Monday, June 25, 2012

Rahm's Monday Massacre at Clemente

When the board announced that Roberto Clemente High School was to be the city's third public high school, (along with Senn and the new Back of the Yards H.S.) converted into a wall-to-wall International Baccalaureate (IB) school, many Clemente teachers were thrilled by the news. Teacher teams began preparing to implement the new plan and think about how they could make a contribution to the new Clemente.

Unlike most early CPS school restructuring efforts, the new IB school at Clemente was being planned to accept all interested neighborhood students and "not look to filter students out,” schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard told reporters earlier this year.

In March, the mayor signed a deal with IB to double the size of the city’s international baccalaureate program and devote five neighborhood schools exclusively to that program to supposedly prepare 3,500 more students for college.

Clemente, in the predominantly Latino Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago has been kept in a state of instability by the board for the past few years. Last year alone, the school had 7 principals including the current one, Marcey Sorensen who was brought over from reconstituted Tilden High.

It was Sorensen who dropped the bomb on about 20 Clemente teachers Monday, telling them that their positions had been closed out and "redefined." Redefinition has been a favorite tactic used by Rahm Emanuel and CEO J.C. Brizard to fire tenured teachers without due process.

One of those teachers, Kevin Hough told me that the firings came without notice. "Many of us had superior ratings," said Kevin. He has been teaching in Chicago for the past 11 years and is currently the lead trainer for the Model U.N. program for all of CPS. Kevin is also a service-learning coach and a union delegate.  
"We were working on planning a new course for seniors called Global Citizenship and Personal Finance when I got the call telling me my position had been closed. I heard that some of the teachers, mostly veteran teachers, had been called on Friday." 
He said that Sorensen has been steadily bringing over her favorite teachers from Tilden and replacing Clemente teachers since the beginning of the year. She actually started the E-3 removal process with no remediation plan, against several teachers who had received superior ratings until that point. She was obviously given the green light to "clean house" by Brizard, who is using the shift to the new IB program as an opportunity to fire tenured teachers.

I asked Kevin what he was going to do now. He said that he and fellow teachers were having an emergency meeting with the union on Tuesday to plan a course of action. As for his personal plans, Kevin said that his is so disgusted with the way CPS treats teachers that he is seriously considering leaving CPS. 
"I love teaching but I have a family to support and we can't live with all this instability. Why be part of a system that constantly devalues you?" 
I had no good answer for him.


55 comments:

  1. Remember about a month ago, Duncan came to New Haven and asked a group of teachers: "How do we as a teaching profession create a climate in which everyone is clamoring to come into schools like this?" Well Arne, after reading this story about Clemente (one of those "schools like this...") the answer is evident. Ask your pal Rahm why no teachers are "clamoring."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't forget, Arne Duncan was the CEO at CPS who supports these tactics against tenured teachers.

      Delete
    2. Exactly, it's all the same plan. Reconstituted, re-engineered, and now, "redefined."

      Delete
  2. "Why be part of a system that constantly devalues you?"

    I wish more workers would ask this question. What's the point? Who's benefiting from all of this?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Can we get more details on how these teachers were "re-defined"? What endorsements/certifications did they not have? How was it done? On what grounds? Something like this almost happened to me in 2010, it was traumatizing. I feel for these people.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Is he really this big of a thug? SMH

    ReplyDelete
  5. The result of this presidential election of 2012 will not be decided by the unemployment numbers rather it will be decided in Chicago as it lays to rest one miracle school after charter n post re constitution and all that. Slowly, the ugly story of Obama's connection with billionaires is coming out as these super wealthy Pritzkers and Crown family members take part in tearing down public schools and the decent teachers who work in these open to all schools. The anger and frustration with Obama and his education policies is focused in his home Duncin court but across the nation people are watching and it may be that the half million who will vote green or refuse to go to work as they did on the past for democrats. Will cost Obama the election. Gore lost on far less.
    I have one question for Obama. Can we hope for a change?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I could agree with you, but it seems Chicago Union members would rather vote for satan himself than risk a Republican in the white house. We keep voting the same people into office who continue to sell us out. I for one, will be voting for a 3rd party in the hopes that one day in America we will actually have some real options when it comes to elected officials

      Delete
    2. Well, in this case it's damned if you do and damned if you don't. Obama and Emmanuel are very middle-of-the-road conservative on education, even as they are progressive and moderate on many other issues.

      3rd party is a great choice, and I really wish more people would just commit to it. If you're really that afraid of only of the two parties, then so be it. If abortion, gay marriage, or other wedge issues are key for you, I can't tell you to vote 3rd party. But like many people, I agree with you and think that it's far more dangerous allowing Republicans AND Democrats the power they've been having without another party in the mix. If there was a 3rd party predominant (or more!) we wouldn't have wedge issues defining debates.

      Delete
    3. The worst thing about all this MESS, is that the union has NO defense for the teachers. CPS does what ever it wants and can get away with it. We have no protection from the lies and evil doings of these administrators who are playing God with peoples lives and livelyhood. SHAME ON THEM!!!

      Delete
  6. meiry,

    3red party candidates can be bought (especially under Citizens United) the same as Dems and Republicans. It's what we do down here to hold elected officials accountable that counts. BTW, t CTU didn't support Rahm. You're giving them a bad rap.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm simply saying that if we continue to vote for the lesser of two evils, that's all we are ever going to get.

      Delete
  7. It's the usual way to prvitize education in another format.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Klonsky's story was about good teachers getting unjustifiably fired by a lousy principal operating within a dysfunctional system. What does this have to do with 2 parties or 3 parties? There is only one political party in Chicago. That's not the issue. The question is whether or not the community is willing to go to bat for these excellent Clemente teachers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a member of the community, ask around and you will know that she has the support of the community. She has their support 100%. The board closed the positions. Over 800 were closed in the district. Our school has been struggling for decades and that needed to end. We are happy with her leadership and all the good that is happening. We wish we didn't lose the positions, but we are excited about the good that is happening. I hear and read a lot of hate. I hear all about adults. Maybe all this talk about the kids that people seem to hate about her, is because she's not pleasing adults that did whatever they wanted for decades. There were some good teachers and not so good teachers during that time and even right now. Kids were kicked out of classrooms and put in in-school suspension room or the auditorium. The only kids that were allowed to stay were the kids that didn't act up. All kids deserve an education and all kids deserve second chances. My son had a great year and I support her leadership. She and I disagreed a few times and that's okay. We can debate. It feels like we are supposed to either agree or hate her. That's just dumb and not good for our school.

      Delete
  9. You don't need to vote third party. Del Valle was a perfectly decent democratic candidate. You just have to inform yourself and not watch the machine-run media blitz.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Please get all the facts before jumping to conclusions based on one teacher's comments. First of all, Ms. Sorensen is hardly "lousy" at her job ... she moved her last 2 schools off probation. Also, the building houses 2 schools (Clemente Community Academy AND Clemente Achievement Academy) ... the city closed the Achievement Academy this year, so much of the "20" let go is the obvious loss of teaching positions. As one of those "brought over" this year, I can also say that I have never heard such negative rhetoric from staff about kids ... blaming the students for all of Clemente's problems. I mean, the school has been on probation for like 15 years ... maybe the veteran teachers aren't that "excellent" after all? I am not a fan of Rahm, but I do support Ms. Sorensen and her administration for continuing to believe in our students and the community.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course you agree with Sorensen. You may be one who jumps from school to school with her and who does not form long term relationships with the students, the community, and other teachers like the veteran Clemente teachers have done and continue to do so. Let's clarify this: you aren't part of the community. If she jumped ship (like she did in her last two school) you would blindly follow. Be realistic and open your eyes, yes she has done some good things, but destroying an entire department was not one of them - and that has nothing to do with closing the Achievement Academy. Don't make such gross generalizations- we don't blame students for all of Clemente's problems, we work with the students and prepare them for the next step. Without the help of Sorenen, and her team, the veteran Clemente teachers moved the school from level 3 to level 2 status, which we needed to maintain this year to get off probation. And check your facts her last school, Tilden, isn't off probation - check the school scorecard.

      Delete
  11. Principal Sorensen and her administration weren’t given the “green light” by Brizard or Rahm. The IB program wasn’t an opportunity to fire tenured teachers. Clemente, along with other campuses, was forced to close their Achievement Academy. With closure comes the closure of positions. This information was presented to the staff months ago. Sorensen held a full staff meeting and explained what that would mean for Clemente.

    When a school is on probation for 15 years teachers aren’t “excellent” or “superior”. If 20 positions were cut from any school or business, would a leader cut the “excellent” or “superior” teachers/workers? The families of Humboldt Park deserve the very best. Each and every student should be provided with a truly excellent/superior education in the City of Chicago.

    If teachers feel that they need to leave CPS because they are devalued, please do so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The ONE thing you are right about is that when a business cuts positions , they probably don't cut the "excellent" workers. Unfortunately, CPS does. When they turnaround or close a school, EVERYBODY goes, even the janitors and lunchroom staff. There are many factors for a school being on probation, the biggest being poverty. When NCLB came around, we did not all start on the same "start" line ... some schools were already ahead, while schools like many in the Clemente area were far behind. Excellent teachers at these schools have made tremendous progress ( my school went from 33% on level to 62% on level in 8 years), but that doesn't change the fact that we started behind and could not make AYP yearly. I have 30 years of Superior ratings, National Board Certification, Master's Degree, multiple certifications AND I am a displaced teacher. Don't be so quick to throw your fellow teachers under the bus...one day, it might run over you too !

      Delete
    2. I'm very aware of what a turnaround school is and how they function. Clemente, on the other hand, is a transformation school. No one lost their job because of this shift.

      Delete
  12. It sure didn't take long for one of Sorensen's cronies to rush here to her defense. She is a big part of what is wrong with education today.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Some fact-checking might help this article out. I work at Clemente and don't recall 7 principals last year. Also, most of us haven't been rated in quite some time, so not sure how we assume we're all Superior. I will say that while I know many of my colleagues were surprised, Ms. Sorensen was pretty direct with us about how staffing would be conducted. We lost a lot of positions due to the closing of our Achievement Academy, and as soon as that was announced she called a full-faculty meeting to let us know how that would likely affect positions and how the seniority for the remaining positions would work. So, we knew something was coming. All year she has explained that when we lose positions, the first teachers to go are those rated as Unsatisfactory. Then, it comes down to credentials... if we need teachers who are certified or endorsed in particular areas, then that is who we will staff. That is driven by student needs. Then, if two staff members have the same credentials, it goes by seniority.

    At Clemente, we should all be able to acknowledge that we need more help with literacy, perhaps meaning that our English teachers need more specific reading-related credentials. Many of our Special Education teachers complain that they don't understand the content, and their coteaching counterparts agree. So maybe that means we need Special Education teachers who are content-certified as well. If staff members lost their jobs because they don't fill the needs of the student-body, I'm not sure what to say. It's unfortunate for those individuals on a personal level, but let's keep our eyes on providing what students need to be competitive and successful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Check your facts, the Illinois State Board of Education dictates that special education teachers only need to be HOUSSE certified in content as well as their special education degree. They do not need to hold a separate content degree. So is Ms. Sorensen suddenly making up her own rules about their certification needs as well?

      Delete
    2. If my child was a special education student and was taught by someone that did not know how to teach Math, I'd have an issue with that as all of our parents should. If you are HOUSSE you don't have to be certified in your content area. It makes sense that special education students deserve the same quality of education as regular education students and be taught by a teacher that knows the content. That' should be a right and makes sense.

      Delete
    3. Well then the problem should be taken up with the Illnois State Board of Education who makes the certification rules.

      Delete
  14. Does Ms. Sorensen believe in kids and the community, or is that the new mantra in CPS to justify any and every decision?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She believes in kids and the community.

      Delete
    2. I believe both. She does believe in kids (or so she proclaims on a daily basis) but she uses that mantra at every turn to justify anything she does. It's sad that she can't see the value in anyone else's opinion besides her own. Hopefully, the teachers who follow her around from school to school and who have posted on here to support her will get some self-esteem and realize they can be "for kids", as many of us other teachers are, but they don't have to be bullied by her. Marcey's attitude and tactics are sickening. At the core of it al is that she was bullied as a child and now she bullies others.

      Delete
    3. Funny, did you know her as a child? Is that really your arugment? So sad....

      Delete
    4. No, she pretty much told us all that in a public meeting.

      Delete
  15. Also, surely the two schools she moved off of probation, they are now great, fully-functional and moving in the right direction, correct? They weren't just stepping stones for her to get a bigger paycheck, right?

    ReplyDelete
  16. I allowed all these sharp anonymous comments, which is against my usual policy, because I know that under current conditions it can be dangerous to speak your mind openly as a teacher.

    But it's sad to see teacher pitted against teacher like this. I think that's exactly what these firings are designed to do -- divide and conquer. It's a race to the top and that means a system of winners and losers. Thank goodness we have the CTU to unify at least 90% of the teachers.

    Schools and/or teachers teaching kids with low test scores are the victims here (not the villians) as we move toward a system of test score-based evaluations.

    As for Principal Sorensen, she is only doing her job -- move from one school to another so there's no personal attachments, and chop heads. This is what they call "reform." The worse thing is that so many teachers apparently think they, or their colleagues, deserve it or that they themselves are to blame for Clemente's plight and deserve to lose their livelihood, their profession and their reputation.

    Most telling was the comment above, asking me to fact check the number of principals at Clemente this year. Although Anon had been at the school, he/she couldn't recall exactly how many there were. That's fact-checking enough for me. I mean, was it 6? Was it 8? Was it 5? Thanks for making the point more vividly.

    You show me a schools with more than 3 principals in a year and I will show you a broken community.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    2. Your ignorance & your laziness is exhausting. To correct you, firings like these happen because of schools being underenrolled, teachers receiving unstaisfactory ratings, and portions of schools being closed or phased out. That's what happened here. When you imagine there being some other kind of plan designed to specifically attack teachers, that's when the story gets ridiculous.

      You know, you should really consider the fact that there are many many poor/bad teachers in this system who need to stop being allowed to teach. Because they can't do it. Welcome to the real world where if you stink, you get fired.

      Also Klonsky, if you insist on putting your words out there into the atmosphere at least get your damn facts striaght. I know this a junky blog that you think is sooo important, but you just say & allow things to be published in your name & as a part of your story that are factually untrue. But you seem to care very little about that matter. I think most readers would think that would be an extremely important point, that you mis-inform them when you write your blog. Misinform them because of your biases & prejudices.

      Trying to reduce Principal Sorensen's career by throwing out that chopping heads comment is completely ridiculous. You know nothing. It shows you to be lacking in ideas, lacking in courage, lacking in any kind of journalistic integrity. You just print the lame, half witted comments made by the fired and unhappy teachers at Clemente. In 2010-2011, they had two interim principals. In 2011-2012, they had Principal Sorensen. Before that they had Principal Kennebrew for at least 4 years, a whole contract. So trying to make some idiotic point that the number of principals shows something, that you are going to show us a broken community is just stupid.

      Ask the freaking communities at each of this principals schools if they would welcome her back or consider letting her go. Each community and especially now Humboldt Park has embraced Principal Sorensen because she is about the business of improving the educational outcomes for her students. If teachers can't hang with that, or think they are more important than the mission, they they deserve to be fired.

      The final thing I would like to say is how little you and pretty much all of the bad teachers in this city mention the work of improving instruction, improving educational opportunities & outcomes for children. You want to call it some sort of rhetorical tactic to provide a good soundbite. I think you do this because for you, YOU are the most important, not the kids. The jobs, livliehoods, & reputations are more important to you than providing access to higher quality eduation to children. A-freaking-men.

      Delete
    3. Check YOUR facts, anonymous. Most of the teachers let go did not have an unsatisfactory rating! If you believe there was no plan by Marcey and this was due to low enrollment, then why weren't any of her teachers with less experience let go? They should have been first on the chopping block. Why did she have to redefine positions? Stop believing all the lies your admin. is telling you. Time and time again we teachers have said we need change at Clemente. We recognize there are some underperforming teachers, but to lump all the veteran teachers into the category of "stink" as you put it, clearly shows YOUR biases and prejudices! You can hide behind your mantra that this is all for kids, but we were all there for kids long before you, improving test scores and moving off probation without all of your "expertise". Put your money where your mouth is: show us the improved test scores you all are so capable of delivering, because you didn't do that this year! Anyone can keep repeating the same thing, "I'm in it for kids!
      " but then show us how your tactics will improve the bottom line: test scores and academic proficiency. Since she hasn't been able to do this, I'm sure Marcey will move on to yet another school before the community realizes she fooled them too.

      Delete
  17. Mike, at least let the facts speak for themselves. Irene Damota resigned abruptly in 2006. Since then Clemente has had 2 principals under contract and 1 acting principal for 9 months while the LSC led a search for a new Principal after Leonard Kenebrew resigned in 2010. Marcey has been the principal from June 2011 to present (1 year).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure why this is still being debated, but starting in June 2010 the following people took the helm at Clemente either as principal, acting principal, or interim principal: Kenebrew, Gilligan, Rodriguez, Dr. Heiu, Soli...who served as interim principal twice, and finally Sorensen. Counting Soli twice, that's 7. Or six if you prefer...still the school raised test scores, attendence scores, and reduced violence by 69% in the 2010-2011 school year.

      Ms. Sorensen has made great improvements in the school, but the assumption that the teachers are to blame for the school being on probation for 15 years is false.

      Delete
    2. Reduction in infractions by 69% was this year and the attendance rate was 60% in 2010. Dr. Hieu was an AP and Soli was an AP. counting her twice and counting the AP's is not a true reflection of what happened with us that year. It was not good to not have a real principal, but Gilligan was with us the entire year until April and greeted students and helped create stability, so we were not left alone.

      Delete
    3. 15 years is a long to time to be allowed to fail, don't you think?

      Delete
  18. Ms. Sorensen believes in kids and simply tells it like it is. There are always 2 sides to a story. Perhaps she knew those who were let go did not support her behind closed doors...why would you want such people on your team?? Especially when the task at hand involves saving children from the gang, drug, and poverty infested worlds that are forced to face each and every single day of their lives...

    ReplyDelete
  19. Still teaching (I hope)June 28, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    From one Anonymous to another (I still have a job). Maybe you haven't heard the news. This is the United States, not North Korea. You don't have to agree with the boss to keep your job as a teacher. Even if you don't support her "behind closed doors" it's still OK. Loyalty to the principal is not a hallmark of good teaching. Usually it's just the opposite. So if Sorensen is firing teachers for disloyalty, she should say so. Of course she is but would never admit it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. After seeing 10 plus principal types in my years of Clemente my loyalty will always be with the students! Principals come and go, it is unrealistic to think that Sorensen will solve all the problems in our system and society. A wall-to-wall IB program will not either. BUT it is the group of dedicated and talented teachers who have chosen to stay for the students and the community that should be honored and praised. Instead they are being weeded out and their careers greatly altered. It is all political - and we know it. I still have a job (for now), but it won't be the same without the great teachers who were cut and the students know it! Sorensen will go one day, so will her followers, I just hope they don't take the Community school with them.

    ReplyDelete
  21. It is so sad, after reading all of this, that no one is discussing the student-based outcomes that improved this year for our kids. Just so we are clear, let me give you a few:

    - Attendance rose by almost 10% from 2010-2011 to 2011-2012
    - 269 students graduated out of the projected 280. When the year began 154 of that 280 were off track. That means that through recovery efforts provided by the administrative team, 154 students walked across the stage that were off track in Sept.
    - There was an almost 30% improvement of freshman on track from 2010-2011 to 2011-2012
    - 28% of sophomores earned credits under the Sophomore on Pace program
    - 99% of junior students tested for PSAE (unlike last year where almost 40 students were told they could not test, were moved to demote divisions, and of this amount 17 were students with special needs). On a side note, these students had to test this year which MAY account for the slight drop in scores
    - ACT scores actually did not drop if you do an apples to apples comparison. Class of 2013 had the same GROWTH from EXPLORE to ACT as class of 2012, but that does not fit anyone's argument. Although I am sure they will want to account for growth when it is a part of their REACH students evaluation metric
    - 32% of juniors recovered missing credits
    - 99% of seniors were accepted to post secondary institutions (yes, many were city colleges, but that was not done for our kids in the past)
    - $2.25 million dollars in grants or aid were given to graduating seniors
    - 69% reduction in misconducts FROM 2010-2011 (please re-read the print)

    I promise the Sorensen haters will say this is all manipulated data (as they already have), but you cannot manipulate the student data that was presented to the staff by the Culture of Calm Coordinator on the last day of school that says that:

    - 46% of the students don't feel challenged by their teachers
    - 49% of the students say their teachers do not inspire them

    But again, it is not about that. Sorensen, like her or not, told us that we WOULD lose positions due to the loss of the Achievement Academy, she told us how positions would be cut, she told us that position definition played a role in that decision making, she told us that certification mattered, she told us about content area endorsements for SPED teachers, she told us....we just did not think it would be US. Just wondering if we would be so mad if it were all HER people walking out and packing up? Wondering if we would be so outraged if it were the teachers WE deemed underperforming? The fact is that Clemente lost 22 positions, someone had to leave. As a Clemente staff member, I am saddened for them, but also really excited at the future, not only for me as as educator who can improve under new leadership, new vision, and higher expectations for my performance, but also much greater outcomes for our kids. That's what it is still about, right? Well, at least it is for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just to be clear about data, here is the data from the 3 previous years on the CPS website, http://www.cps.edu/Schools/Pages/school.aspx?id=609759 and the IL interactive report card , and you can see that the school was already improving prior to her arrival.

      Lest you think Clemente teachers sit back and twiddled our thumbs prior to Ms. Sorenson, as all of her followers would have you believe by what they have written in their posts here, please have a look at these statistics.

      Prior to Ms. Sorensen's arrival, between 2009-2011:
      1. Attendance rose from 62.8 to 70.1% between 2009-2011
      2. Freshmen on track rose from 47.4 to 58.9%.
      3. ACT scores rose from 14.7 to 15.5
      4. Moved to Level 2 school (good standing) from low academic standing.
      5. The percent of students making AYP moved from 11 to 19% and 8.7 to 18.8% for reading and math respectively.
      6. The % of students meeting and exceeding on the PSAE in reading rose from 5-10%, science, reading 10 to 20%, math 8 to 17%, and writing 18 to 22%.

      I don't see any data to look at for some of her other points so there is nothing to compare to see what was done in previous years to see if it was an improvement or not. I do think it's important we give props to her for keeping up the improvements that were already well underway.

      No one is saying any of these statistics, under her administration or the previous ones, show all perfect outcomes for students, but what everyone is looking for is improvement. It is clear that Clemente was improving well before her arrival. Can you at least admit that? There is clearly a lot more work to do, and Ms. Sorensen may find it helpful to include those who jumpstarted this trend long before her.

      I think however, if there are so many people pointing out that what she is doing seems so wrong, maybe she and her staff need to be a bit more reflective and take a look at what they are doing. I know they won't though, because when confronted they just attack others saying they are not in it for kids. You can be in it for kids without being nasty, rude, and confrontational towards your colleagues. You can be a good teacher and not work until 3:00 a.m. You can care about kids in a different way than they do, but still care. It's a shame she is so intolerant of differences among us.

      Delete
    2. God, comparing the two datas profiles, it's just gross to look at the set from prior to Soreson's arrival. How could you look at the two & think one is even in the stratosphere as the other?

      Delete
  22. As an outsider, who also has worked in a divided, dysfunctional building, it sounds like a very divided staff with people who are all too willing to throw colleagues under the bus to achieve job security and upward mobility. Divide and conquer works, and my experience is that new principals often get their loyalty from the newer teachers rather than older and more experienced ones. All of these numbers being thrown around are a smoke screen. These schools are in crisis, our students and teachers need real support, not publicity stunts like creating an all IB school. This is a terrible situation, and I believe one that is being exploited by J.C and Rahm right before we will all have to make a strike decision at the end of the summer. This is a rear-guard action to lower that 90% unity we all just saw with the strike authorization. Teachers in CPS need to stick together and stop playing the politics in our buildings that usually are motivated for selfish reasons. I am a teacher who once worked in the corporate world an I never saw the kind of infighting I do in education. This is what the reformers want us all to do. United we stand, divided we fall...

    ReplyDelete
  23. As you can see, facts don't always "speak for themselves." It's up to us interpret the so-called facts. It's called critical thinking and it's what we should be teaching our kids. We are educators, not loyalists for one or another principal. Not salesmen for whatever new curriculum package that comes down the chute.

    ReplyDelete
  24. "The fact is that Clemente lost 22 positions, someone had to leave. As a Clemente staff member, I am saddened for them, but also really excited at the future..."

    No my friend. Losing 22 positions is not a "fact." It's a disaster that we let happen. Shame on us.

    ReplyDelete
  25. "The fact is that Clemente lost 22 positions, someone had to leave. As a Clemente staff member, I am saddened for them, but also really excited at the future..."

    All I can say to the person who said this is the following:

    Dont think that this will never happen to you. Dont be so sure that you are a good teacher who will never lose their job unjustifiably. I have seen this time and again in my 10 years of teaching. People dont lose their jobs because they are either a good or bad teacher. People lose their jobs in CPS because of the dysfunctional politics that exist in toxic work environments where teachers are in survival mode, and everyone has to look out for themselves. That is a cold hard fact that one day, if you stay in CPS long enough, you will be on the wrong political side and get screwed. One day you are in, the next day you are out...Precisely why us teachers need to stop this and stand together.

    Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee... I hope you will wake up to this fact one day - not the hard way by losing your job unjustifiably - but instead by developing empathy for other people.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Remember, this is all about the kids. Yes, that's right. Firing teachers in mass -- it's for the kids. You know how the story goes. About half of us are for kids. The other half, not for kids. Shuffling principals in and out -- for the kids. Dividing a school between Marcey loyalists and unloyalists -- for the kids. Yes, all this is about kids. Look out kids.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Point taken. Right ON!

      Delete
  27. It's amazing to see how a principal can come into a new school and within a matter of months destroy it's sense of community and leave teachers and staff at each others throats.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Destroying the teacher complacency of a school that has been on probation for so long is a bad thing? Whether or not the teachers & former teachers at Clemente know, the community is thrilled that there is finally action for the good of their children happening at their school. Thrilled. Remember, Clemente is the school where the LSC President went to a BOE meeting last year practically begging for Clemente to be turned around.

      Delete

Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.