Saturday, December 5, 2015

Another angle to the Zuckerberg LLC

Facebook mogul Mark Zuckerberg has announced that he is donating his vast fortune to and through an LLC instead of a non-profit like a 501-c-3. He says that this is to allow him to invest these funds rather than simply to give them away. However, he may well have another reason.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Where evaluation meets merit pay

I have written previously about merit pay for teachers, and about teacher compensation in general. Today I read an article, based on the results of a serious UK study and analysis, which provides recent and concrete evidence of the problems of linking pay to student "performance".

Teacher retention

Business sees value in customer retention; studies have shown that new customer recruitment costs 5 - 30 times as much as keeping an existing customer. Surely the same is true of teachers, especially when the processes of understanding and adapting to a new school and a new culture and of developing relationships with superiors, colleagues, students and parents, all of which can take two years, are taken into account. So how can schools improve teacher retention?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Vahey Report Two

Further to my earlier post on the William Vahey pedophilia case at a school in the UK, I have read a report of the official report. Unsurprisingly, the blame was attached to the Principal for a failure of supervision and action. However, I think some blame should also be apportioned to teachers' common rejection of a Principal's efforts at supervision and action.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Again, what is a school to do?

I was prompted to write earlier following news reports of a three year-old's repeated preschool suspensions. I was reminded of a situation where I was forced to expel a young student for his behaviors. He was only five.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

What is a school to do?

There have been a number of shock / horror stories and reactions to a recent story about a three year-old who has been suspended from preschool five times. All have focused on his age and his color. None that I have seen have considered the position in which the teacher(s) and school have found themselves.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Vahey report

The report of the UK investigation into the Vahey affair has been released and points the finger at the school's recruitment processes. Conducted by a non-educator and someone who has never been a school principal, the report reportedly states that a major failing was in not taking references prior to interview. The effect? More procedures which will require checking of boxes and shift attention away to what really went wrong at all the schools involved.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A governance mis-step

To succeed, a school must have and fill a niche, aka its "mission". At the same time, as I write elsewhere, the Board must know its role and not become inappropriately involved. The following tale shows how true this is.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Inaccurate resumes

I read today about the economics of fake degrees which reminded me of a former colleague with a fake resume. He is the head of a prestigious independent school and by all accounts is doing well. However, when I looked him up on LinkedIn, I noticed two inaccuracies. One was a gross exaggeration. The other was simply untrue.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Officially present

A common complaint from examination teachers, especially those teaching IB: students miss many of their classes due to college visits, community service, fieldwork for other subjects, music or sports trips and so on. However, these students are "present" because these are official school activities. One colleague who keeps his own attendance records tells me he has students who missed more than 60% of his classes because of such activities. Their report cards show perfect attendance.