[regional_school] Re: Mike Winerip is spot on again!

  • From: neilcho@xxxxxxx
  • To: regional_school@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2011 11:28:28 -0500 (EST)

 I'm so glad to see educators, and especially administrators, begin to stand up 
for what's right and against what is insanely wrong about the new regime of 
testing and evaluation (of students and teachers). Now those principals have to 
organize a very public information campaign aimed at parents. After all, 
parents have been bombarded with school ratings, test scores, and other 
supposed "data" for several years, all of which has been presented as the only 
way to hold educators and schools "accountable." In the long run, if parents 
continue to be so misinformed and support these destructive changes, there will 
be no possibility of success for those who disagree.  As unhappy a reality as 
it is, politicians, state officials and corporate types have all the ammunition 
they need to bash any counter-idea that comes from educators as being merely 
self-serving and against change. The receptiveness of parents and the general 
public to this logic must be changed, and working toward that must be the first 
line of attack. 

I hope everyone has a great holiday season.

Best, Neil (Chodorow) 



-----Original Message-----
From: William Cala <wcala@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: regional_school <regional_school@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tue, Nov 29, 2011 9:13 am
Subject: [regional_school] Re: Mike Winerip is spot on again!

Will Do!

From: regional_school-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:regional_school-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of 
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 8:48 AM
To: regional_school@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [regional_school] Re: Mike Winerip is spot on again!


Dr. Cala,


Can you please change my email address to: jmitchell@xxxxxxxxxxxx


Thank you so much,

Happy Holiday Season,

Julie Mitchell

-----regional_school-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote: ----- 

To: <regional_school@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "William Cala" 
Sent by: regional_school-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: 11/28/2011 08:08PM
Subject: [regional_school] Re: Mike Winerip is spot on again!

Well-stated Keith!   

From: regional_school-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:regional_school-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Keith Rankin
Sent: Monday, November 28, 2011 7:45 PM
To: Regional School
Subject: [regional_school] Re: Mike Winerip is spot on again!


Whether assessing students or evaluating teachers, the question should be: why 
are we assessing or evaluating? And is this accomplishing what we want it to 

If one were using a Total Quality Management model, a good case could be made 
for the example given in the article that:


"... the most reliable way to evaluate teachers was to make 5-to-10-minute 
“walk through” visits to their classes several times a month."


This requires a culture of trust and openness, where everyone (teachers and 
administrators) is dedicated to needed adjustment along the way. Where 
"walk-throughs"  and feedback (good and bad) by administrators and staff are 
welcomed and not perceived as "drive-bys." 


Beyond an openness to change it is also important for teaching to stay fresh. 
Fresh doesn't necessarily mean new, I was recently watching an old clip on 
youtube of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, in which he remarked that upon graduating 
from University he asked Cardinal Mercier "... what is the best way to teach, 
he said: "tear up your notes every year."" 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdbJUSMib1A&feature=related  (9:20) That is 
certainly one way to keep your teaching fresh.


For The Regional Academy differing ways to evaluate staff should exist simply 
to achieve the goals of the institution. 




585.734.7295 cel | txt

Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2011 10:39:56 -0800
From: dandrmacich@xxxxxxxxx
Subject: [regional_school] Re: Mike Winerip is spot on again!
To: regional_school@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; ccse_core@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I've been working on it.


From: William Cala <wcala@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: regional_school@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; ccse_core@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Sent: Monday, November 28, 2011 12:24 PM
Subject: [regional_school] Mike Winerip is spot on again!

I wonder if any Rochester principals are on the list????



Column -- November 28, 2011 by Michael Winerip


Through the years there have been many bitter teacher strikes and too many 
student protests to count. But a principals’ revolt?


“Principals don’t revolt,” said Bernard Kaplan of Great Neck North High School 
on Long Island, who has been one for 20 years. “Principals want to go along 
with the system and do what they’re told.”


But President Obama and his signature education program, Race to the Top, along 
with John B. King Jr., the New York State commissioner of education, deserve 
credit for spurring what is believed to be the first principals’ revolt in 


As of last night, 658 principals around the state had signed a letter —

488 of them from Long Island, where the insurrection began — protesting the use 
of students’ test scores to evaluate teachers’ and principals’ 



Their complaints are many: the evaluation system was put together in slapdash 
fashion, with no pilot program; there are test scores to evaluate only 
fourth-through-eighth-grade English and math teachers; and New York tests are 
so unreliable that they had to be rescaled radically last year, with 
proficiency rates in math and English dropping 25 percentage points overnight.


Mr. Kaplan, who runs one of the highest-achieving schools in the state, has 
been evaluating teachers since the education commissioner was a teenager. No 
matter. He is required by Nassau County officials to attend 10 training 
sessions, as is Carol Burris, the principal of South Side High School here, who 
was named the 2010 Educator of the Year by the School Administrators 
Association of New York State.


“It’s education by humiliation,” Mr. Kaplan said. “I’ve never seen teachers and 
principals so degraded.”


The trainers at these sessions, which are paid for by state and federal grants, 
have explained that they’re figuring out the new evaluation system as they go. 
To make the point, they’ve been showing a YouTube video with a fictional crew 
of mechanics who are having the time of their lives building an airplane in 


“It was supposed to be funny, but the room went silent,” Ms. Burris said. 
“These are people’s livelihoods we’re talking about.”


Last year New York was awarded $700 million as one of 11 states, along with the 
District of Columbia, to win a Race to the Top grant. The application process 
was chaotic, with Dr. King’s office making the deadline by just a few hours. To 
win a grant, states had to pledge to follow policy priorities of the Obama 
administration, like evaluating teachers by student test scores, even though 
there were no implementation plans yet.


New York committed to an evaluation process that is based 60 percent on 
principal observations and other subjective measures, and from 20 to 40 percent 
on state tests, depending on the local district.


In written responses to questions, Dr. King said while there are bugs in the 
system, “we are confident that as the state law on teacher evaluations phases 
in over the next couple of years, those educators charged with ensuring its 
successful implementation will do so professionally.”


Asked if he was surprised by the number of principals who had signed, he wrote, 
“It’s not at all surprising” that the introduction of a new evaluation system 
“would produce anxiety.”


Although testing is central to the education reform movement, the word 
“testing” is considered crude in elite education circles, and in a three-page 
response to questions, the commissioner never actually used the t-word. 
However, he did include multiple euphemisms like “data on the growth in student 


“A significant body of research,” he wrote, “demonstrates that an educator’s 
past impact on student learning is a strong predictor of that educator’s future 
impact on student learning and a useful component of a fair, transparent, and 
rigorous multiple measures evaluation system.”


Merryl H. Tisch, chancellor of the Board of Regents, said that because of the 
new “scientific, objective” evaluation system, the public would see that 
teachers were being held to a rigorous standard and would not dislike them so 
much. “I’m seeing a much more positive focus about teaching, and I like that,” 
she said.


It is hard to overstate how angry the principals who signed are. Mario 
Fernandez, principal of Stillwater High School near Saratoga, called the 
evaluation process a product of “ludicrous, shallow thinking.”


“My gosh, it seems to be slapped together,” he said. “They’re expecting a 
tornado to go through a junkyard and have a brand new Mercedes pop up.”


Katie Zahedi, principal of Linden Avenue Middle School in Red Hook in Dutchess 
County. said the training session she attended was “two days of total nonsense.”


“I have a Ph.D., I’m in a school every day, and some consultant is supposed to 
be teaching me to do evaluations,” she said. “It takes your breath away it’s so 


She said one good thing about the new evaluation system was that it had united 
teachers, principals and administrators in their contempt for the state 
education department.


Several interviewed said the most reliable way to evaluate teachers was to make 
5-to-10-minute “walk through” visits to their classes several times a month. 
“My principal is frequently in my class, and that’s the way it should be,” said 
Marguerite Izzo, a fifth-grade teacher in Malverne, on Long Island, who was the 
2007 state teacher of the year.


Ms. Izzo calls students up to her desk, one by one, every day to discuss their 
work. “It’s the same for children or teachers: immediate feedback is best, 
while it’s still fresh in their minds,” she said.


The principals’ letter was drafted last month by Ms. Burris and Sean Feeney of 
the Wheatley School. “We tried and tried to talk to the state, but they don’t 
listen to us,” Ms. Burris said.


In his responses, Dr. King wrote, “The principals do raise some legitimate 
concerns that we are carefully addressing.” But he also wrote, “The structure 
of the evaluation system — including the use of data on the growth in student 
learning — is set in state statute.” 

(Translation: Testing full speed ahead.)


About 300 principals out of 4,500 in the state had signed by early November, 
when Newsday wrote a front-page story about the letter. There has been steady 
growth since. Three-fourths of Long Island principals have placed their names 
on the list.


Outside of Long Island, Westchester County has the most principals on the 
letter, 31.


Only 18 out of 1,500 from New York City have signed. Ms. Burris is not sure if 
the principals are not aware, or if they fear retribution from Mayor Michael R. 
Bloomberg, who is a big supporter of using data to calculate growth in student 







Other related posts: