I am loathe to respond to comments that are drafted simply to prompt a response...it only serves to encourage shallow, flatulent writing by certain commenters. However, this time I'll take the bait. Neither Voltaire, nor The Underground hates Morton Sherman. For all we know, he may be a fine human being, a caring grandfather and a loyal, loving husband. This is why every criticism about Sherman, has related to his role as ACPS Superintendent. This is also why the many comments that are loaded with personal attacks, threats and abusive language have been deleted. Again, we have no idea what sort of person Mort is.
However, he is a horrible superintendent. His actions as the head of our city schools constitute nothing short of educational negligence. Not a day passes that I do not see the institutionalized insanity, wrought by Sherman initiatives. Not a class period goes by that I do not see students suffering from teaching/scheduling models that Sherman endorses.
Never once have we underestimated Mort's ability to put his 'vision' into practice. He has a plan that is as comprehensive as it is secretive and self-perpetuating. If his plan were one that was open to scrutiny and debate, if it took stakeholder opinions into account, if it were based on best practices, then a dialogue with Sherman might be possible. This is not how this superintendent rolls, though!
At a recent meeting with an elementary staff, Sherman stood up to pitch his latest scheme...the extended school day/year. He touted the increased hires that his budget made possible. One brave teacher stood up and queried Sherman, asking "How can you boast about adding staff when you've placed nineteen paraprofessionals positions on the chopping block?" Sherman immediately denied that the woman was correct. When she cited a document that his office he commented that she had the particulars wrong. Only after producing the paper from Sherman's office did Sherman admit that, indeed, he had proposed eliminating the positions in question.
If anyone believes that Sherman's tour of schools is an open and honest dialogue intended to gauge teacher support, or if anyone thinks for a moment that the longer school day is an opportunity for teachers to prepare for instruction in ways that they believe are most effective...think again. The plan for the twenty-one hours is already in place. Call Mort's North Carolina consultant Brenda and ask her how the added time will be used...PLP is the answer, you'll hear. The dreaded and completely bogus Professional Learning Plans will now be a quarterly exercise in futility. The twenty-one hours will be consumed with PLP meetings and implementation. Nary a minute of the extra hours will be directed toward teacher centered planning. The real kicker is that the whole PLP expansion has been in the works for months and was the impetus for hiring Brenda many months ago, and long before Sherman's 'dialogue' on even adding the extra time was ever unveiled.
So, should Morton Sherman be hated? No, not personally. But we who know better have every right to revile, despise and, yes, even hate what he has done and continues to do to our schools. And we should certainly hate the way he goes about it!
"A witty saying proves nothing."