July 01, 2012
Last chance for English High.
joan vennochi in her piece written and printed in the boston globe, january.19,2012 titled Menino's broken vows on schools. this whole piece was a grand slam but 2 pieces stand out in my mind. "it's up to him to cahnge it and to stop using boston schools superintendent carol johnson as a cover." "johnson has proposed numerous school assignment plans and then pulled back in the face of public pressure. GIVEN the way boston works with all it's power concentrated in the mayors office, it is menino not johnson who is really retreating. if he backs what she has been putting forth he should say so and have the political courage to tell people why. if he doesn't than he should get a new superintendent , because the current one seems to be offering proposals that collapse under public scrutiny." vennochi's last paragraph . " what would it really take for menino to deliver on his promise for the boston public schools? given menino's penchant to please it might take a decision no to seek reelection. that would allow menino to do what it really takes to leave a better stronger school system as his legacy." good luck to this new head of english high school as she seems to have all the attributes and skills for success. the problem as always is still the same one in that this city is run by one person whose only talent is a feral desire to keep his butt in office and not even an ounce of guts in his body. he has for decades given the people of the communities involved crumbs while playing politics with the boston public school system and putting the crown jewels of this so called athens of america, it's young men and women severly at risk by his meddling strictly at the cost of keeping his own squalid butt in the mayors seat. an helped along by a whole dose of silence from both in the community and city hall. if there was a pulitzer awarded for one piece of jouranlism, vennochi's op-ed of january 19, 2012, would and should have won it hands down. ma
I wish Yvoone would have added one ounce of information about what it was the new principal did to raise test scores over at the excel school. With such stats she must be the MCAS Whisperer. Much is probably straight bubble-test bombast. NEW PARAGRAPH She may be what the school needs. The problem with a school like English High stems from the students. Close monitoring is fine but those kids need a lot of hand-holding that goes beyond what would normally be considered teacher duties. It's more like social work. Making connections with the families, provision of health care, psychological counseling, all kinds of wrap-around services. I hope that if the model is successful that care is taken to record all of the staff's efforts, all that is done, because whatever is needed it's not just teaching to a test.
I wish Ms. Noriega-Murphy luck. English High has a long and storied history and it would be a shame if it continued down this path of failure.
10% chose to go to English? I'm amazed that it's that high. I'm guessing that they didn't ace the exam for Boston Latin.
What is the relevance of her interest in martial arts?
And what does it mean to "broom" a teacher?
Regardless, I agree with Rita.
How can we possibly compare results between schools when only 10% of English High's students meant to end up there?
English High is the downside of school choice. Most parents who parent responsibly, value education, understand school choice, are fluent in English, or have financial means send their kids somewhere else. Parents are a child's first teachers of values, discipline, and language. Poverty and lack of these early life lessons works against success in the classroom, for these students and the peers who share a classroom with them. A critical mass of struggling students in a school can affect the motivation and enthusiasm of even the most energetic, intelligent, and idealistic teachers and students.
To focus solely on teachers is to miss this point. In the neighborhood-based Harlem Children's Project, Geoffrey Canada showed that students can be successful when issues associated with poverty and dysfunction are addressed comprehensively. Boston needs to address both the system of choice that distills the most troubled families into the same schools, and the social issues that plague the neighborhoods, in order to better educate these struggling students.
I wonder if Ms. Abraham's editor sees the irony of an article about the failure of English High contains a sentence that is not actually a sentence but a phrase.
How Site Narcisse Transformed the Worst Public School in Boston
SOUNDS good! There is a certain population type of School Administration Staff that travels the country (continuing to get rehired), pop up in People magazine-esque profile pieces, gather some money (quite a bit, which rarely gets properly dispersed especially as per actual school infrastructure that staff and kids can utilize), screw up and moves on. These types are recruited for (exactly what reasons?) at extremely young ages with extremely little education or educational management or teaching experience... and very expectation and little regard for the people they are supposed to serve. It's even an insult to the practice business models that this motif is supposed to emulate. These guys are mini-Madoffs.
This is yet another sterling example of why newspaper columnists have no business writing about education. It isn't the school, or the methods (is that what you meant by "academics?" Are you actually so naive as to to think that academic programming has anything to do with this?) - and absolutely not the teachers - or have the past two principals not demonstrated that concept clearly for all to see?
Take that school population, put them at Newton North, Milton Academy, Weston High, Buckingham Browne and Nichols, Boston Latin School, or ANY charter - and the results are the same, except at English the staff (prior to recently) knew what they were getting into, and aren't contemplating suicide.
Yvonne, until you are sufficiently well-informed on a topic to comment on it intelligently, please stay away. A suggestion - become a substitute teacher - anyone with a college degree can do this, as long as you don't have a felony conviction or tuberculosis, so you should be OK, right? - and work at English High for a couple of months. I doubt that you have what it takes to last a week. Find out what is REALLY going on, then if you have the guts to comment, try to make a positive difference in this world, instead of being critical and destructive to people who work in a war zone that you know nothing about.
So...if they had chosen to be there, they would have done much better? Or - if these 'resources that comprehensively address the issues associated with poverty and dysfunction' were present, everything would have gone smoothly? And if the experiments that address tiny pockets of dysfunction "successfully," then are never duplicated over time or with significant numbers (the mantra of education "reform") are spread wholesale throughout the land, can we rid ourselves of the plague of charters, the snake-oil charlatans of the 21st century? And if you click the ruby slippers together, do you go back to Kansas? You seem like a nice person. What do you do for a living?
No surprise, I've been working in education since 1973. I can't even afford ruby slippers.
I'm saying that the kids who wind up at English are not the same demographic at those who sign up at O'Bryant or any other school that is attended by choice, not default.... so it isn't fair to compare results between schools with such different raw materials. English is being trashed because their results don't measure up and I am giving you several reasons why they don't.
Charters do what school choice does... skims the cream and discards what's left. And to a veteran teacher, it does seem that social problems overwhelm much of what we try to do,so addressing social issues can't hurt and might help.
btw, I do not want to go to Kansas. Thanks anyways.