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Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Poor leadership is destroying the district.

 I want to acknowledge that being a superintendent is undoubtedly a hard job, and the powers that be in Florida often work to undermine public education. That being said, I can’t imagine a superintendent doing worse than Greene. Her leadership is just plain bad, and don’t take my word for it, take the Times Unions. 

The indifference to the pandemic. 

Adding to people’s plates. 

Forcing staff into the buildings and encouraging more students to do so. 

The indifference to the plight of veteran teachers and staff 

Then as hundreds of millions go to the pockets of charter owners, I don’t believe the referendum will be the panacea it was sold as. 

The terrible contact tracing. 

Giving in to the state over and over again.  

I could go, but instead, I will let the Times Union do so for me. 

From the Times Union, my comments in bold. 

 "We have to show that with students who have poor attendance or are failing, we've done everything we can to bring them back to brick-and-mortar," Greene said at a School Board meeting. "We sent notice saying if that was the case, we would call them back to brick-and-mortar. Once that happens and those families don't want to come back, we have to give them a form that acknowledges we have done everything in our power to bring them back but they're signing off that they understand what we've asked … and they're still choosing to remain learning remotely." 

Um, that’s all we can do, force them back into schools? We can’t do anything else? What a one-trick pony DCPS has become. 

Katie Donahue has two elementary-school-age daughters participating in Duval HomeRoom this school year, but only one received a letter encouraging her to come back to brick-and-mortar school, Alimacani Elementary.  

Donahue said her third-grader got some C's during the first semester, but that she's now getting B's and that teachers never said anything to her about grades being an issue or that they're concerned about her progress. She doesn't understand why her fifth-grader didn't receive the same letter with comparable grades or why she wasn't first approached by a teacher or counselor if her daughter's grades seemed like a problem.  

Poor communication with parents isn’t the only problem. I had a news student show up today as I am sure hundreds if not more of other teachers did as well with no heads up or notice. My students all have individual materials, and I had nothing for them and let alone how I had to reconfigure my room. I am pretty sure kids just didn’t wake up this morning and go, today's the day, though it sure felt like that. 

 "Although we’ve been given information [from the state] we’re still not 100 percent sure about what that means," Greene said. "It definitely is in a much better position than projections where we could lose upwards of $30 million. We now don’t believe it will be that much, but we don’t have an answer on what that’ll be. And the reason we don’t is because some districts have grown.” 

Losing any money will be difficult; the state doesn’t invest in education, but here is the thing, I have been writing about a catastrophic loss of funding since last April, trying to let people know. Where has Greene been explaining to people and mobilizing people, to prevent this from happening?   

Also, we now believe it won’t be that much?!? Ugh, this means the district said, well, let’s screw veteran teachers first and then figure it out later.   

"We're starting to have a lot more students in brick-and-mortar and a lot less in Duval HomeRoom," she said. "The next few weeks we’ll be working on striking that balance and accommodating as many families as we can, but it will be a little tenuous."  

Teachers in DHR across the district have told me they are being required to return to B&M regardless of if their classes say DHR or not. Greene and she admitted it over the summer, when things were bad though not this bad, that she wanted people in the schools. Raging out of control pandemic that will probably get worse before it gets better is just not a concern she seems to have.  

Friends, there was a lot more too, like the district being deceptive about reporting cases of COVID, how the laptop rollout has not been good, and how they want children to come in for state assessments, when the district should say, if it's not for graduation, take the year off. 

But this was the worse. 

Donahue — whose daughters attend Alimacani Elementary — said that when her third-grader's grades started slipping in the first semester, she began suspecting testing anxiety was part of the issue.  

But school personnel said the third-grader couldn't be tested for accommodations unless she went to campus as a brick-and-mortar student.  

Threatening a family? Not willing to provide services, this beyond the pale. In ESE or hospital homebound, we provide out of school services all the time, and they have this new thing called ZOOM too. We can do whatever we have the will to do, and sadly in DCPS, that’s risk lives, make people miserable and threaten families. 

I would encourage you to read the entire article and if you haven’t subscribed to the paper, do so. It took me a while to get on board, but we live in crazy %$@#ed up times, and we need all the information we can get. 

There was more I could have commented on too, but after a while, I just got depressed thinking, this is my school system, one that has so much promise and potential, but instead, it's being run into the ground.   

We could and should be doing better. 

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