5/19/15

Tossed under the bus?


Reposted from the archives:

Apparently the school board is concerned over test scores.

La Junta's junior/senior high and the intermediate all have "D" scores from ColoradoSchoolsGrade:

La Junta Junior/Senior High School standings

while the US News and World Report school findings show that despite those abysmal scores the junior/senior high is 'near' the Colorado average.

US News and World Report School Standings

If East Otero is 'near the state average' with a 23% proficiency in math and a 64% proficiency in reading, then it's clear that the problems East Otero is facing are endemic to Colorado, and nationwide as well. If ColoradoSchoolGrades.com reports La Junta as an "F" in academic growth, and and "F" in math, and a "D" in reading, and a "D" in English, and La Junta is considered 'near the state average,' then it's fairly clear that the school superintendent is not our problem. The whole system is the problem, and not the least part of that system is our school board. It's pretty clear the entire state has a problem. 

Flushing the one administrator who has considerable public confidence is not going to fix anything.

How exactly is Carol supposed to single-handedly fix any of that, and what exactly is dumping her going to accomplish? 

She has also had to deal with inherited problems, the sorts of problems that over time become almost institutionalized. If that sounds too much like the Big O blaming Bush ... then consider that she has to deal with all the federal interference and 'oversight' that comes from pandering to the federal and state governments for all that free money for all those free programs. 

Then, Noll has to deal with state-wide inertia and the political and economic geniuses that drive our business, social, and cultural establishments.

Carol is, in our opinion (mine and Leece's) the best supe we've had in decades. We have always been able to talk to her without being made to feel like Untermenschen; too many of these 'educators' are so impressed with their own credentials they can hardly find time to talk to common swine like us. 

Whenever there were problems with the educational process for one of our granddkids, Carol answered the important questions and school administrators and staff took care of the problems. Sometimes, given the vacuous reactions from some of the staff, I suspect that some of the staff required Noll's boot up the ass(es), but that's just me.

There was no self-serving double-talk or vague promises or vaguer excuses.

East Otero has some serious 'issues.' There's no doubt about it. But then, so does the entire state.

As the SchoolGrades link above shows, Swink - the Princeton of the Plains - is doing pretty well in comparison, but look at the difference in low income stats for both schools. How's that translate into parental involvement, awareness, and understanding of the educational process? What leadership is the school board presenting to deal with that? What marching orders have they given, based on their plans and vision? Do they even have any plans or vision, or are they so impressed with their own importance that sort of thing is unnecessary?

How has Carol failed - and failed consistently, with a documented-over-a-period-of-time lack of responsiveness to the board's direction - sufficiently to justify getting rid of her? How has she failed in the critical areas of "... fulfilling the adopted school district objectives, fiscal management of the district, district planning responsibilities, and supervision and evaluation of district personnel?"

I've seen railroad jobs where an eval suddenly pops up that is totally out of sorts with everything that went before. It's easy to do that. It's much harder - impossible, in fact - to backfill counselling records that show a disregard for direction or a failure to correct following guidance. 

So if this eval is bad, I'd like to see that paper trail, that history. I'd like to see the last three evals. We aren't talking about canning a burger-flipping high schooler with a bad attitude here. We're talking about a long-serving professional with a demonstrated ability to get things done. Otherwise ... why was she hired as supe in the first place? And why has she been kept on all this time?

Those areas of her evaluation are to be open for public inspection, by state law. If she has not failed in those areas, then what is the basis for not renewing her contract? East Otero is just below ... a squeaker below ... the state average. East Otero's failings are not even close to being an isolated matter. Throwing Carol under the bus so as to make it look like they as a board - or at least those who voted against retaining Carol - are 'doing something' is a shame and a disgrace.

Considering this is Holy Week, the board's washing of hands is not only quite ironic, but gives considerable pause for thought as to just how much sway that Christ fellow has in our bucolic little 'Godly community' as it has been described by our school board. 

Our kids and grandkids have not been well served in this matter by the majority of the East Otero R-1 school board.