Pleasantville Blast

We looked at Pleasantville High School last week in the context of Diane Ravitch’s new book, chosen at random among the cohort of segregated, impoverished, and failing Jersey schools. Coincidentally this challenged Abbott district made non-bloggy headlines s a day later because at that week’s Board meeting Pleasantville Superintendent Gloria Grantham blasted away at teachers to the consternation of her Board.The Press of Atlantic City reports,
Grantham spoke at length Tuesday night about the benefits teachers get - vacation days, free health coverage, free professional development - and the effort they owe their students.
"This is not to hurt anyone, this is just to present the facts. We have got to do a better balancing act between what our students receive and what our adults receive," Grantham said. "They're benefiting pretty well from the opportunity to teach in our high school."
Board members tried to muzzle her, the union president called her remarks “disgraceful.”

A rare public display of frustration from the leader of a district in dire academic circumstances. Her ground time in Pleasantville may be brief.

Meanwhile, back in Ravitchland, Rich Hess at EdWeek says that her “read on [Race To The Top] is dead wrong” and, in fact, both Ravitch and Arne Duncan are making the same mistake:
Both Diane's stance and Duncan's reflect the misguided premise that chartering or accountability is a way to improve instruction--like a new curriculum, professional development model, or reading program--rather than an opportunity to create the conditions where sustained improvement in teaching and learning become possible.