SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Evan Stone And Sydney Morris Are The Neatest Teachers Ever!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Evan Stone And Sydney Morris Are The Neatest Teachers Ever!

I remember when I was a little kid of about four years old I once put on my dad's suit and his shoes, carried his briefcase around and I thought that I knew it all. I felt like a grown up. But I wasn't. I was just four years old. I was playing the part of a grown up much the way Sydney Morris and Evan Stone of PS 86 in the Bronx are. Gotham Schools decided, objectively of course, to profile them today.

Sydney and Evan who have a total of five years total in the system think they know what is best. The started a website and Facebook page, Educators 4 Excellence which is nice. But, what do these two neophytes know about education? Or the system? Or reality?

Educators 4 Excellence is also generating enthusiasm from more established advocates such as Democrats for Education Reform founder and board member Whitney Tilson.

This should have been the first warning sign to Gotham Schools. Anything that is endorsed, other than stalls in interstate highway rest areas, should be a warning of some kind. Whitney=Bad. Unfortunately these two have fallen into Whitney's cult and must be deprogrammed immediately.

One of their first battles will be against the state’s “last-in, first-out” law, which forces the city to lay off newer teachers in advance of their more experienced colleagues.

Wait, so the new, less experienced, novice, immature teachers should be kept in place of more experienced teachers? That makes sense. Hey Evan, booby, let's pretend you stay teaching 20 years. You are now 45 years old, you have 2.7 kids and a wife with an insatiable appetite for TJMAXX. I will also give you the benefit of the doubt that you are a darn good teacher. Layoffs come, and you are sent packing because you earn way to much, compared to 2030's version of Evan Stone. What would you do? How would you react? But no need to worry Evan. You will soon enough satisfy your white liberal guilt of instructing little boys and girls of color and soon be on your way to making the most out of that Yale degree.

they want Educators 4 Excellence to become an independent think tank for teachers who want to overhaul how they’re evaluated and what’s done with that information. Part of that includes supporting merit pay and using students’ test scores as a factor in teacher evaluations.

How do we base merit pay Syd Syd and Little Evan? How does the phys ed. teacher receive such pay? The art teacher? The music teacher? Heck, the classroom teacher. How do we make test scores subjective enough to truly evaluate a teacher? What happens to a teacher when the night before a standardized test a few students are sexually assaulted by a family member, a few are physically abused by a family member, a few kids left home alone and watch TV until midnight. I mean I can go on and on about the endless possibilities of negative outside influences that can affect students test scores.

Stone and Morris, both of whom entered the classroom by way of Teach for America,

Anyone surprised they are from TFA?

Aside from getting a once-a-year rating of satisfactory or unsatisfactory, they didn’t know how well they were doing or how to improve, and they began to talk about leaving their school.

They must be classic kiss ups like Dwight Schrute and worse RATS. Please leave. You are at one of the best schools in district 10, you have a old time principal. Be grateful.

Why are we thinking about leaving this job that we’re both pretty good at and is really rewarding for us?” said Stone. “We want to be pushed, we wanted to be evaluated, and we wanted someone to come into our classroom and tell us how to be better.”

You need someone else to push you, to challenge you? You need someone to tell you how to be better? You can't self reflect? You seem like a mindless drone Little Matt. Want PD? There ain't none, at least not the way it used to be. Gee whiz, stop your bellyaching and get with the program. Would you kvetch like this if you were in the Marines?

“We’re not anti-union,” Stone said. “We’re big fans of the benefits that teachers get and we like the pensions and collective bargaining, but we also need to look out for the prestige of the profession.”

Bullocks, you are anti-union. Hey Little Evan, if you are ever accused of something let's see how fast you go running to your CL. And the prestige of the profession has been hammered into the ground by Bloomberg, Klein, and your Goddess, Whitney Tilson.


Unknown said...

You are pathetic.

Pete Zucker said...


Now this is pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Another masterpiece.

Well done.

Unknown said...

No, seriously, this is a pathetic, hateful post.

Pete Zucker said...

So you find the post more repulsive than this one?

Would you like to see some other repulsive posts?

Anonymous said...

A common theme I’m hearing from opponents of E4E is that repealing “Last In First Out” will scare off qualified professionals who once considered teaching as their career. Speaking from my own experiences, I simply cannot agree with such fears. I have been teaching in NYC for several years, and bridge the gap between rookie and veteran teachers. I am currently weighing my options for the future, and a move to the suburbs seems inevitable. The gap between living costs and teachers’ salaries in the city is not conducive to raising a family. That reality is what makes Evan’s and Sydney’s cause so refreshing. The prospect of merit based pay gives me hope that I will be able to continue serving the population of students I love to teach, at the school I love teaching in. The current system of protection for experienced, yet underachieving teachers is what scares me. The prospect of rewarding teachers deemed successful based on student achievement, and not years of service, is what gives me hope.

Recruiting and retaining qualified teachers is how we put students first!

ed notes online said...

"The prospect of merit based pay gives me hope that I will be able to continue serving the population of students I love to teach, at the school I love teaching in."

Exactly how much money do you think you will make off this merit pay scheme? That's a bonus for a fraction of your pay and not your whole salary. This is not Death of the Salesman.

Let's say your next door neighbor gets better scores than you consistently. How do you feel? Will you leave for the suburbs where by the way they do things by seniority and have no merit pay - how will you feel working there? Screwed I imagine. But you will swallow your principles for the higher pay I guess.

Remember there is a certain pool of money and some get shut out. Not everyone can get merit pay or that defeats the purpose. Will you help the newer teacher in your school if he endangers your merit pay by scoring higher than you?

Considering this statement
"The current system of protection for experienced, yet underachieving teachers is what scares me."

There must be a whole bunch of these in your school for you to feel so strongly about this. Why not tell us about what the principal is doing to get them out if they are so underachieving. Or are you spouting theory?

You see, many of us who taught for many years never looked at our colleagues that way. Most worked hard and did the best they could. Some looked into the souls of their kids to deal with deep problems even if their scores may not reflect that. Let's just throw all that away. Your statements sound like they come right from a PR brochure from the ed deformers.

Pete Zucker said...

"I have been teaching in NYC for several years,"

Define several. How many years is several?

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous: What about after many years of teaching your principal decides you make too much money?? He or she begins to give you tougher classes where you know the scores may not be as good as your colleague's. Is that fair? In the scheme of things, merit-based pay is UNFAIR. It will hurt dedicated teachers at some point especially now that they've put in place so many inept, unqualified administrators who are 100% data-driven.

UFT Members for E4E said...

The points in this post are in response to TITB, and Primadonna on both and TITB’s blog. From here on out I’m only going to respond on so more people can join in on the conversation.
Teacher in the Bronx, I’m not going to get into details about myself because who I am has no bearing on this discussion, and will only provide you with fodder for more personal attacks. If I tell you I have been teaching for 10+ years, you will create some hypothetical situation in which I am earning over $100,000 a year and it’s time for another round of budget cuts, and I am let go. If I say I have been working for 2 years, you will lump me in with Mr. Stone and Ms. Morris as young teachers looking to make their mark in a system in which they have little understanding, before moving on to politics or business (not true). These personal attacks have nothing to do with the topic on hand. The heart of this debate is whether or not “Last In First Out” policies are in the best interest of our students. Here are the facts…
Fact: Teacher Quality has the greatest impact on student achievement.
Fact: Teacher effectiveness improves from years 1-3, and then plateaus with little change being seen until year 10, when effectiveness actually decreases. That’s right, decreases.
Before the attacks begin, let me clarify this statement. These statistics are averages. Obviously this does not mean that every 5th year teacher is more effective than every teacher with 10+ years of experience. That would be an absurd conclusion to draw. But what it does say is that there are younger teachers who do more for our students than some teachers with a decade or more of experience. Now I think it’s safe to say that 100 out of 100 parents would choose the more effective teacher, regardless of age or years of experience, to teach his/her child. This is because that is what’s in the best interest of their child. Unfortunately under the current system, when teachers must be laid off the teacher with less experience will always be removed regardless of student success. This simply is not in the best interest of our students and cannot be tolerated.
Now to address Primadonna’s point about merit based pay…
Test scores are not the only measure of teacher effectiveness. A comprehensive evaluation of teachers would look at all measurable factors of teacher effectiveness, as agreed on by the DOE and UFT. I agree with TITB that the fixation on test scores needs to stop. It is not the only way in which students should be measured, and it is certainly not the only way teachers should be evaluated. But since so many seem to fixate on test scores, allow me to make one other point. When comparing teachers based on test scores, you do not compare the percentage of 4s, 3s, 2s, and 1s then rank teachers on who received the best scores. You look at the raw scores and evaluate the growth that students have made compared to projected growth (similar to our yearly teacher evaluations). The statement you made about principals giving teachers who earn high salaries lower achieving students so as to build a case for their dismissal is a fallacy. I will reiterate this point…you measure student growth, not student scores.
To all those against the cause of Educators 4 Excellence, all I can say is you are on the losing side of this battle. “LIFO” will be repealed, merit based pay will be instituted. All you can do is slow this inevitable process down. Just look at the agreements being made in D.C. (with the support of the AFT and Randi Weingarten), or the legislation being passed in Florida. We can work together to create a similar system here in NYC, or the opposition can sit on the sideline as policies are mandated for them. Either way reform is imminent. I hope to hear more constructive criticism, and less personal attacks.
My mantra: recruiting and retaining qualified teachers is how we put students first!

ed notes online said...

You don't have to tell us about yourself. This post reveals a lot.

"Fact: Teacher Quality has the greatest impact on student achievement. "

Where do you get this "fact" from? The research is flawed. There is as much research that says class size had the biggest impact and that teacher quality is a variable based on conditions.

See the Class size matters video on the ed notes blog.

How do you judge student growth in such a way to judge a teacher. You must share some criteria with us instead of generalities.

Anonymous said...

My statement was no fallacy. The fix will be in especially for senior teachers. As you stated, teacher effectiveness decreases according to your research. So I guess teachers over 35 should just either die or get out of teaching right? Your viewpoints are very troubling. Some of the most dedicated teachers I've met were teaching 25+ years and truly LOVED kids. The system they are trying to implement is killing the profession of teaching. Most teachers I know want OUT, including me. Good, wonderful, dedicated teachers want to leave the system. Is THAT good for the kids? So when they leave, shall we replace them with a novice who will need at least 3 years to learn the job? So what about those kids? Won't they be at a disadvantage with a rookie who is unable to properly assess growth? The system they wish to create is turning our schools into revolving doors for educators. Completely detrimental to schools. How should we evaluate Special Ed students? Should THEY show growth as well even ones with sever disabilities? How should we evaluate ESL teachers, Reading & Math coaches? Guidance & School Psychologists? The system you want so badly to be implemented will continuously measure and punish the classroom teacher and encourage cheating on every level. It seems lately all you hear about are cheating scandals.
I suggest you purchase Diane Ravtich's latest book. I'm sorry but you need an education. Those of us who've been around know a thing or two. we know kids. Those of you who haven't are just using teaching as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.
You'll see. Ten years from now, this will all be seen as a mistake. But it'll be too late, won't it.

Anonymous said...

@UFT Members for E4E:
I strongly recommend you view this video.

Anonymous said...

This is hilarious. Anyone read the article Sydney wrote in the NY Post on 4/19/10????

NYC Teacher said...

Yes I did. I think Sydney did an excellent job shedding some light on a status quo that is failing our students and schools. She has also helped bring the issue of "LIFO" laws to the table for discussion. I commend her and Educators 4 Excellence for speaking out in support of our schools.

Anonymous said...

Sydney's article is pathetic. She has a very narrow-minded way of looking at education. This is because she hasn't even been teaching 3 years but knows EVERYTHING. I work with her, trust me. It's incredibly frustrating that she doesn't believe teachers with 10, 15, 20 years experience have more credibility than she does. She is NOT certified to teach in New York State, and thankfully is leaving teaching. Good riddance!