Mike Matthews Nukes Governor Markell & DOE’s False Methodology

Mike Matthews just posted this on Facebook, and he is absolutely correct.  It is NOT about the teachers Jack.  But you already know that, don’t you.  It’s just easy for your game plan if people think that!

Some individuals truly believe that the *best* teachers are at schools where students perform great on the state test. I have never and will never buy into this belief that so many ‪#‎edreformers‬ (and our governor and Department of Education) hold.

As full-time president, I get to visit lots of schools on a regular basis. I’ve visited a majority of Red Clay’s elementary schools. When I tell teachers I taught at Warner Elementary, the response from a few dozen of them has been “Really?? I started my career at Warner!” or “I started my career at Shortlidge!” or “I started my career in the city!”

I’ve asked some a follow-up: “Why did you leave?” And most have given similar answers: “I never felt we got the support that we required to address student needs” or “I couldn’t balance having my own family and continuing to work until 7 or 8 at night” or “Classroom management was a huge issue and support was limited.”

So, according to our Governor and DoE the problem with the inner-city schools and low test scores is poor administration and teachers. But many of the teachers — a good portion of whom started their careers at inner-city schools — who are now working at “successful” (based on standardized test scores) suburban schools are having their students perform magnificently on the test.

So what’s the problem here? Do the teachers at “low-performing” city schools suck? Should they all have to reapply for their jobs? Because it’s very likely that the same “low-performing” city teacher today will in two or three years be a “high-performing” suburban teacher after they’ve chosen to leave the city school because of any number of stressors.

How do we get these ALREADY GREAT teachers in our city schools to STAY so that communities and relationships can be BUILT and SUSTAINED?

I continue to believe that the answer is easier than we all make it out to be, but too few people are willing to confront those tough questions and have the courageous conversations needed to move forward.

3 thoughts on “Mike Matthews Nukes Governor Markell & DOE’s False Methodology

  1. Mike Matthews is a union leader his job is to promote all teachers good or bad. I agree we need to scrutinize educational vendors and contractors; we also have to scrutinize organized labor. The fact is Mike Matthews is about protecting bad teacher along with good ones. While I don’t think he is evil, he has a job to do. He is lobbyist who is protecting the interests of labor who happen to be teachers.
    My Father was in a union and two of my uncles were in unions. Their father and his father before him were members of unions. I was baptized in the name of the Father, FDR and Organized Labor.
    But my view of Organized Labor has changed. I moved to Newark just before the power-plant (aka data-center) debacle. I witnessed in my streets Union Members from close as Elkton to far as New Jersey putting up door hangers to support what they viewed as their candidate and project. Hundreds of their members came to our community meetings to displace actual members of our community. They were focused on their own interests and were willing to fight us if we wanted any voice into our own future. Our community rose to the challenge.
    Our Community needs to rise to the challenge of education today. While I believe Unions have a real meaningful propose to ensure safe work places and protect labor from unfair treatment. I believe they have overstepped their original purpose. Over 50% of our educational dollars go to labor. Over a half a billion dollars each year in Delaware, believe me those are much bigger interests to protect then any educational corporation comes close too.

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    • And where does the other 50% go to Pat? Really? Labor is a huge part of education. This is where dollars should be going to, teachers, in the classroom. But yet you don’t mention the hundreds of millions of dollars wasted in Delaware on outside vendors with the sole purpose of pleasing their investors at the expense of Delaware students. I’m not going to sit here and say our schools are perfect. But those who oppose the unions the most are ones who are taking dollars away from students in the name of “education reform”. Everyone thinks the unions protect bad teachers, but while they may allow them the right to due process, if they do something that is grounds for termination that is another matter. The very definition of a “bad teacher” is very cloudy these days. Is it a “bad teacher” in a high-poverty school where the bulk of students don’t make proficiency on a useless, not validated, worthless standardized assessment? If that is the barometer for a “bad teacher”, then I stand with Mike Matthews every single day of the year.

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  2. Thank you for the comment, Pat. I admit my biases and will put them front and center when they are relevant. However, I don’t feel you’ve really touched on anything here that is relevant to my motivations.

    I’m always willing to meet and speak with members of the public. Feel free to contact me. 3025474774

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