From a pair of readers:
It's not just teachers that are afraid, school counselors are afraid too! Did you know that three years ago Vitti decided that every high school would have a 12 month counselor? So, almost across the board, the low man on the totem pole at every school was forced to move to 12 month or lose their job. Most of them are annual contract so they have no recourse. You either move to 12 month or you're relieved of your duties. It's so unfair! And no one cares! Not one peep from the union or anyone else to back us up. Counselors are on the exact same contract as a teacher. Can you imagine if they try to make a teacher at every school moved to 12 month?
And guess who's fault it is if the kid doesn't graduate? You got it! Must be the counselor! Never mind that the kid never comes to school, or if he does come to school he never picks up a pencil. There is a tremendous amount of pressure and browbeating that is going on around the district for counselors to drive the graduation rate and post secondary readiness rates. The reality is that we have very little control over these things.
It's a very sad time to be a school counselor in Duval county.
I couldn't agree more. High school counselors will have to answer to district leadership at the end of the year about why Johnny didn't graduate. They will ask the counselor what he/she did to help the student graduate. Whatever we say, it won't be enough. It'll be our fault, not the student or parent. The student had no responsibility in the process. Don't get me started on the amount of time I've spent maintaining a spreadsheet with all kinds of data points instead of actually working with the actual student. Very sad. The students deserve better and the school counselors deserve district support instead of the bullying and fear that is coming out of Prudential Drive..