kitchen table math, the sequel: Mary Damer at Bridging Differences

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mary Damer at Bridging Differences

Must walk the dogs before daylight is gone - will read Mary's comments when I return.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, Mary's comments are a must read!


Exo

KDeRosa said...

It is futile using reason in an argument with Deb Meier. Mary has a better chance getting a rock to change its mind.

ElizabethB said...

Yes, they are great!

SteveH said...

Wow. What a thread. I couldn't read it all. It made my head hurt. Mary versus the deconstructionists. I wonder if she thinks it was worth it. As Ken says, it's more effective to argue with something other than a rock. Change will not come from the top down. You don't want to change their minds. You want to make them irrelevant.

ElizabethB said...

Yes, rocks might listen better!

I mostly spend my time now convincing parents, and an occasional teacher if I can find one willing to listen.

Parents listen, homeschool parents listen the most, and a few classical homeschoolers are even trying Webster's Speller.

palisadesk said...

Mary Damer is one of my heroes. She not only talks the talk, she walks the walk. Thousands of kids have a brighter future because of her personal involvement at the grass-roots level.

Mary was one of a team that got some very low-SES Rockford, IL schools performing at the very top (surpassed only by a school for the gifted) before the Balanced Literacy dragoons came in and busted up the scene (go to illinoisloop.com and look for "Rockford Reading Disaster"); I believe she is still consulting and working in schools in another state.

She is an inspiration to all guerilla instructivists, in or out of the closet.

You can follow her on Twitter -- she sends out fascinating and informative links. Her Twitter call name is MultiTier. If you need a link I'll try to find it.

SteveH said...

"I mostly spend my time now convincing parents.."

I find that parents love to talk with other parents. They want to find out what's really going on. I have had animated discussions at the grocery store and soccer sidelines.

When I mention that we should hold parents (only) meetings once a month, everyone thinks it's a great idea. It doesn't happen. It wouldn't look good. There is a very big niceness factor here. We wouldn't be getting together to talk about how wonderful things are. Parents are not excited about going to PTO meetings, but they are excited about getting together with other parents to get the real scoop.

palisadesk said...

We have parent groups that meet independently. They don't meet on school property -- depending on their size and scope, they meet in homes, or community centers, or at someone's workplace after hours. Some groups are ethnic-specific, some are focused on several schools in the local area, one or two are broader in scope and are concerned with issues in the whole district, and so forth. These groups do have some influence. Teachers or other personnel sometimes attend by invitation to answer questions or address specific issues.

You could probably get something informal like that going in your district. Call it a study group or something, so it doesn't sound political. Have some suggested reading, maybe. The main purpose, of course, is networking and comparing notes and getting a handle on what is really happening, as opposed to the party line.

ElizabethB said...

Mary is in Texas now, still fighting the good fight.

Redkudu said...

Where is she in Texas?

I found her Twitter: http://twitter.com/MultiTier

palisadesk said...

Mary's daughter is teaching at a charter school in Texas -- I don't know where, but Catherine might know. Mary herself still lives in Ohio but she has mentioned doing some consulting and coaching in a district in the southeast -- either Georgia or South Carolina, I can't remember which.

ElizabethB said...

She sounds like a busy woman, then, I know she worked on some things for Texas recently, that's why I thought she was there!

Catherine Johnson said...

Hi Ken!

Seeing Ken reminds me: there's a palisadesk comment on D'Ed Reckoning I want to post here ----

Marc said...

I am as well a Mary Damer groupie. She worked in our school district (Georgia) for 3 years and completely turned our reading program around. Her work however was indeed met with much resistance, however after year one of total implementation of the multi-tier model, the numbers told the story--the proof was in the pudding. A low SES, highly transient school district with 36 elementary schools, majority of the students reading below grade level were making gains on assessments such as DIBELS and the state test. Most importantly, our students were now competent, confident readers. Struggling readers at every grade level were finally experiencing success. My school went from being on the needs improvement list for two years to meeting annual yearly progress after year one, and has continued to maintain that status for the past 3 years and our scores continue to increase. We are now recognized as a distinguished school. Not to mention our school is over 40% ESOL. This lady knows what she's talking about.