Saturday, March 26, 2011

It's here...Your Comment of the Week!

1) If we have a surplus here in Alexandria then
why do teachers overwhelmingly have to pay
their own way for courses for their own
recertification? When I started teaching here
ACPS paid half and my department paid the
other half. Now we get next to nothing.
Unlike administrators the vast majority of
us are not rich, nor do we see the rationale
behind paying to keep our jobs. What we
paid Skillful Teacher could have paid for
college courses for dozens of teachers.
Now I understand you could get college credit
for ST but you had to pony up 200 bucks of
your own money for credits that will never
transfer from a university I would be ashamed
to attend (one step above "go to college in your
pajamas!"). 2) Why is it that kids can walk right
off a school bus and onto king street in the
morning and nobody stops them? Seriously, nobody
even tries. It's almost as if we tacitly encourage
truancy. 3) Why are the hall monitors allowed to
do absolutely nothing? Why do numerous (talkingdozens) 
of complaints not result in any discipline? Why are 
hall monitors taking kids out of my class to talk 
about sports? Why are they allowed to openly abandon 
their posts? Why are they allowed to be surly and 
unprofessional? In short: why are hall monitors not 
fired for things teachers would be? 3) Mort said 
proudly that no teacher took a pay cut because 
of the recession (during which we apparently collected 
a surplus). Every CTE teacher got 10 days cut from 
their work calendar. They said it was because of the 
recession when I asked. That's a pay cut for about 
5-10% of the staff. How does that not count? We 
ever getting those days back or is central office 
hoping we'll shut up and take it? Until then I would 
appreciate if the superintendent did not say anything 
about people not taking a pay cut due to the recession. 
4) Why is the superintendent not willing to pay staff 
for the extra time at the same rate they get paid 
every other hour of the day? It's like we have to 
work one half hour a day at a huge discount. I 
respectfully ask that we stop treating the education 
business as a charity and start treating it as a job. 
In short we have a proposed 2-3% pay increase for 
a proposed 6-7% work increase. Makes no sense 
unless you think we aren't worth the money. Maybe 
we should get on a bus to Fairfax? 5) It was said 
before but I reiterate: How did the focus vis a vis 
extra time go from student time to extra time for 
staff development? Remember this email TC staff? 
"The state has strongly recommended, as part of our PLA designation, to increase annual instructional time by 300 hours. My proposals bring us very close to that goal." - Morton Sherman Says "student instruction" pretty clearly. Now we're told it will be PLP time (utter waste of time, I swear ACPS LOVES bureaucracy). What changed Mort? The plan is clearly different now than it was initially and no reason was given. In fact, I believe this issue has not been addressed at all. I'm hoping Mort comes clean and does not make this into a BS case about semantics (see, that I meant by student instruction was...). I charge Mort with moving the goalposts.
By Anonymous on Dr. Sherman...Coming to the Underground on 3/24/11


  1. the IB training was just an introduction to a program we as a district haven't even applied to!!! the trainers stated that they didn't even know why they were takes 3 years to be approved as an IB school...simply amazing

  2. Jefferson-Houston is in the Candidate stage, therefore we HAVE applied.

  3. I was informed by the IB trainers that the District has not yet applied...

  4. Maybe not for the MYP or IB programs but both JH and MVCC have applied for the PYP program. JH is in candidate stage and has had visits from the IBO organization... I know this because I was there.

  5. My husband has worked for years in the Academics and Assessment area of the IB program. First, PYP is the same as IB, simply for the primary years. Secondly, he thinks (and here I will remain anonymous) that it is laughable that any of the schools in ACPS would be granted IB status in the next eight to ten years. There are all sorts of problems, financial and other, that started under your previous superintendent (Title IX action by National Women's Law center is a particular sore spot with them) that have worsened under the current leader, Sherman, right? My husband points to one section of the application that ACPS flubbed miserably.

    Implementation of the PYP
    Since the submission of Application for candidacy: Primary Years Programme, the school has been working on the objectives that were identified in the action plan.
    This document includes questions and additional charts that need to be completed, information that needs to be updated and the list of supporting documents that need to be enclosed.
    A: Philosophy
    1. Transcribe the mission statement of the school.

    2. Has the school made any changes to its mission statement to align it to that of the IB? How did the process take place and who was involved?

    3. In order to successfully implement the PYP, the school community should be aware of and understand the IB philosophy as well as demonstrate commitment to the implementation of the programme. Complete the chart below with a description of what the school has done since it was recognised as a candidate school to achieve this goal with the following groups within its community.
    Actions taken by the school Major outcomes Additional comments
    Governing body
    Local educational authorities
    (if applicable)
    Pedagogical leadership team
    Teachers and other members of staff who are involved in the implementation of the programme
    (identify, adding rows as necessary)

    4. What contribution has the PYP made so far to school life?

    B: Organization
    B1: Leadership and structure

    1. PYP structure
    a. The PYP is an inclusive programme for all students. All students aged 3 to 12 years old in all the grades/year levels in the school should be engaged in the PYP. Complete the following chart.
    Student age Name of grades/years as identified in the school Name of school section to which each grade/year belongs Number of classes Total number of students in each PYP year
    3–4 years
    4–5 years
    5–6 years
    6–7 years
    7–8 years
    8–9 years
    9–10 years
    10–11 years
    11–12 years (4)
    Total number of PYP students