Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Predictably, Perturbed Public Pedagogue Paul Perzanoski Protests “Politics,” Proficiency & Progress Points

We reported earlier today on the letter grades Maine’s DOE has assigned to Brunswick Government Schools in this post.

Brunswick’s School Superintendent Paul Perzanoski, a well established critic of Governor Paul LePage (exhibit A; exhibit B), promptly responded to the grades, calling them

“political” and “a continuation of the discrediting and dismantling of public schools for the purpose of using public dollars to fund private and religious schools.”

Words like hyperbole and hyperventilating come to mind, but we won’t mention them here.  Paranoia and victimization complex do not come to mind, so we won’t even hint at them.

As to the grades and related details, he said this:

“I had no expectations, but it’s demoralizing.”

Then he added this:

“It’s the same thing they’ve been trying to do since 1983, which is to remove money from the public schools and use it to fund parochial and private schools.”

In response to these lucid comments, uttered with admirable detachment, we have a question or two for the Super.

- You had no expectations?  And you run the Brunswick School operation?

- Could you identify the “they” who has been out to get you since 1983, and what happened in that year that is burned in your memory?

- Where were you in 1983, and how long have you been in school administration here in Maine, and especially in Brunswick?  Did the protagonists from 1983 follow you here?

- What is ‘political’ about benchmarking individual schools against the Maine average?  What is ‘political’ about comparing individual school metrics from tests given in all schools?  Aren’t these by definition relative scores?

- Aren’t math and reading essential core competencies that should be top priorities in basic education?

- How does reporting scores on standardized school measures rise to the level of ‘discrediting and dismantling of public schools?’


We’ll close by pointing out that if you’ve been following school affairs over time here in town, you know all too well that the school establishment objects to and scrupulously avoids any suggestion of metrics, testing, qualifying, or just about any form of performance assessment as ‘flawed,’ ‘unfair,’ ‘hostile,’ and any other demonizing term you care to suggest.

So we shouldn’t be surprised.  The past is prologue.

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