Saturday, March 3, 2012

Chapter 31: The Charlotte Danielson Rubric for the Highly Effective Husband


My Life as an NYC Teacher

Danielson Exposed!!

Chapter 31: The Charlotte Danielson Rubric for the Highly Effective Husband

        Where will the ongoing pretense that human interactions can be objectified lead?  I’ve been thinking about this while looking over the Danielson rubric for classroom management, a hilarious attempt to pretend that you can categorize and rate teacher – student interactions.  The Danielson Group and whatever academic eggheads and deep pockets are behind them apparently (low-inference observation) believe that human behavior can be observed and described objectively and without making judgments or inferences.  They apparently believe that codifying it makes it meaningful and less ridiculous.  Is there a better argument against allowing people like this to design a new teacher evaluation / rating system than this piece of paper?  I should have called this “Exhibit A”.
        More likely, of course, it's a lie that someone wants to hear so they're more than happy to take the money and fabricate.  So here it is, the Danielson “rubric” for classroom management.  (I’m not kidding!  This is a real document – I have a copy - and it is being promulgated as the answer to something!)



Danielson 2011 rubric – Adapted to New York State Levels of Performance


COMPETENCY
2d
INEFFECTIVE
DEVELOPING
EFFECTIVE
HIGHLY EFFECTIVE
Managing
Student
Behavior
There appears to be no established standards of conduct, and little or no teacher monitoring of student behavior.  Students challenge the standards of conduct.  Response to student behavior is repressive or disrespectful of student dignity.
Standards of conduct appear to have been established, but their implementation is inconsistent.  Teacher tries, with uneven results, to monitor student behavior and respond to student misbehavior.  There is inconsistent implementation of the standards of conduct.
Student behavior is generally appropriate.  The teacher monitors student behavior against established standards of conduct.  Teacher’s response to student misbehavior is consistent, proportionate and respectful to students and is effective. [1]
Student behavior is entirely appropriate.  Students take an active role in monitoring their own behavior.  Teacher’s monitoring of student behavior is subtle and preventive.  Teacher’s response to student misbehavior is sensitive to individual student needs and respects students.
Critical
Attributes
·   Classroom environment is chaotic, with no apparent standards of conduct.
·   The teacher does not monitor student behavior.
·   Some students violate classroom rules without apparent teacher awareness.
·   When the teacher notices student misbehavior, s/he appears helpless to do anything about it.
·   Teacher attempts to maintain order in the classroom but with uneven success; standards of conduct, if they exist, are not evident.
·   Teacher attempts to keep track of student behavior, but with no apparent [2] system.
·   The teacher’s response to student misbehavior is inconsistent: sometimes very harsh, other times lenient.
·   Standards of conduct appear to have been established.
·   Student behavior is generally appropriate.
·   The teacher frequently monitors student behavior.
·   Teacher’s response to student misbehavior is effective. [3]
·   Teacher acknowledges good behavior.

In addition to the characteristics of “Effective”:
·   Student behavior is entirely appropriate; no evidence of student misbehavior.
·   The teacher monitors student behavior without speaking – just moving about.
·   Students respectfully intervene as appropriate with classmates to ensure compliance with standards of conduct.

Possible
Examples
·   Students are talking among themselves with no attempt by the teacher to silence them.
·   An object flies through the air without apparent teacher notice.
·   Students are running around the room, resulting in a chaotic environment.
·   Their phones and other electronics distract students and teacher doesn’t do anything.

·   Classroom rules are posted, but neither teacher nor students refer to them.
·   The teacher repeated asks students to take their seats; they ignore him / her.
·   To one student: “Where’s your late pass?  Go to the office.”  To another: “You don’t have a late pass? Come in and take your seat: you’ve missed enough already.”

·   Upon a non-verbal signal from the teacher, students correct their behavior.
·   The teacher moves in every section of the classroom, keeping a close eye on student behavior.
·   The teacher gives a student a “hard look” and the student stops talking to his/her neighbor.

·   A student suggests a revision in one of the classroom rules.
·   The teacher notices that some students are talking among themselves, and without a word, moves nearer to them; the talking stops.
·   The teacher asks to speak to a student privately about misbehavior.
·   A student reminds his/her classmates of the class rules about chewing gum.




   [If Charlotte Danielson or the Danielson Group or the Milken Group or whoever is behind these crazy rubrics feels that I am infringing on their copyright by posting this rubric, just let me know and I’ll remove it.  I’d be embarrassed to have it shown to the public, too.]

        Before pointing out just one or two of the more glaringly Kafkaesque aspects of this teacher evaluation tool, I’m a little curious about just what that object flying "through the air" of the ineffective teacher's classroom is.  Wait - I recognize it.  It’s the teacher’s sanity.
        Notice that in the “highly effective” teacher’s classroom there is, quote, “no evidence of student misbehavior” and yet when it happens, either the teacher wordlessly takes care of it – relatively easy to do since it isn’t really happening, according to this rubric – or the students remind themselves that it isn’t really happening, since there is no evidence of it.
        Notice that the effective “hard look” technique is inferior to the more highly effective non-verbal technique, though the “hard look” is, of course, by definition non-verbal.  Any teacher who has to actually speak to his / her students, by this rubric, has a long way to go.
        But enough of pointing out the obvious.  If Charlotte Danielson actually exits – see chapter “The Danielson Performance Puppet” – and actually believes that this rubric can and should be used as a tool to evaluate teacher performance – a puppet can be made to say and act as if it believes anything, of course – then where will it end?  I mean, why stop with teacher - student interactions?  Isn’t the husband – wife intercourse just as significant, perhaps even more so?  Shouldn’t we be able to know when our intimate partner is performing in a “highly effective” manner?  Evidently, most of us can’t tell such things subjectively.
  
[Legal disclaimer: Although all of the stories about schools in this book are true, the scene described here is another purely imaginative, i.e., fictional account.  I’ve never met Charlotte Danielson and had never heard of her before she was foisted on us and became my de jure educational guru last September - 2011.]

SCENE: The Danielson Research Laboratory, i.e., her bedroom.
SUBJECT(S):  self; Mr. Danielson [4]
AIM: Copulation
OBJECTIVE: Satisfaction (as opposed to impregnation- see Domain -3c)
STANDARDS: FP 2.3: partner is aroused through physical intimacy prior to penetration
         PEN 1.2: penetration is measurable and pleasurable for both parties
         EJ 3.3: ejaculation elicits moans of satisfaction
Do Now:      Disrobe; put on nightgown; leap into bed; await husband’s entrance.

Charlotte is sitting in bed and smoking a cigarette to simulate actual conditions as closely as possible – you know, the way they pretend that the scenes in all the classroom videos are “realistic”.  Her husband lies at her side, snoring quietly and with the hint of a smile on his drowsy lips.
She is going over the low-inference, non-judgmental notes she made during the activity just consummated:

1.              Falls while hastily stepping out of trousers – 6:17:44
2.              Jumps on bed, tears off my nightgown / underclothes – 6:18:04
3.              Kisses my neck repeatedly – 6:18:23
4.              Breath smells like …. [crossed out – inferential]
5.              Attempts penetration – 6:18:38 – 6:23:53
6.              Penetrates – 6:23:54
7.              Begins rapid, repetitious in and out motion – 6:23:55
8.              In and out occurs – lost count at 78 repetitions: 6:25:12
9.              Low-pitched and high-pitched vocalizations, i.e., accountable talk, heard throughout activity
10.           Ejaculation occurs accompanied by vocalized “Owwwwww!  – 6:26:03
11.           Falls onto his side of the, I mean, left side of the bed – 6:26:05
12.           Begins snoring as usual – 6:26:49 – NOTE: scratch “as usual”

“Hmm,” she thinks to herself, “a few of these terms are slightly judgmental.”  NOTE TO SELF, she writes: change “hastily” to “with rapid hand and foot movements”.
Since these notes are meant strictly as a tool for discussion and reflection rather than for evaluation and she is uncertain about the level of satisfaction she is feeling, Charlotte pulls out the actual rubric in order to determine if the objectives were accomplished and the standards met.


Danielson 20—Rubric – Adapted to NYS Levels of Performance [5]

COMPETENCY
-2d
INEFFECTIVE
DEVELOPING
EFFECTIVE
HIGHLY EFFECTIVE
Managing
Human
Intercourse
There appears to be no established standards of conduct, and little or no female monitoring of male behavior.  Male challenges the standards of conduct.  Response to male behavior is repressive or disrespectful of male dignity.
Standards of conduct appear to have been established, but their implementation is inconsistent.  Female tries, with uneven results, to monitor male behavior and respond to male misbehavior.  There is inconsistent implementation of the standards of conduct.
Male behavior is generally appropriate.  The female monitors male behavior against established standards of conduct.  Female’s response to male misbehavior is consistent, proportionate and respectful to male and is effective.
Male behavior is entirely appropriate.  Male takes an active role in monitoring his own behavior.  Female’s monitoring of male behavior is subtle and provocative.  Female’s response to male misbehavior is sensitive to individual male’s ego.
Critical
Attributes
·   Bedroom environment is chaotic, with no apparent standards of conduct.
·   The female does not monitor male behavior.
·   Male violates bedroom rules without apparent female awareness.
·   When the female notices male misbehavior, she appears helpless to do anything about it.
·   Female attempts to maintain order in the bedroom but with uneven success; standards of conduct, if they exist, are not evident.
·   Female attempts to keep track of male behavior, but with no apparent system.
·   The female’s response to male misbehavior is inconsistent: sometimes very harsh, other times lenient.
·   Standards of conduct appear to have been established.
·   Male behavior is generally appropriate.
·   The female frequently monitors male behavior.
·   Female’s response to male misbehavior is effective.
·   Female acknowledges good behavior.

In addition to the characteristics of “Effective”:
·   Male behavior is entirely appropriate; no evidence of male misbehavior.
·   The female monitors male behavior without speaking – just twisting and squirming while cooing, “Oooo, ahhhh.”
·   Male respectfully intervenes as appropriate with female to ensure compliance with standards of conduct and position variations.

Possible
Examples
·   Male objects to disrespectful criticism of his performance and “pulls out”.
·   Male gives up and watches football.
·   Male prematurely ejaculates and then goes to neighborhood bar to brag about hours-long sex session.
·   Female at one point purrs, “Oh, honey,” but a moment later screams, “You insensitive bastard!”
·   Female uses her feminine charms to urge male on but gets headache just before ejaculation, leaving male frustrated and horny.  He resorts to porn.
·   Female reads magazine during activity with little or no apparent monitoring of male performance.

·   Upon a non-verbal signal from the female, male corrects his behavior by changing position appropriately.
·   The female moves in every section of the sheets, keeping a close eye on male behavior to ensure lengthy (in both senses of the term) erection.
·   Female compliments male on performance, saying, “That was great, baby!”

·   Female hires film crew to record performance for internet posting.
·   Female tweets “ooo’s” and “ahhh’s” at 20-second intervals.
·   Female is interviewed on SPIKE t.v.; she gives non-verbal advice by physically and graphically modeling effective positions, using the “tableau” activity.
·   Female wins Milken award for “Most Positions Achieved Before Initial Ejaculation”.




        Dishearteningly, based on the objectives and standards, Charlotte is forced to rate this husband as “developing” in foreplay (“bad breath”), “ineffective” in penetration (“took too long”), but “highly effective” in ejaculation (“great scream”).
        Back to reality: The people who came up with this “classroom management rubric” and can send it out to schools with a straight face are the people in charge of training and evaluating teachers.  Charlotte Danielson is now the lead consultant for the national push for common core standards.  Given that, I’m curious about her credentials for holding this position.  In other words, I want to know if she ever taught.  You can’t be a teacher guru with no teaching experience and without the kind of experience that real teachers get day in and day out.  At least, logically, you can’t.
        So I’ve googled “Charlotte Danielson” and “Charlotte Danielson biography” and I’ve gotten the same line every time.  Here it is, taken from


            “She has taught at all levels, from kindergarten through college ….”

        Wow!  All levels – sounds pretty impressive.  I don’t know how old she is – it’s hard to guess the age of a puppet – but given all of the other things she has done according to these biographies:

… has worked as an administrator, a curriculum director, and a staff developer. In her consulting work, Ms. Danielson has specialized in aspects of teacher quality and evaluation, curriculum planning, performance assessment, and professional development.
Ms. Danielson has worked as a teacher and administrator in school districts in several regions of the United States. In addition, she has served as a consultant to hundreds of districts, universities, intermediate agencies, and state departments of education in virtually every state and in many other countries …  (same web site)

        Given all of this, it’s hard to imagine that she has had time to actually teach at all levels from “kindergarten through college”.  Let’s see, if taken literally, that would be a minimum of 13 years (K – 12) plus at least another 4 years to cover “college level”.  That’s a minimum of 17 years of teaching if she only lasted one year at each level.  I guess she started in kindergarten and worked her way up.
        Clearly it’s a ruse.  Ms. Danielson hasn’t taught “at all levels” and may not have taught at all.  If she has, why don’t they say where, when, for how long and who her students were?  I don’t mean to sound cynical but I remember Joel Klein’s and Cathie Black’s lengthy educational resumes upon taking over the leadership of the NYC public school system.  Charlotte Danielson - she / it / they are aware that anyone claiming to be a teacher guru will be asked the question, “How, where and for how long did you teach?”  So she / it / they have supplied an all-encompassing answer meant to side-step any such question before it’s asked and anyway, she’s said to be from Princeton and she’s written some books.  Isn’t that good enough?
        I’m reminded of an Aussie coach I once had.  Although it’s more absurd than the Danielson sex rubric, this is a true story.  Anyone with an Australian accent was once considered a candidate for American teacher guru.  I guess since the Aussies were considered the best crocodile fighters, it just seemed natural for them to coach teachers.
        I and three others were designated for Ramp Up, a remedial English program for over-aged / under-credited students.  Our Aussie coach met us with the thick Ramp Up binder.  The Aussies were said to know everything about Ramp Up and were also said to be making big money doing nothing more than coaching teachers.
        The first thing we asked, naturally, was, “Tell us about your experiences teaching Ramp Up.”
        “Actually,” our coach admitted sheepishly, “I’ve never taught it.”
        “Well, then,” we continued, “tell us about the teachers you’ve observed teaching Ramp Up.”
        “In truth,” he said even more sheepishly, his accent growing stronger with each reply,  “I’ve never observed it in a classroom.”
       “Okay, then,” we said, “tell us what is in this big binder.”
       “I haven’t,” he replied, “had a chance to read it yet.”
       We looked at each other wondering what to say next.  One of us was well-known in the school for his hair-pin trigger and bursts of rage.  He could hold back no longer.
       “Then why in the world do we need someone from Australia to tell us how to teach?”  I wish I could convey the raging tone of voice in this question.
       “Actually,” our faux Aussie said, “I’m from Detroit.”
       He’d married an Australian woman and assimilated her accent.
       A few years ago it was the Aussies; now it’s Charlotte Danielson, who may, in fact, be a puppet – whether hand-held or dangling from strings I haven’t been able to discern yet.  Who’s next?  That guy I read about in the paper who was in the bar fight last week?  Or would he be overqualified since I’ve heard of him?



            NOTE: This blog contains an excerpt of the first draft of this book.


[1] Note: the definition of the “effective” teacher is that his/her response is “effective”.
[2] Note: the word “apparent” is apparently meant to indicate that a meaningful inference can be drawn without making an actual inference.
[3] Note: the definition of the “effective” teacher is that his/her response is “effective”.
[4] Another disclaimer: I know nothing about Charlotte Danielson – never heard her talk other than on a couple of videos that have been shoved down our throats at various “professional development” meetings where she tends to back up and correct herself frequently, don’t know if she’s married, has kids, smokes cigarettes – don’t fully believe she actually exists.  This scene is fiction meant to spoof a public figure or quasi-meta-public figure.
[5] Thankfully we won’t be held to Parisian levels of performance.