), at least within my grade.

Can you show me proof of this.I don’t think so.

I don’t have any English Language Learners, but that could be due to the fact that all but three of my students have been at AF since 5th or 6th grade. Many of my students speak English as a second language, however.

Again you are ducking the question.Does AF for all students have a ESL programs for non English speaking students.

posted by: Somewhere in CT (maybe New Haven, maybe not) on March 2, 2011  6:27pm

Amistad’s (AF) CAPT scores have been on a steady decline (for the most part).

http://www.schooldigger.com/go/CT/schools/0002400981/school.aspx?entity=84&grade=10

Career High School is somewhat comparable, but has shown an increase in scores.

http://www.schooldigger.com/go/CT/schools/0279000556/school.aspx?entity=84&grade=10 

Sound School is comparable also. Increase in scores WITH a high sped population.

http://www.schooldigger.com/go/CT/schools/0279001216/school.aspx?entity=84&grade=10

posted by: harry avakian on March 4, 2011  11:20am

I can’t believe that Shanta Morrison-Smith will be making $103,000 to be an itinerant math coach.  I’ve offered my services to the New Haven BOE several times in the past to do the same work, but they told me such a position didn’t exist.  I have been a math tutor for over 20 years, have a degree in physics, and probably know tons more math than this lady.  Many of my clients say that I’m the best math teacher they ever met.  I would do this job for half the money, and the city could save $50,000!  It’s a shame.

posted by: teachergal on March 5, 2011  9:22am

Harry A….don’t you know in new haven it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. This is what keeps new haven students from moving forward. If we really did what was best for kids we would hire people based on their qualifications not on who they know or what church they go to.

posted by: elisaq on March 7, 2011  7:52am

@Harry Avakian:

You sound like a very talented math tutor, but a math coach in NHPS works with teachers more than students. Coaches observe and meet with teachers to provide feedback and suggestions.

In education, being talented and having experience carry a great deal of weight, but it is also important to hold the proper credentials and to receive the proper training. Are you a certified teacher? If not, you might look into an alternative/accelerated certification program. While it might feel like jumping through hoops, the right training truly is necessary for classroom teachers. Once you have experience as a teacher, you can pursue moving to a math coach position.

posted by: Harry on March 7, 2011  9:28pm

@elisaq:

Thanks for that explanation, I didn’t realize what duties the position entailed.  Pedagogy is certainly very important. There is a wonderful professor at SCSU named Martin Hartog who does a great job of teaching math teachers how to teach.

The education kids receive prior to high school (or college, for that matter) is frequently so deficient that I find myself showing them the basics of reasoning and thinking for themselves.  I graduated from HS in 1976. Teens now seem to be preoccupied with TV, internet, ipods, video games, and other entertaining distractions. Most of them report having minimal homework.  Most of them don’t do much reading.  One cannot think about math in such a state of mind.  We’ve got a generation of kids who know quite a bit about Eminem, but don’t know the Pythagorean Theorem.  And their parents aren’t much better.

Without a doubt, the problem starts all the way back in elementary school.  Why has the current educational establishment allowed this to happen?  Has television mesmerized us all into a state of permanent stupidity?  Is there a way to fight it?

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