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We all know that Clive McFarlane is a lazy, race-baiting, wannabe journalist who lives to shit on the police. The only people who like him are the hippie protesters, which tells you everything you need to know about his work. But apparently bashing blue-collar middle class workers like police officers isn’t his only drink of choice. Add teachers to the list too. Particularly Worcester North High School teachers. As he let the people who work there know today in his column, you are all a bunch of overpaid, underperforming, racist reactionaries. Italicized are excerpts from this latest organized drivel.
There are two types of educators, the ones who see differences between themselves and their students and the ones who see their destinies intertwined with those of their young charges. Having covered education in this city for years, I believe the latter group are the majority in the Worcester public schools. Yet it is the former group that always seems to garner the most attention, and such a group is now ringing the alarm at North High School, suggesting that the school system is putting their lives in jeopardy by not doing enough to protect teachers from their students.
Oh I see. Clive “covered education” in Worcester for years. This of course makes him an expert on the day-to-day realities of what it’s like to be both a student and a teacher in at North High school. Gotta love the snarky little way Clive tells teachers who feel like they are physically endangered while working there that they’re overreacting. Because he would know what it’s like for a professional public servant with a Master’s Degree to try to maintain some semblance of control and safety. After all, he’s “covered education” for years.
If former Superintendent James Garvey were still around, he would go to the school and remind the ringleaders of this group that North High is the worst performing high school in the city. He would then tell them to stay off Facebook with their doomsday prophecies, to stop their denigration of students’ academic abilities, and to start doing the job Worcester teachers are being paid an average of $91,500 a year to do — help young people find their way in the world.
Rule #1 – anyone who talks about what someone else hypothetically would have done in order to prove their point is a moron. That’s you Clive. You’re the moron. North is the “worst performing” high school in the city. Based on what? Standardized test scores? The same test scores that Clive McFarlane often writes are an unfair way to evaluate a school? Because I remember him saying this in a column not that long ago:
I understand the cynicism of teachers on this issue. But a test score often tells us more about what’s going on in the state, the city, the school and the home than it does what’s going on in the individual classroom.
Oh and North High Teachers must’ve loved this sentence, “He would then tell them to stay off Facebook with their doomsday prophecies.”
Yea, you teachers don’t have any free speech rights. Not when you’re Facebook friends with Clive. The constitution doesn’t apply to you. The founding fathers said teachers are only 3/5 of real people anyway. Either you agree with Clive that you’re making up all these stories about fights in the school, or you’re not allowed to speak on social media.
My favorite part was when he said that teachers are making, “an average of $91,500 a year.” Because he literally just pulled a number out of his ass and went with it. A wrong number. A number that can easily be disproven with a simple Google search. Here’s the teacher’s contract. And here’s the salary breakdown:
Apparently Clive would not fare well on the MCAS, as it appears math is not his specialty. I would love to have him use the Common Core to explain to me how the mean salary of a faculty can be $91,500 when the most a teacher can possibly make is $83,000. Oh yea, and nobody makes that much, because you’ll notice they need a PhD to get that salary. And you’d have to be clinically insane to have a PhD and choose to subject yourself to a job where you’re probably gonna get punched in the face by a student if you work there long enough.
Superintendent Melinda Boone doesn’t have the Worcester lineage or the political clout to roll that way and get away with it. She has to present a stiff upper lip. Yet it must rub her to no end that some would suggest that the school system is negligent in providing a safe learning environment for teachers and students.
Clive standing up for Melinda Boone? Never saw that one coming. Yes, it really must rub her the wrong way that teachers at a school where one teacher was punched in the face and a vice principal was spat on by a student, would have the AUDACITY to suggest that the school system isn’t providing a save learning environment for teachers and students. It must’ve really rubbed her the wrong way when the students themselves organized a petition, signed by nearly 500 students, demanding a police presence inside the school. Who do these kids think they’re fucking with? Too bad she doesn’t have the “Worcester lineage” to show these kids who runs shit around here.
Clive thinks the teachers at North who want police officers to help protect both them and the students are failing to notice that Worcester has alternative programs for dangerous kids:
There is the Academic Center for Transition, for example, which serves kindergarten through sixth-grade students who demonstrate aggressive verbal and physical behavior. There is Woodard Day, which serves students involved with the courts, such as kids facing felony convictions.
Yea, the K-6 “Center for Transition” should work well with 19 year old freshmen. And to get into Woodard Day you have to get caught with a weapon inside the school. Logically anyone who doesn’t get caught with a gun is obviously not a threat to the safety of the school.
Well, for years Worcester has led the state in disproportionately kicking Latinos, boys and special needs students out of school. A 2013 Massachusetts law called on educators to show more discretion in out-of-school suspensions — to consider re-engaging students in the learning process and to consider other remedies before using suspensions.
Worcester led the state in kicking out, 1) Latinos, 2) boys, and 3) special needs students. Hmmmmm. Must be because they’re racist. That’s the only logical conclusion that can be reached here. Oh yea, and they’re reverse-sexist too. Because everyone knows that boys and special needs students (behavior disorder students included) are always better behaved than girls.
But please, tell me more about how we can “re-engage students in the learning process” instead of suspending them. You know what that means? It means some overpaid stiff at the Department of Education tossed a fancy sentence together because they thought it sounded good. But don’t kid yourself – they have absolutely no fucking clue what they meant by that.
Worcester has taken up the challenge. In 2013, for example, at North High School, almost 30 percent, or 47, of 175 Latinos disciplined at the school were placed on out-of-school suspensions. In 2014, the school disciplined 162 Latinos, but only 17.5 percent, 28, were given out-of-school suspensions. Twenty five or 15.6 percent were given in-school suspensions.
Oh good. We’re taking kids who disrupt school, start fights, and don’t give a shit about the fact that they’re taking educational opportunities away from their peers, and we’re KEEPING them in school!! That’s a GOOD thing!! LOL.
Plus, we all know that in-house suspension is a really, really productive use of time for students. That had me rolling, it really did. Look, I spent a lot of my time in high school in the inhouse suspension room. There isn’t an ounce of learning that goes on in there. The only difference for kids who get inhouse instead of out-0f-school suspensions is that they get a free lunch in exchange for doing a couple worksheets and taking a four hour nap. And our boy Clive here is celebrating this as some sort of victory for social justice. LOL. The guy couldn’t possibly be more ignorant and out of touch if he tried.
The change is similar across the board for all the city’s high schools. Some at North, however, are trying to use a recent student brawl there to suggest efforts to try and help more students within the school, as opposed to kicking them out, should be abandoned.
Oh those silly teachers and their obsession with 50 student brawls. That was an isolated incident. There are basically no discipline problems at North High School. Even ask Clive. He “covers education.”
Seriously though, I would like to personally challenge Clive McFarlane to become a teacher at North High for ONE MONTH. That’s what a real reporter would do. Go to the scene of the crime that you’re reporting on. Because I guarantee you the kids at North High would literally eat him alive, and I would love to read about it.
These voices do not reflect the majority of Worcester educators I know. They are clearly not reflected in educators who care about other people’s children, educators like School Committee member Tracey O’Connell Novick. While it is essential to ensure that schools remain a safe place to learn and to teach, Ms. Novick sagely noted, this balancing act should not obscured the long view that a community needs to have. “The schools have them until they are 18, and 22 in some cases, but after that they are still part of our society.”
Wow. Just wow. If teachers don’t support Clive’s ridiculously misguided assertion, then they are not educators who, “care about other people’s children.” Holy guacamole Clive. Even for you that’s pretty batshit crazy!!
Luckily for the children of North High, Tracy Novick cares about them all the way from West Tatnuck. Yea, let’s keep kids who are 22 years old in free public schools. That sounds like a productive way to run a society. Because people who can’t figure out a way to graduate from high school by the age of 22 are obviously going places in life. They’re not staying there to bother teachers and sell drugs. No, that never happens.
And what exactly is her point? After they graduate they are still part of our society? Yea, no shit sherlock. And they have to follow society’s rules. When you assault someone in the real world, you get arrested. What better way to teach kids about the reality of society than to give them the illusion that they won’t be arrested for coming a criminal act?
Add Tracy Novick to Turtleboy “do not vote for” list in the November elections. Right now it’s her and Dicky Rushton in the timeout chair together. One doesn’t support the police, the other doesn’t support teachers.
I’m getting emails from teachers left and right about this one. People are pissed. I’ve heard from the burbs too. From what they’ve told me apparently there are cops inside the buildings at Wachusett and Shepherd Hill – schools that don’t have anywhere near the types of disruptions to learning that North High has. But you can’t put them in North, or else you’re being a hyperbolic, racist, overpaid, whiny teacher.
The bottom line is this. Clive has a job because the Telegram pays him. He writes insane shit like this and people click on it because they wanna read how ridiculous it is. It’s cheap. The Telegram’s revenue comes primarily through advertising. Those digital ads you see on their site cost $954 per month. If you really wanna send a message, then contact those advertisers. Ask them how they feel about paying a man to write such terrible things about teachers. Then tell them to contact us and I’ll charge them less than half of that to advertise with the Turtleboy.
Here’s what I wanna do. I wanna open it up to the kids. I wanna hear from North High students what they think of all this. Do you feel like your school is doing all it can to get rid of distractions so that you can learn? Or do you feel that they are letting kids stay in your classes that are disrespectful to teachers and take away time from your right to learn? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a Facebook message. Your names will remain confidential. Clive can’t hurt you when you ride the turtle.
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