SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Ama Nyamekye The New Sock Puppet Of Educators4Excellence And Little Evan Stone

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ama Nyamekye The New Sock Puppet Of Educators4Excellence And Little Evan Stone

Yesterday, we shared how Educators4Excellence plans to invade the schools of Los Angeles. Today the readers will learn about the new Jugendleiter for E4E Los Angeles, Ama Nyamekye.

Ama is currently, or was, the CEO Good Influence LLC, some neo-liberal think tank or other that serves its founder. In fact, Ama has had many jobs. Consultant, Program Development and Outreach at the Richard Riordan Foundation, Manager, Communications Strategy STC Associates, Consultant, Behavioral Change Campaign Urban Assembly, Educator and Program Chair New York City Department of Education, Marketing Consultant, NASA Aerospace Education Lab NASA, and Program Manager The City School. All of these positions, except her position with The City School, have been over the course of the last 4 years. It appears that Ama does not maintain a place of employment for too long. It is obvious that Little Evan Stone and Princess Sydney Morris do not care who they put in charge, but it does show the incompetency of both in whom they select.

But just who, or what, is Ama Nyamekye? Ama worked for the NYC DOE as a teacher at the Bronx Academy of Letters, in the South Bronx from 2004-2007. Just the amount of time most TFA's stick to the job. But she was not just any ordinary teacher. She was a teacher extraordinaire! According to Ama's LinkedIn page whilst at the Bronx School of Letters she;
Designed a multicultural literature curriculum that garnered a 100% student pass rate on the state English exam, with 95% of students earning a B or higher. Facilitated professional development trainings on youth leadership development and led the student enrichment program and student government association. 
Where is the pudding with the proof that this occurred Ama? I hear crickets chirping very loudly. I guess she did the same for students with grades and scores as Michelle Rhee. Surely, she must be so proud.

But who else is Ama Nyamekye? Ama is also one of the few, if not the only, person of color to be allowed to write for Gotham Schools. This past August 30, Ama wrote an amusing piece how she was for standardized testing before she was against it.

Ama starts off good.....In college, I pumped my fist at a rally against standardized testing. I’d never seen the exam I was protesting, but stood in solidarity with educators and labor organizers who felt the testing movement was an attack on teachers, particularly those working in poor public schools.

Way to go! Yet now Ama has drank the E4E Kool-Aid and her days as a leader have ended. She is nothing but a blind follower.

Ama whines; I wanted to uplift my students and resented the weight of a looming high-stakes test.
Besides, I thought good teachers should be left to their own devices. And, I was certain that I was a good teacher. For the most part, my students were punctual, respectful, and engaged. It wasn’t until my second year in the classroom that I began questioning this assumption.

What a horrible person she must have felt like a failure. But isn't this something that teachers do anyway? 

More whining.....“How do you know the kids are really getting it?” My principal urged me to develop more-rigorous assessments of student learning. Ego and uncertainty inspired me to measure the impact of my instruction. I thought I was effective, but I wanted proof.

Proof? Your principal is a hack. Your principal tows the party line. What else you think she is going to say? But ain't it ironic that you want proof, but you will not offer proof as to what you posted on LinkedIn.

The state education department oversaw testing, ensuring questions were written and vetted to be “statistically and psychometrically sound,” and published an online archive of exams, rubrics, and sample student essays. 

Which have been proven to be unreliable and too easy.

I discovered holes in my curriculum. I once dismissed standardized testing for its narrow focus on a discrete set of skills, but I learned that my self-made assignments were more problematic. It turned out they were skewed in my favor.

So unskew them yourself. Geez, why the whining and the violin playing? You control the classroom, you control what happens, you design the rubric, and you design the tests. How difficult is this? 

When I started giving ongoing standardized assessments, I noticed that my students showed steady growth in literary analysis, but less growth in grammar and punctuation. I was teaching to my strengths instead of strengthening my weaknesses.

No s**t!!!

The test also compensated for the inherently subjective act of grading. I was designing the quizzes and projects used to evaluate my students and, by extension, my instruction. My intimate knowledge of students and the bonds we forged in the classroom influenced my perception of their performance.

Face palm alert. I swear, this chick must be Ruben Brosbe in drag.

I admired the dogged work ethic of Lian, a Chinese-born student, who struggled to master English.

So Lian because he is Chinese he has that "dogged work ethic?"

The 2010 Scholastic-Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation survey of 40,000 educators nationwide found that only 27 percent felt state standardized tests were essential or very important in measuring student performance.

Why would teachers, or anyone, listen to the guy who gave us the Zune? 

I’m now convinced that these sentiments are the product of a testing movement that has become more about fear and politics than pedagogy. Teachers, I believe, are pumping their fists for the wrong reasons.

No, teachers are pumping our fists for the right reasons, to show what is being done to the students, the profession, and education. Please, you have not been talking to a 4th grader the night before the ELA exam and had to listen to the anxiety. Ama, you are a phony, you are a lackey, you are a flunky ass kissing, miserable person. How dare you make that claim about teachers when you have only been in teaching for 3 YEARS!!! How dare you make any such claim about what teachers feel and want when right now you are and have become a sock puppet for Educators4Excellence. 

It is nothing about fear, nothing about politics; it is about what is right for our students. Ama, you are too young and too clueless to understand, but high stakes testing is not about helping students, the schools, the teachers, the districts, or anyone involved. It is all about the green, the moolah, the scratch, the $$$$$$$. As long as there is money in "them thar hills," there will be testing, testing and testing. And guess what? The group you are now leading in Los Angeles are one of the biggest money whores there are. Enjoy your time there.

If anyone wants to read another take on Ama's whining check out what appeared in Edweek a few weeks back.

No comments: