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To Principal, “Tier 1” Means “New Challenge”

by Paul Bass | Mar 17, 2010 7:47 am

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

Posted to: Schools, Davis Street School, School Reform

Paul Bass Photo Rushing back from City Hall, about to rush back to a press conference, Lola Nathan gathered together her teachers in a third-grade classroom. She had news for them. And a question.

“We’re a ‘Tier 1 school,’” Nathan (pictured), Davis St. 21st Century Magnet School’s dynamic principal, told the teachers. “But for how long?”

“I wanted them to 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.”

Under Nathan’s leadership, the K-6 school has been racing forward for years now.

That’s why it emerged at the top of the heap Monday afternoon when officials announced their first “grading” of city schools, launching a key part of an ambitious reform drive.

Davis was one of two schools (Edgewood is the other) labeled “Tier I.” That means they’re top performers. That also means the principals will be freed from some school system work rules to make more improvements.

Average-performing schools were labeled “Tier II.” Failing schools, “Tier III.” Two of those Tier III schools are being reconstituted, one as a charter.

“We accept the recognition gladly. We’re excited,” Nathan said in an interview in her office Tuesday amid the swirl of a typically hectic school day. (“I’ve been busy all morning. I feel Like I’ve been here 10 hours,” she said at 10:30.)

“But we don’t want to be status quo and complacent. To me, ‘school reform’ means change. This is a challenge. We accept the challenge.”

That attitude is how, quietly, Davis became a poster child for school reform in the first place.

Percolating

Both in New Haven and nationally, public attention has focused on what reform means for the most troubled public schools. They’re getting closed, then reopened with new staffs, new work rules. Some, like New Haven’s Urban Youth Middle, labeled “Tier III turnaround,” will become charter schools.

But just as central to school reform is the quest to improve the majority of schools that don’t rank at the bottom, and to find out what works.

That’s been happening at Davis, outside of the spotlight.

“There’s a lot of energy in that school. They have a great team in the school that works together collaboratively,” observed Superintendent of Schools Reggie Mayo. “She has all the ingredients to take it to the next level.”

Before New Haven’s DeStefano administration and D.C.‘s Obama Administration put together their ambitious new reform plans (which resemble each other quite a bit), Lola Nathan and her staff have already instituted the central components: Creating individual plans with parents and teachers for each student’s progress, based on intensive tracking of test scores; involving parents in every aspect of the school; setting high goals; recruiting top talented teachers; tackling the personal or family stress some students bring into the classroom; targeting the racial achievement gap. In fact, last year Davis eliminated that gap; its black students perform as well as on standardized tests as white students throughout Connecticut. (Click here for an Independent archive of stories about Davis.)

More than any one of those efforts, Davis has made progress because of a guiding philosophy: Not accepting failure or even “good enough.” Always pressing to do better.

That attitude was on display as Nathan absorbed the meaning Tuesday morning of her schools new Tier I designation.

She declared Davis a “Tier I Turnaround” school.

She and her staff must now put together a plan for how they’d like to improve Davis, perhaps by being allowed to bend some of the rules governing the public education system.

For starters, Nathan set a new goal: She wants 80 percent of her students to reach “goal” on standardized math and reading tests in coming years. Last year 65 percent reached goal in math, 50 percent in reading. (“Goal” is higher than “proficient,” which basically means passing.)

You could see ideas percolating like popcorn kernels in Nathan’s head as she tossed around new ideas for getting there. She floated one novel way to boost teaching at Davis ... then insisted the idea couldn’t show up in an article.

Why? She doesn’t plan to come up with ideas on her own. She doesn’t run her school that way. She wants to solicit and share ideas with her staff and agree together on which ones to present to the school system for approval. (Any changes in work rules, for instance, must receive a 75 percent approval vote from unionized teachers.)

To that end, she marked Monday’s Tier I placement by freeing teachers from their regular schedules this week. They don’t need to abide by the time allotted each day for each subject. One teacher spent extra time working with students on Venn diagrams of similarities and differences between the Middle and New England Colonies. Another went long on a study of Korea. Teachers already were losing some students to Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) make-ups. So Nathan figured this was a chance to bend the rules—and get the teachers in the groove of experimenting with new approaches.

Nathan’s also eyeing an expansion of a holiday “CMT camp” she experimented with last month (pictured above). She had some ideas about how to use the school’s Tier I status to make that happen—again, ideas that can’t show up in an article.

“The Drawer”: The Sequel

Besides setting the academic bar higher, Nathan hopes to use the Tier I challenge to tackle kids’ behavior (aka “social skills”).

Davis already began bringing back the so-called “Comer Method” of helping kids work out problem. Mayo wants to see that happen systemwide; Nathan wants to use it more at Davis.

She wants to build on other ideas, as well. She has two parents spearheading an effort to teach kids and parents to eat better and exercise more. Nathan (a self-described “vegan 80 percent of the time” and a vegetarian all the time, who gets up at 5 a.m. to take walks) has barred cupcakes and soda from school events and classroom birthday parties. The kids are getting used to the fruits and the juice, she said.

Davis doesn’t have problems with fights, she said. But there’s enough “inappropriate” behavior that she wants her staff to help her come up with new approaches as part of the Tier I improvement plan. Especially when it comes to “distractions.”

Nathan has a drawer in her office for confiscated distractions. Tuesday it contained Samsung and Nokia cell phones as well as a McDonald’s fire truck (pictured).

The other day a sixth-grader showed his cell in school to two other kids, who snatched it. When Nathan got a hold of it, she put it in the drawer until the boy’s mom came to retrieve it—and talk about the rules.

“I don’t search anybody. If they have them at the bus stop because parents want them to be safe, I don’t get into that. I’m not going into anyone’s pocket,” Nathan said. But phones need to be kept off, and out of sight, in school.

She didn’t chew out the boy, she said. He pleaded with Nathan not to call his mom. She explained why she needed to.

“I can’t go around screaming at kids,” she said. “Kids like to be listened to. I always listen to my kids. They’re important to me. I’m also firm and no-nonsense.”

As she and her staffers figure out how to help kids to behave better, Nathan said, they have to remember their own behavior as well. “We have to model it,” she said. Just as Davis is helping to model reform for a city’s worth of schools.

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posted by: Threefifths on March 17, 2010  9:24am

Hey fix the school’s were are you at on this one.This is a public school.We can use the same system in all school’s and it will cost less.Plus I like the comer model.And there is no corporate profit being made off of the students.

posted by: Casey Joseph on March 17, 2010  2:43pm

Ms. Nathan and her elite staff are remarkable members of the New Haven School District.  It is in my opinion that although they are a part of a linked chain the daily operations and learning approach at Davis are unique and superior to other schools within the Public School System.  I’d like to take this opportunity to commend Ms. Nathan and all of her staff on their hard work ethics as well as their continual steadfast learning approach.  Stronger parental support is also relatively necessary in order to really press forward on this challenge.  As I believe it has already been met.  Ms. Nathan deserves the red carpet and the roses.  Best of Luck!  The Joseph’s….

posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on March 17, 2010  2:58pm

My friend 3/5,

I’ll respond only if you promise not to later respond by pasting a hundred pages of articles written verbatim! (a link will do fine).  We want to hear what YOU think, not read about some nutty NEA organizer in Berkley.

Anyway, I must say I LOVE what principal Nathan is doing.  Why?  Because she has figured out a way to drive results for her kids.  Her numbers are impressive and they indicate that great progress is being made.  Her kids are on their way to college and out of poverty!

Lola Nathan is not resting on her laurels.  She clearly has sense of urgency around the needs of her students.  And this sense of mission and urgency seems to be contagious in her school.  This attitude is the first and most important ingredient of success.  We need more of this attitude in all of our public schools.

It’s fascinating that we read that Davis Street is successful because the principal has managed to work “collaboratively” with her staff to do what is right for children.  This collaboration has clearly gone beyond the standard union work rules. 

So, my question is to what extent did the work rules “flexibility” help what is THE ONLY tier 1 high-poverty district school in New Haven succeed (Hooker and Edgewood are NOT high poverty)?  If the answer is that principal Nathan has inspired her outstanding teachers to focus on the needs of the kids - and not the work rules embedded in the NHFT contract, then why in the world do we have these work rules in place at all?  And shouldn’t we immediately abandon these rules in the interests of kids?

Perhaps the NHI can further develop this story as Lola Nathan and her staff develop an strategic plan for this year and next. 

Also, Davis street should be funded by “money-follows-the child” legislation.  I can only guess that Davis street is a highly desirable school and is probably well oversubscribed in the school choice lottery.  If money followed the child, Principal Nathan would have the money to create MORE seats at Davis st. and to expand her program to more and more kids.  Isn’t this what we want?

posted by: North Star on March 17, 2010  4:43pm

Davis Street School has spearheaded and founded a silent movement for change.  By a flash of light within the public eye Davis was able to hurdle over obstacles and barriers.  They used these barriers to their best benefit.  The teachers have so much passion and commitment.  There has never been a dull moment.  Time stood by this school side as they raced against it.  Thinking out of the box while still in it required much comprehension of the public school system.  Not to mention a top notch Principal who provides continual guidance and instruction to her staff.  Nathan has performed miraculous works of art.  The school as a whole has not had too shy away from public’s view. They have worked rigorously around the clock creating an optimistic look of solidarity.  By any means necessary was the motto by which Ms. Nathan stood.  She stood her ground and is now jumping on concrete slabs.  Davis school offers a stabilized environment with a guided curriculum that actually educates and provokes thought.  She has adopted this reform act before the notion for change was ever made public.  Recognition is in high order and I hope Davis will continue to strive and live by their motto ‘From Good to Great!

posted by: Threefifths on March 17, 2010  5:55pm

FIX THE SCHOOLS on March 17, 2010 2:58pm

My friend 3/5,

I’ll respond only if you promise not to later respond by pasting a hundred pages of articles written verbatim! (a link will do fine).  We want to hear what YOU think, not read about some nutty NEA organizer in Berkley
in Berkley

I write what I think and in order for me to do that I must do the research and that means I must read.Don’t you read and research what you read.Can you disprove what this nutty NEA organizer in Berkley said is wrong?How about the nutty organizer in Concan who hired bus to go to hartford to push the corporatist charter school’s.Tell you what you may get the chance to meet some of these so call nutty organizer’s you call.Cause as soon as they finish with the law suit that they put on Bloonberg and klein they told me they would come up here and speak.So maybe you can get your chance to speak and here them.

Also, Davis street should be funded by “money-follows-the child” legislation.  I can only guess that Davis street is a highly desirable school and is probably well oversubscribed in the school choice lottery.  If money followed the child, Principal Nathan would have the money to create MORE seats at Davis st. and to expand her program to more and more kids.  Isn’t this what we want?

Davis 21st Century Magnet Elementary School, located in New Haven, Connecticut, serves grades PK-5 in the New Haven School District. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 6 out of 10 based on its performance on state standardized tests.

This is a magnet school.from what I was told When the childern come from other towns they pay for the student to go to Magnet schools.

What she is doing in this school,It can be done at other’s and that is why I will keep saying you must fix the system you have already.


P.S. I read a lot of your post.I think you are in skull and bones or your are a corporatist or you work in that field.Give me a answer on that.

posted by: Harry David on March 17, 2010  9:39pm

I endorse all of three-fifth’s comments. I note how basic the successful formula at Davis has been: “Lola Nathan and her staff have already instituted the central components: Creating individual plans with parents and teachers for each student’s progress, based on intensive tracking of test scores; involving parents in every aspect of the school; setting high goals; recruiting top talented teachers; tackling the personal or family stress some students bring into the classroom; targeting the racial achievement gap.More than any one of those efforts, Davis has made progress because of a guiding philosophy: Not accepting failure or even “good enough.” Always pressing to do better.”

1.  Creating individual plans presupposes the existence of suitable data systems and the availability of a testing metric. Something so many of those enamored of the status-quo seem to rail against. Complaints about “teaching to the test” etc., is a smoke screen for an unwillingness to be measured.

2.  Recruiting top talented teachers.  How does this principal have the freedom to select these talented teachers and to assign them to where they are most needed? And what constitutes effective teaching? “Teaching as Leadership” a book by Steven Farr of Teach for America offers some insights. He discusses topics like the application of continuous improvement methods and constant questioning how teachers are doing, etc. I think of Toyota’s continuous improvement and quality circles that was the rage in manufacturing 20 years ago.

3.  Not stated here but I have to assume that the standard day and week is not considered an upper bound to how much time teachers spend with students and that they do whatever is necessary.

4.  And yes, all of this could only happen with the cooperation and blessing of the teachers unions. What incentives can this principal offer to teachers to gain their trust and cooperation?

I would like to find out what role student/teacher ratios, spending per student and other putative performance drivers had in this almost unique success story?? I suspect they were not central to the reasons for DAvis’ success.

And 3/5ths: I shall spare you long references this time but no guarantees about next time.

Harry

posted by: Patrick Nealy on March 17, 2010  10:27pm

I wish Benjamin Jepson had a principal like this amazing woman and leader, Lola Nathan. Maybe we could have kept our kids there. We tried but there was just no improvement at all. Plus a tone-deaf admin.

Friends at Barnard say it deserved Tier III, but several magnets, including Jepson, which are a hair’s breadth away. Millions of dollars for Jepson and Barnard, meant nothing. It is the CHARACTER of the principal which makes the difference. Ms. Nathan performed educational miracles first in a hellhole of a building, and now in a temporary location. She is a model for all principals. God bless her.

PBS had a wonderful special showing a dynamic principal in the Chicago schools who was also very involved with her students, doing math problems with them at lunch, etc. And the kids responded with improved performance and behavior. It was inspiring.

posted by: harry David on March 18, 2010  8:09am

My apologies to Fix-the-Schools. I confused you with 3/5ths in my post.

3/5ths: Why not take the whole bottle and call yourself “the bottle”?

H

posted by: Threefifths on March 18, 2010  8:36am

harry David on March 18, 2010 8:09am
My apologies to Fix-the-Schools. I confused you with 3/5ths in my post.

3/5ths: Why not take the whole bottle and call yourself “the bottle”?

H

You My apologies to Fix-the-Schools. I confused you with 3/5ths in my post.

3/5ths: Why not take the whole bottle and call yourself “the bottle”?

H


You confused me with Fix the School.What bottle
did you take your drink from.What was in the bottle grey goose.May be that is why you can’t understand my post.Or is it that you are just as confuse as the so call school con reform.

posted by: Threefifths on March 18, 2010  9:16am

Hey fix and David

Check this report out.And david Just in case you get confused again.this long reference is for you.

Study: Magnet Schools Outperform Charters
Posted on January 18th, 2010 by ASEE

It’s no secret that the Obama White House is a fan of charter schools. One criterion for states competing for $4.35 billion in Race to the Top grants is having laws that allow for them. Certainly there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that charter schools work well. They’ve proven that kids from low-income black and Latino families can obtain the kinds of results that are more typical of affluent, suburban schools, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Now, a new analysis of student tests results in Los Angeles by the LA Times puts some hard data behind the positive perceptions. On every level, and especially at middle schools, LA’s charter schools outperformed the area’s traditional schools. However, the analysis of standardized test data from the 2008-09 school year also showed that the city’s network of magnet schools performed even better. Quite a bit better.

The paper looked at test results from 152 charter schools, 161 magnets and all nearby traditional schools. In all areas, the magnets were the clear leaders. For instance, only 40 percent of African American students at traditional schools were proficient or better at math. However, 76 percent of African American students at magnet schools and 57 percent at charters were. Overall, both charters and magnets excelled at helping black students achieve strong results. There’s one possible reason magnets did better, the paper says: one in five can restrict applicants to students designated as gifted.

Again we don’t need to bring in Concan and these corporatist run charter schools for profit.

posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on March 18, 2010  9:18am

3/5,

At least we agree that both sides are trying to fix the entire system.  The “corporatist vampires” who push for more charters, whatever their motives, want more poor children to be college-ready. Whether they want to enslave them to be cogs in some sinister corporate-world as you believe, or whether they just want to free people from a life of poverty via education as I believe - they ARE fighting to have more children to make it through college.

The people who push for education alternatives believe that competition is good for the system.  The idea is that quality choices for parents will force the system to improve - or shrink.  Look at Kansas City and Detroit today. Painful sudden disruptions are occurring right this minute.  And yet this sort of collapse of a school system was long in coming.  I can only hope that educational quality will emerge from the ashes.

And while New Haven does not find itself in such a dramatic situation, it is without a doubt that what we are seeing is a controlled descent of a failing urban school system.  Frankly, it can’t happen fast enough for me.  But at least it is happening.

And this slow revolution would not have happened if we did not insist on choice.  Not just choice of magnet vs neighborhood schools, or theme schools vs traditional schools, but choice of MANAGEMENT and OWNERSHIP.  This is the example that charter schools have set. 

Critics claim that school choice establishes winners and losers.  Children with involved parents will gain while children who are on their own will end up the big losers.  I am a proponent of choice, but with a real concern about kids who are at risk of being left behind.  As we follow this path to improvement, we must strive to meet the need of every child. 

But what I cannot stomach is the argument that we should preserve the same failed factory-style education system because somehow choice will lead to unequal outcomes for children.  That argument is bankrupt - as we will be if we keep on plowing money into a system which consistently produces such abysmal results.

But even more objectionable is the resistence to reform based on the fear that we might see negative outcomes for the adults who have a vested interest in the system. 

There are some striking similarities between the ed reform movement and its predecessor movement - abolition.  One of the major arguments against abolition, which delayed emancipation for nearly a century, was the claim that freeing the slaves would disrupt the economy.  “Reasonable” and “moderate” people in both the north and the south believed correctly that the largely agrarian south would collapse economically and it would spell the end to prosperity and the southern social structure.
3/5, do you think that argument should have been worthy of any consideration whatsoever?

So I am always amazed that you tend to focus your disdain of reform on the downside to the adults within the system - and not the children. Your constant posting of the rubber room story (which by the way is emblematic of the disfunctionality of the union and places Bloomberg and Klein on heroic pedestals)is to show how unfair change is to teachers.  But what about the children?

At this stage of ed reform it is ludicrous to deny the differences in educational outcomes between high performing schools and low performing urban schools.  And further it is ludicrous to defend the interests of the people who rely on the preservation of the status quo.  Whether it is Davis st. or a high performing charter school.  The success of these models are strikingly similar an undeniable.  We should more towards these successful models as rapidly as possible - damn the torpedoes full steam ahead! 

Lastly, I thought I would post a couple of links.  Would love your thoughts:

http://www.nyccharterschools.org/meet/blog/459-mixed-review-for-uft-charter-school

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/teacherbeat/2010/03/lessons_on_teacher_evaluation.html

Your friend,
Fix, the corporatist vampire.

posted by: Sabrina on March 18, 2010  4:18pm

Congratulations to Lola Nathan, her administration, teachers, students and the parents - well done. And no, no complacency.
Not Lola’s style, not ever.

posted by: Threefifths on March 18, 2010  6:12pm

posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on March 18, 2010 9:18am

3/5,

At least we agree that both sides are trying to fix the entire system.  The “corporatist vampires” who push for more charters, whatever their motives, want more poor children to be college-ready. Whether they want to enslave them to be cogs in some sinister corporate-world as you believe, or whether they just want to free people from a life of poverty via education as I believe - they ARE fighting to have more children to make it through college.

No we don’t agree.The corporatist vampires are using this for profit.They don’t care about the children,They gave the money out for tax write off and as I said profit.Check this out.


Billionaire titans take aim at urban school systems
(There’s a growing chorus protesting the takeover of public school districts by what blogger Jim Horn calls “vulture philanthropists” — the billionaire, non-educator business titans who are bent on imposing their vision for the education of low-income inner-city minorities. That often means obliterating existing schools and replacing them with charter schools run by managers from outside the community.

One of the most sincere, and surprising, of the voices of protest belongs to Diane Ravitch, longtime education commentator who is a fellow at the Hoover Institution (the heart and soul of anti-public-education “reform” advocacy) and former Assistant Secretary of Education in the George H.W. Bush administration. I previously posted about Ravitch here.

Writing from New York, where she has become a sharp critic of Michael Bloomberg’s mayoral takeover of the city’s school system, Ravitch declares: “It appears that the Big Money has placed its bets on dismantling public education.” You can read the rest at this website.


http://www.sfschools.org/labels/Charters.htm

The people who push for education alternatives believe that competition is good for the system.  The idea is that quality choices for parents will force the system to improve - or shrink.  Look at Kansas City and Detroit today. Painful sudden disruptions are occurring right this minute.  And yet this sort of collapse of a school system was long in coming.  I can only hope that educational quality will emerge from the ashes.

And while New Haven does not find itself in such a dramatic situation, it is without a doubt that what we are seeing is a controlled descent of a failing urban school system.  Frankly, it can’t happen fast enough for me.  But at least it is happening

For real.look at the davis school which we can agree on which is in the public system.in fact there are other school that are doing the same in the public school system that you don’t here about.Also rember edison was here and it failed and took the money and ran.In fact edison is trying to come back.

The new Edison strategy and child labor.

So the E2 Design Sketch resurrects that notion, proposing to “cut lunch aides and custodians by 50%, use students…” Also, “Student prefects would play an essential role in making the independent learning labs successful by assisting IL lab teachers in managing large numbers of students.”

The E2 Design Sketch does note that its parallel strategies of relying on student labor and minimally supervised independent learning may not be surefire crowd-pleasers:

Will customers permit students to tutor students, taking over “jobs” that would normally be filled by unionized paraprofessionals? Will they permit students to spend a significant portion of the day in independent learning environments with very different staffing ratios?

http://www.sfschools.org/2007/10/new-edison-strategy-and-child-labor.html

I forgot you are anti-union or are you just aganist teachers having union’s.


But what I cannot stomach is the argument that we should preserve the same failed factory-style education system because somehow choice will lead to unequal outcomes for children.  That argument is bankrupt - as we will be if we keep on plowing money into a system which consistently produces such abysmal results.

You think people are going to stomach the tax bill that is coming.Again what is wroung with the davis school model which can be used and cost less.

There are some striking similarities between the ed reform movement and its predecessor movement - abolition.  One of the major arguments against abolition, which delayed emancipation for nearly a century, was the claim that freeing the slaves would disrupt the economy.  “Reasonable” and “moderate” people in both the north and the south believed correctly that the largely agrarian south would collapse economically and it would spell the end to prosperity and the southern social structure.
3/5, do you think that argument should have been worthy of any consideration whatsoever?

Read the book The Mis-Education of the Negro
it will tell you how the slave was not given libration from education,but education was used to control them.Due to the fact that there history was not told.In fact this happing
in the charter schools alot.Also I notice that this school reform movement is just like the pro life abortion movement.Head it by white male.


http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/misedne.html


So I am always amazed that you tend to focus your disdain of reform on the downside to the adults within the system - and not the children. Your constant posting of the rubber room story (which by the way is emblematic of the disfunctionality of the union and places Bloomberg and Klein on heroic pedestals)is to show how unfair change is to teachers.  But what about the children?

Let me ask you something.If you are arrested and put in jail and are told that you have to wait 3years to get a hearing,What would you do.
My point the teachers in the rubber room are they not because of disfunctionality of the union,they are there because of the power’s that be have not given them a hearing in the time as agree upon by the union and the mayor.in fact you main man Klein saod that they need to have due process on time and now the tax payers are even saying that you gave them there hearing on time or put them back in the school’s.As far a the childern I surport them all the way that is why I am fighting this corporate take over.Speak of klein my friends who you say are nutty call me to go to a meeting with tem to speak to Klein and Bloomberg and look what klein did to them he ran.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIN2ZtYJohs&feature=player_embedded

 

In fact we need to do this here to king John for his tax hikes,But that is another story.

Lastly, I thought I would post a couple of links.  Would love your thoughts

I read you link’s some I agree with and some I don’t. check out my link’s and she if you like them.


http://takingnote.tcf.org/2010/01/charter-vs-magnet-schools.html


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/03/education/03ravitch.html?scp=2&sq=Diane Ravitch&st=cse

posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on March 19, 2010  8:29am

3/5,  Our argument has taken this thread way off topic, but I must ask you: Why do you equate the Rubber Room to “jail”?

Don’t you think that people have choices in their lives?  There is nothing stopping the teachers who have been rejected from quitting the school system and finding new work, hopefully in another line of business.  No one is keeping them in that room or that system against their will.  They are not under lock and key.  And yet they (and you) speak about it as though there is some kind of sentence or court order.

QUESTION:

What kind of individual would for three years willingly report to a room, play checkers all day, enter into arguments with their fellow rubber roomies about who sits where, does not engage in any personal or professional development whatsoever, whines and laments about their self-perpetuated fate, all while getting full pay and benefits?

ANSWER:  Someone who should not be anywhere near a classroom or children.

posted by: harry David on March 19, 2010  8:39am

3/5ths: Now you have really got me going with your quote from Diane Ravitch and her association with Hoover Institute. Here is a quote from Whitney Tilson of the Democrats for Education Reform on a debate withy Ravitch in which Ravitch did not do so well.

This is a long quote so only those with fortitude should continue. Even I cannot bear to post it, but I could not control myself.

1) Diane Ravitch engages in a spirited debate with Kevin Carey of Education Sector and DFER board member Andy Rotherham of Eduwonk – and they take her to pieces, primarily with the point that while she continues to be a good historian, her book offers NOTHING in terms of what should be done to fix the school system that EVERYONE agrees is broken.

I’ve always viewed this struggle as a journey of 1,000 miles – one that will last beyond my lifetime, if we define the end of the journey as high-quality schools for ALL children.  The system is so big, so broken, and so lacking in market mechanisms that might force improvement (witness the automakers, for example) that this is going to take a LOOOOOOOOONG time…

That said, I’m not discouraged – I think we’re making progress, and at an ever increasing rate in recent years – but I’m also realistic that 20 years after TFA was founded, 16 years after KIPP, 9 years after NCLB, etc., we’re maybe 50 miles (only 5%) into the journey – and it’s been a brutal, bloody journey to date, with reformers being attacked constantly from all sides every step of the way.

The difficulty of this journey and the modest progress so far makes it easy for sellouts and/or confused people like Ravitch to crap all over it.  When you’re only 5% of the way forward, it’s easy to distort the data and make it look like there’s been no progress at all.  And it’s equally easy to blame the people on the journey for the lack of progress and many setbacks along the way, rather than point the finger where it really belongs: on those doing the attacking, who over and over again throw children under the bus to advance their own (adult) interests.

Yes, what Ravitch is doing is easy – and deeply, profoundly wrong, both logically and morally…

She argues that because the reformers’ ideas have not produced “the quantum improvement in American education that we all hope for,” she argues that the solution is to abandon reform efforts entirely and retreat into platitudes and nice-sounding nostrums that will leave the abysmally failing status quo unchallenged and unchanged.

2) Here’s Kevin Carey with a brilliant, scathing rebuttal of Ravitch’s book (emphasis added):
But the lessons the book draws from these stories are very strange. You’ve come to see the totality of American education policy from the late 1980s to the present day as a gigantic failure—despite the fact that you supported and promoted those policies of accountability, testing, and school choice for nearly all of that time. You “jumped aboard a bandwagon,” but now you have “lost the faith.”
The problem with “I was wrong about everything” as the prelude to an argument is that it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the repudiator’s judgment. And, in this case, the book simply trades one pre-defined agenda for another: the collected talking points of the reactionary education establishment. It is a philosophy of resentment and futility, grounded in the conviction that public schools—and the adults within them—can’t really be expected to do better than they currently are.
So, if an outsider comes in and improves results and test scores, as Bersin did in San Diego, then results and test scores “may not be the right question” to ask. If different tests show different levels of improvement in New York City under Michael Bloomberg, we should believe whichever results are worse. Multiple econometric studies from respected academics finding that low-income children would benefit hugely from being assigned to the best teachers are lampooned as an “urban myth,” because “this is akin to saying that baseball teams should consist only of players who hit over .300 and pitchers who win at least 20 games every season … no such team exists.”
Diane, you live in Brooklyn—haven’t you heard of the 2009 World Series Champion New York Yankees, whose nine starters averaged 25 home runs apiece during the regular season? If the teachers in the Bronx were as good as the baseball players, students there would learn much more.
Meanwhile, you say the intensive instructional model used by “high-performing charter chains such as KIPP and Achievement First” is “inherently unsustainable because it discourages teacher professionalism and relies on a steady infusion of newcomers.” If the schools are high-performing without teacher professionalism, what does that say about professionalism as you define it? And what’s unsustainable about relying on a steady infusion of newcomers? If one thing is certain, it’s that our colleges will graduate a fresh batch of them every year.
In addition to discounting the possibility of rapid improvement, you also seem oddly blind to the educational dysfunction that ruins so many young lives. You repeatedly slam Washington, D.C.‘s reformist superintendant, Michelle Rhee, for shutting down some of the city’s most notorious low-performing schools. Most neighborhood schools, you say, are “laden with traditions and memories … their graduates return and … want to see the trophy cases and the old photographs, to hear the echoes in the gymnasium and walk on the playing fields. To close these schools down serves no purpose other than to destroy those memories.” This bizarre hypothetical nostalgia is utterly disconnected from the educational dead zones that blight many impoverished neighborhoods, places that students struggle to forget, if they can.
If not school reform, then what? You give a hint in the book’s first chapter, where you describe reviewing your collected writings: “I began to see two themes at the center of what I have been writing about for more than four decades. Once constant has been my skepticism about pedagogical fads, enthusiasms, and movements. The other has been a deep belief in the value of a rich, coherent school curriculum.” The problem is that your distaste for faddism and naiveté can be overwhelming—you see these sins in everyone you happen to disagree with about anything.
For example (there are many), the book concludes: “Reformers imagine that is easy to create a successful school. It is not.” This is complete nonsense. Nobody thinks it’s easy to create a successful school, particularly when at-risk children are involved. I have heard dozens of reformers go on about this subject over the years. They’re obsessed with the difficulty of building good schools, to the point, frankly, of being pretty hard to shut up about it.
Throughout the book, you accuse those you newly disagree with of believing in, variously, silver bullets, magic feathers, panaceas, quick fixes, and miracle cures. Can we please retire the insulting declaration that “there are no silver bullets”? You may have believed in them once, but that doesn’t mean everyone else made the same mistake.
“What, then, can we do to improve schools and education?” the book asks, finally, with twelve pages to go. The first eight of those pages mount an impassioned and persuasive argument for a rich national curriculum. And in this, you are absolutely right. But curricula are only one part of the equation. We also need great teachers to deliver them, assessments to know if student are learning, schools that have overwhelming incentives to support them, and options for parents in an increasingly diverse world. In other words: a rich curriculum and testing, accountability, and choice. As Ben rightly notes, this is exactly the formula Massachusetts used (along with strong unions and fair school funding) to achieve some of the best student learning results in the world.
…In the end, Death and Life is painfully short on non-curricular ideas that might actually improve education for those who need it most. The last few pages contain nothing but generalities: “We must encourage schools to use measures of educational accomplishment that are appropriate to the subjects studied.” “When schools are struggling, the authorities should do whatever is necessary to improve them.” “Teachers must be well educated and know their subjects.” That’s all on page 238. The complete lack of engagement with how to do these things is striking.
Diane, your collected writings on the history of American education are invaluable. I have a copy of Left Back on my bookshelf and refer to it often. But, while Death and Life succeeds as history, it fails entirely as analysis. Having fought a good fight, you seem to have left the field in weariness and frustration. Let’s hope that others don’t follow.
3) Here’s Ravitch’s reply:
I hoped that accountability and choice might bring us closer to the goals I believe in, but I was wrong. They are means, not ends. Getting higher test scores is not the same as getting a high-quality education. As I explain in my chapter on accountability, there is so much cheating, so much gaming of scores, so much manipulation of data by states and districts that the state scores are unreliable. Because of its high stakes and its onerous sanctions, NCLB has incentivized everyone to raise scores by any means necessary. Often this is just institutionalized fraud. Or ,as Arne Duncan likes to say about the dumbing down of state tests, “We are lying to our children.”
As for charters, I readily grant that there are some excellent charters. But most people who have studied charters recognize that the range in quality among them is very great and that there are far more mediocre charters than excellent ones, as well as some that are abysmal.

4) Here’s Andy Rotherham:
Unfortunately, while it’s heavy on scrutiny, Death and Life doesn’t add up to a whole in terms of where you want us to go based on your analysis. In other words, outside of a call for better curriculum, this book falls short as a policy agenda. And make no mistake: Despite your protestations that you don’t want to view things through the prism of policy, given the state of play in the education debate today, your work is being taken as a policy prescription.
More specifically, it’s being taken as the antidote to the Duncan-Obama direction on education policy and the ideas taking hold in an increasing number of states and localities. Yet, while it’s a powerful cri de coeur, it is neither granular nor forward-looking enough to serve as a blueprint for policymakers.
For instance, you are selective about the evidence on charter schools, ignoring the contributions from the many high-performing charters across various geographies.
…Likewise on testing and accountability. You paint a broad portrait of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) as “test and punish” but ignore the complexity of the policy and its implementation. States, for example, have made an astonishing number of poor implementation decisions that have done more to turn the law into a caricature than anything in the statute has. Meanwhile, after two decades, the experience of states and school districts with standards, testing, and accountability is highly varied As with charter schools, these policies are not monolithic, and there are clear inferences policymakers can draw, particularly about the experience of poor and minority youngsters.
And the same is true, of course, of philanthropy or school leadership. In both cases, the experiences, outcomes, ongoing learning, and changes are highly varied and complex.
I could go on, but the point is obvious: The book offers plenty of legitimate critiques in all these reform areas, and others. Yet painting with a broad brush does much to arouse the passions of advocates, and little to shed light on the issues. It merely fans the flames of today’s mostly unproductive debates.
…Similarly, given what we know about the tortured politics of our education system absent a robust accountability regime, how do you expect to see change enacted? Regulatory capture—meaning that the ostensibly regulated actually control the regulators—is more rampant in American elementary and secondary education than in any other policy domain.
You couldn’t be more right that there are no panaceas. Unfortunately, though, Death and Life offers too many panaceas of its own. So, while your change of heart on some key issues and your criticism of many of today’s reforms and reformers is a soothing balm for those resisting radical changes to our low-functioning system of education, it is not a way forward from where we are today.
5) Some great letters to the editor in the WSJ, responding to Ravitch’s op ed:
Regarding “Why I Changed My Mind About School Reform” by Diane Ravitch (op-ed, March 9): Ms. Ravitch correctly points out that teachers and school administrators, like all people, respond to incentives. This, she says, has led schools to “teach to the test,” to the detriment of overall student learning. But if teachers and administrators truly do respond to incentives, what about the fact that there is no incentive structure currently built into our public education monopoly which incentivizes schools to improve?
Ms. Ravitch is quick to point out the mixed results of charter schools but fails to point out the one key difference between charters and traditional public schools: When charters fail, they go out of business. When traditional public schools fail, nothing happens, or worse they receive more funding.
And:
Ms. Ravitch refers to numerous studies which indicate that charter schools are not worth the investment. Would she close public schools using the same analyses?
And:
There is no question that there is a correlation between poverty and student performance, but it is not easy to pinpoint the cause. If poverty were the cause, parochial education would be a failure. It isn’t.
Ms. Ravitch says that bad teachers are less important a factor than poverty is in influencing student performance. When children perform well, it is almost always attributed to good teachers. I don’t see how good teachers cause good student performance, but bad teachers do not cause poor student performance. It makes no sense.
And:
Early on in my 42-year career teaching in public schools, my principals actually took reading groups, helped with math, were present in classrooms, halls, lunch rooms and on playgrounds. They came into one’s classroom unannounced and stayed sometimes for half a day, and they were taking notes. Their background was in teaching and they knew what they were looking for. By the time I retired, the union had required an administrator to give three to four days advance notice, right down to which period he’d be observing. Yearly evaluations became nothing more than a check sheet, and everyone got about the same score.
Our nation has some of the finest teachers in the world, and a goodly number of the worst. Unless and until teachers are evaluated based on what they accomplish, nothing will change.
PS—The latest Amazon rankings: Lemov: #34; Ravitch #94

6) A Time Magazine article about the Obama Administration’s attempt to turn around failing schools:
The Obama Administration has a plan: take the 5,000 worst schools in the U.S. and give them more than $4 billion over three years to get a lot better — fast. It’s the emphasis on speed that makes this endeavor something new. The government has thrown big money at education for decades, with very little to show for it. Even under NCLB, most of the failing schools that were forced to make changes did the bare minimum required by federal mandates.
The White House’s new approach amounts to Extreme Makeover: School Edition. Fire the teachers and principals, turn schools into charters, lengthen the day and year, or shut the schools down completely and send the kids elsewhere. These so-called turnaround strategies — which aim to increase test scores, decrease dropout rates and improve classroom culture in short order — are perhaps the most ambitious part of President Obama’s education-reform agenda. But it’s a high-risk intervention. “This is like telling doctors to pick patients with the most advanced forms of cancer and make them better,” says Jack Jennings, president of the nonpartisan Center on Education Policy.
So how often does rapid transformation work? In 2008, the Institute of Education Sciences, the Education Department’s research arm, published a guide to turning around low-performing schools that noted that “the research base on effective strategies ... is sparse.” In other words, taxpayers are betting billions of dollars on what essentially remains a crapshoot.
Keep the Kids; Bring In New Adults
All that said, few would argue with the proposition that radical steps are needed to fix the country’s public schools. Champions of the turnaround approach say that where it has been applied properly, the early results are encouraging. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has cited Mastery Charter Schools as a shining example of how to right a capsized ship. So far, Mastery has used the same approach at each of the three schools it has taken over from the School District of Philadelphia since 2006: retain the students, spiff up the place, and bring in new teachers and administrators.

7) Bloomberg and Klein with an opinion piece in Time on the Obama admin’s first cut at fixing NCLB:
On the basis of what we know has worked in New York City with our 1.1 million schoolkids, we’d give Obama’s plan a solid B — a great start, but it could use a little improvement.
…the President must go even further. Our schools still offer teachers lifetime job protection, predominantly lockstep pay systems and seniority rules that reward longevity, not excellence. Our budget hole in New York is so big that we’ll probably have to lay off teachers later this year. You know who will be the first to go? Thousands of energetic new teachers — simply because they were the last people hired. Sure, experience matters. But so do skill and energy. We must be able to make staffing decisions based on performance, not just time served. This President has shown an unprecedented willingness to challenge the powerful teachers’ unions, but unless we finally eradicate these anachronistic employment rules, we’ll continue to define reform as good intentions, extra dollars and insufficient results.
The plan also needs to be more explicit about what should happen to persistently failing schools. While the $4 billion federal Race to the Top competition, which began in 2009, gives states incentives to close schools after all other strategies to improve achievement have failed, Obama’s new proposal is more ambiguous. It will permit states to shy away from making these tough choices — even though replacing failing schools can transform entire districts. In New York City, we’ve phased out more than 90 schools during the past seven years; these decisions haven’t been politically popular, but the schools that replaced them have dramatically higher graduation rates than their predecessors.
We must not waste this historic opportunity to make lasting change. Several states have already rushed to implement some of the President’s ideas, and we’re confident that promoting some even bolder ones in this new plan would push even more states to act. If that happens, we have a real shot at moving public education into this century, improving opportunities for our highest-need kids and putting our nation back on top.
8) A nice quote from DFER’s Charles Barone in this Time article about NCLB renewal being a bipartisan effort:
union leaders — perhaps still reeling from Obama’s recent support for the decision to fire 93 teachers at a struggling school in Central Falls, R.I. — skewered the new White House plan, charging that it shifted an unfair burden onto educators. “We were expecting to see a much broader effort to truly transform public education for kids,” Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, said in a statement. “Instead, we see too much top-down scapegoating of teachers and not enough collaboration.” The plan puts “100% of the responsibility on teachers and gives them 0% authority,” says Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.
The unions, which have long been a key Democratic constituency, issued such scathing assessments of Obama’s education-reform blueprint that even some fellow party members were mystified. “It’s like they didn’t read the document,” says Charles Barone, director of federal policy at Democrats for Education Reform. “Apparently their definition of a partnership is that they’re the bully and you’re the weakling on the playground.”

9) An op ed in the WSJ decrying another vote (led by Dems, with silence from the Obama admin) against the DC voucher program.  The only thing I will say in defense of the Obama admin’s silence is that in politics you have to pick your battles carefully.  What I (and the Obama admin) really care about is 50 million K-12 kids not being educated properly, not the few thousand in the DC voucher program.  I’m sure I’ll catch a lot of flak for saying this, but it’s (sadly) probably smart and strategic of Obama to NOT spend huge political capital defending vouchers – still the 3rd rail in the Dem party – so there’s a chance of winning MASSIVELY more important battles re. renewal of NCLB and Race to the Top.
That effort is called the Opportunity Scholarship program. Since 2004 it has allowed thousands of children in Washington, D.C., to escape one of the worst public school systems in the nation by providing them with scholarships of up to $7,500.
Despite its successes, it is now closing down. On Tuesday the Senate voted against a measure introduced by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I., Conn.) that would have extended the program. Throughout this process Mr. Duncan’s Education Department and the White House raised no protest.
…I have devoted my life to equal opportunity for all Americans, regardless of skin color. I don’t pretend that this one program is the answer to all the injustices in our education system. But it is hard to see why a program that has proved successful shouldn’t have the support of our lawmakers. The end of Opportunity Scholarships represents more than the demise of a relatively small federal program. It will help write the end of more than a half-century of quality education at Catholic schools serving some of the most at-risk African-American children in the District.
I cannot believe that a Democratic administration will let this injustice stand.
10) KIPP co-founder Mike Feinberg with a great op ed on CNN.com on the importance of extending the school day and year:
Dave Levin and I started KIPP in 1994 in Houston, Texas, after we completed two years of teaching with Teach for America. Almost all of our students were Hispanic or African-American children from low-income households. Less than half entered KIPP at their grade level in math and reading.
Dave and I knew that our kids could overcome these challenges, but we were hemmed in by the traditional school calendar.
We decided to eliminate the lack of time as an excuse for failure by starting the KIPP day at 7:30 a.m. and ending it at 5 p.m., with Saturday school twice a month and at least three weeks of mandatory summer school.
By 1999, KIPP Academy became the highest performing open-enrollment public middle school in Houston. Sixteen years later, there are now 82 KIPP public charter schools in 19 states serving 21,000 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade across the country. Nationally, about 80 percent of KIPP students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, and more than 85 percent of the students who graduated from our first five KIPP schools have gone on to college.
What does the extra time allow KIPP to do?
KIPP schools are in more than 30 urban and rural communities across the country. They don’t have to choose between teaching math or music; they can do both. In New Orleans, Louisiana, KIPP middle school students play in a jazz band. In the Mississippi Delta, KIPP students are taking Spanish in kindergarten.
Many of our KIPP middle schools also offer Saturday school twice a month, but don’t picture a scene from the 1980s movie “The Breakfast Club.” Students actually look forward to their weekend KIPP days, when they get extra academic help and participate in activities such as cooking, knitting, soccer or African drumming.
KIPP is not alone—655 schools in 35 states have added more time for learning, according to the National Center on Time and Learning. These schools, like KIPP, are finding ways to extend the school day even in a time of scarce resources, because they see the impact it has on student learning.
How does KIPP afford the extra time? The simple answer is that it’s not easy.
It costs an additional $1,100 to $1,500 per student to fund KIPP’s longer school day and calendar, which is about the same as the average price tag for other experimental extended day programs. Excellence is not cheap.

11) The first 20 people who email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) can go to this on Monday at 6pm (see full invite at the end of this email):

Please join TeamWorks Media for an invitation-only screening of The Street Stops Here. The Street Stops Here is a portrait of one of the most successful basketball coaches at any level, Bob Hurley Sr., and his career-long struggle to inspire and motivate his impressionable players. St. Anthony High School, a poor, inner-city Catholic school, relies on Coach Hurley and the national following of its basketball program to keep its doors open.

Hurley is an uncompromising teacher who demands perfection from kids who’ve known little discipline growing up on the streets of Jersey City. He’s tallied 900-plus victories for St. Anthony, a school that’s won 23 state championships. However, there is one stat that matters most to Hurley. In nearly 40 years of coaching at St. Anthony, all but two of his players have gone on to college.

The Street Stops Here weaves together stories of teenagers fighting to get out of underprivileged neighborhoods, fundraising amidst the collapse of Wall Street and how one man uses basketball to teach life lessons.

I watched it and loved it!  It’s not about school reform directly, but it’s VERY much about how Bob Hurley reaches and motivates really disadvantaged kids (hint: very much a tough love, no excuses approach), and also about the struggle of an inner-city Catholic school to raise enough money to keep its doors open.
——————————

posted by: Threefifths on March 19, 2010  1:12pm

posted by: FIX THE SCHOOLS on March 19, 2010 8:29am

3/5,  Our argument has taken this thread way off topic, but I must ask you: Why do you equate the Rubber Room to “jail”?

Because it is run like a Work-release program that permit soon-to-be-released individuals who are waitng to get there due process hearing.


Don’t you think that people have choices in their lives?  There is nothing stopping the teachers who have been rejected from quitting the school system and finding new work, hopefully in another line of business.  No one is keeping them in that room or that system against their will.  They are not under lock and key.  And yet they (and you) speak about it as though there is some kind of sentence or court order.

This is not about choices in their lives.This is about so one being accused of a wrong doing.
There is a court order and that is that union contract’s are to be up held.And it is called New Nork State Education law 3032-a which both Bloomberg and Klein must follow by court order. Check out some of the law fix.In New York state, Education Law § 3020, establishing the disciplinary procedures for teachers, is the exclusive method through which a tenured teacher may be disciplined.
According to New York State Department of Education, Section of Education Law §3020-a. disciplinary procedures and penalties, teachers in New York City, who are accused of wrong doing are first served with disciplinary charges by the New York City Department of Education. At that time, the teacher can seek representation from the union, New York State United Teachers and a hearing is held. If the hearing officer finds the teacher guilty of any of the charges, discipline can be imposed. The discipline may range from a written reprimand, monetary fine or suspension without pay to the loss of the teaching position. If the hearing officer recommends termination, teacher can also lose their New York City teaching license. The teacher then has 10 days to appeal the hearing officer’s decision to the New York Supreme Court (New York State Education Department, 2009).


Even you main man Schools Chancellor, Joel Klein, has said. I have complained publicly about how long this process drags out. So don’t blame the teachers,Blame the system who is holding up the due process hearing’s.


QUESTION:

What kind of individual would for three years willingly report to a room, play checkers all day, enter into arguments with their fellow rubber roomies about who sits where, does not engage in any personal or professional development whatsoever, whines and laments about their self-perpetuated fate, all while getting full pay and benefits?

The kind of individual in the Spirit of Dr.king
César Estrada Chávez Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela,John Brown.abolition movement Viola Fauver Gregg Liuzzo.These people took a stand and did not lay down.The same for those in the Rubber room.They stay to clear there names.I know this to be true fix because not like you to attack union’s when I went to new york I got a chance to talk to some of the teachers in the rubber room and. And they said give me my due process.You and I are entitled to due process and no one should stop anyone from geting it.


ANSWER:  Someone who should not be anywhere near a classroom or children.

No the answer is everyone is to be given due process.in fact fix I will bet you that they may be people who disagree with me but I bet most of them will agree that every one is entitled to due process. It is fuuny how you and others go after teachers,How come we don’t go after these crooked corporatist vampire bad bankers who crashed the entire U.S. economy and sent the entire world economy into a tailspin, but no we zeroing in on teachers, who receive much lower pay and no bonuses, but spend their days with classes that have 25-30 (and often more) children or teenagers, many of whom come from homes in crisis because of said bad bankers. When we can’t even get the bad bankers to keep enriching themselves, why, oh why are we obsessing about the poor, over-worked teacher? Is it perhaps because the teachers don’t have the massive campaign dollars to pour into political campaigns. Like i said fix come clean are you a skull or are you a corporatist.I know you are one or both of them by the way you right.

posted by: harry David on March 19, 2010 8:39am

3/5ths: Now you have really got me going with your quote from Diane Ravitch and her association with Hoover Institute. Here is a quote from Whitney Tilson of the Democrats for Education Reform on a debate withy Ravitch in which Ravitch did not do so well.

What date is this report. Second are know about Kipps.They are good because of class room size.the public school have more children.

http://www.publicschoolreview.com/school_ov/school_id/95742

Hurley is an uncompromising teacher who demands perfection from kids who’ve known little discipline growing up on the streets of Jersey City. He’s tallied 900-plus victories for St. Anthony, a school that’s won 23 state championships. However, there is one stat that matters most to Hurley. In nearly 40 years of coaching at St. Anthony, all but two of his players have gone on to college.

Perfection

Check his Perfection out.

Bank sues ex-Duke star Hurley over loan
By Janet Patton - .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) PNC Bank in Lexington has sued former Duke and NBA player Bobby Hurley and his Devil Eleven Stables for defaulting on a $1 million loan.

According to the suit, Hurley and his wife, Leslie, and their stable owe at least $946,961.58 in principal and interest. A call to Hurley’s attorney, bankruptcy specialist Brian Rich of Berger Singerman in Tallahassee, Fla., on Friday was not immediately returned.

Following a motion by the bank, the court on Wednesday ordered the seizure of Hurley’s 12 shares in the stallion Songandaprayer, by Unbridled’s Song, which were collateral for the loan.

Read the court documents

Hurley paid $1 million for Songandaprayer as a 2-year-old. The colt then won the 2001 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park, finished second in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes and went on to finish 13th in the Kentucky Derby, which was won by Monarchos.

The stallion is syndicated, and total value of the Hurleys’ shares, according to PNC’s suit, is approximately $1 million.

Songandaprayer stands at Walmac Farm in Lexington for $12,500 in 2010.

The suit also seeks proceeds from the shares.

According to the suit, the Oct. 30, 2008, loan from PNC was to be repaid in monthly installments of principal and accrued interest beginning Nov. 30, 2008, and ending with a final installment on Aug. 30, 2009.

The Hurleys, Devil Eleven Stables and Devil Eleven Farms defaulted when they failed to make an April 30 payment and all payments afterward, according to the court documents.

A point guard for Duke University’s men’s basketball team from 1989 to 1993, Hurley started on the Blue Devils’ 1991 and 1992 national championship teams. His stable is named for his Duke jersey number.


I hope e teach the students how to use there money in the right way or may be he will teach a gambling class to the students on how to bet on his stallion so he can pay this loan back.Or maybe he should be put in the rubber room.

posted by: Threefifths on March 19, 2010  10:29pm

posted by: harry David on March 19, 2010 8:39am

3/5ths: Now you have really got me going with your quote from Diane Ravitch and her association with Hoover Institute. Here is a quote from Whitney Tilson of the Democrats for Education Reform on a debate withy Ravitch in which Ravitch did not do so well.

How about Newt Gingrich.  Did you know that Newt Gingrich once advocated removal of underachieving children from their parents’ homes to boarding schools and military academies, and whose 1994 Contract For America, demanded the dissolution of the US Department of Education.

Check out his company.

http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/send-clowns-3-stooges-gingrich-sharpton-duncan-hit-road-corporate-“school-reform”

posted by: Sabrina on March 21, 2010  7:10am

NY Post has a story on the ‘Rubber Room’: movie version…will need Dramamine to watch that, bad enough reading about it.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/bored_of_ed_in_fPRMkAqNVBQ4hWAs1XYICM

posted by: Threefifths on March 21, 2010  1:34pm

posted by: Sabrina on March 21, 2010 7:10am

NY Post has a story on the ‘Rubber Room’: movie version…will need Dramamine to watch that, bad enough reading about it.

The rubber room will be here very soon.Here is how.The rule is if a school close for failing, The teachers have to reapply to the school.Now if they are not rehired at that school they have to find a school which will take them.So while they are waiting for a school were do you think they are going to wait,They wii be downtown at the board od education waiting to be called. Also would you agree that a teachers who are being accused of a wrong doing should be entitled to due process.

posted by: North Star on March 23, 2010  12:15pm

3/5, Harry, Fix,

Have we moved on to another hot topic?

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