Posts Tagged ‘William Green’

Fired For Challenging an Imperfect System

August 9, 2011

The scariest thing about education today is not that it doesn’t seem to be nearly effective enough, but that those that challenge conventions and think outside the square get castigated for their opinions.

I have a great deal of respect for teachers that do things differently, whether their methods work or not.  Experimentation and ongoing reflection is necessary at a time when curriculums all over the world seem stale and soulless.

Firing a teacher for daring to point out the flaws in our system is not acceptable:

New York City teaching fellow Alice McIntosh is fighting for her job at a District 75 school in the Bronx after receiving unsatisfactory ratings from her supervisor – even though she was given glowing recommendations from parents and peers after her second year of teaching.

“Ms. McIntosh should have gotten an award,” said Theresa Smith, 47, whose daughter Vernisha suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Instead, the experienced educator was fired, she said.

Assistant principal William Green, who gave McIntosh satisfactory ratings during the 2009-10 school year at P10X in Throgs Neck, deemed she was unfit to teach this past school year.

“I asked, ‘Why are you U-rating me?'” McIntosh recalled. “[Green] said, ‘I’m not going to get into that right now. I would suggest in your next job that you be more of a team player.'”

A city Department of Education spokeswoman said she could not comment because she was unable to reach Green.

So what did she get fired for?  Merely pointing out the bleeding obvious:
McIntosh said that, as a literacy teacher at the special-needs school, she openly challenged the curriculum and used books she thought were less outdated.

According to observations during the 2010-11 year by Green, her methods appeared to work.

“The teacher activates prior knowledge and incorporates it into the new lesson…. The teacher conducts an excellent development of lesson with clear expectations,” one review reveals.

But that same review was used as a basis for her poor performance, which charges she flunked in “planning and preparation of work” and “control of class.”

Green also cited grounds for the dismal ratings from the 2009-10 school year – when McIntosh received glowing reviews.

It appears that Ms.McIntosh’s great crime was that she was prepared to do things differently in a system where conformity is expected and change is frowned upon.  You are not considered a team player if you are critical or ignore traditions.

This is what is going to be the result of the stinking teacher evaluations.  Teachers who conform and play it safe will keep their jobs, while teachers who challenge the system and try new things will be given a cardboard box to collect their belongings.


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