Sunday, June 13, 2010

Why My Rant About Mark Rolewski

I am a third grade teacher in Manatee County, Florida. My story began the day Mark Rolewski walked through my classroom. He is an education consultant from Tucson, Arizona. He has some association with John Hopkins University, which I believe education leaders in the five Florida school districts (Manatee, Lee, Seminole, Leon, and Putnum) he works take as blind proof he knows what he is talking about. I have found no proof he is qualified to consult Florida School Districts, beyond the John Hopkins reference. He did work there, the is or was “the director of dissemination for leadership research and the national consultant for the Center for Data-Driven Reform in Education (CDDRE) at Johns Hopkins University.” This is the first thing that appears in a Google search for Mark Rolewski. However if you look deeper you find this: http://alturl.com/tyij Page 6 indicates that he is the “former” director and national consultant for John Hopkins. If you look here: http://alturl.com/cnfn you find that Mark Rolewski is in business for himself. See here: http://alturl.com/drpy Manatee County School District pays him $74,000 to work for 17 days. See here http://alturl.com/xo6m [Page: 3 Item: 14] Lee County School District pays him $78,750 to work for 20 days. That is $4000 a day of tax payer money, $4000 a day that could save teachers jobs, $4000 dollars a day that could save an art program or counseling service. Mark Rolewski has only one written work, see here: http://alturl.com/guou where he basically says innovative teachers are “barriers” if they do not work as a collective. Ironically, he points out that budget is a “barrier” too. This is proof of wasted Florida tax dollars.


Why am I risking my career to shed light on this situation?

Please, keep reading to find out.


You see when Mark Rolewski walked through my classroom months ago; we were scheduled to do reading intervention. Except on this day a little girl in my class put down her head and began to cry her eyes out on her intervention booklet. The day before, Animal Control had taken away her dog, because it was malnourished and they had to euthanize him, or so she was told. The family was also reported, because no one over age 13 was home at the time Animal Control arrived. When her father came home all he did was yell, not about the dog, but about his fear of deportation. So that day, instead of doing reading intervention, I let my students use computers, play board games, and read freely, so I could sit with this little upset girl and comfort her. Mark Rolewski walked in my room, administration with him. He looked around, made a point to look at my schedule, and glared at me and my sobbing student. Then he said (and this will be with me for the rest of my life), “You are scheduled for intervention at this time. This is not explicit instruction.” And he walked out. So I was made to feel like bad teacher, because I made the choice to help an emotionally compromised student.


I am one of thousands of teachers across the state of Florida that work in Title-1 Schools. The bottom line is we work with poor students, students that live in poverty. These students come to school hungry, because there is no food at home. These students come to school unclean, because parents are working two or three jobs. These students come to school unhealthy, because the parents have no insurance. These students come to school (quite often) depressed, because no one at home has the time or care to nurture them.


Schools like mine are considered failing or in need of improvement. We are compared with schools that have students from affluent families. Our students are viewed as points of data, not persons with emotional needs. This “black” student is a bubble student, so they need more work to get them to a level 3. These four “ESL” (Latino) students need intensive instruction to move their scores to a level where the school will make Yearly Adequate Progress (AYP). They are not children anymore; they are numbers on the FCAT test. Mark Rolewski has made a lucrative business out of this fact. Mark Rolewski has made a business where he takes taxpayer money to tell Administrators to tell their teachers to work harder, with disregard for actual students

16 comments:

  1. Mark is a paid consultant and going into schools, telling teachers how much they suck and how much they can do better...and principals are going goo goo ga ga over him.

    When he makes his presentations at schools, Mark neglects to mention issues that affect children at home and in school such as poverty, unemployment, illness, death, jail, no mom or dad, and immigration. He shows plenty of graphs and data, but never explains the source of his data. Do you know why? Because it's made up. I think he's a fraud. He only talks about 100% accountability from teachers but never discusses accountability from administration, students, and parents.

    Mark is telling teachers to work harder, harder and harder. Meanwhile, teachers who work in urban Title 1 schools do not get compensated for it.

    Mark is making a killing....ripping off the tax payers of Florida. P.T. Barnum was certainly correct! There are suckers born every minute.

    Florida should pay teachers what they deserve instead of being near the bottom of all state teacher salaries.

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  2. Lee County School District in Florida pays Mark Rolewski over $100,000 (for 25 days work) a year to make motivational speeches to administrators, examine district test data, and make classroom observations.

    Mark Rolewski influences administrators to influence their teachers to follow a “technically acceptable, but ethically wrong” interpretation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Mark Rolewski advocates that teachers focus on students that will help Lee County Schools in need of improvement make Yearly Adequate Progress (AYP). This may sound like a good idea, until you look under the surface of his method. He breaks the students down into racial subgroups (Black, Hispanic, Asian, White, etc.) and he advocates most instruction to be focused on the students within those groups that can most help bring a school’s scores up. So, that does NOT mean all the Black students or all the Hispanic students get the focused instruction.

    Mark Rolewski’s model has teachers focus on the students in these groups that have scores that can be increased. Who looses out? Kids that have high scores already and worse kids with the lowest scores, the kids that usually need the most help. This could include students with special needs that score below the “target” threshold.

    Consultants like Mark Rolewski are gaming the current system to make Lee County School District and other Florida school districts look good according to their data, while advocating the administrators and teachers teach unethically. Hopefully, whether good or bad, merit pay on the table will cause school districts to stop this unethical and expensive practice of paying large sums of money to out of state consultants, like Mark Rolewski to game the system. Instead, pay good teachers what they deserve to teach the kids.

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  3. It sounds like this teacher has a lot of feelings of inadequacy, most likely not related to Mark Rolewski. If she teaches children from poverty, the best thing she can give them is a good education, which we all know means teaching every hour of every day. I worked with Mark Rolewski quite extensively for 3 years and I know him to be a man of integrity who highly values teachers and spends his life to support teachers. From my many experiences being with him when observing classrooms, his observations about classrooms were always the most nonjudgmental observations. He separates the observation from the person. This teacher may never believe it, because this is her reality, but I assure you that it is true. He may be earning a lot of money. People with a great deal of knowledge about education see his value and pay him, that's not his fault.

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    Replies
    1. Mark gets paid to intimidate teachers and put them down. He is very condescending. He is a bloodsucker who goes into school teachers and milks them out of thousands of dollars. He is nothing but a snake oil salesman. He must have attended Michelle Rhee University.

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    2. I agree with your experiences as being professional and valuable, Kcbrown. Dr. Rowleski is incredible at helping even the most expert teachers grown in their craft. When teachers are less that successful, they often get angry and defensive when skilled individuals 'call them out.' It is much easier to accuse and attack the person trying to get you to improve than actually put in the work and grow in your work. The accusations are irrational and obviously reaching for attention out of anger.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. How about $299,000 contract with St. Lucie? Roberts worked with Mark R. in St. Lucie before Alachua.
    http://www.boarddocs.com/fl/stlucie/Board.nsf/files/9LVHZU493185/$file/Ro%20Educational%20Signed%20Contract.pdf

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    Replies
    1. And his work in St. Lucie has been outstanding in regard to teacher and leadership growth. He is top notch.

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  6. He also seems to be a perv:
    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20160229/ARTICLES/160229676/1002/news01?Title=Education-consultant-who-earned-3-000-per-day-terminates-contract

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  7. He also seems to be a perv:
    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20160229/ARTICLES/160229676/1002/news01?Title=Education-consultant-who-earned-3-000-per-day-terminates-contract

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    1. I've been in his sessions and learning experiences for 5 years and the accusations in this article are so irrational and ridiculous sounding that the persons who brought them forward should genuinely be ashamed.

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  8. http://www.wcjb.com/local-news/2016/02/school-consultant-quits-amid-allegations

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  9. http://www.wcjb.com/local-news/2016/02/school-consultant-quits-amid-allegations

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  10. http://www.gainesville.com/article/20160229/ARTICLES/160229676

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  11. Mr. Rolewski has ruined the lives of many teachers.

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