December 20, 2009
A Times investigation found that the Los Angeles Unified School District routinely grants tenure to new teachers after cursory reviews — and sometimes none at all.
Evaluating new teachers for tenure is one of a principal’s most important responsibilities. Once instructors have permanent status, they are almost never fired for performance reasons alone. The two-year probation period, during which teachers can be fired at will, offers a singular opportunity to weed out poor performers.
February 25, 2009
No high quality study in education research has ever established that inclusive education is best delivered through child-centered pedagogy.
Selection or Selection Fortnight Magazine No 463 Dec 08/Jan 09
Carefully designed and evaluated studies have demonstrated that such child-centered curricula are particularly damagin to the poor.
Donald Myers who was charged with evaluating the impact of child-centered curricula in the United States shares PACE’s concern about educationalists.
The time has come in American education when teachers should stage a walkout when education evangelists propose innovations which have not been validated by careful research over a long period of time. Instead of being paid and applauded, these hucksters should be sent packing and should be thankful that they are not jailed as would representatives of a pharmaceutical house for dispensing a drug before it has been tested.
Donald Myers quoted in Left Back by Diane Ravitch 2000
The reforms proposed for Northern Ireland schools are addressed in two highly regarded studies – one centred on assessment, the other on curriculum – and both draw the same unequivocal conclusion which should interest the Catholic Church and Sinn Fein: the poor will lose out dramatically if Sinn Fein have their way. This has already been hinted at in research on the early years “Enriched Curriculum” in Northern Ireland, where a “Matthew Effect” was identified; in progressive curricula – the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
Notice how all reference to this work is avoided by the empty vessels insisting on changing the education system for the 21st century. If they are not careful they will be into the 22nd century before coming up with evidence based validation of their proposals.
February 23, 2009
Teachers in Northern Ireland claiming to refuse to teach primary children for grammar school tests are risking their careers in public education.
Since it has been confirmed by CCEA that the numeracy and literacy aspects of the revised curriculum remain the same as those in the preceding curriculum there can be no basis for any teacher refusing to teach the required elements. Indeed it may be illegal not to do so.
Any parent concerned about their childs’ primary school teacher’s compliance with the law should make a complaint to the General Teaching Council if they become aware of a particular refusal to adhere to their obligations.
73-75 Great Victoria St, Belfast,
Parents should not be bullied by the teacher unions. Teachers must understand their professional responsibilities and place the best interests of the pupil and the wishes of the parents first.
Anything less cannot be acceptable.
January 1, 2009
The Daily Mail revealed that two teachers who described a mother, concerned about the lack of progress in her daughter’s reading skills , as a Chav were allowed to retain their jobs.
With another year of the early years enriched curriculum well underway in Northern Ireland there may well be thousands of parents wondering what their child’s primary school teacher is saying about them behind their back.
November 16, 2008
Pupils in Germany have taken matters in to their own hands protesting against reforms which have denied many the opportunity to gain places in their equivalent of grammar schools.
The German system relies upon the equivalent of the CCEA Pupil Profile and input from teachers resulting in a form of social selection.
At least the current 11-plus used in Northern Ireland is oblivious to the pupil’s social status and remains an objective test.
With the legislative abolition complete and an unregulated system filling the vacuum can it be long before pupils in Northern Ireland exercise their right to equality of opportunity.
October 21, 2008
A teacher’s union, the NASUWT, has been on strike for a second week over an alleged assault on one of its members. This is remarkable given that there were 272 physical attacks on staff resulting in suspension. Additional figures available for Northern Ireland schools on the DENI website indicate that 5 assualts on teachers resulted in expulsion in the last year.
No figures were available on the number of pupils cautioned, charged or convicted.
Why the inequality in this particular case?
In addition to the accused pupil an additional 540 pupils have been denied their legal right to an education by the union members.
The Education Minister, Caitriona Ruane, asked for a speedy resolution, suggesting a role for the Childrens Commissioner.
The Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children, Patricia Lewsley offered to mediate on the dispute but her intervention and comment
Corporate abuse of children’s rights
provoked the union into seeking legal advice.
The latest news is that the pupil in question is to be charged by the DPP and will appear in court in November.
No doubt all the PC, hand-wringing, crocodile tear-shedding union representatives will be delighted to pass the buck to the PSNI and DPP
In the meantime 540 pupils are denied their right to an education.