Last update: Friday, April 15, 12:30PM
And she is for merit pay. She was obviously a top-notch teacher in her three years in the system before leaving with her partner Evan Stone to organize Educators 4 Excellence (she is supposedly working part-time F-status), where she gets to pontificate on the most important issue facing education and educators today: changing seniority rules.
One million school children and their parents just dream of the day when Sydney and her merry crew of hired staff at E4E win this victory so the sun can shine again and all women will be strong – Sydney clearly wears the pants in E4E – all the men will be good looking and all the children will have the achievement gap closed and be above average.
Sydney was a fabulous teacher totally dedicated to her children but also a firm believe in merit pay. I asked her how much harder she would have worked and how much more she would have closed the achievement gap had she been paid say, $10,000 more? $20,000? $50,000? Wow! Imagine, how the scores would rise exponentially as the piles of cash grew. And since E4E never even mentions class size, we could could pay her that extra money by firing the worst teacher in her school – most likely a senior teacher making a hundred grand despite spending the entire day reading a newspaper or being absent all the time. Just give her all those kids that were being denied an excellent teacher.
Sixty in a class? No problem. Sydney can handle it. As a matter of fact, when I asked why E4E never mentions class size, Sydney did admit class size can make a difference – if we could lower it to 15. "I taught 34 children", she said. "Since we might only be able to lower class sizes at best to 28 the extra 6 children wouldn't make that much of a difference." Now there's a real teacher for you. Sees no difference between 34 and 28 children in a class. I told you the woman was strong.
Well, Sydney wasn't giving me an answer to the contradiction between favoring merit pay and how her performance would have been affected by being offered merit pay.
She switched tactics - said it was all about incentives. Like luring someone from going to work for Goldman-Saks into teaching high school math instead. What a great idea. I hear many people at Goldman are already lining up to teach high school math in the Bronx. And imagine the math scores the GS guys who pulled those credit default swaps will bring in for an extra 10 Grand!
So, I tried another tactic: Getting into a bidding war with Bill Gates for Sydney's services.
"Sydney, how much do I have to pay you to lure you back into to teaching those poor kids you abandoned?"
I'm still waiting for her answer but she smiled at that, so there is hope.
Now you all know that even though I am a Tier 1 retiree, I may not be able to compete with Bill, Eli, DFER and who knows who else funnels money to E4E (check out their fancy new offices at 333 W. 39th Street). But I don't want to leave those poor kids abandoned by a great teacher like Sydney Morris.
So I am pleading for your help. Join the Ed Notes in a gala fundraiser at a time and location to be announced in the interests of children first:
SSBT: Send Sydney Back to Teaching
Be sure to read my previous blog posts on the TFA/LIFO event over the past few days.