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Sunday, February 19, 2012

9 Things Duval County Public Schools should do tomorrow

They are also things they should have done a long time ago.

Restrict the superintendent’s access to discipline data and stop tying principal’s evaluations to referrals. One of the ways the superintendent reviews principals is through their referral data, which gives principal an incentive not to report referrals and to encourage teachers not to write referrals. This hurts discipline.

Announce that teachers with satisfactory evaluations will not be let go and teachers that are let go will be told why. Teachers can be fired in Duval County and they aren’t required to be given a reason and last year hundreds of teachers with satisfactory evaluations who were not on success plans, meaning for the most part they had no idea they were in danger of losing their jobs were fired.

Create an Ombudsman position that is outside the sphere of influence of the superintendent and school board. I hear stories all the time from teachers but when I ask them to go on the record for the most part they back off. They say they are afraid for their jobs or retaliation. If they had a person they could go to anonymously, who could investigate their concerns, we could eliminate many of their concerns.

Create a teacher bill of rights. Teachers should only be asked to give one free hour a day, not the 15-20 most teachers give, teachers should not be talked to in a fashion by administrators that would get them fired if they talked to students in the same way and pass fail rates and referrals written should not be used to influence evaluations. I am not saying we should ignore those things but we should delve behind the numbers to find out the causes. If it’s the teacher, then lets help them improve and if they don’t show them the door but if it’s the kids, lets give them legitimate, rigorous opportunities to improve or show them the door too.

Suspend repeat discipline offenders indefinitely until one of their parents comes and spends the day with them. They would be allowed to return the very next day if the parent came with them, or they could stay out for the rest of the year but now the onus is on parents being parents not on schools raising kids.

Rescind the contract with KIPP until the first school shows improvement, you will forgive me if their word isn’t enough and with Teach for America, we have teachers and college of ed grads here who can’t find jobs, lets give them the first crack and then if we still have a few openings we can ask TFA for assistance.

Find the money for legitimate summer school. So many of our kids need more time to both master material and less time between school years so they don’t lose what they learned.

Then next year every school should offer at least one section of drama, yearbook newspaper and creative writing. We cannot continue to make school drudgery for kids and then scratch our heads wondering why they are doing so poorly

1 comment:

  1. Yes force the parents to come to school and see what their children are doing wrong at school.