Double Standards Continue For Teach For America

Board

Since Dr. Wardynski arrived, the district has operated under two sets of rules and according to two standards. Hypocrisy had been normalized here.

Double Standards/Hypocrisy Continues

Last Thursday, the double standards continued with the revelation from Ms. Alta Morrison that the Teach for America recruits (TFAers), of which there are approximately forty currently working in the district, received the benefit of a “wonderful reception” at some undisclosed location last Wednesday, September 19th. It seems that Ms. Morrison, Dr. Robinson, and Mr. Blair at least were in attendance. Mr. Birney was not present at the board meeting on the 20th, so we do not know if he attended the reception, and Mrs. McCaulley made no mention of the reception in her comments.

Maybe these receptions are the reason that TFA is so busy asking for your dimes in JC Penney’s?

So what was said about this “reception?”

Ms. Morrison began her comments by telling the community how she was expecting a room full of old, tired teachers, and what she instead saw were “fresh, young teachers who were excited about teaching.”

Honestly, when the one board member who voted against bringing in TFAers is saying how impressed she is with how “young” and “fresh” they are, all hope for our current teachers really is lost.

To her credit, later in the citizens’ comments time, Ms. Morrison revised her comments to say that she didn’t mean to imply that our current teachers weren’t “fresh,” but the damage was long since done.

Dr. Robinson next picked up the TFA banner and ran with it claiming that the TFAers are doing “great things with this new technology!” Implying of course that anyone who claims that there are problems with the system that are completely beyond their control are just “ankle-biters” who don’t really understand teaching.

Once she finished her beatification of the “young, fresh TFAers,” Mr. Blair decided it was time for him to continue the praise of the reception and the TFAers as well.

Seems all you need to do to win a majority of the board’s support is to feed them at a reception.

Shoulda thought of that years ago.

Normalizing The Extreme

Later, Dr. Wardynski added his two cents by claiming that the TFAers aren’t really TFAers anymore. Now, they’re just “our teachers.”

This is an intentional attempt to normalize the use of “teachers” who are not actually trained to be teachers. It’s an attempt to show the district that anyone can teach.

It’s not a gift; it’s not an art; it’s not even a skill that needs to be taught.

In Wardynski’s world, all that’s required to be a teacher is a warm body that doesn’t cost much to keep in the classroom. Teaching can be done by machine; all that’s needed in his system is someone to tell students to push play on their computers screens.

Wardynski Repeats Himself

Dr. Wardynski does not, no matter what he says in emails or editorials, does not appreciate the work of teachers. He doesn’t understand teaching. He doesn’t believe teaching matters. And that’s simple to see when you listen to his goals for the district. He claims that:

Schools are long overdue for that transformation. The American education system, for the most part, is still run the way it was more than 100 years ago, before mankind even flew in an airplane much less in space.

You know, Dr. Wardynski, since you’re sitting at a computer, creating your editorials and emailing them to the paper to publish without comment, don’t you think you could take a minute to google the Wright Brothers first flight? If you did, you would see that “mankind” (nice sexist language there supes) first flew on December 17, 1903, or just shy of 109 years ago.

American Educational Reforms: Full of Sound and Fury

His estimate that education still happens the same way it did 100 years ago is even more inaccurate. If he would bother himself (you know, since he cares so much about education) and take just a few minutes to read any history of education in America, he would find that the only constant in American education over the last century is a maddening race after the Next Big Thing.

But again, Dr. Wardynski’s only real concern is power and control, not education or even being historically accurate.

One final question, Dr. Wardynski: If the TFAers are just “teachers” now, if there isn’t a difference between TFAers and actual teachers, then it should be easy to tell me the last time the district hosted or participated in a formal reception for all of our actual teachers.

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Dr. Wardynski concluded his evidence-free editorial with the statement: “The countdown has begun.” Funny how a launch and a time bomb both have countdowns, isn’t it?

 
Russell
"Children see magic because they look for it." --Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel according to Biff, Jesus' childhood pal.

14 Comments

  1. Regarding “selective” teacher receptions:

    Not to be radical here….but isn’t there a word for that…you know like, uh….discrimination?

  2. TFAer’s don’t belong to that evil Alabama Efucation Association that’s why they got warm welcome reception, Snark

    Replacing trained, certified, experienced, classroom teachers with TFAer’s is like the NFL replacing professional referees with inexperienced replacement referees. Oh wait……

  3. I found the Colonel’s “The countdown has begun” conclusion to his editorial on the launch of the digital initiative quite revealing. Would somebody please tell the Colonel that in the glorious days of moon missions, countdowns PRECEDED launches. They did not FOLLOW launches.

  4. Wardynski likes to puff his chest and talk about leasership…and being leaders….blah, blah, blah. Well, leaders lead, they don’t dictate. Effective leaders are successful in securing the support and commitment of those he or she leads in pursuit of the leader’s objectives. That is not the case here. This “dictator” simply does not have the support or respect of many teachers and parents in our community.

  5. Pardon me for dwelling on the reception. I want details. Does anyone know who sponsored, hosted, and planned it? Was this a business function? Purely social? Surely someone must have some answers.

    1. No need to apologize. Those are all great questions.

      I’d bet that Teach for America Alabama paid for the reception. They’ve got to do something with that extra $5,000 a year that we’re paying them for each TFAer.

  6. Do Pearson, Pinnacle, Appleton and Laidlaw sponsor receptions for services/programs they render to the school system?

    I’m struggling with some possible, sort of, conflict of interest issue here. Am I misguided….comparing apples to oranges?

  7. I hope W was speaking of his “countdown!” Thank you for your tireless effort in uncovering the truth. You hit the nail on the head in every article you write. I’ve been in this business 4 decades and he’s making a MESS out of it; and unfortunately, our students are collateral damage.

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