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Posted by madfloridian in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun Aug 29th 2010, 03:38 PM
This is from Substance News which follows the Chicago school system, which I have called Arne Duncan's past contributions to education. Read the attributes and resume's of some of these teachers from an article there today.

Substance News

From the Substance News site a photo by Jim Vail.

Sara White, Sunny Neater-DuBow, and Daniel Lopez are three of the hundreds of teachers who have recently been terminated by Ron Huberman. Although the terminations are done by local school principals, Huberman and his senior staff are encouraging principals to assert their powers and allowing principals to "clean house" for political reasons without regard to seniority, tenure, or teacher credentials. Substance photo by Jim Vail.

The mainstream media are praising Chicago Schools Chief Ron Huberman for firing the "worst" teachers in the system. The fact is, he is continuing to terminate the best. Sunny Neater-DuBow received her layoff notice two weeks ago at the Multicultural Arts School (MAS) in Little Village. She and seven of her colleagues were layed off before the new school year, when it is estimated that more than 1,500 teachers will be terminated.

..."Neater's accomplishments make her sound like one of those star performers the Board should be proud of. She has taught for seven years in CPS, two at MAS, and earned her tenure after completing her National Board Certification, which is the highest certification a teacher can earn in the country. She has been recognized by outside foundations who have awarded her education grants and was tapped to sit on the education advisory committee at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Her focus was on community based art projects "honoring the voices of each of our own students" and collaborated with the School of the Art Institute, where her students have art shows.

Neater's sudden termination comes after Huberman's decision a couple of months ago to fire more than 30 CPS mentor teachers, many of whom were also National Board certified and received the highest evaluation ratings.

And how is he planning to replace them?

The Board of Ed plans to hire 200 Teach for America teachers who are fresh out of college, despite the Chicago Teachers Union demanding that all layed-off teachers be called back to their jobs after the funding has been restored, the CTU reported. Hiring cheaper labor makes sense to the business people who run the schools, but not to the children whose lives were touched by these outstanding teachers abruptly cut out of their lives.

Many believe this is a way to cut costs for schools. Get rid of teachers with higher salaries....whether they are highly-rated with good evaluations or not.

Replace them with cheaper teachers recruited from firms like TFA.

On top of failing to make a dent in poverty, Teach for America actually detracts from social justice by hurting real teachers. Teach for America students take low, entrance-level pay while also receiving a government subsidy for their salary in the form of Americorps stipends. Schools lay off teachers and then hire Teach for America teachers to fill positions that real teachers would otherwise be filling. Teach for America teachers are undercutting the wage needs of real teachers and causing them to be laid off as a result.

Imagine this: a well-off college student takes a subsidized teaching position at an impossibly low wage and displaces actual teachers who might already be struggling to get by — all for social justice!

For anyone who has any concern for labor rights, this is extremely abusive. Not undercutting wage demands of often unionized workers is rule number one of how to be a serious social justice advocate.

Trouble is that the school systems are paying to get that company and others like it to recruit the teachers, when they could recruit and hire them for free locally. The thought processes in the new education reforms boggle my mind. A school board member in St. Louis schools said it well:

Peter Downs, president of the elected school board, summarizes TFA’s role in one word: “privatization.” He says that the mayor, not the district, first invited TFA to St. Louis, in line with reforms such as for-profit charters and the privatization of services in curriculum development, teacher recruitment, maintenance, and food service. As part of its contract with TFA, the district pays $2,000 a year to TFA for each of its recruits. (The elected board has no power because the state took over the St. Louis schools; the mayoral appointee to the new three-person board is a former regional staff person for Teach for America.)

It's getting harder and harder to accept the arrogance with which Arne Duncan has approached his job as education secretary. He moved quickly to empower his friends in the business world, and these hirings and lay offs are happening because he enabled them.

He once said there was no opposition to his plans. That was not true. That indicated to me even more the bubble-like nature of life in DC.

They are going to destroy public education and good teachers in the futile quest for "reform."

And it is being allowed by Democrats because it is not Bush doing it.

The mess left behind in Chicago is Arne's past. What he is doing to our country's schools is his future legacy and sadly ours as well.

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