Friday, March 26, 2010

El Dorado School

This from a reader:
I am writing to ask you to consider posting about the effects of the proposed budget - particularly at my school, El Dorado, but more broadly at the heavily-impacted, high-needs SE side schools (and at Dianne Feinstein, and at all the schools).

El Dorado is the school with the worst outlook: 11 of our 15 classroom teachers have been noticed, in addition to our Literacy Specialist/Climate Coordinator, our half-time IRF, and our principal. I am one of them - one of the four permanent, tenured teachers who received a notice at our site. We have already demonstrated that we are at El Dorado because we want to be and that we have no intention of leaving - and we work hard to find teachers who share our mindset.

We serve an incredibly high-needs population. Fully 80% of our children live in poverty; about 30% are English Language Learners. Half of our students live in Sunnydale. We are one of three schools with the UCSF HEARTS program because of the heavy impact of trauma on our population. Our kids experience food insecurity, unstable housing, family violence and incarceration, poverty-related health problems, and the "historic power of demographics". SFUSD has not done well by these children.

We do.

At El Dorado, we have spent four years building the adult culture that will support our students. We are regularly praised and observed by District administrators. I am one of two Prop. A Master Teachers at my school - we run open classrooms. A lot of money has been put into giving us the skills we need to meet our students' needs. A lot of our own energy has been put into building our skills, reflecting upon them, writing grants, creating a school garden, meeting our school community with openness and humility, and demanding the best from each other every day.

SFUSD apparently doesn't think that's important. It would have been possible for SFUSD to institute a skip clause to save their Hard-to-Staff schools; instead they decided to let us and our kids take the brunt of the cuts to classrooms. (And make no mistake: our jobs aren't exactly going to inspire any bidding wars. Despite there being 1200 substitute teachers in our District, we stand a 50-50 chance of getting someone to come out to our school when we get sick.) I suppose we shouldn't have been surprised - this is, after all, how educational inequity is perpetuated. The District chose cowardice over courage.

I don't think we will be able to save our jobs or our school community. Since I live in Vis Valley and this is my neighborhood school, I suppose I'm taking it especially hard. I would send my child to my school.

However, I really don't want this to happen without people knowing about it. We are a little school hidden away behind a big hill, in an under-served neighborhood. Laying off eleven teachers there isn't going to attract too much notice. But I would like people to know about it, so that at the very least SFUSD is confronted with the reality of its own decisions.

37 comments:

  1. We are at Feinstein, in the Sunset, and 9 of our 20 teachers received pink slips (as well as the principal, LSP, student advisor and music teacher). We are a relatively new school and the principal hand-picked teachers when she started: younger, enthusiastic, committed teachers, some with a lot of experience but outside of the district, and some fresh but talented. The teachers who got pink slips are among the best at the school and include teachers who are cornerstones of our community. I honestly don't know what our school will be like if even half of them are replaced.

    I know our school is in a very different position from El Dorado. I can't even imagine what it must be like to build up a community of talented teachers committed to working with underserved students and then see it so arbitrarily and needlessly threatened.

    And I also don't understand the logic behind destroying a school with a (for the most part) less disadvantaged population that has built up a staff that works well together and has created a real community! We are not hard to staff, but the principal and community will have no say in who comes to teach at our school -- we may get strong teachers or weak teachers, teachers who fit with the school or who don't, and either way, our community will be completely changed and go through an enormous transition. There have even been some snide comments on the part of Board members suggesting that, because we are a west-side school, we don't deserve to complain about our teachers getting pink slips. As if we shouldn't be trying to make all schools the best they can be!

    Our teachers and parents are really working together to try to stop ANY layoffs from happening. I see this as a better alternative to simply exempting the hard-to-staff schools. The district saves only $8 million of its $113 million deficit by laying off teachers, and there are plenty of alternative (though not necessarily easy) ways of saving money that don't involve either less senior teachers losing their jobs or taking a whole generation of talented teachers out of SF public schools.

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  2. DiFi!

    We are so with you at El Dorado. We loved seeing you at the Board. We are advocating particularly for the southeast side and Hard to Staff schools because we are taking the worst of the budget cuts, and because our side of town and its schools brings up some very real issues with SFUSD's willingness to go Beyond the Talk. The southeast side has less social capital and far less cash to publicize and push opinion, and we want equity to be part of the conversation.

    That said, we are 100% in agreement that layoffs are educationally and fiscally unsound as a method of budget-balancing. Nor do we support union-blaming. We support you and appreciate your support. Eastside and Westside unite! We'd love to talk further.

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  3. The question is what happens after the layoff. If the teachers are replaced, how would it save money?

    I think a better approach is to increase the class size, maintain the number of classes in the good schools and number of teachers(reasonable rank among similar schools), and close some of the worst performing schools like John Muir. However, I am not sure if sfusd is prohibited to do so by union contract.

    A correction though. The 113m deficit number is for two years. The 8m saving is per year. As a incoming K public school parent, I am really not worried about increasing the class size to 24 or even 27, but I think the quality of teachers is way more important than class size.

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  4. "We serve an incredibly high-needs population. Fully 80% of our children live in poverty; about 30% are English Language Learners. Half of our students live in Sunnydale. We are one of three schools with the UCSF HEARTS program because of the heavy impact of trauma on our population. Our kids experience food insecurity, unstable housing, family violence and incarceration, poverty-related health problems, and the "historic power of demographics". SFUSD has not done well by these children."

    That is exactly why this school was so heavily targeted. The parents of this school have no political capital and are less likely to band together to protest or say anything to the BOE or the mayor. And even if they do, their voices won't be heard as well as folks that have more political pull and are more able to advocate for their school.

    This is sad but people protect their own first; and if it you have a kid in another school, that school matters more.

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  5. 8::14, I think Jennifer is asking us to think beyond our own (kid, school). Is that so hard? The public school parents on this blog could make our voices heard on behalf of El Dorado. Do we write the BOE, circulate a petition, or what? Or is it too late?

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  6. The problem with using the skip clause from the Bledsoe case is this - the two undividuals that were given the special treatment and "skipped over" when it came to lay offs were working at a continuation school. This provided them some specific status that was fulfilled by their unique job experience. (I am simplifiying the case for the sake of discussion.)

    If SFUSD were to use the skip clause how would they define the status that would enable a lower seniority teacher to bump a higher one? There are numerous schools like El Dorado that fit into the low performance category and hundreds of teachers would be bumping higher seniority teachers. And many of those higher seniority teachers do have experience working at Program Improvement schools. However, Bledsoe was decided on the basis of the continuation schools. Obviously , no elementary schools are in that category and there are only 2 secondary schools that are (I think).

    So it is not as simple as saying it was a conscious choice to not use the skip clause. It seems that the union would have to agree on some definition of extreme high need teaching positions that would limit the number eligible to skip to only the most extreme cases. Otherwise, large numbers of teachers at low performing schools would bump their higher seniority colleagues. It would create chaos.

    Nor is the issue simply a matter of lack of resources. Many "underserved" schools have more resources provided through compensatory education and grants. But they continue to struggle. Why? That is partially due to the problems the children bring with them, but it has more to do with the lack of consistent and high quality staffing at the school. Many schools have shown that you can take a population of challenged students and raise their performance significantly if you direct your resources at staffing. Hence the skip clause is important and should be utilized, even if only to retain a portion the teachers that get pink slips- splitting the difference for the sake of kids.

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  7. To my mind, one way to at least lessen the impact on El Dorado is for SFUSD to take into account a PTA's ability to pay to replace teachers when it is assessing which schools lose teacher positions. So, for example, a Miraloma with a grant that limits their class size to 25 for fourth and fifth grade and a PTA that has amassed hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions should face deeper cuts than, say, El Dorado. In fact, I bet that if you add up all the schools with PTAs with sizable war chests and target the cuts at those schools, schools like El Dorado would face few, if any, cuts.

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  8. One way to put the kabosh on fundraising is to tell PTAs and foundations that every dollar raised will be another dollar lost in district funding. This is not the way to encourage parents to contribute. Trying to create equity in this fashion is like trying to spur economic activity through taxation. Basically, such a plan would devalue private fundraising and end up a net loser for the district and its students. Leave fundraising alone and look to reform state education funding.

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  9. 11:25, the problem is that even if El Dorado were spared cuts in positions, their actual teachers would still be pink-slipped, because of seniority. They stand to lose 67% of their actual, flesh-and-blood people. Of course they are not losing 67% of their total staff (the GOP and the privatizers haven't cut us that far yet): those positions remaining will be filled with more senior teachers from around the district.

    Problem is that El Dorado had done stellar job of recruiting teachers who wanted to be there, in that environment, and they had done a lot of work to build up a functioning staff team, including providing professional development appropriate for their context of high poverty. Now that will be blow up to bits. I actually have faith that the teachers coming in will be good, professional teachers (most are!), but it is such a damn shame to lose what has been built there for that particular set of kids. A set of kids for whom consistently is A Very Good Thing.

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  10. Rachel Norton addresses the postings about the "skip" clause and what can/cannot be done according to SFUSD legal counsel.

    http://rachelnorton.com/

    I find it strange that teachers at El Dorado are blaming the district for the seniority-only layoff system since it's the CTA and UESF that make it so.

    It's your union (teachers) - elect people that you think will do a better job leading you if you think the current system is unfair and not serving your students.

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  11. 8:17,

    People have only so much time, energy and political capital to spend. They spend it where it means most to them. That is just how most people work. If you have the time and the energy, go to El Dorado and help or fund raise or whatever you think will make a difference. I, unfortunately, don't have time enough to help at my own children's school.

    8:14

    Think me selfish but the parents of the children from El Dorado are the ones that need to speak out about it and fund raise and all the other things that the parents from Miraloma, Gratten and other schools do. Don't blame others until you step up to the plate and help yourselves a bit.

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  12. 7:02am:

    No, the class size increases save the District only $4 million a year (so $8 million over two years)

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  13. I think that the teachers at El Dorado are doing a great job. Last year they created a cookbook with their students that they offered for sale on SFKfiles. I bought one and was really impressed with the content and effort to produce it. It contained nice recipes, which you could make with your kids, and pictures of their parents and staff enjoying the fruits of their labor. I am not even sure that they could have made any money, because it seemed like a bargain based on the labor and supplis to make it.

    After watching an episode of Jaime Oliver last night, where he is trying to persuade an elementary school to look beyond processed foods (chicken nuggets, french fries, pizza, sweetened flavored milks, etc) and to serve meals prepared with fresh ingredients (children could NOT identify potatoes, tomatoes, etc), I thought about my little El Dorado cookbook and the valuable learning tool that it provided for their school (any elementary school for that matter), and I'd like to congratulate the poster and their school community for going beyond the three R's and for sharing with me.

    PS. Next week Jaime Oliver will try to change the menu at a high school.

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  14. I am not a big believer in high stakes testing and so when I see that El Dorado's API dropped 30 points last year and has a similar schools rank of 3 I have to take that with a grain of salt. But I cannot judge the teachers either on the basis of the quality of a school cookbook.

    What test scores do help to show is a direction regardless of the absolute score. El Dorado clearly has its challenges like so many other schools. I assume that if 11 of 15 teachers get laid off that would indicate that there are many newer teachers there. To what extent that has anything to do with test scores is hard to say. But I do think that laying them off will most certainly harm achievement. So how can the district retain teachers at lower performing schools and not take sides with lower seniority teachers to the detriment of higher seniority teachers and their relationship with the union? Losing higher seniority teachers can't be a positive for the district.

    The only win/win situation would be one in which teacher quality becomes the basis or at least part of the basis for retention. But how do you to define quality? Absolute or relative test scores? Satisfaction surveys? Evaluation by peers? No easy answer here.

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  15. I think both the district and the union would be wise to consider furlough days in place of layoffs and consolidations. Fewer days in school is not ideal, but if the other option is massive disruption through staffing changes and stressing kids and teachers with class size increases, I'd rather see fewer high-quality days than more days spent in relative chaos. Long-term, it will be much easier for the system to recover from furloughs than the extensive upheavals that are being planned.

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  16. According to Rachel on her blog the district's legal counsel sanctions the manner in which SFUSD is dealing with the layoffs at El Dorado. Considering that this is the very same legal counsel that thinks the school site Balanced Scorecard process - a process which is a public one - ought to be protected from the very same public according to a public records acts exemtion called the deliberative process privilege, I wouldn't believe anything that she has to say. The First Amendament Coalition thought that the usage of this exemption was utterly w/o merit. Hence, I wouldn't put much credence in what Maribel Medina "opinions". Then there's always the chance she has put more consideration into this opinion than she did with the one I just cited.

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  17. Hi Jennifer,

    I want to take the opportunity to respond here on Kfiles to your related post from Rachel's blog about El Dorado and “skipping”.

    I'm unsure and unconvinced why Rachel is placing her trust in Maribel Medina's legal opinion. She was arguing with her over a very basic point on special ed placement at the assignment vote just the other night and I think Rachel knows the special ed law. And there is the example I cited in my last post. Conversely, now she using Medina's legal opinion to justify her agreement with the administration on the lay off policy. Of course, Rachel is perfectly within her right to agree with Medina some of the time and not others, but one wonders when and why she does or does not agree with legal counsel.

    Jennifer,I'm going to play the devil's advocate on your position. You say that SFUSD is acting inequitably. But in order to retain you and your colleagues at El Dorado, SFUSD has to pink slip other higher seniority teachers, which they would consider very inequitable. More importantly, given that your school dropped in test scores last year and these other more senior teachers could likely to point to increased test scores at their schools, they could make the case that, if SFUSD were to lay them off, the district would be punishing success and rewarding failure. And given the recent push by the DOE and CDE to align teacher evaluations with test scores ( I'm making no judgment here on the validity of that calculation) “skipping” El Dorado's teachers would be a highly controversial position for SFUSD to take. UESF most certainly would fight it in court.

    United Educators doesn't seem to be particularly concerned with public opinion, as the public has nothing to do with collective bargaining. The school public is a primary stakeholder whose presence is sorely lacking at the negotiating table where so many children's lives are affected.

    As for why I am posting my response here – you may or may not know that Rachel does not let me post on her blog. She claimed that she didn't want to allow her blog to be a venue for criticism of the district. Since she also claimed that she and her other “BOE members ARE the district”, one can assume that she did not want me to criticize her viewpoints on her own blog. That's fair enough I suppose. But as you pointed out I think a public servant, even one that is a dedicated as she is, ought to be willing to take a little heat if she wants to interact with the public on a blog. I wouldn't worry about her banning you as I don't think she'll do that again.

    As for my secret flamer, I suppose when she reads this she'll go into her usual rabid furor. It is to be expected.

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  18. UESF is the one that won't negotiate on anything other than seniority - if El Dorado and other teachers throughout the district want something other than hire date to matter, TEACHERS have to make that happen right now!

    Good luck - teacher friends at my school were lambasted after trying to circulate a petition last year to start that very discussion (and these were tenured, senior teachers not pink slipped.)

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  19. When students perform poorly on tests should teachers be rewarded with more job security? Does that make sense to you?

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  20. Students perform poorly on tests for a variety of reasons, many of which are completely out of control of the teacher. While obviously it does not make sense to reward a teacher whose students have low test scores, that does not mean that it's helpful to punish that teacher by taking away job security, pay, or by other means.

    I'd be very interested to see what would happen if you took all the teachers from a high-scoring school, and switched them with a low-scoring school. How would it effect the scores at each school? Ask this of a few teachers (I have), and most will agree that the teachers originally from the high-scoring school would soon be regarded as "bad" when their students continued to score low, while the teachers from the low-scoring school would start to look pretty good.

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  21. This is from Education World:

    One reason districts are looking at bonus pay more closely is research pointing to the impact teacher quality has on student achievement. Complementing that research are studies such as Teaching at Risk: A Call to Action, a report released in January 2004 by The Teaching Commission, which notes that poor and minority students, who often are the most academically needy, usually are assigned the least experienced and least capable teachers.

    "Meanwhile, the most effective teachers -- those who lead, who successfully raise student achievement, and who have expertise in their subject matter -- are compensated via an antiquated, 80-year-old system that pays them the same as their least effective colleagues," according to a report summary. "A system that does not reward excellence cannot inspire it," the report adds.

    Teachers are always saying that they would produce similar results if the whole staff switched. Why doesn't the district find a school staff that would be willing to take on the experiment. Without a trial it is all talk.

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  22. So Don, you think that as a teacher I would work harder or otherwise somehow be more excellent if I was going to get paid more for it? Sorry, I work as hard as I can and do the best I am able for my students right now. Promises of more money wouldn't make me any better, and the idea that I'm not doing my utmost because it doesn't result in cash rewards is insulting.

    What I really think would help me the most would be more opportunities for collaboration and observing other teachers. Our schools have no budget to pay for subs to allow for this. Only STAR schools have money in the budget to release teachers for grade level planning. I'd love to be able to take the time to tour other schools and see what they are doing. I'd love to be able to tour my own school and see what the other teachers are doing!

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  23. By the way, Don, why don't you propose a staff trade to the good teachers (and parents) at Alamo and see what kind of reception you get?

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  24. Right now prop A that provides stipends to teachers at certain schools. I don't hear anyone one complaining about that. The idea wasn't so much that someone would do a better job for more money as it was an incentive to keep teachers at lower performing schools. I understand why you might be insulted to think that others might feel you would do better if you got higher pay. I was only posting other points of view as food for thought. For myself, as a former teacher, I wasn't in it for the money, surely.

    I don't think that switching school staff would be a good idea. It would be better to get volunteers with different experience levels from different schools who would want to do it. Forcing the issue would invalidate the results.

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  25. The $2k Prop A stipends are not enough to make this teacher want to go to a school several years into Program Improvement and risk being consolidated when the school is forced to restructure. (That may sound pessimistic, but how many schools go into PI and actually come out on their own?) State law trumps the good intentions of Prop A. Many of those who received the hard-to-staff stipends also received pink slips, as you know. All in all, a fairly perverse situation. The stipends sound good, but don't seem to achieve their desired effect. Judging by the layoff numbers, few (if any) more experienced teachers moved to hard-to-staff schools to get the money.

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  26. I couldn't support any system that punished teachers for having low performing students.

    That is not how test scores should be used.

    However, I could see developing a system where teachers are rewarded (or punished) based on the *direction* of their students' scores. In other words, did a kid in the lowest 10th percentile at the beginning of fourth grade end his year in that teacher's classroom testing at the 30th percentile? That, to me, means something.

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  27. Linking test scores with merit pay is not the same as linking a good product with more profit. The reason they are not analogous is because test scores do not represent an end product, even if their proponents purport that they do. Student achievement is not a product that can be easily quantified. That's why college admissions have changed to evaluate students using multdimensional criteria.

    With all the emphasis on testing nowadays we here in California find our state at the bottom of the heap. SF is a few percentage points higher. But the general public perception is of a worsening and bleak state education picture.

    Why is it then that my son is doing work that runs circles around what I did when I was in 5th grade? I think that there is a manufactured idea of failure that is being perpetuated to bring about change. In the case of failing schools change is necessary. But the prevailing notion among the public is that schools in general are in free fall. I don't think that's the case at all and that's why I think the effort to link testing and merit pay is a straw man. It is being used as an tool to unravel the grip of unions. That isn't all bad, but it is worse to think it is all good. We can find happy mediums to provide some reasonable barometers of student achievement while asking teachers to view their professional success as not detached from that of their students. But linking scores to pay is like weighing the "take" during crab season.

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  28. A good statistician can find all the factors which has impact on a student score - for example, family income, race, parents' education level etc.

    Then the whole student body can be divided into segments. For each segment (for example, white, parents college educated, 100K to 125K income) statistics model can be built. We will know the medium and standard deviation.

    For each student, his standing within the segment can be calculated. Then the teacher can be paid according to the collective standing of his or her students.

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  29. How is this calculated salary suppose to raise test scores? I don't get it.

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  30. 9:27, where exactly is your statistician going to get all that information? The district doesn't even use the mother's education level in determining school assignments because it is almost impossible to verify. Do you have any idea how many people lie on their school lunch applications to qualify for free meals?

    You are also assuming that student performance on ONE test is an accurate measure of student learning. Even the best test and the best number-cruncher can't equalize for the kid who didn't eat breakfast that day, the kid who fills in their test form randomly, the kid whose parents had a drunken brawl the night before, etc.

    We need to start asking what a "good education" really is. I want my kids to learn to think, to reason, to solve problems, to approach the world with empathy and an open mind - no test is going to measure those qualities. I have nothing against quadratic equations, but I've never needed to solve one in my adult life and frankly question how much supposed "achievement" is really necessary. I'm more concerned that my kids learn than that they "achieve."

    I agree with Don that this idea that schools are "failing" is manufactured, and I'll go further to say it is being manufactured to benefit profit-seekers who would like to see public schools go away.

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  31. "But the general public perception is of a worsening and bleak state education picture.

    Why is it then that my son is doing work that runs circles around what I did when I was in 5th grade? I think that there is a manufactured idea of failure that is being perpetuated to bring about change."

    Don, most of the time you annoy me (and others), but then every so often you write a piece like this that is almost poetry. Like you, I can't reconcile the news anchors opining of 'failure' with the way more advanced material my kid is doing now than I did at the equivalent age at school.

    Yes, there is a sense that public schools are failing. But part of that is that, unlike privates or charters, they have to take all comers, regardless of background or achievement or ability.

    And part of the alleged 'failure' is a deliberate post-Reagan ideological drive to discredit and belittle any function of government.* (Except the bits of government that shoot things or blow stuff up, of course).

    Diane Ravich, a , has had an epiphany realizing that charters have not really improved education - they've just siphoned off the most educatable students from the publics. Where charters have been set up in low-SES areas, for the most part they've performed equivalently or worse than the publics.

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  32. Caroline,

    As you know I would not reject charters wholesale on the basis of some limited profiteering and underperformance any more than I would reject a our economy on the same basis. But whereas I do see the importance of competition as demonstrated in SF with choice being an important mechanism for driving innovation, I also understand that public education is not business and should not be privatized in the manner of free markets.

    For charters to succeed in creating viable choice they need to play by the same rules and be regulated quite firmly given the consequences of failure for students and society. Sweden, an often lauded social democracy provides a great example of how privatization can fuel educational diversification, albeit they accomplished this via a voucher program rather than charters. But the net result is the same - the expansion of public education into the large education market. I recognize that what works in Sweden, may be untenable in the States. But we must look outward for examples as we did for health care reform.

    You often speak about the effect that cherry picking and counseling out has on traditional schools. But surely you recognize that the SASs of the present and past have also led to the same effect - certain schools left with the less able students and their resultant staffing issues. This is a problem that is not unique to charters. It has to be resolved through board policy oversight and leadership.

    Ravitch says charters siphon off students, but she doesn't mention that any schools with other than standard admission criteria hold the potential to siphon off students. How many more AP students would other SF high schools both public and private have w/o Lowell? In effect effective schools, high performing schools create supply and demand issues.

    My largest complaint with the charter system as opposed to charters themselves is this: Why should the government say that some schools ought to be freed from onerous Ed Code requirements and allowed to flourish under specific and unique charter missions when they simultaneouly insist that the rest of the schools to abide by a strict adherence to Code and highly structured curriculums? Why not just free up everyone from the burden of the regulation and let the free wheeling inventiveness take root universally? There are plenty of innovative people who would love to make a decent living as teachers and administrators in schools that they can create with their own loving hands and in their own unique images. And we could have some minimal regional or state standards by which to compare them, but not a testing regime. I am wholely opposed to the federal takeover of education.

    I agree that there is no magic pill to better education. It is done one student at a time - the combined efforts of motivated students, informed and encouraging families and great teachers and support staff.

    As for my annoyance factor, I am annoyed by some of what I read, but I try to refute it, edit it or ignore it. But saying it annoys me is of no value.

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  33. Don let me know in another format that he had responded to "my" post on the El Dorado thread, to which I responded "what post?" So just FYI, that wasn't me (I don't have a fifth-grade son, for one thing).

    I can debate charter schools all day long, but that seems way off topic on this thread. I HIGHLY recommend learning more about Diane Ravitch's views, though, and she will be speaking at UC-Berkeley next Thursday!

    Details on Ravitch at UC-Berkeley
    http://tinyurl.com/y9prl9r

    One of the many mainstream media commentaries on her book
    http://tinyurl.com/ylru4vy

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  34. My apology to you Caroline for mistaking the post as yours.

    Few posters seem to enunciate the same well informed ideas and I saw your recent post on another forum on Ravitch so I put it together.

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  35. "Caroline,"

    7:58 here. I'm not Caroline, and have the Y chromosome to prove it.

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  36. "Linking test scores with merit pay is not the same as linking a good product with more profit. The reason they are not analogous is because test scores do not represent an end product, even if their proponents purport that they do."

    Any management theorist will also tell you "you get what you measure" and "you get what you creates incentives for."

    If you measure and create incentives for teaching the 3Rs and don't measure other variables (science, social studies, arts), then teaching in those areas is going to get short-changed.

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  37. El Dorado test scores:

    1. The school's had a significant demographic change over the last three years, one that is associated state-wide with lower test scores.

    2. The newer teachers are concentrated at lower grades - and testing doesn't start until second grade.

    For the record, there are a number of organizations that don't think SFUSD's legal justification is particularly strong. However, avoiding layoffs altogether is a far better solution. And it's possible.

    For the record, if you don't count production time we made about one hundred dollars from the cookbook (the paper, etc. was from SCRAP so the big cost was printer ink). The whole wheat pizza dough sale was more cost-effective but less fun for me!

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