kitchen table math, the sequel: Home stretch! back soon--

Friday, April 26, 2013

Home stretch! back soon--

Down to the last 100 pages of Debbie's book, which is fantastic.

So still no blogging, but ----- I have bullet points!
  • The tuna cure: Surfer and Abby now eat tuna, lentils, and olive oil (plus, starting in the past week, a few carrots). Basically: a low-rent version of palisadesk's high-protein diet for mast cell cancer in dogs. Surfer--who, it turns out, can't tolerate chemo--appears to be fine. (But we'll see.) The younger vet told me mast cell cancer is the dog equivalent of pancreatic cancer: Surfer, with a Stage 3 diagnosis, was a goner unless the Kinavet worked. Older vet, back now from his own brush with death, says: "It's not a death sentence." (Ed says: Can we always see the older vet?) Funnily enough, we encountered the same division of labor during the two years my mother was sick. The younger doctors would waylay my siblings and me for The Talk (Your mother is dying. Let her die with dignity. If she doesn't want to die with dignity, persuade her.) Then the older docs would say things like "In intensive care we support your mother's organs until her body is strong enough to handle those functions again." The older docs were always right. And they never mentioned death with dignity, which was wise because my mother didn't give two figs for dignity.
  • xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Common Core illustrative texts v. what 7th graders read in my districtxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • 4.6% tax increase proposed (I'm voting no, thank you for asking)xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Borrowing to pay teachers: the tax-cert loopholexxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • SAT score decline (also in bullets)xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Erica Meltzer's book is out!!!xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • New high school principal for Irvington who worked for TFA
One board member told me that when the board met the new principal he must have used the word accountability in every other sentence.

Are we the first affluent district ever to hire a TFA person?

We may be. A TFA alum certainly seems out of place here in Westchester, where affluent districts are snapping up superintendents fleeing New Jersey's salary cap.

Our new super replaces the superintendent against whom a number of us waged a running battle for 5 long years (or was it 6?). He is a man in his late 30s or early 40s, trained in elementary education, whose only previous experience--in New Jersey, where his wife and son continue to live--was heading a tiny K-5 district.

We are paying him $250K per year on a 5-year contract. During a minor depression.* (Did I mention I'm voting no on the budget?)

I think it's possible, perhaps likely, the TFA hire would not have happened without 6 years of citizens' op eds on the Irvington Parents Forum.

Ed told me, when I started the Forum, that revolutions always have writers.

I believe him, and All revolutions have writers has been my essential reason for carrying on. Well, one of the essential reasons, the other essential reason being that both sides of my family came from Ulster.

That said, I don't expect a revolution. The new superintendent has thus far been more of the same, and he was supposed to be The One; all 5 board members said so. The new principal will come into a gatekeeping culture that has been in place for many, many years.

The single best observation anyone ever made to me concerning my district's unshakeable self-regard:
...[W]e're great because 10 kids do spectacular things by senior year. The other 150 will get by and there are no glaring inadequacies.
That's not going to be easy to change.

* Depression at historinhas

3 comments:

Mike G said...

As I begin some new work in Kenya, and learn about schools in the developing world, I'm amazed at how pervasive this view is. "One of the kids from our school went to the leading university one year!"

Yes, what about the others?

(Confused) What about them?

Cassandra Turner said...

Proud to say that of our new charter high school's first graduating class of 23 students, 22 of them were accepted to college, (many to very good colleges) and one is joining the military.

Cassandra Turner said...

Mike G,
Where you heading in Kenya?