However, TFT's mind is as sharp as a razor blade slicing up some home made salt water taffy. TFT and myself welcomed self-important New York Daily News "journalist" Alexander Nazaryan and the author behind the sychophantic op-ed column in The Daily News of January 15, 2012 in which Alexander railed against the current evaluation system and supports the mess that Uncle Mike and Governor Andy which to implement.
This all started on January 15 in when I engaged with Alex on Twitter (which using my Twitter name you can find a blow by blow account). When I came back from hiatus I thought that having Alex as a guest and debating the points we both made would be a wonderful idea. Little did I know, and TFT as well, that I would be dealing with someone that chooses facts from make believe, has no foundation in which to base his beliefs, and just like our favorite toy when we were young we just pull a string on the Alexander Nazaryan doll and it just spews out what its master wants us to hear.
One of the points that Alex made in his column was that the evaluation system today does not allow for any feedback from principals besides an S and that a principal can only observe a teacher through a formal observation.
Nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, and this was a point that we brought up Tuesday night and in my tweeting that indeed, a principal can walk into your classroom anytime and informally observe you and write you up, critique, praise you, for those informal observations. Case in point, Francis Blake. Francis had many informal observations used against him in his 3020a hearing several years ago. I had an informal observation once and it was suggested that I use more open ended questions. A principal, or an assistant principal if they do their job properly can and will use the formal observation to not only be aware of what you are doing in the class but use it to help you improve and hone your teaching skills.
But Alex would have none of this (Alex appears about 17 minutes into the show). Alex says that the administrators "need the tools." By what that means, I have no idea. I brought up that the inexperience of today's administrator leaves them hamstrung to be able to recognize good practices. Alex vehemently disagreed. Alex says that they need good tools, especially involving data.
That threw TFT for a loop. Mention data to TFT and he blows a gasket. TFT asked Alex what admins they lack right now, Alex's response was TEST SCORES!! Alex said that they are important because scores can be used to evaluate a teacher then said the magic three words that popped a vein in TFT's skull, VALUE ADDED ASSESSMENT!
Listen to how Alex gave the dictionary definition to VAA. Alex couldn't even understand how one high stakes test can be used to judge a teacher and not even care nor understand that so many factors can go into a child's success or failure in such high stakes testing. Alex failed to realize that professional, in which we are trained for can make these determinations. Perhaps by writing a progress a report. Alex said if it is a good test then it works to which he admitted "we are working to such a test." Alex believes that even though these tests are no perfected, that "no test is ever perfect, but an opinion of a teacher will be less perfect." And that, "an opinion is more subjective than a test."
This statement clearly shows someone that is unable and unwilling to think for himself. But, and this is a big but, as we brought up to Alex, doctors OPINIONS are trusted, why aren't teachers opinions trusted? "Doctors" said Alex, "run tests" Guess what Alex, SO DO TEACHERS!!!!
Alex really wanted to wrap this up quick, but I got one last question in that was submitted by a reader;
...what exactly he would look for in a teacher who teaches students with learning disabilities who come from one or a combination of the following: poverty, are apathetic towards learning, are English second learners who have parents who do not speak English, do no homework, do not study are educationally neglected at home, are addicted to video games, go to sleep at 2 in the morning, don't know they have an IEP, cut class or enter into high school a minimum of five years behind in writing and reading.
Alex Nazaryan showed us all through the magic of Internet radio just down his nose he looks at the world. Alex blabbered, "I would probably try to have a better attitude about the kids I teach. It sounds like you are fairly negative in your assessment of these kids." Alex refused to answer how he would work with a kid like this. Alex would not deal with reality. He was appalled that I would characterize kids in that way.
Alex Nazaryan comes from an elite world of university snobbery in which one his trained in only numbers and nothing else. Yes, Alex did teach for 5 years and his NYSED records show that he had a license for three years, but in his article he fails to name the middle school he taught at in Flatbush and how long he was there, but he does mention that he taught at Brooklyn Latin School. A school in which students must take the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test. How much ELL's and Special ed. students did Alex have to deal with there? I am curious as to the school he taught at in Flatbush.
Alex is a fake, a fraud, a scheister. Rumor has it he taught only to source material for a book he plans on writing. I do give him credit for appearing on the show and jumping into the fire as most other deformers will not. But like all the other deformers when they have to deal with media that is not owned by the Murdoch's and are made to not only state their true positions on education but to back up said positions with clear cut hard facts they make the sound that Ralph Kramden made whenever he got caught by Alice, "hahmana, hamahna, hahmana!"
Alex, we here at SBSB will be keeping an eye on your written tripe and challenge you to be honest and forthcoming in any future writing you do on education. You can start by naming that middle school in Flatbush.