It's teacher hunting season!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

60 Minutes runs piece on Megalomaniac Philanthopist Eli Broad

Local journalist Christopher Knight calls him Eli "Strings Attached" Broad (pronounced as in "road").

As in an earlier post last week dealing with his Broad Foundation's education philanthropy, "No. Denver News: Parents fight back vs. Eli Broad Foundation's wreckage of education,"
real estate mogul Broad gives, with manipulative strings attached, in medicine, education and the arts.
Mysteriously, the 60 Minutes segment just grazed over the topic of education.

Viewer discretion advised: Prince Michael (Bloomberg) speaks glowingly of his methods.

The link:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

No. Denver News: Parents fight back vs. Eli Broad Foundation's wreckage of education

The Broad Foundation, the education policy play-thing of billionaire philanthropist / public policy meddler Eli Broad, is influencing education policy nation-wide.
Cities across the country are feeling the chaotic effects of his Foundation's training of superintendents.

Now, parents are fighting back against his manipulation of education, against his free-of-accountability policy influence.
Read this Scribd pdf from North Denver News.
Parents group hits back at billionaire Broad's influence on education
Contributed by Staff
Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A national parent group is attacking the influence of LA billionaire Eli Broad's influence on public education, a reach that extends into Denver with the controversial non-educator Superintendent of Denver Public Schools, Tom Boasberg.
Parents Across America have published this parent's guide to the influence of the Broad Foundation:

The question I ask is why should Eli Broad and Bill Gates have more of a say as to what goes on in my child’s classroom than I do? – Sue Peters, Seattle parent

In recent months, three prominent school district superintendents have resigned, after allegations of mismanagement, autocratic leadership styles, and/or the pursuit of unpopular policies. All three were trained by the Broad Superintendents
Academy: Maria Goodloe-Johnson (class of 2003) of the Seattle school district, LaVonne Sheffield (class of 2002) of the Rockford, Illinois school district, and Jean-Claude Brizard (class of 2008) of the Rochester New York school district.
Brizard resigned to take the job as CEO of Chicago schools, but his superintendency in Rochester had been mired in controversy. Another Broad-trained Superintendent recently announced his resignation: Tom Brady (class of 2004) of Providence, Rhode Island.

Three more Broad-trainees have been recently placed in new positions of authority: John Deasy (class of 2006), as Superintendent of the Los Angeles United School District, John White (class of 2010), Superintendent of the Recovery School District in New Orleans, and Chris Cerf (class of 2004), New Jersey’s Acting Education Commissioner. Tom Boasberg was appointed Denver’s Superintendent in January 2009, shortly after taking an “Intensive” training at the Broad Academy. (See map . . . from the Broad website, showing where until recently their trainees served.) (Actually, notice how the cartographer placed Cincinnati in Indiana --maybe he or she thought that geography was too teacher-centered.)

This summary is designed to help parents and other concerned citizens better understand the Broad Foundation’s role in training new superintendents and other “reform” activities, and how the foundation leverages its wealth to impose a top-down, corporate-style business model on our public schools. It is time for communities to become aware of how this major force works.

What is the Broad Foundation?

The Edythe and Eli Broad Foundation engages in venture philanthropy in four areas: education, medical research, contemporary art, and civic projects in Los Angeles. The foundation was established in 1999 by billionaire Eli Broad (b. 1933) who made his fortune in real estate and the insurance business.
. . . .

How the Broad Foundation affects public school families

Broad and his foundation believe that public schools should be run like a business. One of the tenets of his philosophy is to produce system change by “investing in a disruptive force.” Continual reorganizations, firings of staff, and experimentation to create chaos or “churn” is believed to be productive and beneficial, as it weakens the ability of communities to resist change.

As Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, a proponent of this philosophy has said,“…we can afford to make lots more mistakes and in fact we have to throw more things at the wall. The big companies that get into trouble are those that try to manage their size instead of experimenting with it.”

A hallmark of the Broad-style leadership is closing existing schools rather than attempting to improve them, increasing class size, opening charter schools, imposing high-stakes test-based accountability systems on teachers and students,
and implementing of pay for performance schemes. The brusque and often punitive management style of Broad-trained leaders has frequently alienated parents and teachers and sparked protests. . . .

(Read more at the North Denver News site:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Breaking: Chicago picks Rochester school-killer Brizard

The unproven prescription of school closing, and cleansing of staff is as in-vogue as ever. New Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has hired former Rochester schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard as Chief Executive Officer [sic] of Chicago Public Schools.

From Rochester City Newspaper:
Update from Rahm Emanuel's press conference follows this story.

Rochester school board President Malik Evans has confirmed that Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard is leaving Rochester [a statement from Brizard is at right]. Brizard will become head of the Chicago schools system, which is under a mayoral control form of governance. The announcement was made by Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel this morning.

Evans says that Brizard text messaged him the news this morning. Evans said he felt like he'd been "kicked in the stomach." [Read Brizard's resignation letter to Evans.]

Evans says that the school board will meet in executive session tonight with its attorney to review Brizard's contract with the district. Brizard signed a new three-year contract about four months ago.

Board member Van White says he expects an apology from Brizard to the community for Brizard's abrupt departure.

On Friday, four school board members had a press conference reiterating their support for Brizard. Board President Malik Evans said that he trusted Brizard to tell him if Brizard's career plans had changed. Some board members also said it would be irresponsible of Brizard to leave after initiating so many changes in the district, including opening and closing schools and changing grade formations.


It's official. Rochester schools Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard has been chosen by Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel to be the next head of Chicago's school system. The announcement was made in a press conference in a Chicago school and Brizard was present.

Emanuel said he interviewed six or seven candidates, but Brizard was the only one who talked about reform in terms of its benefits to children. Other candidates talked about reform as if the reforms themselves were the most important thing . . .

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Walcott's thin resume, padded by Bloomberg in the way Unity did for Weingarten

Those in the know are aware of how former United Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten had hardly the resume one would expect for showing experience as a teacher. Remember that her teaching program was part time in her early years.
(From Wikipedia):
From 1991 until 1994 she taught on per diem basis 122 days over the period at Clara Barton High School in Crown Heights. In fall of 1994 she taught history full-time at the school. By 1995, after six months of full-time teaching, Weingarten was elected Assistant Secretary of the UFT. She continued full-time teaching, from 1995 to 1997.

As legal counsel to the outgoing UFT president Sandra Feldman, she was being groomed for her position.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg made the case for Walcott by puffing up limited experience as thorough experience.
Yet, he has far thinner experience in education than Weingarten.
Looking at Bloomberg's text form of Walcott's curriculum vitae, in an appeal to out-going New York State Education Commissioner David Steiner,
the one thing that stands out is that prior to his tenure as deputy mayor, the one thing that is apparent is that Walcott was restless, not staying with a position for any fixed period.

Most glaring is how Bloomberg puffed up Walcott's hop-scotch time employed with children.
He worked for only one and a half years with children at the private, 90-seat Amistad Child Care Center in South Jamaica. Bloomberg distorted Walcott's position: he said that Walcott worked as a kindergarten teacher at Amistad. However, the center is a child care center, not a school, and the institution is for pre-kindergarten children (Bloomberg, thus, deceived us on two counts, by calling him a teacher and by implying that he worked with kindergarten-aged children).

And remember that state law requires the chancellor to have training in education supervision. Walcott lacks that; his training was in teaching and social work, not supervision.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The LIFO myth / Walcott couldn't get hired at new schools

Bravo, Cathie "ohhhhhhhhhh" Black is gone!!!

Alas, former deputy mayor Dennis Walcott will need a waiver (yet again!) from NYS Education Commissioner David Steiner or his successor, because Walcott lacks any education supervisor training.

(Last In Only In, the real issue, blocked out by attention to Last In First Out)
Yet, equally disturbing is the fact that Dennis Walcott would face 1,000 to 1 (or so) odds against getting hired at the new schools that will replace the closed-down schools.
The hard, cold truth is that the hiring at the new schools is that THE LAST IN ARE THE ONLY IN. Just remember that at school after school, the hiring freeze is a myth. ATRs are passed over for new teachers, who often lack experience as full-time, permanently assigned teachers or for teachers with inadequate licensing.
Cathie Black's appointment was a slap in the face of teachers that had to earn master's degrees or pass numerous exams.
The hiring of inexperienced teachers is a slap in the face of unassigned (tenured and experienced, I may remind you) ATRs in a period in which the public (and gullible teachers) are led to believe that there is a hiring freeze, with hiring limited to ATRs.

If you have ever set foot in one of these schools or have gone to parent-teacher nights, you will notice that:
(1) 50 to 90 percent of the teaching staff are 33 or under and have less then 6 years in the system. (These numbers are at the less stark range when a high school has been split into four: fifty percent get to stay on; the youngsters take all the other slots. But take note of the new schools in new locations or new schools imposed in odd places (like elementary or middle schools): these are more in the 90-95 percent newbie/young teacher range.)
(2) in the traditional schools (established schools as opposed to the new ones) ethnic diversity is to be found in the teaching staff. Yet in the new schools the minority percentage is teeny: about 10 to 15 percent.
So, Norm of Ed Notes, YES, the attack on LIFO is without question a form of racism.

Take a look at the great piece in "Ed in the Apple", "Is the Assault on Seniority an Assault on Teachers of Color? Will School Closings Lead to College or Incarceration?."
The Bloomberg-Klein-Black mindset is totally blind to the issues of race and class. Lisa Delpit, in Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom points to the questions of race and power,

Delpit has identified a “culture of power” that operates in schools and supports dominant U.S. society. In classrooms where White and middle-class teachers regard minority and low-income students as “other people’s children,” Delpit argues that these teachers repeatedly fail to reveal the rules of the culture of power to students since they are “frequently least aware of — or least willing to acknowledge” the cultural power they hold.

Bree Picower, in her research, “The Unexamined Whiteness of Teaching: How White Teachers Maintain and Enact Dominant Racial Ideologies,” explores the pre-conceptions of white teachers and how they approach children of color.

One has got to ask, how are children of color viewing race, intellectualism, professions and the world when they see nearly every one of their teachers being white?
What kind of message are we sending to the youth of the city by erasing the teachers of color (or teachers of age, for that matter) from classrooms?

Another excellent piece, by Sam E. Anderson, from 2006, that systematically addresses the myriad thematic and hiring biases under Bloomberg/Klein, in "Black Educator,"
"A Black Education State of Emergency
Engulfs New York City."

And read, from 2008, at "Education for Liberation," "Vanishing Black Educators: Fewer Blacks, More Whites Are Hired as City Teachers" and further down the page, "Stop and Reverse the Disappearing of Black and Latino Teachers/vanisingblackteachers.htm"

Aside from Dennis Walcott's bad Kapo politics of blind loyalty to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, of upholding the closings and ridiculous bundling three or four schools in one building (to share a gym and cafeteria), we cannot ignore that given his age and race, he would face very, very slim chances of being hired in the very schools that he is aligned with creating.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Michelle Rhee: Education reform huckster

Michelle Rhee: Education reform huckster

Rhee, et al., are the biggest charlatans. It is a shame that we all (o.k., the public) fall for their snake oil pitches. We're the fools not to laugh Rhee straight into the street.

WEDNESDAY, APR 6, 2011 21:01 ET
"Michelle Rhee: Education reform huckster"