26 May 2007

Reaping What You Sow, Part II

We in Curriculum made a good effort this spring to get more closely connected with our secondary schools. Our agendas don't mesh well, which is rather silly when we're all after the same thing: improving student achievement. This disconnection has resulted in individual issues (like the one described in Part I) but also serves to create more of an antagonistic atmosphere. So, we surveyed, we looked, we listened, we made overtures, and we responded. Out we went to the secondary schools to share the plans that their principals had helped craft in order to support them. Everything was going swimmingly...until the very last school.

The one principal who had pushed to have an "in-building expert"...the same one who had pushed for a math only focus...let members of his staff slam Boss Lady 2.0's (BL2) presentation. They want an allocation based on FTE. They don't think anyone in the math department will actually do the job. And their principal couldn't be bothered to say that this is what he'd asked for and then agreed to support with the other principals. Only this person could ask for something, get it, and then make Curriculum look bad for giving him what he wanted. More than any other secondary school, this principal is a firm believer that there is nothing that his staff can learn that they don't already know.

Where is the "reap what you sow" in all of this? Ah, I'm saving that for BL2. We specialists in Curriculum have been trying to tell her all year that this school is an issue and that they dump on things whenever possible. But she hasn't wanted to deal with that. As long as things look pretty on the surface, she doesn't pay attention to what's bubbling up underneath. Now there are a lot of different items coming to a head...and it's not going to come out well for her. Meanwhile, a lot of people are in the process of leaving the department within the next year...and precious few others want to come into the environment she's allowed to develop. I have already tried to tell her that she needs to be thinking long range, not minute-by-minute. It's just not her strong suit...and it is going to drive the district into the ground. Unfortunately, we're all going to have to reap the benefits of that.

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