The Wrong Person Has Resigned In Region One Reply

Pam, can you please follow suit? (the wrong person has resigned)
Dr. Jose Martinez announced his retirement as principal at Housatonic Valley Regional High School at the Region One Board of Education meeting Thursday night. His retirement will become effective June 30, 2018. Dr. Martinez explained that this decision was made in order to spend more time with his family.

Prior to his retirement, Dr. Martinez will remain highly committed to the continued success of Housatonic Valley Regional High School. His main focus will be ensuring the completion of the NEASC accreditation process, as well as working closely with teachers to support the achievement of their stated professional goals. Dr. Martinez also plans to ensure the timely completion of teacher observations and evaluations, while fully supporting the school’s transition to a new principal.

Pam Vogel And NYPs: How Housy Is Falling Apart Save Housy 2k18 Reply

A terrific blog posting from Ashlee Baldwin….
Ashlee Baldwin 


I hear things from my sister and some friends about how things at Housy are going these days, and I have to say that I’m so glad I graduated when I did. Between student protests, NYPs, and a quasi-authoritarian administration that has actually banned students from saying Housy, it seems like a real shitshow these days. Yes, you read that right. The Region One administration has decided that students shouldn’t be using the word Housy to address our school because apparently students from other schools use it as an insult toward us. Newsflash, Region One: Housy sucks regardless of what you call it. We’ve been using Housy as a shortened version of our school’s ridiculously long name for years.

That isn’t the issue with Housy I want to discuss though. No, the issue we need to talk about is NYPs. Housy has implemented a new grading program that, quite frankly, is going to leave its students underprepared for the real world. When I was a student, athletic eligibility was based off of your overall class grade; if you had two Ds or one F as a class average, or a failing GPA, you weren’t eligible for sports. Under the new system, two NYPs takes you out of the running. Roughly half of our student athletes are at risk of losing eligibility due to two bad grades.

Not Yet Proficient grades, or NYPs, are being awarded this year is lieu of Ds and Fs. Students with NYPs can resubmit the assignment at any point until the end of the class. If a student has a single NYP grade at the end of the course, they have to take the entire course over. This is obviously wildly different from the grading practices of the past, and the grading practices used at colleges.

Let me give you an anecdote. I am horrifically bad at permutations, so I had a number of bad grades during this unit of Algebra 2. However, because I’m good at math overall, I still did well in the class despite that week’s worth of D-level grades. I didn’t repeat the class, and I shouldn’t have because I understood 99% of the material. Those few grades weren’t worth the blemish on my transcript, and the school recognized that.

(For full article click on link below, it is not a pay site so you will be able to finish the whole article)


Now that it has become apparent that the schedule at Housatonic will be changing next year to the 4 x 4 block…….and the reluctance of Pam Vogel to answer that question at last weeks meeting, now leads to this question:

Is it time for the Region One BOE to fire Pam Vogel for incompetence?

We say yes, it is time.

Vogel turns a deaf ear on parents, students, taxpayers and even teachers.

Pam Vogel is the defacto principal of H.V.R.H.S. leaving the principal and assistant to clean up her mess.

Pam Vogel does not understand, or even try to understand Region One as a whole, and especially its teachers, students, residents, its history, and its taxpayers.

Pam Vogel operates a closed administration, wielding her power without forethought, consultation, and patience.

In her short time at the helm the region as a whole is in turmoil, teachers are excluded from decisions, and a more urgent matter…NO TEACHERS attend public meetings to voice their concern over her actions in fear of losing their jobs.

It is time tnow for the taxpayers, students, parents and grandparents, brothers and sisters to resist… it is time to go to the local boards is the time to demand accountability for the superintendent to do what parents and students and teachers want done …if not then it is time for the boards of education to relieve her of her duties as superintendent of schools .

If the board fails to act, then it is time to organize in every town to defeat the Region One Budget until the taxpayers, parents, students and teachers are heard.  It is time for the Region One board to do what their only real job is…supervise the actions of Pam Vogel. It is time for them to say enough is enough. It is time for them to say good-bye to Pam Vogel. There is an assistant in place who knows the region, the teachers, the students..and the history of Region One…..Lisa Carter.

No action by the board should lead to action by taxpayers and their only recourse…defeat the budget until the board acts.

inaction by the board should result in action by the community.12250216-quotes-about-change


Region One Report has obtained a written summary ( from a reliable source)  from a STUDENT meeting last week. 1

Region One Report has obtained a written summary ( from a reliable source)  from a STUDENT meeting last week. This handout is a culmination of the student’s comments/opinions/suggestions of the new system. Please read this list of comments closely as the students are asking for MORE responsibility and TOUGHER deadlines. The redaction’s in this memo are  handwritten notes which we did not want made public. We hope the BOE, administration, and Pam Vogel will read this and work with the students…once again, the students at H.V.R.H.S. show what they are made of, and show how to react to an administration, superintendent and board to let them all know that this new system is detrimental to their current and future educational goals…


A big win for taxpayers teachers students and parents in region one Reply

A win for parents and taxpayers, this is just the beginning…

Dear Students & Parents of Housatonic Valley Regional High School,I am writing to inform you that changes have been made to our informational meeting scheduled for tomorrow evening when we will be discussing grading practices. We initially planned on hosting two sessions tomorrow, but have decided to condense it into one. This meeting will be held on Tuesday February 6, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. in Room 133 at the High School.There has also been a change in the agenda for this meeting. Our scheduled speaker, Dr. Douglas Reeves, will not be speaking at this presentation. Unfortunately, there were a few concerns regarding his past history; therefore, a decision was made to have HVRHS Principle Dr. Jose Martinez, along with HVRHS Assistant Principal, Mr. Ian Strever, present the information on the new grading system and explain how students are given every opportunity to achieve and demonstrate success as they move forward in school and in life. There will also be information presented on the implementation of a retake policy for assessments that are “Not Yet Proficient”.Arrangements have been made for a professional facilitator to attend this meeting. Ann Baldwin, a consultant from CABE (Connecticut Association of Boards of Education) will be there to ensure we are not only efficient in communicating on this topic, but also that any and all questions from those attending are answered.HVRHS and Region One administrators will be there to listen, as well as to do our best to provide responses to questions either at the meeting or shortly thereafter.Because there has been some misinformation circulating throughout the school community, this will allow us to present facts, as well as serve as an opportunity for parents and students to ask questions and hear first-hand the way in which HVRHS staff – teachers and administrators – are supporting student learning.Our goal is to have a meaningful dialogue on what is being done to improve student learning at HVRHS and to focus on what measures are being taken to make students successful. We hope that in the end, each student can look back on their education at HVRHS as the reason they are moving on with an education that not only made them career ready, but also shaped them into valued members of our community.We look forward to seeing you tomorrow night. Light refreshments will be served.


Dr. Pam Vogel, Superintendent

Please read this fascinating article that also mentions Pam Vogel’s incoming educational consultant. Reply

The 800-page Investigation Report on the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) cheating scandal involving 178 named school-based principals, teachers and other staff links the collapse of institutional integrity to “a culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation.” Although that culture can be found in many private and charter schools, it is a major ingredient in the growing trend of top-down, privately-funded, “turn-around” “reforms” that view teachers, tenure rights and union protections as the causes of educational malaise. Until reform truly engages teachers as part of the solution, we can expect more Atlanta’s in our nation’s public schools.

The Atlanta Investigation Report is an anthology of teacher disempowerment and its consequences. It shows what happens when educational policy makers grant broad areas of authority to celebrity or savior superintendents, and then, self-satisfied with their “reform,” abdicate their oversight responsibilities, so they can bask in the glow of their creation.

The APS investigation mentions two names with connections to DCPS:

– APS General Counsel Veleter Mazyck(former DCPS General Counsel, c. 2000-2004)

Educational ConsultantDouglas B. Reeves, Ph.D., one of two consultants hired by Supt. Hall

APS General Counsel Veleter Mazyck

Douglas Reeves, PhD

In November 2009, APS Supt. Hall announced that “two top educational experts have agreed to examine ‘outlier’ test scores identified in recent analyses of state standardized test scores.”

One was Dr. Andrew Porter, a psychometrician and Dean of the University Of Pennsylvania Graduate School Of Education.

Douglas Reeves is one of the leading professional development consultants whose “Leadership and Learning Center” conducts workshops all over the country on a wide range of management strategies and instructional practices currently in vogue, such as “high expectations,” “focused curriculum,” “formative assessment,” “credit recovery,” etc.

Reeves agreed to “visit classrooms, talk with teachers and administrators and review data … to determine what factors impact student achievement.”

He is of interest to DCPS teachers, because the current DCPS “Teaching and Learning Framework” and the IMPACT teacher evaluation system both list Reeves’ “Unpacking the Standards” on its list of un-annotated and undated sources (IMPACT guidebook, p. 8). In 2005, DCPS used the “unpacking the standards” process to introduce the new standards, which many teachers viewed as a waste of time, making a relatively simple process unnecessarily confusing.

Given Reeves’ national and, more importantly, DCPS influence, I was curious to read his Atlanta site visit report (Exhibits to Reports, pp. 311-320; 724-733) and compare it to Andrew Porter’s. I was also curious to see how he would meet Superintendent Hall’s charge, “

“Because data alone does (sic) not tell the full story, we will have reports from both the statistical and classroom perspectives. We want to know if the large gains or declines in student testing are a result of factors not considered in recent news reports.”

(Exhibits, p. 310 / 723)

It also struck me as interesting that Supt. Hall was suddenly taking a U-turn away from “Data drives (sic) everything” to subjective “classroom perspectives” factors. Since most teachers in Washington, D.C. are now evaluated on nine subjective criteria in five unannounced 30-minute observations, including some criteria that he promotes, I was curious to see what Douglas Reeves came up with.

Comments on Reeves’ Report to Supt Hall:

As the author of a reported 20 educational books and promoted as an educational expert, Reeve’s 9 pp report is an embarrassing and shockingly unprofessional puff piece.

More than half of his 9 pp report consists of discussion of educational policies, practices and theories without making any reference to Atlanta schools. He claims to have visited 13 APS schools, including 8 in one day!) in three days (the Report says two days and that he spent only 30-45 minutes in each school)! He does not report how long he was in each school: time in/time out

He cites no schools, no grade levels, no classrooms, no learning activities and no instruction or other activities. The only comparative data he cites is a middle school football team that had an undefeated season after winning “only a couple of games in the previous year.”

He claims to have “noticed”:

– “formative assessment – along with other demonstrably effective interventions”

– “two important trends with regard to the issue of test preparation:

– “Teachers and administrators did seek an explicit link between curriculum and assessment”

– “They insured that students were instructed about the content required by the State of Georgia and also knew the format of the tests.”

Comment: He describes no formative assessment that he noticed. That should not be difficult, since he holds workshops on “formative assessments.”

He says he “observed test preparation techniques,” but did “not observe … any behavior or attitudes that suggested inappropriate test preparation or the willingness to cross ethical lines to achieve improved student performance.”


1. This is a diversion. The reported cheating happened during the test administration.

2. He didn’t observe classes, according to the Investigation Report.

3. There is little doubt that the schools he visited prepared for his arrival?

4. How did he manage to visit 8 schools in one day in a strange city? Did APS provide him with a driver? He should have reported this.

He provides no itinerary, cites no grade levels, describes no individual classrooms, no teaching or learning activities and gives no indication of having actually observed or spoken with any teachers. The only performance he cites is a middle school football team that had an undefeated season after winning “only a couple of games in the previous year.”

“[In] the APS schools I visited … there was a consistent – even relentless – theme of high expectations and hard work for both students and adults.”

“In schools I visited, [there was] evidence of student work and other data posted on the walls so that teachers and students could use information about student performance … to improve teaching and learning.”

“Not all of [the schools] use the data in the thoughtful, constructive, informed and specific way that I observed in the schools that I visited.”

Comment: He describes the challenges facing one school: “In one middle school that I visited, vigorous efforts were under way go reverse an unacceptable state of discipline, achievement and morale.” That was one of the two middle schools he visited: Coan MS (31.4% Wrong to Right Erasures) and Harper-Archer MS (24.1% Wrong to Right Erasures).

Did he not wonder how that school could have achieved high scores in its “unacceptable state”?

Then, he takes a leap of logic: “Based on the practices in these schools, it would have been surprising if test scores had not improved significantly.”

The Atlanta Scandal: When Teachers are Disempowered & Abused

(click above to go to full story)