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Our regular reader and contributor Laura H. Chapman researched No Nonsense Nurturing pedagogy and shares what she found:
“Here are some noteworthy facts about the Lawrence MA school district as of the 2014-2015 school year, where the No-Nonsense-Nurture program and methodology from the Center for Transformative Teacher Training is being used to control teacher and student performance in the service of raising test scores and graduation rates.
“LPS serves roughly 13,900 students and their families. The demographic breakdown is as follows:
1.5% African American
0.4% Multi-racial, Non-Hispanic
“English Language Learners:
70.0% First language not English
29.9% English Language Learners (ELLs)
16.9% Students with Disabilities
88.9% Qualify for free lunch
3.5% Qualify for reduced-price lunch
91.3% Total low-income
“So in Lawrence, MA this is a program of choice for poor Hispanic kids, many still learning English.
“The current marketers of NNN is CTTT or C3T short for the Center for Transformative Teacher Training. The website lists as CLIENTS a curious list of large metro school districts, many charter franchise schools, TFA and really weird—the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as a CLIENT. Here is the sales pitch information:
“Our work has had a transformative impact on educators from a wide range of school districts, CMO’s, and educational organizations, including:
Achievement First Achievement School District Alain Locke Project Apple Academy Public Charter Schools Aspire Public Schools Academy for Urban School Leadership- Chicago Beecher Community School District Center City Public Charter Schools Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Chicago International Charters Cleveland Metropolitan School District DC Bilingual Charter School Denver Public Schools Alice Deal Middle School Friendship Public Schools KIPP Schools Leadership Public Schools Lighthouse Potomac Charter School MATCH Schools Mastery Schools NewSchools Venture Fund New Schools for New Orleans New Teacher Center Princeton City Schools Rocketship Public Schools Roosevelt School District San Francisco Unified School District St. Hope Leadership Academy Success Academy Charter Schools Syracuse City Schools Teach for America Uncommon Schools Urban Teacher Center Winton Woods Schools
“Also listed as clients with logos attached are :The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Selby County Schools, District of Columbia Public Schools
“So, Bill and Melinda Gates are CLIENTS?
“I snooped around on the Internet. The general method of Assertive Discipline has been around since 1976 marketed by Lee Canter and Associates (Lee is one of the originators). That work was purchased by Sylvan in 1998 and resurrected in 2009 as CTT with NNN as one of the products. The co-founders, include Lee Canter and Kristyn Klei Borrero, who completed an ED.D in 2008 (educational administration). Prior to that Kristyn was CEO of Aspire charter schools, and key leader in developing the Reading Partner’s program with community volunteers paired with students. Her bio says she received a $60 million grant from the Gates Foundation but what that was for is not clear.
“The website has a brief on “research.” It cites one study of NNN arranged by New Schools Venture Fund. The claim is that NNN was implemented in grades 3-12, with “urban students, 99.1% African Americans, 83% qualified for free/reduce priced lunches.
“Result: “reduced off task behavior up to 55%.” This not a peer reviewed study. I have requested a copy of the study per the website invitation.
“I have concluded that the promoters of this program think that “urban” schools should function as boot camps where strict compliance with rules is job one, along with on-task and on-time compliance with assigned tasks. The school has one major purpose–transmitting text-based knowledge with teachers functioning as task-masters.
“The program assumes that teachers are incompetent, even if well-intentioned. Precisely because teachers are most likely to be white, female, from suburban and privileged backgrounds, they need to learn how to treat students who attend schools in urban settings where self-discipline is in short supply, and students must be told what to do, when, how, and so on.
“The stereotyping is thick and deep. The “nurture” in this program is designed to make critical and independent thinking unlikely. It is perfect prep for troop training. The teacher training program is bizarre but attractive to TFA amateurs.”