SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Errol Louis of the Daily News Is Not a Real Journalist

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Errol Louis of the Daily News Is Not a Real Journalist

Poor Errol Louis. He just seems to keep on stepping in it and his bereft of any independent thought.

The shame he must bring on his hometown of New Rochelle.

When we last left Errol Louis on these pages we had noticed that he had become the "Kool-Aid Man." Now, after reading his column in today's Daily News we know that the supply of Kool Aid packets worldwide will decrease for some time.

This is becoming too easy to take his "arguments" apart but The Crack Team wish to have some fun tonight so we are having a go of it.

Errol starts off of course without any usual when he puts all the onus on the unions. This year, that number is expected to soar, thanks in part to an organized campaign by the state teachers union and its political allies to persuade parents to have their children opt out.

Political allies? Like whom? If he means the grass roots parents, REAL grassroots, not like his pals at Families for Excellent Schools, StudentsFirst, Educators4Excellence, and new kid on the block, High Achievement NY but advocates that started from a single person, a real life mommy, a smart person.

For instance New York State Allies for Public Education, Diane Ravitch, Stop Common Core in New York State, the plethora of personal blogs, and let's not forget the many, many Facebook pages in which so many are using their own time and their own monies to do a service for now monetary gain whatsoever. Why isn't "Journalist" Errol taking the time and speaking to these people? 

"Journalist" Errol prattles on; First and foremost, parents should guard against allowing their movement to get hijacked by the money and political clout of union officials, whose motivation and ultimate goals on this issue are very different from those of parents.

Actually NYSUT was late to the game, about a few years late. Yeah, parents should wonder what took them so long and why only now are they on the bandwagon but since they are we welcome them with open arms. But ultimately the goals are the same.

Heck, what about the millions of dollars that Governor Andy has pocketed for the benefit of 9 billionaires?

More bloviating from "Journalist" Errol;  a new law, passed by the Legislature and strongly backed by Gov. Cuomo, that makes test scores the basis of tougher evaluation standards intended to detect poorly performing teachers and steer them out of the classroom.

A new law yes. And also a bad law. Tougher evaluation standards? Has "Journalist" Errol seen what happened in Atlanta because of the reliance on the tests? Has "Journalist" Errol read the New York Times and their story of Eva? Michelle Rhee? The suicides? Can "Journalist" Errol explain the algorithm that is used to determine whether or not a teacher is effective? What about the outside evaluator? Who is paying this person? Who is training this person? Does this person know the intricacies of the teacher and the students he is to evaluate?

"Journalist" Errol digs himself deeper; “We have 20% right now. We’d be happy with zero, because it’s not a true indicator of what’s going on in the schools,” said Magee.
“Happy with zero” means the union would just as soon not have its members’ job security or prospects for promotion affected in any way by whether the students have actually learned reading, writing or math.

No. Not just on ridiculous tests created by a company that only is in it for a profit and pushed by politicians getting paid off. 

But "Journalist" Errol rails against bad cops. How would "Journalist" Errol make sure we get rid of bad cops? 

The blabbering goes on; the union’s strategy — backed by groups including the Working Families Party — is to cripple the evaluation system by encouraging so many kids to opt out that the tests won’t represent a reliable sample.

The kids are not making the decisions the parents are. And is "Journalist" Errol saying the parents are too stupid to think on their own, to make an informed decision? 

That’s not the same agenda as parents, who simply dislike the stress and lost classroom hours that inevitably come with prepping for a high-stakes standardized test.

"Journalist" Errol just contradicted himself. But the NYSUT and the educators of this state have the same agenda as the parents. The parents also know the tests are not the way to evaluate the teachers of THEIR children!

The blithering is ceaseless; Cuomo vowed to revamp teacher evaluation systems that he dismissed as “baloney” because nearly every teacher gets rated as effective...

So what will Governor Andy do next year if the same happens? 

Now, for a minutes it seems that "Journalist" Errol gets it; Magee’s response? “The truth is, there’s no epidemic of failing schools or bad teachers,” she said in a statement responding to Cuomo. “There is an epidemic of poverty and underfunding that Albany has failed to adequately address for decades.”

Let's look and compare in "Journalist" Errol's hometown of New Rochelle, NY. Former home of Bob Petrie, former head write of the "Alan Brady Show," and former home of Yankee legend Lou Gehrig. 

The North End of New Rochelle has some of the richest real estate in Westchester County.  Now let's compare it to the Washington Ave and 5th Ave areas of the city. Lots of poverty. Lots immigrants. Lots of ELL's.

The two middle schools, Albert Leonard and Isaac Young are not zoned. But at the north end Albert Leonard in which 376 students who are economically disadvantaged took the the ELA exam only 21% were proficient. So is it poverty, second language learners or teachers? Same teachers, same schools. 

IT'S POVERTY! And lack of English. And so much much more.

"Journalist" Errol ignorantly claims that people must...realize that high-stakes testing is, for better or worse, the norm in our complex modern society. Universities base admissions decisions on SAT and ACT scores; graduate schools do the same with LSATs, GREs, MCATs and more.

And virtually all Civil Service employees, be they firefighters, bus drivers or entry-level sanitation workers, must pass a high-stakes standardized test to get the job. The legal and medical professions famously require exams of punishing difficulty, as do architecture and aviation

Please, don't compare. These tests are not used to destroy someone's career. These tests are not out to trick you and they test questions make sense. 

Students have plenty of tests in school do know how to get ready for grown up tests. But they can worry about getting this practice in high school and college, not THIRD GRADE!!!

These tests are not about helping students are evaluating where a students in academically. The tests the way they are being used now is basically twofold. One, to jam teachers and the other is for Pearson to make s***loads of money. Nothing more, nothing less. 

The assessment of a student starts and ends at home. Want to know how and what your child is doing in school? Ask him or her. Ask their teacher. Discuss with your child what their school work is and what they are learning. Do the same with the teacher. Show up in school when you should. Speak to other parents. Go to PTA meetings, come to open school night, volunteer. Doing all these things will get you the lay of the land of your child's school and knowing what your child is doing in school. 

Wouldn't this be easier, get teachers back to educating our students full time, and be a heck of a lot less expensive? 

One wonders if "Journalist" Errol really has any journalistic chops or curiosity left in him and whether he fancies himself a journo-celeb nowadays or just a talking head.

One can wonder what "Journalist" Errol might be getting under the table to write such drivel.

One can also wonder if "Journalist" Errol puts his money where is mouth is and why he won't answer in regard to this tweet;


NYCviaFLA said...

I hadn't seen Karen's tweet, but I tweeted yesterday (April 14):

@errollouis Are your kids taking the test this week? What wisest parent wants for kid must we want for community--MT John Dewey. #OptOut

Anonymous said...

He once had a panel of " experts" on to talk about reform. He started by saying "full disclosure, now, all f you have done some PR consulting for Success Academy." Disclosing your bias doesn't make you any less biased. Dude wants to be their lapdog. Whatever gravy train they're on , he wants to be on it, too, should the