I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Do We Remember Heroes For Their Test Scores?

Vicki Leigh Soto was a true hero:
First-grade teacher Vicki Leigh Soto, 27 years old, died trying to protect the children she loved, her cousin Jim Wiltsie said.

When the gunfire started on Friday morning, she gathered her students and tried to hide them in a classroom closet, officials told her family.

“In doing so, she put herself between the kids and the gunman’s bullets,” said Mr. Wiltsie, who is a police officer. “That is how she was found. Huddled with her children.” He said he didn’t know if her students were among the dead.
So were Mary Sherlach and Dawn Hochsprung:
While several teachers naturally tried to protect themselves when they heard the shots, school principal Dawn Hochsprung, 47, and school psychologist Mary Sherlach, 56, ran toward the shots, a school therapist said. Although the circumstances surrounding their deaths are still unclear, Rabbi Shaul Praver, who was at the crime scene, said they were both killed execution style, reports the Telegraph. One teacher says she believes it was the principal who turned on the campus loudspeaker system that alerted school officials there was something going on, allowing them to hide.
Rachel Davino and Anne Marie Murphy were heroes:
Rachel Davino and Anne Marie Murphy, both of whom were teachers aides at the school, are two out of the 27 innocent people who were shot and killed due to the Sandy Hook Shooting that took place the morning of December 14, 2012. Many staff members that morning like Rachel Davino,  Anne Marie Murphy, Victoria Soto and countless others risked and sacrificed their own lives in order to protect the children that were in danger. It is reported that Rachel Davino took the full force of Adam Lanza’s shooting rampage in an effort to protect as many children as she could. Anne Marie Murphy was found in a classroom where she covering a group of children who died in the tragic shooting.
As was Lauren Rousseau:
Lauren Rousseau had spent years working as a substitute teacher and doing other jobs. So she was thrilled when she finally realized her goal this fall to become a full-time teacher at Sandy Hook.
Her mother, Teresa Rousseau, a copy editor at the Danbury News-Times, released a statement Saturday that said state police told them just after midnight that she was among the victims.
"Lauren wanted to be a teacher from before she even went to kindergarten," she said. "We will miss her terribly and will take comfort knowing that she had achieved that dream."
I am trying very, very hard right now to keep my cynicism in check. But I can't help wondering...

If these six heroic educators were New York City or Los Angeles teachers, would the newspapers be printing their value-added scores in their obituaries?

Because the information would be publicly available already, right at the websites of the Wall Street Journal or the LA Times. Would these papers keep those scores in their databases? Would they keep them up only if they were good scores? Would we celebrate the accomplishments of the dead teachers who had higher rankings more than those who had lower rankings?

NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg says he wants these ratings published. He's willing to slash the city's education budget to make it happen.

Someone should ask him: if a teacher dies in the line of duty, should their rating be released? Would he release the ratings of the six heroes above if he could?

1 comment:

reality-based educator said...

Don't forget how Bloomberg feels teachers need to have "their feet held to the fire" in order to be motivated.


That's an interesting phrase he used last week to talk about so-called teacher accountability, given the horrific events at Sandy Hook on Friday.

The courage, sacrifice and selflessness shown by those educators at Sandy Hook is extraordinary and puts the words and actions of little men like Bloomberg and Klein to shame.

What do these men know of courage and sacrifice?

What do they know of selflessness?

The same goes for women like Rhee and Kopp.

I cannot put myself or educators I know in the place of those teachers at Sandy Hook.

God help anybody who has to face such awful circumstances.

But I do know that EVERY DAY I see courage, selflessness and sacrifice from my fellow teachers toward their students, in both big ways and small.

Too bad they don't have a VAM for that.