Solutions that don’t break the bank, reinvent the wheel or marginalize our teachers are within our grasp. We could have rigorous classes, safe and disciplined schools and treat teachers like valued colleagues rather than easily replaceable cogs, and we could do so tomorrow if we wanted. Disclaimer, this is an opinion and commentary site and should not be confused as a news site, and you should know that quite often people may disagree with the opinions posted herein.
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Sunday, July 28, 2013
This is why people don’t trust Duval County Public Schools. (rough draft)
I worked with this lead teacher once and despite the fact
the union would tell me over and over she was my colleague not my superior she
lorded over me and the other teachers in the department. The main problem
however was she was terrible at her job.
I used to talk with my colleagues and the consensus was if
she was bad at her job but nice or great at her job but mean we could cope. The
problem however was she was both mean and terrible at her job. She however had
something that the rest of us didn’t have, a connected relative on the district
level. So connected that her surplus lasted long enough for her to put a call
in to her family member.
And that speaks to a huge problem in the district, whom you
know not what you can do have often determined promotions and where one lands.
Before I continue let me say I think school grades are
ridiculous, they don’t improve schools, they simply publish schools and I
firmly believe there are great things going on even at the schools that don’t
do well on standardized tests, the schools that tend to get the lower grades. I
know there are dedicated teachers arriving with their sleeves rolled up
teaching a lot of great kids who want to learn. Sadly however school grades are
the beromiter that is used when determining if principals and teachers are
being successful or not.
I have written about Iranetta Wright and how “the data”
didn’t seem to warrant a promotion to area chief and fair enough people can
disagree but what about the case of Kimberly Dennis.
She arrives to Sadie Tillis in 2010 and over the three years
she was there the school grades went from a C to D to an F. In this era where many
principals are often one or two and done, especially if the numbers decline,
Mrs. Dennis was instead sent to Fishweir elementary, a school in a reasonably
affluent neighborhood where success, school grade success anyway should be
reasonably easy to achieve.
And why did she get another year, well it couldn’t be because
her husband is Larry Dennis could it? You know, new area superintendent and
long time district staff person, Larry Dennis? Maybe there is something in the
numbers I am missing but isn’t there a whiff of impropriety here? Doesn’t this
just scream, who you know rather than what you can do?
may be the victim of the previous administration with his limited options but
at the same time the whole distinct has been victimized too. I hope Mrs. Dennis
is a great leader who motivates her kids and empowers her teachers but I can’t
help think, because here in the county past has been prologue, this is more
of the same. School grades http://www.news4jax.com/blob/view/-/21178594/data/1/-/9xa1q3z/-/2013-school-grades.pdf