Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Teacher Quality Town Hall

Studies show that an effective teacher is the most important school-based factor in raising student achievement.

Join us for a Teacher Quality Town Hall on Tuesday, April 20th at South Lake High School, as we seek to support students and teachers in our school district. The event starts promptly at 6:30pm. Dinner, childcare, and language interpretation will be provided. You can register online Here or contact Rachel Hug at 206.205.0322 and Rachel@alliance4ed.org for more information.

A flyer for the event is also attached for your convenience Flyer. We look forward to seeing you there!

-Solynn McCurdy, Community Engagement Manager


  1. Solynn, here's yet another example of the sort of leading questions that show your agenda (this from the flyer for the upcoming "teacher quality" forum):
    "How can teacher professionalism include an acceptance of responsibility for student achievement?"
    This is one of only two questions, posited (the other asking how teachers can be supported, yea!)
    This question, "how can" begs for refinement: How MUCH of the responsibility for student achievement CAN a teacher accept for student achievement. It also suggests that teachers DON'T accept some responsibility now, which is crass.
    Your question isn't askin for debate about what teacher quality is, or what responsibility a teacher might have in a student's learning, it's TELLING us that teachers have ALL (?) the responsibility, and whining that teachers don't now accept some responsibility.
    This is a push-poll question - The Alliance is setting the parameters (teachers should be responsible for student learning, no question), and then asking us how that should be done, as if it isn't already.
    Tell us please, since you've already arrived at Part B, that teachers are, evidently, responsible for student learning (who knew!), what aspects teachers are responsible for and what aspects they're not. Are they responsible for student learning when the student is asleep? When the student is hungry? When the student is threatened by punks who wait outside the school house door? When the student's parent/guardian is drunk and abusive?
    Since you want to know "how can [teacher's accept] responsibility for student achievement. please tell us to what degree they are capable of that, and in what capacity. Also please tell us how you would measure this acceptance of responsibility for student acheivement.
    Also, please stop with the push-polling. It's just so...unacademic.

  2. I've made many comments, most have been as politely derisive, dismissive, sarcastic and caustic as I manage. Yawn.

    1. I'll work with anyone anytime anywhere to make things better for my kids - if I can use the ideas this week.
    2. There has been 1 political party in the last 5 or 8 decades that has excelled at smearing its opponents, lining the pockets of its paymasters, and NOT improving much of anything except for the paymasters at the top of the heep. For example, after the fall of Nationalist China and the Soviets exploding a nuke, Richard Nixon & company got decades of political success out of calling or insinuating that opponents were "commies", or "soft on communism".

    I'm marveling at how effectively your organization is doing its part to make sure that the public sees teachers as the fault of everything wrong.

    The United States should be exporting the expertise for civil societies to set up efficient sewage and water systems, to run top notch education systems, to get great transportation systems ... instead we're exporting jobs necessary to a civil society, and a few are stuffing modern day mattresses with exports to offshore bank accounts.

    The current economic fiasco, created by the thieves at the top and which has actually benefited the thieves at the top, this fiasco has actually provided an unbelievable opportunity for all the parties of education to try something new - figure out, quickly, how to make things work better for our kids.

    Instead of applying expertise to solutions, we're looking under beds for the hidden commies.

    I will not apologize for being caustic.

    R. Murphy

  3. I hope to see you there. Maybe there you will engage the community and answer some of the questions that you evade here on the blog.

  4. I want very much to go to the Alliance Teacher Quality Town Hall. I RSVP'ed for it.

    If I'm there, I will ask you to define teacher quality, describe how you measure it, explicitly state whether you are trying to identify the competent and incompetent teachers or identify gradients of quality among the competent teachers, and reveal the research and data that supports your notion that incremental differences in teacher quality play a significant role in student achievement. I think it is all fake.

    I will question why teacher quality should be our priority when we have yet to provide early and effective interventions for students working below grade level.

    I will question whether we should expect higher quality instruction from untrained novices with no commitment to teaching as a career (Teach for America), or from people who have been teaching as a career and those who, though inexperienced, intend to make a career of teaching. To suggest that the untrained novice could be as good is to suggest that our university Education programs are worthless. If the university education programs are worthless, then we should stop taking advice from them about how to teach math. In fact, we should just do away with them altogether. To suggest that that inexperienced teachers are better (a suggestion which has been resoundingly disproven) is simply stupid. To suggest that someone with a temp job will do better than someone starting a long-term career defies understanding.

  5. According to reliable reports - on the Save Seattle Schools community blog


    from people who attended - last night's "Town Hall" was a complete and utter sham, with no possibility for real discussion and certainly no possibility for dissent...

    And a showing of more arrogance from The Alliance:

    According to an attendee:

    "There were a lot of people there to disagree with the OSC and what they were doing, but there really wasn't much opportunity for that. There was one thing that the OSC folks did that was irritating, paternalistic, and disrespectful. Everytime someone expressed disagreement with them, they kind of shook their heads and wistfully apologized that they hadn't educated those folks, or those folks didn't properly understand the issue, or they hadn't been clear enough for those folks to understand. No. That's not the case. The people who disagree with you have an excellent understanding of the issues; they just disagree with you. The OSC just isn't open to the idea that they might be wrong. That's not only arrogant, it's a little scary."

    How much is it costing to trot this fake 'community coalition' dog and pony show around town and to pay the PR firm (Strategies 360) to do your dirty work for you in marketing this? Wouldn't that money be better spent in our kids' classrooms?

    Oh but wait, I nearly forgot... that's Gates and Broad money funding this phony "community engagement" exercise and that money wont find its way into classrooms, no matter what.... Gates and Broad are interested in sucking money out of the public education system and into charter schools and text book and testing companies...