Clueless Cathie is opening her mouth again. This time she is visiting schools and making observations and comments about things she knows nothing about. She is still spouting that nonsense about how class size doesn't make a difference. She has never compared learning in a room of 20 to a room of 34, so how can she possibly know what works best? She claimed a five page research paper is not much of a research paper but I wonder if she spent any time speaking to the teacher and finding out exactly what went into the paper. And she talked about principal leadership, saying "I mean, it sounds silly, but occasionally I’ll see a principal walk by some, like, crunched up piece of paper," she said. "Ninety-nine percent of the time they lean down and pick it up. For me it’s about leadership at the top." I can't figure out whether she things picking up the paper is a good thing or not. (Probably excepts the teachers to do garbage patrol.)
Clueless is worried about the number of high school students that are not prepared for college. She doesn't talk about fudged scores, credit recovery, seat time or boot camps. Her big issue is the teacher. "What are we going to do with teacher effectiveness, teacher evaluations, having the best teachers in every single class?" She's the boss. She should walk into my algebra class, see kids who can barely sit still for 30 minutes, don't do homework, don't pay attention and show me how to be more effective. She should be able to come up with a solution that will bring these kids up to par in a few short months.
Packemin is a great high school. Today I found out one of my former students got in to Princeton, Yale, U Penn, Cornell and Columbia. Two of my AP calculus girls got into Sophie Davis Medical Program. Another won the Science Fair Competition and will be going California to represent NYC in the next round. About 400 students were inducted into ARISTA tonight. We have effective teachers but we are only this effective because we have fantastic kids. Put the same teachers in some of these failing schools and I guarantee you the results will not be the same. And, many of us are not effective with the kids we teach at Packemin. (I couldn't do a thing to help New Boy.) But Clueless Cathie doesn't know about these things. She paid a visit to Packemin, arrived an hour late and spent a short time in the Principal's office talking to a select group of students. Clueless Cathie didn't walk around and see Packemin. She didn't see the kids falling through the cracks because the guidance counselors have caseloads so large they cannot get to know them. She didn't see the kids the teachers can't help because there are just too many around. Clueless Cathie needs to stop talking about teacher effectiveness and look for some other ways to help the children of New York if she is sincere in her desire to leave a legacy of real education reform.