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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

CEO of Communities in Schools blames teachers

I can appreciate Jon Heymann, CEO of Communities in Schools interest in education if not his points. After talking about how Jacksonville has some of the best schools in the nation, he brings up the fact that several of our schools are struggling and adds, it's not all the schools, nor all the teachers, nor all the principals. But it's enough of them that give us the unsatisfactory results that we deplore.

He says this while at the same time dismissing poverty as the, scapegoat of education. My Heymann a scapegoat is what Charlie Brown was after his team lost the game; poverty on the other hand is quantifiably the number one factor in determining a child’s success in school.

This is especially disingenuous on his part because his organization works with numerous children who live in poverty and if poverty is not a factor Jon, then why do so? Instead he passes the blame for our underachieving results to some of our teachers and principals.

Well I have a solution and it won’t involve cutting (code for firing) the fringe, what he calls the teachers working at our poorest schools. Why don’t we switch the staff at Stanton, with one of the staffs at Jackson, Ribault or Raines, you know the staff that give us the best results with the staffs that give us the results we deplore. My Heymann might not know it but some of those results have been produced by our best and brightest as the county for years has been creating initiatives to attract those teachers to those schools but since that hasn’t made much of a dent I guess it doesn’t matter. I guess it also means that once teachers arrive at those schools they forget how to teach.

Then a school year after the switch we will know. We can say without a doubt whether it’s teaching or its poverty. It’s my bet people like Mr. Heymann would want to pass on the idea because they know that after a year Stanton would still be one of the best schools and the other school would still be struggling. Then he and the blame the blame the teacher crowd would lose their scapegoats, because ater all it couldn't be poverty, just something to blame, the ones they call the fringe, teachers.

Chris Guerrieri
School Teacher

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