Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teach for America: Testimony 11-17-2010

Is there any evidence the Board and the Superintendent listen?

WELL .....

Here I go again ..... Another Seattle School Board testimony.

Directors, I am Dan Dempsey

Is teaching a profession?

Last Board meeting testimonies of those opposed to TfA were filled with evidence and data, while those supporting TfA told isolated stories.

Writers are taught to use evidence and logical arguments to make points persuasively; BUT the Board regularly dismisses logical arguments and is persuaded by fairy-tales.

Board decision-makers often ignored logical persuasive arguments based on peer-reviewed research and extensive studies, instead preferring bogus research based on cherry picked data and anecdotal yarns.

"To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data." (--W. Edwards Deming) No wonder Seattle's Math and Writer’s Workshop produced such poor results. Check the data and Look at your selection process.

TfA is another bizarre proposal:
Based on a non-existent shortage of highly qualified teachers and Stretching the law on conditional certification to supposedly deal with achievement gaps.

Please remember Cleveland’s unmonitored three-year school wide damaging math experiment. DO NOT perform another unproven experiment on low-income students.

Valid relevant research shows TfA will not close achievement gaps in Seattle.

2007 …. Everyday Math was adopted. Directors believed Administrative fairy-tales that Everyday would eliminate the math achievement Gaps in 5 years. The GAPS expanded.

2009 …. High School Math adoption: the Board excluded 300 pages of evidence and refused to obey a court order to include it, and the math achievement GAPS expanded..

In most organizations the rise of Info-Tech greatly thinned the levels of middle management. Front-line workers now have access to research and if needed, can make data based decisions. Yet in the Seattle Schools, a bloated inefficient Central Administration puts forth bizarre expensive proposals, apparently based only on politics, which lead to decisions that adversely effect the performance of teachers and the learning of students.

Treat teaching as a profession. Look at medicine or automotive.
Training in school and experience in the field are required.

Rank beginners with little training are NOT allowed to work as registered Nurses or Doctors. No one hires a total neophyte to rebuild an auto engine.

Reject the Teach for America contract proposal. Low-Income students deserve much better.

To improve Board decision-making and narrow Seattle's achievement GAPS, ...
tomorrow at 3:00 PM in Superior Court,
there will be a Recall hearing for Directors Sundquist, Carr, Martin-Morris, and Maier.

Thank you,

Once again little evidence of listening. Vote to Approve was 6-1.

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