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Topic: Mrs. Landmark
Message: Posted by: landmark (Jul 12, 2011 01:04PM)
So Mrs. Landmark and I were taking in the cool morning breeze of our AC, when Mrs. L gets a phone call from the high school she teaches at. It was her adminbot superior who called to tell her that she was being excessed from her job.

The missus refused to show her emotions to the bot, heard him out, and then she said a cheery good-bye. She wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of getting upset on the phone.

Let's consider a few things here:
1) The new NYC budget deal hailed by the mayor promised there would be no layoffs. Everyone cheered. Turns out being excessed due to declining enrollment at your particular school is technically not the same as being laid off. Even though there is no way her department can service the needs of the large number of ESL students currently, now they want to excess her in the name of enrollment.

2) The city's only obligation to her is to allow her to become what is called an ATR. She would be a full time sub possibly traveling to a different school every single day, anywhere within the five boroughs of New York City.

3) She has been teaching high school English as A Second Language to immigrants for upwards of fifteen years. She has taught the same in prestigious universities for 15 years prior to that.

4) SHE IS THE BEST ESL TEACHER IN NYC. I know this a large claim. You will have to take my word on this. You might think I'm prejudiced about this, but I'm not. I'm very proud of her, but I'm stating the fact objectively. There are some things I would agree that she doesn't do so well; when it comes to teaching ESL however, SHE IS THE BEST ESL TEACHER IN NYC. Scores of students for decades have remained in touch with her for years, telling her how she has changed their lives. Mrs. Landmark hates being an administrator so she never became head of the department, but in fact, her boss could not run the department without her. And she spent the last year desperately trying to get a soccer league together for her students, because she knew that was what would motivate them to come to school. This is a woman that knows nothing about sports, but did all the fundraising and planning and cajoling of coaches because she thought it would end up making her students better learners and people.

She'll find another job of course, we're not worried about that, but at her age, jobhunting is something more than an annoyance. The point is that the public has no idea what the Serious People in Government really think of them and their pathetic desire to be educated. Keep diverting public money to the private CEOs and screw the rest of you.

I'm bitter, can you tell?
Message: Posted by: Stanyon (Jul 12, 2011 01:54PM)
A phone call rather than in person....what a coward that admin is!

Hang in there!
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Jul 12, 2011 01:57PM)
I'm sorry to hear this. Was she employed by a public district and did she have a continuing contract?

Regardless, this is bad news. Please give my regards to Mrs. L and wish her all the best in finding a better placement.

John
Message: Posted by: balducci (Jul 12, 2011 02:36PM)
Adminbots! Wow, so kewl.

Mrs. Landmark must have worked in the school of the future!
Message: Posted by: JRob (Jul 12, 2011 03:35PM)
I know I sometimes come off as anti-teacher which I am not. I Believe that most problems in public schools are more appropriately laid at the feet of admin and NOT the faculty. Mrs.Landmark is a case in point. If anybody should have been excessed it was the adminbot (I love that word, thanks for using it).
I really hope for the best for her.
Message: Posted by: 1tepa1 (Jul 12, 2011 03:44PM)
Sorry to hear that. I wish you the best.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jul 12, 2011 03:47PM)
Sad news I wish you well.
Message: Posted by: gdw (Jul 12, 2011 04:38PM)
[quote]
On 2011-07-12 16:35, JRob wrote:
I know I sometimes come off as anti-teacher which I am not. I Believe that most problems in public schools are more appropriately laid at the feet of admin and NOT the faculty. Mrs.Landmark is a case in point. If anybody should have been excessed it was the adminbot (I love that word, thanks for using it).
I really hope for the best for her.
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: landmark (Jul 12, 2011 04:59PM)
[quote]
On 2011-07-12 14:57, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
I'm sorry to hear this. Was she employed by a public district and did she have a continuing contract?

Regardless, this is bad news. Please give my regards to Mrs. L and wish her all the best in finding a better placement.

John
[/quote]
Thanks for the kind words all. Yes, she is a NYC public school teacher under UFT contract, supposedly one of the strongest unions in the country. There are many pictures of our mayor, Bloomberg, and the UFT president, Mulgrew, shaking hands over the last minute budget deal: 2600 jobs to be lost by attrition, but supposedly no layoffs. On top of that there will be hundreds of millions in additional cuts to programs and school services.
Message: Posted by: thorndyke (Jul 12, 2011 07:40PM)
This is terrible, but I admire how she handled it.
As for layoffs/excesses, well, relabeling is a cowardly thing.
Message: Posted by: rockwall (Jul 12, 2011 07:55PM)
Sorry about your wife, if she's as good as you say she is, (and I have no doubt that she is), I would think there would be other positions available for her and possibly in the private sector. Best of luck.

I wanted to say that first, but I also was thinking. I don't want to go back and search your other posts but I'm thinking you're pretty pro-union. If not, I apologize. If you are, why would you tell us how good a teacher she is as a reason why they should not have let her go. I thought the only thing that really meant anything as far as union protection goes is seniority, not quality. Was there no one below her to let go first? Or did they get rid of the position completely?
Message: Posted by: kcg5 (Jul 12, 2011 09:00PM)
Your wife sounds like a wonderful woman. Three cheers for teachers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Message: Posted by: balducci (Jul 12, 2011 09:10PM)
[quote]
On 2011-07-12 20:55, rockwall wrote:

I don't want to go back and search your other posts but I'm thinking you're pretty pro-union. If not, I apologize. If you are, why would you tell us how good a teacher she is as a reason why they should not have let her go. I thought the only thing that really meant anything as far as union protection goes is seniority, not quality. Was there no one below her to let go first? Or did they get rid of the position completely?
[/quote]
If he's NOT pro-union, you feel that you need to apologize for possibly thinking he might be? :confused:

Anyway, SOME unions hold seniority in high esteem. Not all of them. It used to be that management at many (even possibly most) private non-union companies ALSO held seniority in high esteem. Well, I suppose that most of them still do provided that you are also in a high enough level executive position.
Message: Posted by: balducci (Jul 12, 2011 09:10PM)
[quote]
On 2011-07-12 22:00, kcg5 wrote:

Your wife sounds like a wonderful woman. Three cheers for teachers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[/quote]
Ditto. I also wish her all the best.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Jul 12, 2011 10:00PM)
Rockwall, yes I am pro union and I believe in seniority. It's a fair question, and I take no offense.
With that said, I think Mulgrew negotiated a lousy deal, with evidently no real teeth when it came to the no layoff pledge.
As for the seniority issue, I understand how in theory it seems like there should be some evaluative process that keeps the best. But in fact, there is no such process that is not easily manipulated by administrators who want to do what they want to do. Had there been no seniority protections, Mrs. Landmark could well have been excessed a long time ago. As an experienced teacher, she costs roughly double what a newbie fresh out of college would cost; the administrators just want a warm body in the classroom and would have gladly pitched her over the side a long time ago were it not for seniority rights. The sad part is that the newbies themselves will not get a chance to mature into decent teachers, as they in turn will be replaced by yet newer newbies.
Message: Posted by: rockwall (Jul 13, 2011 12:11AM)
Could have been excessed, would have been excessed. Two different things. In a public job, run by bureaucrats who are only interested in the bottom line, youíre probably right. In a well run private company, interested in the quality of their product and competing with other companies for customers, you would hope that the management would value the best ESL teacher in NY.

I used to manage several teams of programmers. I had many senior programmers who easily made double what the junior programmers made. I was never under pressure to replace them with cheaper, less experienced programmers. They were the sought after jewels that every software development company needed to be competitive. Once in a while, we would hire a younger programmer with less experience who turned out to be a super star. It was critical for our survival that we had the freedom to advance them quickly past less talented developers in order to retain them and get the most out of them.

However, the company went out of business. My personal opinion is that it did so because it was poorly run by the owner/CEO. His repeated missteps and poor decisions finally ran the company into the ground as it should have. I was left without a very well paying job in the middle of the recession that hit after 9/11. I was also getting a little long in the tooth for the video game business and decided to do something different. It was the best thing to happen to me. I hope you and your wife will be able to say the same in a year or two.

Anyway, you asked us to consider some things as to why it was a bad decision by management. (That seemed to be your motivation.) The last, and what seemed to be the most significant reason, was that SHE IS THE BEST ESL TEACHER IN NYC. My question, which I donít think you answered is, given your position on seniority, why is that significant?

Mike

P.S. And thank you for not taking offense at the question. None was meant.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Jul 13, 2011 09:20AM)
Interestingly similar story at the [url=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/11/one-new-york-city-teacher_n_894322.html]Huffington Post[/url].

John
Message: Posted by: landmark (Jul 13, 2011 10:26AM)
Good Lord, so it's happening all over the city. Thanks for the find John. Pretty much exactly Mrs. Landmark's story, except for the Missus' greater experience.

Anyone who knows the demographics of the NYC public school system, knows that it's absurd to think that there are fewer students in need of ESL classes; the students are simply reclassified and denied the extra support they need. BTW, ESL classes are [i]not[/i] the same as bilingual classes. They are taught in English only, and are to help support the student in gaining a working knowledge of academic English reading, writing, and speaking more quickly. They are exactly the kinds of classes that those who believe that immigrants should be speaking English advocate.

Mike, even in private industry the quality of the employee is not always the first priority. Short term profit taking is often more important to shareholders. A good advertising campaign and sharp business practices often overcome a lousy product (see Microsoft :) ). I'm not going to hire the best programmers at the highest price, if I can sell more units with just an average programmer and a good advertising campaign and muscle in the marketplace, provided my overall dollar outlay is less, and my profit is greater.

As for seniority and merit, I can't say how it happens in other lines of work, but you don't become the best teacher of anything without having put time into it. There are, unquestionably, people with more aptitude, ability, and talent than others to begin with, but no teacher, including Mrs. L., becomes the best without at least having five years experience in a real classroom in a real school with real students. Which is is not to say that experience alone makes a great teacher, but it is a prerequisite. Any school system that does not recognize this IMO is doomed to fail.

As I said before, I'm sure she'll land on her feet, and her skill will be recognized by those that know a good thing when they see it. But it sure rankles to see tax cuts for millionaires in the city, while education is some kind of abandoned stepchild.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Jul 13, 2011 10:42AM)
I suspect that the problem is not that a school system doesn't recognize what makes a teacher great, but rather that there aren't much in the way of incentives for having great teachers. You can't charge more, or significantly increase demand for your product, etc. In a public school, anyway.

Best wishes for a quick rebound.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Jul 13, 2011 11:55AM)
[quote]
On 2011-07-13 11:42, LobowolfXXX wrote:
I suspect that the problem is not that a school system doesn't recognize what makes a teacher great, but rather that there aren't much in the way of incentives for having great teachers. You can't charge more, or significantly increase demand for your product, etc. In a public school, anyway.

Best wishes for a quick rebound.
[/quote]

I don't think monetary incentives would make much difference to teachers. Recognition, better and more one-on-one time with students, schools renovated more than twice/century, etc. would probably make a lot better rewards.

John
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Jul 13, 2011 11:59AM)
I don't mean that economic incentives would matter to teachers; I mean that economic incentives to schools would increase the importance that they put on keeping the best teachers.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Jul 13, 2011 01:20PM)
I can't speak generally, but in Edmonton's pubic system, school budgets have a fixed dollar amount for the cost of a teacher, regardless of what the teacher's actual salary and benefits really cost. This allows schools to plan for the teachers they need and provides no incentive to get rid of experienced teachers to save money.

That said, no system is safe from political interference. Our provincial government negotiated a four year deal with teachers three years ago, with salary increases tied to the same cost of living formula that politicians receive. For 2011-2012 the government slashed the education budget, forcing the school districts to honour the contract, but with less money. As you can imagine, the number of teachers in Alberta will be lower next year.

John

PS And in my previous post, I did not mean to suggest that money is irrelevant to teachers; that is clearly not the case.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Jul 13, 2011 01:44PM)
[quote]
On 2011-07-13 12:55, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-07-13 11:42, LobowolfXXX wrote:
I suspect that the problem is not that a school system doesn't recognize what makes a teacher great, but rather that there aren't much in the way of incentives for having great teachers. You can't charge more, or significantly increase demand for your product, etc. In a public school, anyway.

Best wishes for a quick rebound.
[/quote]

I don't think monetary incentives would make much difference to teachers. Recognition, better and more one-on-one time with students, schools renovated more than twice/century, etc. would probably make a lot better rewards.

John
[/quote]
Exactly John. Teachers, like everyone else, respond to incentives; however the business community has yet to understand the incentives that motivate the majority of teachers. For example, you will almost never hear an actual teacher say that class size isn't important to her/him, while there are many in the privatization movement who dismiss it as being important.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Jul 13, 2011 01:52PM)
[quote]
On 2011-07-13 14:20, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
I can't speak generally, but in Edmonton's pubic system, school budgets have a fixed dollar amount for the cost of a teacher, regardless of what the teacher's actual salary and benefits really cost. This allows schools to plan for the teachers they need and provides no incentive to get rid of experienced teachers to save money.


John

[/quote]
Hitting the nail on the head again, John. In NYC, the system used to be as you describe in Edmonton: a school was allotted a fixed number of teachers regardless of actual salary. When Bloomberg came in as NYC mayor, he changed the system (extraordinarily with no union outcry) so that a school now gets a certain allotment of money rather than number of teachers. In this set-up, there is now an economic incentive to hire the cheaper, less experienced teacher. It was a huge change in the educational system that went largely unnoticed, and many in NYC still don't realize or understand it. I'd be curious about other major city school budgeting in this regard. Anybody know about LA, Chicago, DC, or SF?
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Jul 13, 2011 05:29PM)
[quote]
On 2011-07-13 14:52, landmark wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-07-13 14:20, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
I can't speak generally, but in Edmonton's pubic system, school budgets have a fixed dollar amount for the cost of a teacher, regardless of what the teacher's actual salary and benefits really cost. This allows schools to plan for the teachers they need and provides no incentive to get rid of experienced teachers to save money.


John

[/quote]
Hitting the nail on the head again, John. In NYC, the system used to be as you describe in Edmonton: a school was allotted a fixed number of teachers regardless of actual salary. When Bloomberg came in as NYC mayor, he changed the system (extraordinarily with no union outcry) so that a school now gets a certain allotment of money rather than number of teachers. In this set-up, there is now an economic incentive to hire the cheaper, less experienced teacher. It was a huge change in the educational system that went largely unnoticed, and many in NYC still don't realize or understand it. I'd be curious about other major city school budgeting in this regard. Anybody know about LA, Chicago, DC, or SF?
[/quote]

Edmonton is much studied for its site-based budgeting model. Ever since the 70s schools have been given a dollar budget and the school's principal is charged with running the school with that amount of money. It is within this system that the teacher costs are fixed. e.g. If a principal adds or cuts one teaching position, the amount of money charged (or not) is fixed, regardless of which individual teacher is involved.

The obvious benefit of site-based management is that schools can try new things quickly and with a minimum of bureaucracy. The two major problems (IMO) are that 1. Sometimes schools try stupid things, and 2. it is very difficult to come up with a funding formula that is fair to students.

Sounds like New York is in the early stages of an educational experiment. They would probably be wise to come north for some discussion and observation first. Why make someone else's mistakes all over again?

John
Message: Posted by: rockwall (Jul 13, 2011 06:31PM)
[quote]
On 2011-07-13 11:26, landmark wrote:
As for seniority and merit, I can't say how it happens in other lines of work, but you don't become the best teacher of anything without having put time into it.
[/quote]

You also don't become the most burned out teacher without putting time into it. But, unfortunately, the union system rewards both the same.

And since you still haven't answered my question; "given your position on seniority, why is your wife's quality as a teacher significant?", I'll answer it for you. Despite your willingness to buy into the union system you actually believe that it IS significant as you should and as do I. It's only the union, and those who support the union system that don't.

Mike
Message: Posted by: landmark (Jul 13, 2011 07:48PM)
John, it's not an educational experiment. It's the conscious destruction of public education.

Mike, I thought I made it clear what I thought : being good at what you do is extremely important. I don't think that there is any way to stop administration from gaming the system with a merit system that they control. They already have proven they care nothing about education. An objective system like seniority while imperfect is less prone to corruption and cronyism . Your assumption about what union supporters believe is completely wrong.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Jul 14, 2011 02:28PM)
Well, things are getting interesting. An administrator friend of ours (yes we do have some of those!) has told us the following:
The excesses demanded by the Department of Education were meant to scare teachers into retirement. After that happens, the DOE will find money to restore some of the excessed teachers at the last minute.

Of course that's impossible. No city agency, no matter how corrupt, greedy and uncaring would possibly do such a thing throwing hundreds of teachers and schools into turmoil for no reason. Why you'd have to be a monster to . . .

On second thought, she could well be correct. Time will tell. You heard it first here.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Aug 20, 2011 08:03AM)
So the good news. Mrs. Landmark just heard she is to be re-employed at her former school.

If you read the above post, the scenario that our administrator friend outlined was exactly the case as predicted. The scum-sucking DOE "found" some money at the last minute to re-hire some teachers. Meanwhile hundreds of discouraged teachers have retired. But more to the point, there are hundreds of excessed teachers who were not re-hired by their schools and who did not find other jobs. There were hundreds of openings available, as witness the Job Fairs that the DOE sponsored, but many of those jobs were taken [i]by candidates who did not have one moment of experience teaching in the classroom, but coincidentally cost half the price of many of the excessed teachers.[/i] Way to go, DOE, showing your constant concern for students and the quality of teaching.

I say it's spinach and to hell with it. (An old New Yorker cartoon reference. You can look it up.)
Message: Posted by: gdw (Aug 20, 2011 08:48AM)
Welcome to centrally planned monopoly public education.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Aug 20, 2011 09:37AM)
[quote]
On 2011-08-20 09:48, gdw wrote:
Welcome to centrally planned monopoly public education.
[/quote]

'Cause things like this NEVER happen in the marketplace :rotf:
Message: Posted by: gdw (Aug 20, 2011 10:40AM)
[quote]
On 2011-08-20 10:37, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-08-20 09:48, gdw wrote:
Welcome to centrally planned monopoly public education.
[/quote]

'Cause things like this NEVER happen in the marketplace :rotf:
[/quote]

Not saying they don't, but in a free market, where schools were accountable to their customers, they would have much more incentives to hire better teachers over just the cheapest.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Aug 20, 2011 10:50AM)
[quote]
On 2011-08-20 11:40, gdw wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-08-20 10:37, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-08-20 09:48, gdw wrote:
Welcome to centrally planned monopoly public education.
[/quote]

'Cause things like this NEVER happen in the marketplace :rotf:
[/quote]



Not saying they don't, but in a free market, where schools were accountable to their customers, they would have much more incentives to hire better teachers over just the cheapest.
[/quote]

I find your faith admirable. Not persuasive, but admirable.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Aug 20, 2011 10:57AM)
Actually, education in the US is probably one of the most de-centralized government services. No federal control whatsoever (other than throwing money around), state control is minimal (some states have standardized tests), and private schools are abundant and home-schooling prevalent.

In comparison, here in Germany there absolutely everything "school-wise" is controlled at the state level. No local school boards or anything close to it.

John, what's it like in Canada? At what level does the government control public education?
Message: Posted by: gdw (Aug 20, 2011 11:15AM)
It doesn't matter at what level as there is still no real competition.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Aug 20, 2011 11:17AM)
In Canada education is the responsibility of the provinces and territories. For historical reasons, most places in Canada have two publicly funded school boards, one of which is Roman Catholic. These boards have locally elected trustees who oversee the broad operations of each board.

In my province, Alberta, we have a fairly rigid curriculum that is mandatory for any fully funded school/ school board. Charter schools and private schools exist, but are not plentiful. They tend to cater to special interests. Charter and private schools that adhere to the provincial curriculum and that hire fully accredited teachers receive full funding on a per-pupil basis. Public schools get additional funding for infrastructure and administration.

There are a few privately run schools that do not follow Provincial curriculum or hire accredited teachers, usually for religious reasons. These schools receive somewhere from no funding to partial allocation depending on their level of alignment with curriculum. The only minimal requirement is that all of these "outlier" schools do have to register their existence and they do have to account for the presence and the safety of their students.

John
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Aug 20, 2011 11:25AM)
[quote]
On 2011-08-20 09:03, landmark wrote:
There were hundreds of openings available, as witness the Job Fairs that the DOE sponsored, but many of those jobs were taken [i]by candidates who did not have one moment of experience teaching in the classroom, but coincidentally cost half the price of many of the excessed teachers.[/i] Way to go, DOE, showing your constant concern for students and the quality of teaching.
[/quote]

But there's no reliable means of determining how good the inexperienced teachers are as compared to the inexperienced teachers.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Aug 20, 2011 11:27AM)
[quote]
On 2011-08-20 11:50, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-08-20 11:40, gdw wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-08-20 10:37, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-08-20 09:48, gdw wrote:
Welcome to centrally planned monopoly public education.
[/quote]

'Cause things like this NEVER happen in the marketplace :rotf:
[/quote]



Not saying they don't, but in a free market, where schools were accountable to their customers, they would have much more incentives to hire better teachers over just the cheapest.
[/quote]

I find your faith admirable. Not persuasive, but admirable.
[/quote]

I would think that even people who disagree with GDW's conclusion would at least agree with this point. Parents who can afford a good private school shop around; parents who can't, take what they get based on where they live. And everybody in school administration knows it, on both sides.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Aug 20, 2011 12:11PM)
[quote]
On 2011-08-20 12:27, LobowolfXXX wrote:

I would think that even people who disagree with GDW's conclusion would at least agree with this point. Parents who can afford a good private school shop around; parents who can't, take what they get based on where they live. And everybody in school administration knows it, on both sides.
[/quote]

Sure. And the same is true of publicly funded districts with open boundaries. Many (but not all) parents shop around for the school that they believe will best suit their children.

As I've mentioned before in many countries (Canada for sure) the achievement differences within schools is greater than the differences between schools, making shopping more a matter of taste and convenience than quality. And I may have linked to this before, but the OECD recently looked at performance differences between public and private schools in their testing areas. They found that private schools outperformed public schools on an absolute basis. But when they controlled for selection bias (currently private schools can restrict who gets in, which has a strong influence on group academic achievement), they found little difference.

John
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Aug 20, 2011 12:26PM)
[quote]
On 2011-08-20 13:11, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-08-20 12:27, LobowolfXXX wrote:

I would think that even people who disagree with GDW's conclusion would at least agree with this point. Parents who can afford a good private school shop around; parents who can't, take what they get based on where they live. And everybody in school administration knows it, on both sides.
[/quote]

Sure. And the same is true of publicly funded districts with open boundaries. Many (but not all) parents shop around for the school that they believe will best suit their children.

As I've mentioned before in many countries (Canada for sure) the achievement differences within schools is greater than the differences between schools, making shopping more a matter of taste and convenience than quality. And I may have linked to this before, but the OECD recently looked at performance differences between public and private schools in their testing areas. They found that private schools outperformed public schools on an absolute basis. But when they controlled for selection bias (currently private schools can restrict who gets in, which has a strong influence on group academic achievement), they found little difference.

John
[/quote]

I don't know how where and how prevalent public districts with open boundaries are. Where I grew up, your public school was dictated by your address, period, and I just kind of assume(d?!) that was the way it was in the USA.

With respect to selection bias, I'm not surprised at the strong influence, and I suspect it's largely true at all levels. My law school made a big deal of its bar passage rate, but I imagine if my entering class had gone to a bottom-tier law school, the pass rate wouldn't have been much different.

However, I don't know that that means entirely dismissing selection bias as a confounding variable; to the extent that a high-achieving school's results are based on selection bias, that is still a potential benefit to students (those who qualify, anyway), as a more homogenous classroom would, I imagine, result in less class time spent making sure the slower learners are up-to-speed. There's a lot of boredom in public schools for gifted students.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Aug 20, 2011 12:56PM)
I don't know how common open boundaries are the US either. The point I am making is that publicly run institutions can take many forms, and most of the objections to them are objections to their current configurations (or beliefs about them).

John
Message: Posted by: landmark (Aug 20, 2011 03:03PM)
[quote]
On 2011-08-20 12:25, LobowolfXXX wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-08-20 09:03, landmark wrote:
There were hundreds of openings available, as witness the Job Fairs that the DOE sponsored, but many of those jobs were taken [i]by candidates who did not have one moment of experience teaching in the classroom, but coincidentally cost half the price of many of the excessed teachers.[/i] Way to go, DOE, showing your constant concern for students and the quality of teaching.
[/quote]

But there's no reliable means of determining how good the inexperienced teachers are as compared to the inexperienced teachers.
[/quote]
I assume the above is a typo.
If you're talking about inexperienced vs. experienced, there's no sure fire way. But we make decisions like this all the time in life; do you want a neurosugeon who has never done an operation or one with years of experience? It's not fullproof, but it is a rough indicator, certainly better than acting as if experience had no role to play in making the decision.

But I know, they're only thinking of the students.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Sep 1, 2011 06:50AM)
Guess what? Mrs. Landmark, after being told that she would be re-hired by her old school, just got a letter from the DOE reassigning her to a different school on Lower Death Street. (Normally, in a non-excessed situation, a teacher has building tenure after a certain number of years to prevent such kinds of shenanigans.)

When she asked the administrator of her old school (the one who promised to rehire her, if you've been following this saga) she was told that the DOE didn't understand yet that her old school actually had more students than the DOE thought, and therefore shouldn't have excessed her. So she was told to take it up with her union.

In other words, her old school knows there's a problem with the staffing, and rather than the school fighting with the DOE for the needed teachers, they're telling Mrs. Landmark to make it a union issue. Absolutely crazy.