Sutherland for Schools blog
Much public comment at our Tuesday board meeting involved concerns about the handling of the causes of the civil war. Specifically, the TEKS list slavery third among the causes of the civil war even though most observers would list it as first.
Every institution the size of FWISD has situations where staff do not live up to prescribed standards. When this happens, the health of the institution depends upon leadership addressing the substandard action. Otherwise, the quality of the whole instution suffers as does its reputation.
This spring a proposal was brought forth to consolidate the operations of our two credit recovery programs. The board adopted the recommendation even though several citizens had indicated problems with the decision. After the adoption, investigation revealed serious problems with the procedures followed. Most troubling was that software for an unsuitable version of one of the software programs had been substituted for the version which had been in use. Thus the evaluation of applicant programs could not have been completed fairly.
After the board's decision there were several other complaints from parents about the decision and about the management of the program.
A second major problem with the board's selection, I was told, relates to records of student progress in our credit recovery system. Without this record, student grades can be changed without any record of who is making the change or what changes had been made.
To my knowledge, no actions have been taken to rectify either the bad choice or to sanction the individuals involved.
Our new superintendent will need to take a stronger stance.
The agenda and board book for the July 21 meeting is now available at the "information" page. It incl:
Five years ago we eliminated the district-wide presidency, which ended with the resignation of banker Ray Dickerson after he shockingly told interim superintendent Walter Dansby he had "no respect for him" from the dais.
Tuesday's agenda is now online. It features
05/13/2015 Establish online application for interested candidates.
05/13/2015 Begin recruitment of candidates.
07/13/2015 Deadline for all application materials.
07/22/2015 Consultant develops and finalizes interview questions and procedures with the board. Candidates are presented to the board and consultant assists the board in selecting candidates for the interviews. (Time: TBD)
Wk of 07/27/15 Interview candidates (1st round).
Wk of 07/27/15 Meeting with consultant following the last interview. (Time: TBD)
Wk of 08/03/15 Interview candidates (2nd round if needed).
Wk of 08/03/15 Final meeting with consultant following the last interview (if needed). (Time: TBD)
TBD Consultant will discuss contract terms with the finalist.
TBD Announce Finalist
TBD Board takes action to hire finalist
TBD Press release of new superintendent.
TBD Board Self-Assessment Survey Results presented to the board.
The central office is never going to let go of its staff if they don't have to. The latest reorganation proposes to centralize professional development. In other words they are going to tell you what you need.
Dr. Linares has allowed publication of the document. The specific staffing has been removed.
I finally requested and received these appeals. They are on the "information" tab.
Teachers with very large class sizes will be surprised to hear there are also some very small ones, and apparently a lot of "teachers" who do not have classes.
PK-5 2 children per class
6-8 6 children per class
9-12 2 children per class
You can imagine my surprise when I checked our staffing ratios for 2012-13 only to find that there was 1 teacher for each 16.5 students district-wide. (There must be a lot of teachers helping principals or other administrators!)
Then if you check the staffing at some of our "boutique" schools, you will find some very small numbers: These are for 2012-13: YWLA 10.4 students per teacher; TABS 14.5 students per teacher, YMLA, 12.4 students per teacher. There are two high schools that were overstaffed by TEN teachers each.
This was just a snapshot of a past year, but if all schools were staffed closer to the staffing ratio, we would have been $4.8 million better off.
This would have paid for a lot of substitutes.
The only item on the agenda is the 2015-16 budget. Documents were delivered to the board Friday after 5 p.m. and are not currently available online. A list of the documents is posted on the "information" tab of this website.