Monday, May 7, 2012

Trouble with a Capital T

What happens when I haven't been to a board of ed meeting in a while: Shit Hits Fan. Dryden is in the process of replacing a middle school principal, a high school principal, and an athletic director/assistant principal for the middle school/high school—a great opportunity to fix a lot of problems and change the culture, in my opinion. The background seems to be that discipline problems are enormous at the MS/HS, especially in the 8th grade, much in the same way that they were about 15 years ago. At that time, the district moved the high school principal down to elementary (which he felt was a horrible demotion and never forgave anyone for) and hired a high school principal whose main skill was discipline. Over the years, we all learned that a single-minded focus on discipline was not all that we needed in a high school principal. To give the guy some credit, the behavior problems did clear up. Now that he's out, we're back there again, it seems. Add to that an advisory board of teachers and parents who ended up under the misapprehension that they were the final word on hiring the new middle school principal, plus an administrative committee that did not pass on either candidate that advisory board put forward, and you have some riled-up parents and teachers.

I can understand their pain a bit, having been there. Back pre-Archambault, Paul and I preferred one candidate by far in a superintendent search, and the board accepted none of the candidates and reopened the search. Then back pre-Crawford, Paul picked the new superintendent dead last out of three, going so far as to say to himself "over my dead body." Paul continues to say "I told you so" about that one.

There was some talk tonight about combining all the vetting committees into one giant committee. I can tell you from experience that teachers who might be as vocal as can be with parents won't open up in front of administrators. I have no idea why parents and teachers were on the same committee this time; it seems like a recipe for disaster. A safe prediction might be that it would lead to Us v. Those Damned Administrators, and so it did. My only consolation is that I'm not on the BoE, and Paul, sleeping soundly, doesn't know what he's walking into. He'll have to pick up a copy of the Cortland Standard tomorrow afternoon, since nobody else bothers to cover Dryden meetings anymore. I give Chris Gibbons kudos for a reasoned and earnest response to some very angry remarks. Yeesh.

No comments: