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Geoffrey Canada: If bad teachers can't be fired, send them to upper middle class schools.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 11:26 AM
Original message
Geoffrey Canada: If bad teachers can't be fired, send them to upper middle class schools.
Edited on Mon Jul-12-10 12:11 PM by madfloridian
This is from the Aspen Ideas Festival. A very unique idea on what to do with all the "bad" teachers that are thought by the "reformers" to be destroying education.

The Video from Aspen Ideas Festival

It is 2:41 minutes long.

Also in the video he advocates firing everyone who doesn't "succeed" with these kids from disadvantaged homes. Trouble is he never seems to put responsibility on the kids, just on the adults around them.

Geoffrey Canada is the founder of the charter network called Harlem Children's Zone.

Canada is also the founder of a group called Learn-NY

That group advocates having mayors having complete control of the schools as Bloomberg does in NYC. They believe it is easier to get reform that way, bypassing the school boards.

Harlem Promise Academy is part of Geoffrey Canadas Harlem Childrens Zone. As the Wonkster has noted previously, Canada and the Bloomberg administration have a long history of back scratching. Canada chaired and created Learn NY, which lobbied hard for extension of mayoral control of school last year. At Mayor Michael Bloombergs first one-to-one debate with Democratic mayoral candidate William Thompson last year, Canada was on hand to spin for Bloomberg, and he was among the city leaders who pushed for extension of term limits. Even before the latest example, of city largess, Canada had reported received $388 million in contracts from the administration and hundreds of thousands from Bloomberg himself.


Learn-NY is quite well-funded. Bill Gates gave millions from his personal money, not from the foundation.

America's richest man chipped in to help preserve mayoral control of New York City schools.

Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates -- a pal of fellow billionaire Mayor Bloomberg -- has secretly bankrolled Learn-NY, the group that joined the campaign led by The Post to extend mayoral control. Gates funneled about $4 million to the pro-mayoral-control forces during the fierce, dragged-out legislative debate, The Post has learned. A spokesman for Gates confirmed the donation and the approximate size.

The donation helped pay for Learn-NY's extensive public-relations, media and lobbying efforts in Albany and the city. The effort include advertisements, parent organizing and canvassing -- including a five-borough bus tour and trips to the state capital.

Gates gave the money from his personal pocket -- not from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has pumped $150 million into the city to develop small schools. He made it clear that he liked having city CEOs in charge of education decision-making and accountable for results.

Funding Learn NY


With mayoral control of schools there is only one person who must be convinced to get on board with reforms, and there are no school boards to worry about.


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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
1. Sending them to work in the better school systems (ie good property tax support)
is a great idea.
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proud patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. +1
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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. Why? n/t
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
2. Blame Canada
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Heh heh
You know what puzzles me? Why do so many think bad teachers can't be fired? Of course they can, even tenured ones.

It is really propaganda used by the reformers.
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I don't know the truth, personally.
Two districts Ive had first hand experience with, Ive seen the anecdotal evidence of this on multiple occasions. Two cases involved men who were inappropriate with girls (one eventually prosecuted) who were moved around like Catholic priests, and another involved a classified district employee who was untouchable despite a total disregard for rules and her working environment.

Anecdotes are not rules. But I can not anecdotally recall any teacher who wasn't let go for a reason besides budget cuts.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 11:08 PM
Response to Reply #4
23. And I can anecdotally recall several
let go for reasons other than budget cuts.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-13-10 02:40 AM
Response to Reply #4
24. I know several teachers who were beaten up or injured by their students
Edited on Tue Jul-13-10 02:41 AM by JDPriestly
and then placed on disability leave. Teachers can be let go, but they get a sort of due process before they are let go. It is not true that teachers with tenure cannot be let go.

You've heard stories. When you get to the real details, stories are often found to be half-truths or downright lies.

It is, in my personal experience, more likely that a teacher will be injured by a student than that the teacher will be a "bad" teacher.

One child's best teacher is another child's worst teacher. As for scores on objective tests, they correlate with the education of the parents I believe.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
5. Link to video changed. Here's the permalink.
http://scholasticadministrator.typepad.com/thisweekined...

Did you hear the applause when he said that?

Unbelievable.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 05:03 PM
Response to Original message
6. I wonder if he's related to Benjamin Canada, who was so inept at running
the Portland Public Schools that he was replaced (with a handy severance package) after two years.

He had come from the Atlanta public schools, where his great accomplishment was abolishing recess.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Trouble is that inept doesn't matter if you are a "reformer".
But let a public school teacher make a mistake and all hell breaks loose.
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MedicalAdmin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #6
16. I remember that clown from when I lived in PDX
He was there for about 14 months of a 2 year contract and he spend 10 of those 14 months at conferences (paid for by the school district) out of town. So in reality he worked for about 4 months and then got a big fat severance package of about $500,000 over and above what he had already been paid. This is not a typo.

School administration is, in many cases, a parasitic scam.

It must run in the family. To give Jeff Canada his due, he advocates for kids and came to prominence in an area that was seriously messed up. I just don't think that his solutions, born of inner city decay and abandonment works in much of the US. Of course I say this with full knowledge that public education is dead in the US - it just hasn't had the grace to flatline yet.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. If public education is dead or dying, it should be called murder
by politicians who catered to the private sector and defunded public education.
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
7. K & R nt
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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
11. I knew this would raise my...
...blood pressure. :7

You know...as a teacher...I spent 24 years trying to help students learn (along with the academics) responsibility, empathy, respect for others, problem solving and ways to communicate in a positive way during conflict. Making fun of others is not okay.

This person says he is an educator. Educators should be role models. The way he makes fun of teachers is disgusting to me and everything I stand for as an educator.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. Over 30 yrs for me. He speaks of teachers in a disgusting manner.
Our party leaders should step in and try to stop the denigration of teachers, but they won't. Many don't like the "reform", but they won't fight it.
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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. The thing is, for me, I see that some of these...
Edited on Mon Jul-12-10 07:58 PM by YvonneCa
...people are innovating and trying good things to help kids. The Harlem Children's Zone does good, I'm sure. But then this innovative leader goes out and talks like this.

In my classroom, I 'innovated' too...as I'm sure you did (pre-NCLB, of course :) ). I was rarely recognized...which is fine. But at least I (we teachers) deserve not to be made fun of.

Our Democratic Party leaders should definitely step in and stop this...the sooner the better. :hi:
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
12. Bad teachers CAN be dismissed. It's BAD ADMINS WHO DON'T DO their OWN JOBS, one duty of which is...
Edited on Mon Jul-12-10 06:16 PM by WinkyDink
OBSERVING TEACHERS AND WRITING UP THOSE FOUND DEFICIENT IN VARIOUS AND SUNDRY AREAS. DOCUMENTATION IS CRUCIAL, AS ARE THE PRINCIPALS' DETAILED REPORTS.

Principals must then OFFER SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT (UH-OH...A TASK FOR THEM!), PLUS A TIME-LINE.

THEN the principals must, you know, FOLLOW UP WITH MORE OBSERVATIONS AND MORE WRITE-UPS, WITH RECOMMENDATIONS and/or summary, to wit:

1. Teacher has sufficiently improved;
2. Teacher requires more attempts at improvement;
3. Teacher will be recommended for dismissal.

Door Number 3 will involve the union (in fact, the initial notification thst the teacher is being considered for this step will get the teacher union representation in further mtgs with the Administrator), which many principals are loathe to experience.

BUT IF THERE ARE "BAD" TEACHERS WHO ARE NOT "FIRED", IT IS BECAUSE THEY HAVE LAZY AND/OR INCOMPETENT ADMINISTRATORS.

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MedicalAdmin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. And thats only in the states that still have tenure.
Which is, I beleive, now a minority of states in the union.

Why is tenure important? Google Scopes Monkey trail and do the math.
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theaocp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. +1,000
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MyOwnPeace Donating Member (108 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #12
21. Observing teachers........
Yes, it must be done - and firings can be done, too. But the principal needs the support of the superintendent and the board.
If the teacher happens to be the daughter of a board member, well, I'm sure you can figure how successful I was a getting rid of a teacher that needed to submit her "weekly newsletter" to me before it went home so that I could correct the spelling (and this was for a Kindergarten teacher!). She was also a "screamer" and had kids crying daily.
Since she needed one more "bad" observation from me, she was transferred to another building where the spineless wimp principal gave her satisfactory observations.
Our board wasn't a school board, it was an employment agency.
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sulphurdunn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
13. What really disturbs we
is the proposition that standardized test scores measure student and teacher success in school (and, by inference, success in life) since there is no quantifiable data to support such a position. The "reformers" positing this claim are the same political and financial interests responsible for the misery that exists in communities like Harlem. It takes surpassing credulity to believe that those interests have morphed from oppressor to savior.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-13-10 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #13
26. They are barreling ahead without data...they have an agenda.
Who needs data? :shrug:

You are right, no proof there is correlation.
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
14. Now THERE'S some food for thought....ARNE...oohhh ARNE
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Blue State Blues Donating Member (575 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
22. Try his idea ...
... and then see what happens when so called "bad teachers" have motivated students in a supportive and well-funded school system with effective administrative support.

I think the test of his idea would not support the conclusion he wants to draw about teachers being wholly responsible for student's achievement (or rather, student test scores, which he thinks are the same thing).
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Sciguy Donating Member (23 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-13-10 06:25 AM
Response to Original message
25. Best line:
Trouble is he never seems to put responsibility on the kids, just on the adults around them.


WHAT?!?!?!? You mean the kids have to do something, too? Like maybe do a little schoolwork? Take a little responsibility for themselves and their own educations? Get to school on time? Get to school every day? Don't get high until after school? Pay a little attention to their teachers? OhNOEZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(snark!)
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-14-10 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. None of the reformers expect anything of the students.
Your "snark" is actually pretty much reality, I fear.

The reformers only blame the teachers. That's it. That way they can dismantle the public schools and look like effing heroes.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-14-10 09:08 PM
Response to Original message
28. Bad teachers can be, and are, fired.
Edited on Wed Jul-14-10 09:12 PM by LWolf
Of course we know this.

The myth that teacher's unions prevent firing is pervasive, isn't it?
What is the problem with using due process to fire employees???
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-14-10 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. They have catapulted the propaganda very well indeed.
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MikeMc Donating Member (636 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-15-10 06:45 PM
Response to Original message
30. More Repug B.S.
Canada is an obvious freak. That's a laugh track in the background. Public school teachers that are 'failures' don't fall upward into a richer school district. That move is saved for repugs like l'il Georgie.
'Destroy the AFT and NEA' is a repug idea, though Dems aren't stopping it now. 'Destroy public education and steal the tax-dollars' is a repug idea. Bloomberg is a repug. And Gates is plotting to steal the public's education tax-dollars, though he is already obscenely rich -- typical repug idea and action.
The vast majority of teachers don't want a bad teacher to teach any kid, including wealthy kids. But in the repug propaganda universe, public school teachers are lazy and malevolent. They will proudly fail to perform their job, and upper middle classed people will be forced to provide them a living, to the detriment of their childrens' education. At least according to Canada.
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