Friday, January 29, 2010

Find CMS's master teachers

Superintendent Peter Gorman today sent the school board a list of "master teachers" who are leading the push to boost effectiveness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
In addition to listing names, schools and positions, the list indicates whether their schools are FOCUS or Title I schools. Both are indicators of high poverty. At schools that receive federal Title I money, at least 75 percent of all students qualify for lunch aid to low-income families. FOCUS schools, which get extra local money, have lower cutoffs that vary by grade level. All Title I schools also get FOCUS aid.
Teachers become "professional development master teachers" (that's the PDMT on the list) one of three ways: They have been recruited to "strategic staffing" schools that Gorman has targeted for improvements. Their classrooms are used as "learning labs" for colleagues. Or they teach courses for other teachers.


JAT said...

Fascinating. Quick eyeball says that about 75 percent of CMS "master teachers" are at its FOCUS schools. And that many of its highest performing schools have exactly NO "master teachers."

Coming on the heels of the per pupil expenditure numbers the notion that CMS somehow shortchanges under-performing schools is under serious attack.

By the facts.

diggndeeper said...

JAT, I have not looked at the list yet but it would seem then the the CMS board and the public have been lied to again by Pete and Fannie.

Anonymous said...

JAT - right on the money! How do you get selected as a master teacher anyway? Why are there no master teachers from schools with strong performance numbers? If all the master teachers are in the focus schools, why the scores?

Anonymous said...

If all of these focus schools have higher per pupil expenditures and master teachers and still have sucky test scores then someone might finally realize that it is the kids who don't want to learn and the parents who don't support the learning process (if they are even around at all)!!!

Anonymous said...

"The PDMT (Perfessional Development Master Teacher)Initiative seeks to promote high quality teaching and learning by strengthening both pedagogy and content through instructional analysis.
The PDMT Leadership Academy provides ongoing leadership training and professional development for all PDMTs.
PDMTs participate in one or more of the following Pathways while maintaining their classroom instructional responsibilities:
Pathway I: Educators transferring to Strategic Staffing Initiative (SSI) Schools
Pathway II: Educators opening their classrooms as Learning Labs
Pathway III: Educators serving as Professional Development Instructors.

Not to say they are not good teachers, but it sounds like something teachers choose to sign up for. And since the first criteria is "Educators transferring to Strategic Staffing Initiative (SSI) Schools" it does not indicate that the inner city schools are getting a better deal. Go check out their media centers and technology versus the more well off schools.

diggndeeper said...

Okay I see what is going on here. This is a posting of what they call "master" teachers. As best I can tell, this is a CMS only designation identifying this teacher as one with expertise in some aspect that other teachers can go to and observer and learn from.

This is much different from a board certified teacher which is a nationally recognized effort that the candidate teacher cannot start till they have been a teacher for at least 3 years.

But you are right that this does give the school an advantage if it has a greater proportion of these master teachers. The less experienced teachers do have several teachers to lean on to help them up the learning curve.

Once again, not a very good piece of journalism to not tell the whole story. Makes you wonder if this is intentional.

diggndeeper said...

To anon January 29, 2010 8:58 PM, good summation. I do want to address the point you made about technology and media centers. I have never been one of those that thought much of tehnology in elementary schools. The aging process is so rapid with technology and the upkeep seems to be a high cost that might be better spent in some other area.

But to media centers, there was a recent article in hands on charlotte about a group working at Lincoln Heights Elementary. As you know, this school was totally rebuilt a couple of years ago. First as part of hands on charlotte, no parents showed up. Second, the biggest chore that day in the media center was cleaning the dust from the (unused?) books and materials. I once headed a pta at one fo this inner city schools. We dedicated at the first of the year to use our fundraising to bring the media center up to date. Well we got criticism on that from some of the "local" parents. (We were bused in.) It was easy though to ignore them because none of them paticipated anyway and no one offered any suggestions other than funding more field trips than we had already planned. Of course the gotcha with that was the teachers were unwilling to take most of these kids any where other than planned and of course none of the "local" parents had stepped up to chaparone or help organize any of the trips.

DOR said...

Why is it that the so called "Master Teachers" who go to the FOCUS, Title One schools are struggling to get the scores up? They are shortchanged, because evidently they aren't such "Master Teachers".
Amazingly enough, what makes a great teacher, is one who is willing to step out of the box to help their children be the best! Not one who adheres to only one way of teaching. Most teachers have many variations of students from 4 to 1 (EOG). Oh yes and by the way some of those excellent teachers were let go, while the ones who weren't that great are still working, go figure. Great teachers want to be there for the children, and then, there are those who just want to earn money.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone really understand this lib pc codeword GAP and why is it used an educational measure? Such hideous racism. Using this extreme pc bigoted word should be offensive in any form.
Its real simple. Do the best you can do and thats all you can do. The constant insult of CMS inner school teachers who have it hard enough is appalling.

Anonymous said...

*CMS took volunteers to be deemed "master teachers" and participate in this program.

*CMS yearly sends out letters to teachers with good scores after EOG/EOC time in order to "recruit" teachers to go to struggling schools. I had a friend who took them up on their offer...and low and behold she was LET GO for not having good scores after they had sent her a letter 2 years before praising her to the skies BEGGING her to come to a school where she was needed. If she had stayed where she was, she would have continued to have gotten letters stating how great she was each year and she would still have a job. CMS is so unwieldy, it doesn't know what it is doing...just like its leader--Gorman.

Anonymous said...


I did the equivalent of an Olympic gold medal gymnastics routine to get one of these teachers for my EC son who eventually qualified for DUKE TIP (gifted) recognition. I'm not surprised at all to see this teacher on this list.

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