Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Chutzpah Courtney Keeps Complaining in the Midst of RGC Chaos
Dictionaries have been updating their graphic for "chutzpah" with Courtney Sale Ross. Let's see now. Six principals, all of whom needed byouts, 75% teacher turnover, parents pulling kids out in droves, the use of one public building after another (including the use of Tweed handed over by Ross' pal Joel Klein), public tax money supporting a wasted institution, etc, etc, etc.
For a howl of a read, check out the New Yorker. Courtney even blames the UFT.
Here is Lisa Donlan's take:
Blue print for fighting school closings:
1. be sure to have a gazzilion dollars to throw at lawyers
2. Use your power, money and connections to generate lots of media stories (even if they make you sound loopy or paranoid!)
3. Blame everyone and everything for your poor management- except your own Board/leadership!
BUT, since our schools have no money or power or connections at the top-
1. Sue, sue, sue and sue- mayoral control is governance by lawsuit (thanks to Sens Squadron/Padavan and the rest of the legislature that passed this most recent flawed version).
2. Use the media to explain how inept DoE is, how they are unable to support schools, and how closing a school makes little sense if the charters that were designed to live/die by accountability get second chances, via legal loopholes and reprieves.
It means no one believes that closing a school is a solution- not even the folks who have made fame and fortune peddling this so-called "accountability."
3. Rather than blame the DoE, the UFT, the hedge funders with connections and everyone under the sun, look closely at the school's successes and challenges. There is surely a narrative beneath the data that needs telling/clarification.
If CSR would look at the results her school has produced in terms of the schools demographics, she would see that RGA has indeed done a lousy job running a school as compared with schools with many greater challenges.
The teacher/students/principal turnover tell a tale of a culture of fear and blame; a lack of support; an arrogance and a lack of caring.
The fancy furniture and works of art are not a replacement for a solid pedagogy, collegial collaboration, support services for all kinds of minds, a safe and predictable environment and consistent vision.
Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/. And make sure to check out the side panel on right for news bits.