Wednesday, December 16, 2015

New School Committee member in New Bedford criticizes administration on teacher training

New School Committee member in New Bedford criticizes administration on teacher training


Anonymous said...

It seems to me that teachers across the district are being bombarded with endless initiatives. And before teachers even have a chance to fully learn or implement them, they are changed to something else. These constant changes are not good for our students or our teachers.

The reading street reading system is one such example of a program that has already been changed.

Reading Street is a well designed research based reading program. NBPS is fortunate to have purchased the latest version.

As with any new program, teachers were trained how to teach the program. This training came from experienced highly skilled reading street trainers.
But it takes at least 3 years for a new program to become truly effective and show positive results.

However, the district is making so many changes to the program that teachers are no longer able to teach it the way they were trained.

Why aren't teachers allowed to teach the way they were trained?
Reading Street is tried, tested, and proven to be effective. So why aren't teachers allowed to show fidelity to the program that the city paid a fortune for?
In my opinion, If the district wants Reading Street to be an effective program for our children then teachers need to be allowed to teach the program the way the developers of the program designed it.
Dr. Durkin has made it her goal that teachers will increase student scores by 40%. But with all the constant changes, Is a 40% increase realistic? I think not.

I can tell you that the pressure being put on teachers to reach these goals is breaking them.

It's no secret that hundreds have left the district and more are resigning and retiring each week.

Is this teacher turnover healthy for our kids? I feel it is not.

I also feel that it is not fair for tax payers to pay huge amounts of money for programs such as Empowering Writers, Discovering Justice, Daily 5, and Reading Street, only to have the district discard them a short time later. It just doesn't make sense to me

Anonymous said...

Finally there is someone on the SC that actually talks to teachers. Enlightening. This could be groundbreaking. It's monumental in scope. An elected SC member that is actually listening to educators, and engaging in discussion for the betterment of our children. Imagine getting another point of view other than Pia Durkins. This can't be. Can Mr. Cotter actually believe what teachers are telling him? I'm sure it's a dream. We all thought Josh was going to be the exception to the rule, but that was sure folly on our part. We were hoodwinked. Maybe there is hope. Mr. Cotter, you have been in the trenches with us, and believe me when I say you do not know 90% of the waste that has occurred over the years. And just one other thing before I finish; Carvalho not knowing where the 40% number comes from? Just how stupid do you think we are? Let me answer that. You think we are pretty stupid. Finally a SC member that has the smarts to know that the figure is poop.

Anonymous said...

I fear this may all be too late.

Anonymous said...

Durkin and her cronies , it's all smoke and mirrors! They will never admit their failures and will always deflect the blame. Finally a SC member who actually cares for the students and knows what the teachers go through. I don't think Durkin and her henchman, DeFlaco can bully Chris. Please, don't give in Mr.Cotter, we need you !

Anonymous said...

At the end of this year as I reflect back, I would like to thank Mrs. Durkin aka. Scrooge for her constant bullying, belittling, yelling and just plain spitefulness. I would also like to thank her buddy, DeFlaco for basically the same behavior. Maybe, once, just maybe you could support your teachers who work 14 hours days, neglect their families to do all the useless crap handed down to us. Maybe you could place blame where it truly homes that don't discipline their children, at homes where education is not valued. Or maybe, you could blame yourself , Mrs Scrooge . Ever since you rolled into town, moral is at 0, schools are failing and good, hardworking experience teachers are leaving NB for districts who truly value what they do. Try that on for size!

Anonymous said...

DeFalco and Durkin, if only they realized what a laughing stock they have become. They are jokes , fools and two clowns who walk around belittling everyone.

Anonymous said...

Sure KARMA will visit them.....

Anonymous said...

Re Ms. Durkin's Goal : "By the end of the year, she aims for 100 percent of evaluators showing improvement in providing feedback to teachers on how they can grow."

To do this effectively, this goal assumes that all evaluators have realistic insight and understanding in student as well as teacher issues and that they are extremely proficient and/or exemplary educators themselves.

Many evaluators have less classroom experience than those whom they are evaluating. They may feel pressured into delivering "100% feedback to teachers on how they can grow" whether it's needed or not. For some this translates to "find some faults, dwell on them to show teachers that they are being held accountable, recommend that a few be put on a plan or fired, whether warranted or not, and the superintendent will be happy with me".

The fact is that there are excellent teachers who have consistently shown academic growth in their classes year after year because they have a plan, prepare well, and have learned what works and what doesn't regardless of what new systems are introduced into the curriculum. Yet, because evaluators are under pressure for "100% find something to improve", they are often interfering with what has worked for these teachers by drumming up new projects and unproven strategies to replace the old. They interfere with crucial lesson planning since teachers are compelled to find additional time to create and develop these new ideas while being told to cast off their dependable proven methods. There are many teachers with proven effective strategies that have worked for years who "could share and provide feedback to other teachers on how they can grow" and to evaluators as well. However, many evaluators are not interested in this. The assumption seems to be that all teachers need improvement, few are proficient and the majority need a complete overhaul. Well, there is an adage that applies to some teachers..."If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"...and a good evaluator should recognize this.

Some evaluators have interpreted the superintendent's goal as a mandate to pile on additional work whether necessary or not, to point out all negative aspects during observations no matter how trivial, to create a "Big Brother" environment, rarely giving any positive reinforcement, while stifling all the creativity and enjoyment of an inviting classroom experience. These evaluators, perhaps unknowingly, in the quest for meeting the "100%" goal are creating an atmosphere of anxiety and frustration for all.

In this climate there is little wonder why good teachers leave the system to work elsewhere. Evaluators need to have the soul of a teacher to be effective. They need to respect the difficult day-to-day job that teachers do to enhance academic growth. They should provide support with positive feedback, while demanding realistic expectations. All classes, all teachers, all grades are unique and their differences should be addressed. In the zeal to improve student performance, which must be the priority, the system is driving away some of its best assets and creating a sphere of avoidance for new applicants.

To effectively achieve this goal perhaps Ms. Durkin's evaluators/principals should be anonymously evaluated by their faculty as well. Only then can she gain a truly clear picture to build loyal cohesive units system-wide and to stop this exodus of excellent teachers in her weeding process.