Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ace Amherst Schools, noncompliant?

According to the state Department Of Education: Traditional study halls are not considered "directed" or "independent" study solely because of the presence of a teacher in the room.

Last year Northampton High School had no mandated study halls while Amherst Regional High School had two. Even the diffident Regional School Committee voted down Principal Jackson's suggestion to up it to three study halls.

Meanwhile Northampton's overhead per student that year was only $11,699, below the $13,062 state average; Amherst's platinum plated Regional schools spent a whopping $16,909 per student--well above state average.

So even if principal Mark Jackson--Amherst's 2nd highest paid town employee--is correct that "directed study hall counts towards the state mandated time in learning," that still means the venerable Amherst schools barely beat (by only 3%) bare minimum state standards (990 hours) while spending almost 30% more.

For Champagne prices we should be able to avoid Piels beer performance.

Principal Mark Jackson is defending the warehousing of kids as long as a qualified teacher (the more qualified, the higher the salary) is sitting up front acting as baby sitter, rather than simply a responsible warm body.

If no actually teaching is taking place, what difference does it make? It would be lot cheaper to use para professionals. Or maybe we could get some volunteer grad students from the Umass School of Education.

video
And no, as of this evening Mr. Jackson has not provided a state legal source confirming that a certified teacher makes all the difference with study halls.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I guess we should be grateful that we have a principal who hasn't dropped dead at his desk, who isn't soliciting young boys, who hasn't decided to junk the job to go find himself, who confronts School Committee members in public meetings only once and awhile.

That's worth top dollar, isn't it?

LarryK4 said...

Yeah after all, that private school his child attends is a tad expensive.

Anonymous said...

So now they can count up the hours and determine they do not meet the requirements and will ask for 3 million more in pay for the teachers to do their actual job.

Anonymous said...

Let's get to the heart of the real problem here, shall we?


Disgruntled former employees, expensive lunch ladies, town agitators, blogs... Oh and the most evil George Bush!


Yeah-yeah, see...


(THANK GOD for C.S. and S.R.)

Anonymous said...

Somebody's got the law wrong.

Anonymous said...

School administrators ARE the law.

Ask HR.

The will hate you. said...

The genius of the Amherst crowd:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gifEn61dZBc


They will hate you.

Anonymous said...

Why is Mark Jackson still in this job? Are we crazy? I guess so. This guy would never hold up in any other district. Oh, and by the way, did anyone see the Supt. sitting in the back of the room at the last school committee meeting, passing whispers back and forth with the idiot from Shutesbury? You don't think she encouraged him to start his "everything is rosie in the schools" blog to deflect attention from all the troubles in the school do you?

LarryK4 said...

Also kind of ironic since he filed a complaint with the District Attorney about Catherine Sanderson's blog charging it could violate the Open Meeting Law.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the acting superintendent know the answer to this question?

Anonymous said...

Legal or not, it's just wrong to force our kids into a study hall. If they don't think the high taxes we pay are enough to pay for a FULL day of instruction then let my kid leave early.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the acting superintendent know the answer to this question?

Because, ummmm, she likely has never taken a course in school administration or curriculum theory or education (NON-SPED) law, or all the other things she would have if she actually had a degree in how to be a superintendent...

She has 63 graduate credits in SPED and Social Justice -- that is all she has! No Masters' Thesis, no Doctorate, just 63 classes that likely were taught pass/fail....

The little girl with the "lost in the headlights" look is praying that on one realizes just how much she doesn't know -- and Jackson loves that because he can then be the bully ultimate -- law only unto himself, doing whatever he damn well pleases -- and now it is state laws notwithstanding....

What's next, he doesn't have to put a license plate on his car because he is Marc Jackson???

Anonymous said...

Make that 21 classes -- maybe less -- the credit load an undergrad takes in 2 years....

Yep, that is her education. That and whatever she learned about special education at Westfield State.

Elephant's memory said...

We have these brooms...

And we chase roaches with these brooms...

Their many victims said...

An epicenter for dis-functionality in our district is found smack dab behind the doors of the schools' HR department.


Study the source, exercise a solution.

Otherwise all this work for reform, goes absolutely ~no-where~.

Anonymous said...

If our interim becomes the permanent superintendent, she will be here in that position for as long as she wants, because she will STILL not be qualified to work anywhere else as a superintendent.

Note: she was not a finalist in Granby. But she will have to be a finalist here, or all hell will break loose.

Anonymous said...

I love reading this stuff. It just makes us happy we moved our kids out of the public schools here. When you hear hoof beats...think horses not zebras. The tax payers of this town are being hoodwinked by a superintendent and a high school principal who are not only stupid, but total jerks, and no-nothings. Choice your kids out to another town, get into a charter school, or put them in private school if you can afford. Show them you won't tolerate the B.S. they're spoon feeding the public.

Anonymous said...

Um- The trimester system pre-dates Mr. Jackson's tenure at the HS and since it was enshrined in the last teacher contract by the SC he has little power to change it. Also- directed studies have been required since 2005 I think- so Hochman, the Spragues, and Rodriquez all misinterpreted the time in learning regs- if in fact they have been misinterpreted.

Anonymous said...

If horses ass Jackson is so smart, why didn't he question it rather than just go along with it????? Fire the jerk.

Anonymous said...

From what I can gather...this anti study hall....If this is correct...LOL, I had two study halls in both Jr. and Sr. Highs...and they were pathetic....no teacher, no focus on homework....it was a "free for all" in those two half hour sessions, so, my opinion, don't make them mandatory unless you intend to assign them to a teacher who actually earns his/her money!