Once again Eric Nadelstern has published an article about how he would improve the New York City schools, this time by coming up with some lamebrain ideas on how to get a 100% graduation rate for the New York City students. Yes, the very same Eric Nadelstern who was Deputy Chancellor under Joel Klein and then quit when Mayor Bloomberg selected Cathie Black over him to be Chancellor when Joel Klein was fired by the Mayor. Yes, the very same Eric Nadelstern who said that two thirds of the teachers were ineffective. Moreover, who can forget how he gave us the money sucking and useless "Children First Networks" and don't forget his pushing the Superintendents to hire the "Leadership Academy" principals. Finally, he empowered principals to hire who they pleased and that included teachers not certified to teach in the subject area they were assigned to teach while jettisoning veteran teachers to the ATR pool or the infamous"rubber rooms".
How would Eric Nadelstern get a 100% graduation rate? His recommendations are listed below:
- Reward success and penalize failure. Giving failed schools more money violates this basic principle of effective organizational redesign.
- Failed organizations don’t reinvent themselves. That’s equally true in the private sector. Blanketly ruling out school closings is a serious mistake.
- Make everyone responsible and accountable for student success. No other metric matters
- Devolve responsibility, resources and authority to schools. Centralizing decision making simply lets principals and teachers off the hook for student performance.
- Rather than combine schools, we need to create more new schools. No other strategy in the last ten years has yielded more effective student learning results.
- Reduce teacher load. Teacher teaming and blended instruction are but two successful approaches that will accomplish this.
- Partner with the private sector by encouraging them to establish more successful schools for our children. Competition breeds innovation.
- Reform the central office. Schools cannot reform themselves until central does their business differently and stops micromanaging them.
Let's take each recommendation and see what Mr. Nadelestern is really saying?
- He ignores the fact that failing schools have large percentages of "high needs" students while his successful schools take a much lower percentage of these students.
- Didn't Mr. Nadelstern reinvent the organization with his failed CFN's and making "Leadership Academy" principals CEO's of their schools? How has that worked out?
- Really now? When did Tweed hold itself accountable? That statement is laughable.
- Under Mr. Nadelstern, school budgets were either frozen or reduced while Tweed saw their budgets increase; Now Mr, Nadelstern wants it the other way!
- We now know the Bloomberg small schools don't work, once they are funded like other schools and couldn't exclude "high needs" students. Even Bill Gates has realized the small schools are a failure.
- Blended learning is a farce and the online courses don't require rigor, Moreover, the blended learning allows schools to hire fewer teachers and instead of reducing teacher load will increase it with a smaller staff.
- Sounds like a pseudo charter school approach and will result in a high teacher turnover and reduction in "due process rights".
- I agree. However, when Eric Nadelstern was second in command, why didn't he implement it?