Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Experts fly into town to make the necessary "tweaks"

"If it's something that's not working, then what are the tweaks that need to be made." -- Expert Jonathan Brice, heads the Office of Student Support and Safety in Baltimore City Public Schools
All the king's men...
Chicago's new schools chief, J.C. Brizard has assembled a team of "experts" from across the land to help him figure out how to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. The fall in this case is 15 years of mayoral control under Daley and his "miracle" makers -- Vallas, Duncan, and Huberman.

As far as I can tell, Brizard's list of "experts" is devoid of any Chicago classroom teachers and is mainly limited to middle bureaucrats, academics, and management types from various districts.
"It's like a forensic audit of the quality and effectiveness of teaching and learning," said Robert Peterkin, professor emeritus at Harvard Graduate School of Educationthe advisory team's chairman. 
Yes, forensic. That's the word I was looking for:
 (f-rnsk, -zk) -- Relating to the use of science or technology in the investigation and establishment of facts or evidence in a court of law:
It's like on T.V. Examining the body, looking for clues to use in arguments over who committed the crime. It sure doesn't sound like Brizard is really interested in really transforming teaching and learning. No, of course not. He admits it's actually about imposing the Common Core Curriculum on the district by the required 2014 date. How do do it without any teacher input. Isn't that always the challenge?

Brizard's team, includes Brice; Jaime Aquino, a former bilingual teacher who worked in the New York City school system with Brizard then went to Denver and is now the deputy superintendent of instruction at Los Angeles Unified School District; Washington, D.C., lawyer Maree Sneed, whose firm advises school districts; and Timothy Knowles, director of the University of Chicago's Urban Education Institute,

1 comment:

  1. Peterkin wrote a book in 2010. Here's a quick bit. He sounds great, and he's not a Broad Foundation overnight sensation, who are having trouble in Philadelphia and elsewhere now.

    Focusing whole-system change on the improvement of instructional effectiveness requires that superintendents have an intimate understanding of the instructional core, which comes from deep and consistent observation of teaching and learning. Superintendents need to be engaging with teachers, school-level leaders, board members, and central office staff in conversations that lead to observation and analysis based on an understanding of what constitutes high-quality classroom instruction.

    As a colleague recently said to me, ‘‘You can’t lead changes to improve instruction if you don’t know how good instruction looks in real classrooms.’’

    Without this knowledge, the superintendent and others have limited awareness of the real needs of teachers and students. When instruction is truly at the core, effective superintendents have their sights fixed on alignment across the school district. The superintendent is in the unique position to lead, direct, and manage the change process, and knowing the centrality of the instructional core must increasingly become
    the basis for accountability for all adults in the school system.

    we'll see.


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