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Re: “Berkeley's Unequal Punishment of Teachers

The commenter C. Small believes that standards help everyone, but this is not true when the rigid application of standards means students are set up to fail. The teacher must meet the student at an appropriate level of instruction - this is called "scaffolding," not diminished expectations. Criticisms of the kind leveled by C. Small seem to generally come from parents of academically advanced students who think not going to college is a mark of failure. They claim, along with the advocates of corporate education "reform," that more "rigorous" standards (and the accompanying high stakes tests) will somehow help even the lower-performing students, but what they are really concerned with is that the presence of these students "is holding my kid back." Also, while there are certainly teachers who should no longer be in the profession, and Small cites anecdotes to this effect, he/she does not deal with the possibility that older teachers are being targeted for budgetary or other political reasons. Why would so many older and more highly educated teachers be targeted? Where are the "accumulated years of complaints" and why wouldn't the school district make this plain?

25 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Franklin Lears on 04/03/2014 at 12:12 PM

Re: “Berkeley's Unequal Punishment of Teachers

Masha, thank you for your post. While I have not been referred to BPAR - I have been disciplined for arbitrary things by BUSD admin, like getting a student a bottle of water, and applying for a VP position. Dr. Evans is going to have to take this issue seriously and work with teachers and administrator to improve the tone of the work environment at the high schools so that ALL students can get a quality education.

29 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Sherene Randle on 04/03/2014 at 11:26 AM

Re: “DEA Says It Will Ignore President Obama's Wishes During Congressional Hearing on Marijuana Policy

Fire her anyway. Her statements prove she isn't qualified to perform her duties with any proficiency.

15 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Mike Parent on 04/03/2014 at 11:04 AM

Re: “Berkeley's Unequal Punishment of Teachers

I am in my 9th year as a math teacher at Berkeley High and my 25th year as a math educator. I have one child at Berkeley High and two at Willard. I know the stories intimately of all the teachers who speak up in this article, as their colleague, union representative, and neighbor. I will gladly vouch for the validity of their stories and am exceptionally proud of their willingness to speak up. The atmosphere at Berkeley High is so poisonous that even mentioning Peer Assistance and Review critically to community members can earn a teacher a letter of unprofessional conduct. A letter of unprofessional conduct can lead to dismissal. Indeed, I may be retaliated against for writing this post.
As someone who has had years of experience in curriculum writing and teacher training, I can guarantee that the pedagogical advice and support garnered from the PAR experience will not create a better classroom for our children. In fact, it will produce a classroom with a frightened, uninspired teacher trying to micromanage student voices to please a relatively uninformed and inexperienced evaluator. I don't think any parents want that for their children. I certainly don't want it for mine.
Masha Albrecht, Berkeley High Math Department

35 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Masha Albrecht on 04/03/2014 at 10:10 AM

Re: “Neill Sullivan's Oakland

Who would have purchased these homes? Hmmmmm..maybe families in Oakland who, for the first time, had access to somewhat affordable home prices after the market crashed? What Neil Sullivan's employee/PR people and allies commenting on this article fail to mention is that families looking to actually invest long term in the community were outbid at auction by people like Sullivan dozens of times b/c they have the cash to swallow up these homes. But if you want to go on pretending that a millionaire who is buying homes to turn a profit is the victim and working people being thrown out of the city are somehow the problem, have fun w/ that...

21 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Ted Stevens on 04/03/2014 at 9:33 AM

Re: “Berkeley's Unequal Punishment of Teachers

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

17 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 04/03/2014 at 9:07 AM

Re: “Neill Sullivan's Oakland

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

Posted by Editor on 04/03/2014 at 7:58 AM

Re: “Planet Clair

a hahahahaha. the last time the red Razorback plastic hog hat (there's six in the kitchen, but only one "senior" partner of the group) was taken out to a "public sporting event" or "music show" was like in the 80's. but whatever it's seen enough 4th of July BBQs or Labor Day party things, to have misbehaved enough times to have gotten its red pig ass grounded forEVER since.

-- metal mike year 2014

Posted by Michael Earl Saunders on 04/03/2014 at 6:00 AM

Re: “Berkeley's Unequal Punishment of Teachers

This is a hot mess!!! It is time for students, parents, teachers and Dr. Evans to come up with some real and tangible solutions to this issue. We are not all going to agree but we are obliged on behalf of all children to resolve this expeditiously and as a community.

25 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Sherene Randle on 04/03/2014 at 4:49 AM

Re: “Berkeley's Unequal Punishment of Teachers

My children have had three of the four referenced teachers (including the anonymous one) and I can tell you from personal experience, at least two deserved to be placed in BPAR. They did not cover the course content, one never graded half of the assignments, one barely taught the class preferring that students "work on their own." This same teacher humiliated students who asked for help and even randomly played guitar rather than teach. I've talked to several students and parents of students who told these same stories over and over. The one-sided way their stories are told in this article are completely twisted from the truth.

Two years ago, Mr. Scuderi promised that all teachers at Berkeley High would either be 1. excellent teachers, 2. working to become excellent teachers, or 3. looking for a new job. I am glad he is following through on this promise because all of our kids deserve better than wasting 180 hours a year on a class without a decent teacher.

36 likes, 32 dislikes
Posted by Christa Rybczynski on 04/02/2014 at 11:30 PM

Re: “Lin Jia Asian Kitchen

Let's see...what restaurant have my family and I been to more times than any other?? Easy - Lin Jia. It never gets old.

Posted by Eric A Hughes on 04/02/2014 at 11:25 PM

Re: “Grand Lake Kitchen

The best breakfast in the Grand friendly...great coffee, and home cooking to, well, write home about.

Posted by Eric A Hughes on 04/02/2014 at 11:20 PM

Re: “Neill Sullivan's Oakland

Greedy people should be taxed when they are not living in the property...Sorry, but there has to be an offset on the plague that is gentrification. I moved to West Oakland 6 years ago and have lived in Oakland for 12 and the SF Bay for almost 20 years. It's really disparity when it comes to home ownership here...very few minorities actually own their homes and the institutional legacy of racism in the SF Bay Area is likely why. Just look at the Executive Staffing Pages on companies like Clorox or Pandora who don't believe in hiring minorities at all or promoting them into executive positions, yet, int he case of companies like Clorox more than 75% of their revenues come from minorities...I think that until corporations start putting their investment where their revenue comes from, minorities need to stop buying their products.

10 likes, 30 dislikes
Posted by Carol Wyatt on 04/02/2014 at 11:11 PM

Re: “Berkeley's Unequal Punishment of Teachers

For all the discussions about equity, college preparedness and tolerance, it's absurd that BUSD hasn't hired or retained more teachers of color. BUSD - What message does that send to your students?

30 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Karen Flood Nielsen on 04/02/2014 at 9:15 PM

Re: “Oakland's New City Administrator Fred Blackwell Takes Job with San Francisco Foundation

he was promoted not hired, just making that distinction for the record.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Annalee Allen on 04/02/2014 at 8:41 PM
Posted by Stephen Daniel on 04/02/2014 at 8:07 PM

Re: “Berkeley's Proposed Minimum Wage Hike Sparks Conflict

Erick Panzer is right, How do they expect minimum wage workers (my self included) to continue to suffer for a couple dollar price increase on food that WEALTHEIR people can afford anyways?! I would go out and eat at cheap resturaunts if I made atleast 50$ more a month than the cost to live in this place!

Posted by David Andrews on 04/02/2014 at 6:34 PM

Re: “Neill Sullivan's Oakland


Houses that are sitting vacant or houses that are falling apart are NOT good for any community. Every empty home results in lost taxes that can pay for our schools and city services! I want a neighborhood where I've actually got NEIGHBORS, instead of empty foreclosed houses.

And if trash hauling and tree planting are gimmicks, they're not cheap ones....I pay taxes for that stuff, and if some property company isn't waiting around for the city to pick up the trash and doing it on their own, why would I argue?

17 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Annie Lee by the Sea on 04/02/2014 at 6:26 PM

Re: “Neill Sullivan's Oakland

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 04/02/2014 at 6:04 PM

Re: “Neill Sullivan's Oakland

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 04/02/2014 at 5:59 PM

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