More on the Leadership Academy

A comment by Brooklyn ATR on my previous post about being rejected by the Leadership Academy probably echoes what many of you are thinking:

If you think you are going to fight the ed deformers by becoming a NYC principal, you are sorely deluded. As a principal you will become a foot-soldier in the deformers’ war on children. I’m surpised that someone as intelligent as you hasn’t figured that out yet. No insult intended; we all have our blind spots.

My friends warned me that, if I became a principal, I would be required to sell out if I wanted to keep my position. Maybe they were right. We will not be able to test out that theory now anyway.

My thinking was that, to one degree or another, those of us who work in public education are all being forced to act as foot soldiers for education deform. As  teachers, we are being forced to ram test prep down our students’ gullets. In New York, with the new evaluation system, test prep will only intensify. We look to what the future holds in NY state and see nothing but dark days.

As concerned teachers, we try to shield our students as much as possible from this madness. Maybe we have to prep our children for exams, but we can do that while also providing a decent education. Of course, as the new evaluation regime tightens its noose and Common Core becomes more entrenched, it will be tougher to make these compromises with the devil. Testing will demand more and more of our time and attention. There will be less room to provide a real education.

So, my naivete led me to believe that becoming a principal would better enable me to shield students from this education deform madness. Not only students, but teachers as well. Sure, just like teachers, I would have to make my compromises with the devil. There would be a certain amount of ed deform tripe that just had to be swallowed.

Yet, just like teachers, I felt I would also be able to do this while trying to provide a real education to my students. I would make as few compromises as possible while creating an atmosphere in which real teaching and learning can take place. Essentially, I envisioned doing what I do now as a teacher on a grander scale: do the bare minimum to satisfy the beast and focus the lion’s share of my efforts on real education.

Maybe this is incredible naivete or even stupidity on my part. Maybe there is no way to carve out an island of sanity in the world of the DOE. At the very least, I would strive to be a principal that respected teachers. At the very least, I would have liked to create a school where teachers looked forward to coming everyday, where they did not have to worry about harassment from the administration.

In the end, everything happens for a reason. The Leadership Academy wants drones and, very simply, there was no way for me to hide who I am.

 

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4 responses to “More on the Leadership Academy

  1. thank goodness! i am glad you won’t need to hide who you are!!!

  2. LAUSD Prisoner

    There is some hope. We are entering a period where testing maddness is becoming so absurd, even the public is waking up. Texas school children are about to begin half a billion dollars worth of Pearson testing. Do you have any idea how long it takes to complete half a billion dollars of testing? That’s a lot of tests! And Pearson, no doubt, wants them to be “good” tests. So each of these tests is going to take quite some time to finish.

    Think about it. How long would it take you to finish half a billion dollars worth of testing?

  3. Assailed Teacher, I’m not happy that you weren’t accepted to the Leadership. Namely, because I think even the the most corrupt and morally decrepit institutions need an oasis. I think any school that you are principal of would act as a solace for a limited amount of teachers who are dedicated to their jobs, but who are simply spent by the current system. I regret that you did not cut the mustard as a principal. However, I do not think that you should use the Leadership Academy’s rejection as a rejection of your own character. The Leadership Academy is a vocal and physical manifestation of all that is wrong with the American educational system. I wish that people like you could compromise your principles just enough to get into the Leadership Academy, because it would present a true real-life working of the way that a real school could exist in the DOE, if it’s leaders actually treated its teachers ethically. I think you do need to have examples that prove the rule with a corrupt system. Any school that you managed would be just that: a school that fostered learning; that respected its educators; that endeavored to show that this incessant number crunching can exist juxtaposed to real material learning. Despite what others have said, I think your rejection from the Leadership Academy is a loss to the system and a loss to New York City public school students. Wherever you end up Assailed Teacher, I know your students will observe what it’s like to experience a “real” education. Your students, however crass, will get the teacher they do not deserve (because he should have been their principal). I know this development haunts you, but I think you will come out all the better for it. I can tell that you are an excellent teacher and a superlative example of what the New York City Department of Education lays waste to as it continues this slippery slope down the standardized-testing abyss.

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