No highly effective teachers at SOTA? Something is not right.

No highly effective teachers at SOTA? Something is not right.
Gabrielle-featured2-580x386

John Gabrielle

• October 7, 2014

Yesterday, like many, I was surprised to read that last year not one teacher at the School of the Arts was classified as “highly effective.”

See democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2014/10/05/downgraded-sota-teachers-protest-state-ratings/16781117

At SOTA, I have worked with nothing but top notch educators in the arts, humanities and sciences. Coincidentally, yesterday I was asked to serve as the P.E. instructor (my favorite class). Between fitness tests, I showed students the article. They too were startled. I asked about SOTA teachers, and one name was consistently mentioned, music teacher and choir director John Gabriele.

For the last 33 years, Gabriele has arguably been the heart and soul of SOTA. Since joining the school upon its inception in 1981, he has inspired thousands of students and led innumerable choirs performing in countless venues throughout Monroe County and beyond.

Gabriele has written District texts for Music Theory and Piano. For the last three years, his choir has been on WXXI, last year winning $5000 in a statewide contest. He helped bring SOTA and other District musical groups to the Lilac Festival.  See Flower City student musicians set to bloom at Lilac Festival on Friday. He has been a mentor teacher since 2012.

Yesterday, students had nothing but praise for Gabriele.  Thiery Haynesworth described him as, “very wise and driven in his love for the piano.”  Katelyn Santiago said he was, “the best teacher I’ve ever had,” always willing to give his own time for students.  Kathryn Davis called him a “large disciplinarian in a really good way,” known to stay at choir practice until 9pm if necessary.

Yet, in all those years, Gabriele has never been classified as highly effective.  In fact, last year, under the new system, he was only barely rated effective.

I won’t recapitulate the various ways the state evaluates teachers.  Read the article for more in-depth details. But if this system never determines that educators like Gabriele are highly effective, something is wrong.

About The Author

dkramer3@naz.edu

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY and Lake Affect Magazine.  My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.

Donate

Like what you see on our site? We’d appreciate your support. Please donate today.

Featured Posts

Loading

%d bloggers like this: