Saturday, September 05, 2009


Schools are improving due to standardized test data and teachers that can't improve their stats are not doing their jobs. I'm in trouble this year.

I just looked at my two algebra classes.

Class 1 has a register at present of 30 students. Last year 15 were absent more than 20 times, and 8 more than 25 times. Class 2 has a register of 33,with 20 absent more than 15 times, 8 absent more than 25 5 times and 6 absent more than 30 times. One kid was out 45 times and another was out 64 times. (I am willing to bet all I own that the registers of both classes will be up to max before the end of the first week, if they are not up there already.)

Their Acuity Predictives are low. Their attendance is awful. Yet, I will be held accountable for what they produce in my class?

It seems to me these kids have big problems, bigger than anything I am equipped to handle. According to Accountable Talk, if Jack Welch, former CEO of GE and man on top at the Leadership Academy, has his way, you will find me on the unemployment line in June.

$80 billion on a computer to provide the data to show the problems......$0 on how to solve the problems. Priceless.


JUSTICE not "just us" said...

There is one one way to "junk" your stats but you were not raised that way and it goes against who you are!

Excellent post. The New York (com) Post, The (Racist) Daily News and the (elitist) New York Times should interview you!

Ricochet said...

They have removed all but 1 student from my class who has any possibility of passing Algebra 1. I sent that 1 to Guidance to see if he can do the class by computer like the others, learn something and move on, while I seriously dumb this class down. I figure they will learn a little algebra and pass with a C - but the one who has passed Algebra 2 and Geometry should have a better chance.

Anonymous said...

I do not envy you the challenges you will face this year. I do, however, pray for you. At least those kiddos have someone like you and not someone who doesn't give a hoot about their success.

Anonymous said...

about this post....

You just did what that system is designed to do. You identified issues before you have even met those students. A senior teacher who is an excellent educator would start formulating a plan on how to help these students.

And this is exactly what merit pay is about... when you do the great job that you do and 20% of those kids pass the algebra regents and move a level or two... you should be rewarded for the hard work that you do. You know that you will move those kids in the class that can be moved. I can assure you that those students didn't have someone who cared for them as much as you will. You should be rewarded for going the extra mile.

80 million investment just gave you & 79,999 other teachers insights on who their students are. That information may be enough for you to plan on how to go about your year with them to make them successful.

In addition, if someone showed up to give you solutions, you would probably chase them out of the room if they tried to give you advice that you already now.

I love this post because Pissed Off Teeacher just validated the ARIS and its usefulness. WOW!

John Dewey is cheering himself.

appple said...

i guess there are both pros and cons to being able to see your rosters before tuesday.

Mr. Talk said...

Anon? Reality check, please?

PO'ed or any good veteran teacher can size up a class and the students in it in just a few days. I sure don't need ARIS to tell me how many kids are in my classes, and which ones can perform at what level. I can find that out just by doing my job. Experience is the best teacher.

To PO'ed--thanks for the shout out and good luck with your classes. Same to all teachers out there.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (11:12) is drinking again.
Aris is a useless and very expensive lemon of a program for teachers.
Perhaps some administrator will actually schedule extra-help (AIS) classes for those predicted to fail based on attendance and academic records...and thus actually use ARIS for proactive purposes.
Isn't common sense actaully taught at the whiz-bang leadership academy. Oh no, that's right, only blaming teachers is taught.
It would be a typically lazy and fingerpointing administrator not to use the exppensive program for the benefit of children.
And then blame a teacher for not reaching the unreachable kids. And if the teacher is a veteran, banish the teacher to the rubber room for incompetence.

John Dewey is wondering when administrators will start doing their jobs.

Schoolgal said...

Anon 11:12,
You have an amazing way of spinning issues. This is not about merit pay because 20% passing rate would not be viewed as "successful".

What ARIS is trying to tell the DoE is that there is a more serious problem--attendance. But you would rather blame the teachers for that too.

Instead of focusing in on this major factor, teachers are supposed to be greater than the forces around them. There was a time when there were consequences for bad attendance. Now if they show up a few times, they gather "seat credit".

PoD, like myself, does not believe that just because a student has bad grades, they cannot improve. But a student who is NOT attending class can't.

Attendance should be an administrative issue not a teacher issue. I am sure these parents have received phone calls up the wazoo by previous teachers. But it's time for a face to face with the principal attached with some serious consequences.

And, for the record and IMHO, if Anon is a teacher that supports merit pay, then I would not trust that teacher with my child. I want a child that's taught, not test-prepped to death.

Anonymous said...

the only consequence for poor attendance is the consequence that child faces for the rest of their lives.
suspending a truant is useless. corporal punishment was stopped centuries ago.

What can you do? I will tell you...
Ask the child... they might tell you. Ask the parent... they might tell you.

The key here is that you know that there is / has been an issue. In the past, you never had that information... now you do. As well as how they students did in JHS. Child always has issues in math, ok, let me break it down to even simpler terms.

And no one is blaming teachers for anything. Get off that nonsense already.

You see, we are the adults, the professionals, all of us. We should be able to shoulder the blame for the sake of child.

You want to blame the child. Shame on you - you loser if so. Blame the parent if you want, but always give the child the benefit of the doubt.

I am so tired of this administrator is clueless and you always blame the teacher bullsh**. Let's focus on what we need to do to raise the quality of our educational system so that kids are getting a quality education in every school in every city in every state.

I love this city & this country... and I hope that just as this country has been a leader in some many industries, that we can b e a leader in education.

Finally.... you're right... I am drinking again. White wine spritzers but after a couple you still get a little kick if you know what I mean.

Pissed Off said...

Wow, this post sure hit a few nerves.

Anonymous, I have to agree with all the others posters about being able to identify the problem without ARIS. I've probably been doing that for more years than you are alive. But, knowing the problem, I still don't have a solution. The money would better be spent on more counselors, attendance teachers, smaller classes, etc.

And, one of the bad things about ARIS is that I am now approaching these kids with preconceived ideas about them, which might not benefit them at all.

Schoolgal said...

Hi PoD,

Well you know you made it as a blog when you get paid trolls wingnuts clogging up the comment section of your blog. And you notice how they don't want to identify who they are and who they are working for? They are not teachers, but represent what's wrong with America. They claim to love it as long as it doesn't provide quality health insurance or public education and are happy when wars are declared on a country that had nothing to do with the attack that killed New Yorkers. They love Glen Beck and Dick Cheney.

To imply that teachers don't get to the bottom of the situation... Well Anon, we are the ones on the front line. We are the ones who approach the student, then the parent, then the guidance counselors and then the principals. No one is saying to suspend the student, but they shouldn't be allowed seat credit just to give a school a passing grade. These students need "at-risk support" and should retake the class, but then the mayor slashed the budget for that too.

Teachers should shoulder the blame? Well I guess we don't need parents to get involved.

Schoolgal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Maybe it is a relative handful of vindictive principals and a plethora of inexperienced and insecure administrators that give all school-level administrators a bad name.
Until the administrators begin some sort of self policing, a few reotten apples will continue giving them all a bad name. And give good teachers reason to question their actions, motives, and methods.
That is why veteran teachers are actually surprised to find a principal who seems to value students and staff and practices...dare I say it...leadership.

Pissed Off said...

In case anyone failed to notice, this post is about the uselessness of ARIS, not the value(lessness) of administrators.

JUSTICE not "just us" said...

This individual who lauds the system(ARIS) because it "forces" the teacher to do his or her job and states that we as adults should shoulder the blame for the failure of some children to do well in school should teach a Special Education class of emotionally handicap children.

Maybe he will blame himself when the child has been misplaced in a class and stabs another child. Maybe he will blame himself when these children don't take their medication and run around all day through the halls screaming. Maybe he will blame himself for the failure of these children because they are not receiving services or have not been properly placed in an appropriate setting.

I think Klein has the right idea bring a new batch of teachers every 5 years and blame them for the failures of the system and fire them and bring in a new batch and on and on and on. All societies need scapegoats no that the problems will be solved but we need some to blame!

mathman42 said...

Attendance is surely key.

Aris probably has some accuracy issues but I noticed many attendance issues as well. Woody Allen said showing up is 90% of life. Well, I'll give them 20% for good attendance and another 15% for participation but the rest has to be some evidence of learning. Ask their parents how long they keep their job when they don't come to work.

Isn't there a law about attendance ? Either a required rate for passing a class or a requirement to keep the parent from being reported to someone ?