school based non-renewals
Posted in the Greensboro Forum
#1 Mar 4, 2008
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN, WHICH SHOULD INCLUDE ALL THOSE LIVING &/OR WORKING IN GREENE COUNTY.
What in the world is going on with the Greene County school system this time? Wasn’t the Carson Middle & rejected marine story enough? The Greene County school system has somehow managed to acquire the reputation for being a tough place to stay for more than just a little while, the result being that the schools regularly experience large turnovers - surely a main contributor to being on the dreaded “failure to make AYP” list. I am a retired educator from a nearby county & I can only be thankful that I was able to finish my education career without facing what sounds like a complete mess. I have friends in the Greene system & what they are now experiencing is unconscionable. Based on what I’m hearing, quite a few GC educators are being “offered” the opportunity to resign rather than be non-renewed – the “kiss of death” for active educators. Make no mistake about it – the threat of non-renewal is one of the most powerful tools administrators have &, apparently, it is being wielded with a vengeance. It appears this tool is currently being used to handpick the educators for Greene County – many, if not most, of those being coerced into resigning are not being given reasons for the non-renewal threat. The claims listed in the justification document (words to support the change to single gender schools) indicate that the administration feels it has found a way to keep only those who have demonstrated a high degree of accountability – this with no observations, no documentation being presented showing what areas are “needs improvement (NI)” & no Professional Development Plans (PDP) put in place – if it looks like a farce & sounds like a farce, then it probably is just that – a farce. In a county that has sometimes struggled to maintain any sort of veteran staff, it’s laughable that some are being told that they don’t “fit” the Greene County “plan”. With all the hoopla going on, there has been no hint that the children of Greene County are not worth working with. In fact, for the teachers, their main concern, other than a job for next year, has been the future of the students. Single gender schools have a credible place in today’s school system structures - that’s not the issue I’m addressing nor am I attempting to criticize the adoption of this type system &/or those responsible for it. I simply hurt for those educators who appear to have done nothing more than be the wrong …… something in the eyes of their administrators, both school & county level, & for those students who may have finally connected with an educator for the first time, only to have that person removed for …whatever. If concern for the students of Greene County is the driving force for the decisions being made, then there should be as many threads of continuity running through the proposed changes as possible. It would seem that the decisions about who to get rid of are based on the opinions of those who made the decisions to change the system structure & not on classroom performance &/or level of emotional support given to students. Basing decisions on opinion rather than documented observation & thoughtful, constructive discussion with the educator in question is a travesty of justice & of common sense. As administrators everywhere are well aware, those deposed educators are too afraid for their futures as educators to tell the world what’s going on - shame on the administrators, the central office, the board of education & the residents of Greene County if you let this happen.
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