Solutions that don’t break the bank, reinvent the wheel or marginalize our teachers are within our grasp. We could have rigorous classes, safe and disciplined schools and treat teachers like valued colleagues rather than easily replaceable cogs, and we could do so tomorrow if we wanted. Disclaimer, this is an opinion and commentary site and should not be confused as a news site, and you should know that quite often people may disagree with the opinions posted herein.
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Saturday, August 11, 2018
District 6 resident gives blow by blow of school board candidate forum
And does a better job than I could have.
I received permission to use this but they wanted to remain anonymous.
My play by play... Their intros... Charlotte Joyce is the worst choice of the candidates. DCPS has some of the best trends in discipline. Her suggestions would send us backward. I like Monica Tookes focus on equity and barriers in access and Karen Nulands focus on safety. Chauncey wants to focus on achievement but he’s a KIPP supporter. KIPPs achievement ain’t great so which is it?
Teacher retention... Charlotte Joyce must have been trained as a teacher in the 1950s. Who are these teachers she speaks of that don’t know what an IEP is??? Having new teachers go to the lowest performing schools is exactly where you don’t want them learning. Duh. Karen Nuland creating an open climate for reporting difficulties makes a lot of sense. Tookes idea that there is better mentoring and time for professional learning communities for teachers is strong. She is also spot on about the BS surplusing because of tests. Chauncey’s ideas aren’t practical. He won’t be able to give teachers freedom and raises anymore than I can give them $10000 raises. Elliot’s ideas about cutting the extra training indoctrination programs for teachers is interesting
Work protections for teachers... Nuland, Taylor, Chauncey, all said the right things but this question was kind of a set up. No one is going to say teachers shouldn’t have job protections. Tookes rode the fence. Hard to say what her stance was... seemed like she was saying admin should be able to fire teachers at any time. Elliot seemed to take a similar stance. Joyce didn’t really answer the question. She just explained VAM and CAST evals. She wants something different but doesn’t explain why or what. Again, she kind of sucks.
Arts in the schools... Taylor says private donations to support and asking state for more money (good luck son). Tookes focuses on, I think, parents exposing kids to art outside of school but then said a bunch about middle school. I’m confused. Chauncey talks about making sure the budget doesn’t get screwed up again (fair point but also easy to say coming from a for profit charter supporter) but doesn’t really say much about arts. Elliot also talks about getting community programs to push into the school; wants more money ain’t (gonna happen). Charlotte Joyce has kids into the arts, gushed about it, but doesn’t say anything other than that it should be prioritized and donors should support it. Nuland talked about PE for little ADD boys (🙄 it’s good for all kids Karen), wants more funding and says it’s a problem at a state level; blames safety and MH allocations - not impressed.
School board members going unpaid (good one viewer!!)... Tookes needs to get paid (I feel her), but she’d be willing not to if it went to the kids. Chauncey supports a pay cut; they’re part time, make more than city council or state leg (haven’t fact checked that). Elliot struggled, wanted to push for more time and meetings. Not a bad answer but I’m not sure how much more time SB members can commit. Joyce has to quit her job, hedged her answer. Nuland says she is representing more people than a city council member, is doing work that has value, wants to get paid. Taylor wants his $ too.
Charter schools... Chauncey loves them but hedged his answer. 💩💩💩 Elliot is the same, maybe hinted at doing something sketch with tests💩💩. Joyce is a charter school lover and gave no qualms about it. 💩💩💩💩. Nuland hedged her answer but did say charters should have to be held to the same standard, reminds everyone charter schools choose whoever they want. 👍🏼She gets no poop from me. Taylor said something similar to Nuland but was more warms and fuzzy about charters. 💩 Tookes is pro public school; gave similar response to Nuland but not as well articulated. She gets a 👍🏼.
Alt cert like Teach for America... Elliott likes TFA and wants it expanded. 💩💩💩. Joyce said reasonable things about issues with teacher retention for TFA and not contracting out. 👍🏼Nuland says she like TFA but acknowledges retention issue. 💩. Taylor likes TFA and wants to give them more $ (where the heck is all this $ coming from he keeps throwing around). 💩💩💩. Tookes has a daughter at KIPP who is now a recruiter for TFA. She is bothered by the fact that they are placed in low resource communities but don’t know those communities well. Emphasizes she’s not from Duval (strange strategy). Says all teachers need support. 💩. Chauncey loves and would expand, wants more funds 💩💩💩.
Improve home school and community collaboration... Joyce is a magnet coordinator, will use social media but no other specifics. Nuland reminds us she is president of the PTA, doesn’t give specifics. Taylor has focused on this one a lot tonight, but doesn’t talk strategy. Tookes talks about the parent academy, difference between parent engagement and involvement. Gave no specific strategy but seems to get it better than others. Chauncey told stories, no strategies. Elliot talks about Dojo and social media, concrete strategies.... not bad. Overall this question was a dud.
VAM scores and teacher evals... Nuland puts it back on what's happening in the community and what kids bring into the classroom, gives no actual strategies for differentiating. Says she will work with state reps (who are equally clueless I assure you). Taylor says... id really know what he said. Tookes says educators should be involved in developing their evals (fact checking this - I'm pretty sure they were). Chauncey says the formula is too hard for teachers to understand (as evidence the link from DOE to the white paper explaining VAM is broken: http://www.fldoe.org/.../Value-Added-Model-White-Paper.doc
🙄), says it does reduce subjectivity (fair statements). Elliot talks about the stress of VAM, also talks about teachers not making decisions for themselves. What she is saying about VAM in inner city schools isn't supported by research. Joyce explains VAM and says the course code doesn't match the VAM, kind of long winded but a fair point.
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES!!!!! YAY! Taylor says there should be one for every two schools (idk who he is talking about), says it needs to be in the budget. Tookes talks about not understanding where funds dedicated to special ed are going (yes!!!! talk to the state about this! No one knows and we are all dying to find out how those $$ are being spent). Chauncey says mental health is most important issue and biggest issue related to safety; wants more training for all staff in MH. Good answer. I can't believe I'm doing this but 👉 . His answer about providing access to special ed services is hilarious given his charter school status... their way of handling that.. just not accepting kids with special needs. He gets a 🙄 negating the previous thumbs up. Elliot basically just said schools should follow the law. Joyce talks about needing more guidance counselors and that MH is important, points to Parkland. Wants trained MH counselors in schools (they're called school psychologists Char 🙄) 1, 2, 3, or 4 assigned to each school. Doesn't say at all how she'd pay for that. Nuland brings up the MH Allocation!! She is aware of policy!!!! Only candidate to bring it up so far. 👉👉