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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Revealing statements about Duval County School’s culture of fear and intimidation. (rough draft)

 Revealing statements about Duval County School’s culture of fear and intimidation.

Ed Pratt Dannals was truly bad for our schools. He created a culture of fear and intimidation among the teaching staff where teachers went from valued colleagues to easily replaceable cogs. Made worse because he promoted people not based on their ability but rather on whom they knew and their willingness to push his numbers are all that matter agenda. 

If you want proof of this just look at the words Superintendt Vitti used when talking about a reworking of the districts learning schedules.

Administrators should not require that the LSs be strictly followed or threaten teachers regarding their use or lack thereof, but rather they should engage the faculty in discussions as to the benefits of utilizing them or in how they can be improved to meet the needs of your students.

He says administrators should not threaten teachers. Shouldn’t teachers be able to go to work and not be threatened? Isn’t that how it should have been all along?

Why use the word threatened? He could have stopped after strictly followed; the statement would have had the same meaning. But he didn’t, instead he said to teachers in effect I understand how deep the problems in the district are and I am working to fix them. Hang on.

Why would he say threatened unless he is acknowledging the sins of the past where teachers were routinely threatened, brow beaten and intimidated? Where principals ran their schools like little kingdoms free of repercussions and a lot of good men women either lost their jobs or left the county which did our entire district a disservice.  

This was even underlined, screaming look here, look here. If you read one thing in this memo read this.

He used the word threatened because words have power.

Then he went on to use the word engaged. Because he knows that if we want even just a chance to be successful then the district can no longer marginalize and ignore its teachers. He also understands that teachers can be used to improve what is going on instead of just being required to be drones carrying out their master’s orders.

He is signaling the era when threatening teachers was okay and even encouraged is over and instead we will have an era where teachers are engaged and collaborate in the process, something Pratt-Dannals sadly couldn’t conceive.    

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