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Thursday Link Love

| 6 Comments
1) My Kingdom for a Parking Space: On top of everything else, NYC teachers like Mimi are without parking. As always, she has some funny and insightful things to say about it:
Sometimes it feels as if the forces in the universe are alligning to make this job as difficult as possible, just to see if I have the balls to stick with it. Other times, it feels as if teachers (as people) are the absolute last priority on everyone's list...that we will just suck it up and deal with ridiculous situations "for the kids."

If one more person tells me to do it "for the kids", I might throw a kid at them. Seriously. Stop playing on our good intentions and altruistic dedication to the future and treat us like the professionals you so desperately claim you want us to be. It just seems at times as if this job teeters on the brink of being inhumane.
2) Quiz Show: Celia Oyler puts together her second New York City Progress Report Quiz.

3) Dream big, Harvard: It would be a shame if this $44 million R&D effort in education spent most of its brainpower studying incentives.
6 Comments

Why would anyone seeking scientific solutions invest so much effort in studying incentives? Maybe you should start a contest on much more fruitful lines of research. Regardless, this does not portend well for the objectivity of the effort.


Can you say "Merit Pay"?

Dr. Fryer thinks that educational research is not "data-driven"? Everywhere I look, I see educational data being collected, analyzed, argued over, etc. Though more controlled experiments would be nice.
Also, what about the findings from last year's cash incentives program in NYC? They are still "examining the data"? Hmm...

I read Mimi's blog post (about parking). Her situation is really unfortunate (and outrageous).

When I worked as a teacher, I never had a problem with parking. However, I once turned down a job b/c the parking would have been street parking in a not-so-good neighborhood (in southern CA). I'd heard stories about teachers' cars being broken into, and decided not to take the job - basically for safety reasons.

I think it's particularly bad that the administration made this decision part-way into the school year, when teachers at Mimi's school (unlike my example above) couldn't make an informed decision about working there, and are basically stuck for the next 10 months. Good luck, Mimi - and stay safe!

The Fryer external incentive grants seem to be rolling in.....I hope Eduwonkette has time to review some of the research on external rewards, motivation, and achievement. Some of the work done on little children is fascinating and runs counter to the entire Fryer project. The soul-crushing aspect of Fryer's theoretical framework on boosting achievement for poor children through external rewards is that it lets the curriculum and the teacher and the school entirely off the hook: it's not a matter of creating learning experiences that connect with a child, her culture, her community; or creating curriculum that intrigues her or teaching that respects her and her family; or about creating schools where families and communities can find support and education and develop skills of active citizenship-- (all the things we know actually do make a difference in the lives of poor families!).....No, it's a much more cynical view on students living in poverty: they don't care, they are only motivated by material objects that they don't have, they have to be bribed into "learning" (or at least learning to get a better score on a bubble sheet).....RRRRR! Get me out of here.

Do other professions in NYC carry on about parking like this? At my school it's an obsession. At other jobs I've worked, those who drove never expected a free spot. Or if they did, they didn't bore the rest of us whining about it.

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