New York Times Headquarters

New York Times: Future Schools Don’t Have Many Teachers In Them

Jose Vilson Jose 14 Comments

New York Times Headquarters

Setting the clock back to June 20th, 2011 …

*** takes a break from ranting about the New York State Math Test, opens e-mail ***

thinks to self: Hmm, this is interesting. A panel about schools of tomorrow by the New York Times. OK, I’m curious. Maybe I’ll get to go. Wait, on a school day? Who’s going to get to go?

e-mails this to a set of interest folk.

looks down the panel of contributors:

Man, I don’t know much about most of these people.

*** looks again at the panel ***

Ellie Avishai, you have an MBA, and you run a company called iThink. Not sure I’ve ever heard of it. Might have to ask my ed-tech friends.

Sir Michael Barber … Pearson. Hold up. Pearson? A testing wonk. OK, Vilson, calm down. Read the rest of the bio. “Delivering results?” Such as? Man, this is really ambiguous stuff.

Bob Beichner, a distinguished professor of physics. Here’s assuming if you’re not distinguished, you have no business being a professor. STEM guys are usually alright in my book.

Larry Berger is the CEO of Wireless Generation … mobile technologies, student-centered jargon jargon jargon … I’ll get to back to you …

David Brooks? David Brooks?! What – Paul Krugman wasn’t available? Charles Blow? Come on, Vilson, be fair. Just like he is with his reporting. Wait, what?

Greg Butler, Microsoft Global Education Strategist. Sounds fancy. UNESCO, World Bank, and OECD. The socialist in me can’t wait to hear this guy. First “teacher” and / or “principal” sighting on the page. But if you’ve spent 15 years as a teacher, principal, technology consultant, and university lecturer, how much time did you really spend in the classroom? I can’t wait to hear “I empathize with them. I was once them. Now, here’s my totally different idea about ed-reform that you won’t hear from others …”

Nínive Calegari is a veteran teacher with almost 10 years experience … hmm, OK, promising. The Teacher Salary Project? Fair.  Can’t wait to see who else they bring on this panel …

*** zips through … ***

Tech, tech, tech … director of start-up … Ivy League …

Joel KLEIN!? Isn’t he busy defending the wishes of Rupert Murdoch? Or running Wireless Gener … wait a minute. Larry Berger! That’s where I recognize the name. Well, duh, Vilson. Total cahoots!

Global, global, innovative, awarded …

Margery Mayer of Scholastic huh? -looks left, looks right- OK, she’s cool. We’ll just keep the fracking coloring book off the table, right? Right.

Director, director, professor …

Wait, a Black woman! YAY Joyce Pittman! You go, girl. Represent! (or the next blog I write might be about you …) …

*** smirks at self for Mobb Deep reference ***

Consultant, professor, founder …

Bob Wise! He’s cool. Real cool.

*** gives screen imaginary dap ***

Esther Wojcicki, of Creative Commons. Alright now.

*** rubs face a few times ***

You mean to tell me you couldn’t find enough current K-12 teachers and administrators to be on the panel? Is this another one of these instances where we proffer (and prefer) people in business and higher ed to tell teachers what they will do at them? I’m not hating. Everyone can contribute to the ed-dialogue, but I’ll be damned if I see another one of these “significant” panels without a lack of the people who are actually in the classroom. I got friends on all sides of the playing field, but few can argue how too many of these events go. Whether I’ve been invited or not isn’t the issue: it’s the lack of ground level voice (this includes students and parents, too).

Come on, son.

*** closes e-mail, continues ranting about the New York State Math Test ***

Jose, who, in times of crisis, prefers to write than to mourn …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Comments 14

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    Author
  2. Patrick Sullivan

    I’m looking forward to the schools of tomorrow conference by Jose Vilson. I think it would take you all of fifteen minutes to put together a panel with far more insight in K-12 ed than the Times and the big money crowd could ever muster.

  3. CarolineSF

    Off topic side issue: I have an issue with Calegari’s book “Teachers Have it Easy” and have always wanted to see someone ask her. Might as well try to explain.

    The book lamented the low pay in the teaching profession. It focused on an admirable teacher at the San Francisco charter Leadership High School, and contrasted the depth of his commitment to his low pay. The teacher eventually left to go into real estate. But the point of the story told about this teacher was that the teachers’ union contract wouldn’t allow him to be paid more, so that was the heart of the problem.

    But that was false. Leadership is a non-union charter. They could pay him $10 million a year if they wanted.

    So what was the deal? Was the book deliberately misleading in blaming the union, or was the entire portion about the Leadership High School teacher based on Calegari’s misunderstanding the situation?

  4. Sam

    Not only are there no teachers in the panel, they can’t even get in the door! I am an instructional technology coordinator and teacher and I sent in a request for admission the day the conference was posted and was denied less than a week later. Who’s going to this?

  5. JP

    Privatisation, corporate dominated education, delivered through the internet will lower corporate costs and create higher profit margins. There will be less brick and mortar, less maintenance, fewer employees (teachers), mostly replaced by software (and yes, avatars). With corporate clout, attendance figures, and government funds, will be shifted into the corporate coffers. It is another way for corporations to tap into the taxpayer base, where the r-e-a-l money is generated. Cities, counties, and states will veer toward the “easy way out” of their budget crunches and a groundswell of “official” sentiment (with many unquestioned studies and position papers to suport their stance) will advocate the transition.

  6. bronx Teacher

    As a nyc 5th year public school teacher this is again insulting. Find an expert teacher for GODS SAKE!
    Please tell me in what other field are non experts considered experts of the field? Just because you went to school or you taught for a year or two you are NOT qualified to generalize what is best for teachers. Doctor’s don’t consider 2nd year residents experts. Trade professions call you an apprentice, but you set foot in a classroom and suddenly you are an expert!!! Watch the matt damon clip on you tube and feel better my teachers.

    1. Post
      Author
      Jose

      Just Matt Damon?

      I’ve always said that it’s OK for all stakeholders in our public education system to have a voice in it, but right now, but this type of panel doesn’t even consider what’s really happening in the classroom. Have a couple of these in their panels. Put a teacher, a principal, and a student in each panel. See how the dialogue changes some. You’re all right.

  7. CarolineSF

    No, no, no, Bronx Teacher. To qualify as an expert, you need to have NEVER set foot in a classroom, except maybe during a staged dog-and-pony-show tour of an “it’s a miracle!” charter school.

  8. Howard Clark

    Sir Michael Barber and his ‘deliverology’ has left UK education in a parlous state.

    He is trying to export this damaging un-evidenced method to the US and the rest of the world.

    He has not once shown any doubt or uncertainty despite huge volumes of evidence that his top-down cargo cult approach is without scientific evidence.

    This video of Professor John Seddon is the best antidote.

    http://www.thesystemsthinkingreview.co.uk/index.php?pg=18&backto=18&utwkstoryid=257&title=Deliverology+destroys+service%3A+Professor+John+Seddon+addresses+the+faculty+of+California+State+University&ind=8

    NB. By the way do not be impressed with the ‘Sir’ in the medieval UK honors system you get rewards for being compliant and toeing the government line rather than doing the right thing.

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