After the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, one never wants to hear of news like that again. It could have happened again, but thanks to Antoinette Tuff, it didn't. Check out this article. Here is an excerpt from the Washington Post article by Petula Dvorak:
"...No one was shot Tuesday after a man slipped into an elementary school just outside Atlanta with an AK-47-style assault rifle, 500 rounds of ammo and “nothing to live for.”
Not because we listened to gun advocates who said we should arm teachers with weapons.
Not because we took the advice of the National Rifle Association, which said schools should have armed officers.
Not because we heeded the school board directives to make frightening “intruder drills” part of every curriculum.
Probably, a mass shooting didn’t happen because the gunman listened to Tuff, the bookkeeper at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Ga. Police have identified the suspect as Michael Brandon Hill, 20.
On Thursday, President Obama identified Tuff as a hero, with a surprise phone call thanking her for her act of bravery.
As soon as the man entered the school and fired one round into the floor, Tuff called 911 and stayed smooth and calm as a computer help line operator. She kept a conversation going among herself, the gunman and the 911 dispatcher.
She calmed him. She told him that he wasn’t alone in having troubles. Her husband walked out on her after 33 years, she said, and she has a “multiple-disabled” son. She soothed that man holding an assault rifle by telling him, “We all go through something in life.”
“I’m sitting here with you and talking to you about it,” she told him when he mumbled something about no one wanting to listen to him.
As she persuaded the young man to surrender, she said: “We not going to hate you, baby. It’s a good thing that you’re giving up, so we’re not going to hate you.”
She offered to act as his human shield, to walk outside the school with him so police wouldn’t shoot.
She even told him she loved him, cared about him and was proud of him as he began to stand down.
Are you listening to her, America?
Her 911 call — listen to the whole thing; it’s riveting — is a portrait of poise, compassion and selflessness. She was exactly what America is forgetting to be.
..." (Click here to read more)
Here is an excellent analysis of the recent release of the value-added assessments in NYC. Liz Phillips, the principal at PS 321, lays out how these scores are inaccurate and lays out the deleterious effects the scores have on high performing schools like hers.
The article, published by the NYC Public School Parents blog:
A principal at a high performing school explains why she is "absolutely sick" about the public release of the TDRs
With the onset of the release of public school teacher's ratings, I read this very good article on why one teacher is abstaining from participating in justifying the scores the NYTimes is planning to publish.
A few notable quotes from the post:
"No. I don’t want to justify or get validation for whatever the reports say about me. With this huge body of evidence and the growing backlash against such reports, why would any respectable publication diminish their own journalistic credibility by publishing them and systematizing them in their website? I have serious doubts about the validity of doing this insofar as asking teachers to contribute to the further deprofessionalization of teaching.
The logic is simple: if we give in to telling the New York Times about our data reports, then we’re actually responding, and by responding in the manner they’ve chosen, they’re actually telling us to defend ourselves in the court of public opinion.
I get that it’s the New York Times. I also get that the UFT chapter leader Michael Mulgrew encouraged us to give in to the process, probably as a form of protest. I respect that this is an opportunity to talk to the establishments that need our assistance in this matter. However, I just don’t think this is the right way to go about it.
All these intangibles I can’t quite calculate, and all these numbers I’d rather not validate.
Jose, who just won't accept it..."
This is an excellent article on the "schools we [should] envy" in Finland. I encourage anyone who wants to become more interested in education reform in the United States to read this article:
"Even the corporate reformers admire Finland, apparently not recognizing that Finland disproves every part of their agenda."
From the New York Times:
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