Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Carmen Farina's Fantasyland When It Comes To The Renewal Schools.
I snickered with amusement as I read the Chalkbeat interview with the disappointing Chancellor, Carmen Farina, and was especially laughing about the lies she said about the staffing of the renewal schools. If you read the Chancellor's comments you would be led to believe that "quality teachers" were applying in droves for coveted positions in the renewal schools. Unfortunately, the truth is very different.
Let's look at what happened at Automotive High School. Few teachers reapplied for their jobs and the hired staff consisted of "newbies" with zero classroom experience. That is what's happening at all the renewal schools. Few "quality teachers" are willing to jeopardize their careers to work in these struggling schools with "high needs" students while being subject to onerous accountability requirements that make teaching that more difficult. Yet, according to the Chancellor, teachers are applying to the renewal schools so they can be subject to the increased stress, useless professional development, and added responsibilities working in the renewal schools. Either she is in fantasyland or outright lying.
Even when it came to the attendance issue, the Chancellor was less than forthright. She made it seem that the student enrollment has stabilized and that at least one school had more applicants than spaces available. First, most of the renewal schools continue to have enrollment issues and the parents of academically proficient students do not select these schools for their child. Moreover, many of the renewal schools suffer from safety concerns as the schools have more violent incidents than other schools. Finally, the increased accountability on teachers add to an already stressful situation at these renewal schools.
The truth is that the renewal schools are not a pleasant place to work in and no matter what the Chancellor claims, its a place that no "quality teacher" would willingly work in.