My Goal in Blogging

I started this blog in May of 2008, shortly after my election to the School Committee, because I believed it was very important to both provide the community with an opportunity to share their thoughts with me about our schools and to provide me with an opportunity for me to ask questions and share my thoughts and reasoning. I have found the conversation generated on my blog to be extremely helpful to me in learning community views on many issues. I appreciate the many people who have taken the time to share their views. I believe it is critical to the quality of our public schools to have a public discussion of our community priorities, concerns and aspirations.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Public can comment on Rodriguez departure tonight

Hampshire Gazette
By NICK GRABBE
Wednesday, March 10, 2010

AMHERST - The public will be able to comment on the departure of Superintendent of Schools Alberto Rodriguez at the Regional School Committee meeting tonight.

Although the meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall, at least the first hour will be devoted to a report from consultant Barry Beers about the Regional Middle School, said Chairman Farshid Hajir. Afterwards, at about 7:30, Hajir will open the meeting to public comment.

The meeting will be televised live on ACTV.

Hajir declined to discuss the committee's financial settlement with Rodriguez Tuesday morning, pending a go-ahead from its attorney. But he said he hoped to get that approval by tonight.

"The School Committee has a duty to taxpayers to reveal any financial information that the community is legally entitled to know," he said.

Maria Geryk is now acting superintendent, the same role she played for four months a year ago. Hajir was scheduled to meet with her at 10 a.m. today, and at 11 he was scheduled to meet with school staff.

"I want to reassure them that we're committed to doing what's proper to bring stability to the district and support them in all the initiatives in which they have been engaged," he said.

66 comments:

LarryK4 said...

Geeze, the Crusty Gazette is all over this story...NOW.

Kate Troast said...

I think that Maria Geryk did a fine job as interim superintendent last year and I am confident that she will do so again. Also, Farshid Hajir is doing an excellent job as School Committee Chair.
Catherine I hope that you will change your policy and only allow posts by people who include their name. I think that this will encourage a more constructive exchange of comments on your blog.

Anonymous said...

"Hajir was scheduled to meet with her at 10 a.m. today, and at 11 he was scheduled to meet with school staff."

I'm curious - how does Hajir meet with school staff at 11? Aren't they teaching kids at that time? Or does he just meet with the Central Office and other staff that don't have responsibilities with students?

Alison Donta-Venman said...

Kate, I think there are some valid reasons for people to post anonymously. I will definitely agree that some anonymous posters feel free to say inflammatory things on this blog, but I also see some inflammatory things posted by those who do use their names!

I think some parents in the community feel concerned about using their names because they are worried about how their kids will be treated if they go public with their concerns. I heard this when soliciting questions from the public for the Budget Advisory Committee process--parents wanted to make sure their name would NOT be associated with the question.

I also think that this blog gives members of the school community (teachers, paras, etc.) a safe place to share their thoughts and observations without worrying about losing their jobs (or insulting the teachers they work with or otherwise ruffling feathers).

Again, I agree with you that the level of dialogue here could be more constructive in many cases but also think requiring people to post under their "real name" might also remove some real opportunity for discussion.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, just look at the level of "discussion" (or lack thereof) on Rick Hood's blog or Localocracy where you have to leave your name.

Ed said...

I hope that you will change your policy and only allow posts by people who include their name.

Catherine knows who I am, but I am kinda on a national job search - will be more so next year, and you really don't want *anything* out there on the internet with your name on it under such circumstances.

(Some of us don't have a secure union job with the protection of a friendly union ready to defend us...)

I have my pen name on my facebook page - my friends know who I am and as to everyone else, well it must be some other person....

Remember, the Federalist Papers were published anonymously.....

Ed

Anonymous said...

i agree with allison.....and how do we know people would be using their real names and not a made up one or pretending they are someone else?

Nina Koch said...

Kate--

Thanks for your post. I have worked with Maria on a few things and I wish she were interested in the permanent position. I think it would really help the district.

I am also a big Farshid fan. I think he is very fair and that he also truly listens to people and tries to understand different points of view.

Anonymous said...

My take:


1. It was a horrible mistake of a hire.

2. The exit/firing was an admin group "hit" on a job/position threatener.


Right or wrong?

Anonymous said...

"you really don't want *anything* out there on the internet with your name on it under such circumstances."

That's one reason why it's very wrong for people to flame people by name on this and other blogs. It's not a private conversation. And, as Catherine has pointed out, there are protocols available within the system for concerns to be expressed. It is simply irresponsible to use a forum such as this for axe grinding about specific people. Perhaps instead of requiring names to be attached to posts, Catherine should turn on the comment moderating feature and only print comments that contribute constructively to the discussion.

Anonymous said...

"Catherine should turn on the comment moderating feature and only print comments that contribute constructively to the discussion."


LOL. The anons are being VERY constructive.

Medicine is bitter.

Live with it.

Anonymous said...

Live stream of meeting up at ACTV:



http://www.actvamherst.com/Site/LIV

E_Stream.html

Anonymous said...

What is clear is that the inmates are running the asylum. Whether or not you like Dr. Rodriguez he was working to change a system that was seriously impaired before his arrival. Entrenched interests did not like his [imperfect] approach. But others of us did like that he was willing to speak the unspeakable.

He should be the first of all top management to be encouraged to leave. We need to to rebuild the organization without the encumbrance of those politically beholden to those interests that created our problems in the first place.

Now we have a proactive School Committee. Maybe they will have the courage to put in place a program to systematically replace the senior staff that have been part and parcel to the degradation and financial mismanagement of our schools.

Anonymous said...

Kathryn Mazur leading the search again?

Maybe she'll hire Elaine Brighty as a consultant?


God Amherst.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I think she should be fired because she wants to advertise in the Gazette for the new superintendent position. Do we really need an ad there? Come on, people.

Anonymous said...

There are some intellectual giants on the School Committee. That is obvious to me. I am so thankful. Let those people lead the search to find a superintendent. Let's start now. If they don't find a person, so be it. At least we tried.

Anonymous said...

An HR director does all the legal parts, the technical parts. The SC wouldn't know how to do that. Would you like it if the SC tried to do it themselves and they ran afoul of employment law? I can hear the screaming now.

There is nothing that can be done to please some of you, so you resort to trashing district employees. Start your own blog if you want a place to vent about district employees. This isn't it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:06p. Is Mazur a lawyer?

Anonymous said...

I am watching tonight's meeting. The high school principal comes across as an oaf. I don't like the way he tried to say at tonight's meeting that Dr. Rodriguez did not offer a valuable perspective as an outsider.

By that same token, if Dr. Rodriguez was terminated or "mutually terminated" on the high school principal's say so, then that is just not good enough for me. That hs principal is disrespectful. I don't like the way he called out Catherine for a positive comment she made about Dr. Rodriguez.

I do like what I see in Mike Morris though! What a star!

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:15p.m. you are right on!

Anonymous said...

10:15 pm - everyone loves the high school principal, as long as he doesn't disagree with Catherine? Somehow, I think Catherine might even find that objectionable. I would hope that our school committee members, all of them, are able to hear when people disagree with them without feeling disrespected. And that school officials express their opinions based on our shared interest to improve our schools. Isn't that what this blog is all about?

Anonymous said...

She's the person in the district who knows employment law as it applies to employment practices in ACTION. Do you think the district should pay a lawyer to sit behind her and tell her what to do?

Now that would be a great use of scarce funds (not).

Anonymous said...

10:28p. I never loved the hs principal and I never will.

Anonymous said...

I'm still trying to figure out just what the highly paid High School principal was doing there with that little piece of theatre involving Catherine.

He must know that Catherine is considered by many to be THE dragonlady of the Committee. So this seemed to be cheap grandstanding to me.

Anybody can pile on. There's no courage in that.

"That's not a question; that's a statement." What sort of cheap rhetorical trick is that?

Anonymous said...

1035p.m. For $92,424.00 you could hire a real lawyer to do her job. And pay less, actually. Not one to sit next to her. But instead of her. One who is not afraid to work hard when the district is in crisis. And yes, one who is willing to launch a Superintendent search because that is what she is getting paid for. But no district administrators want a permanent Superintendent to come on board because they don't want to lose their jobs. That's the impression I got from tonight's meeting.

Anonymous said...

You really need to watch the tape. The ARHS principal was rude. And his point was lost. What did he mean? It sounded like he forgot that he was actually there and thought he was posting on this blog anonymously.

Do you think he was offended that the SC wants an outsider for Superintendent? He may have been. If there is an outsider, the principal's job security is gone. Someone just posted that everyone loves that guy. How could that be true, after what I saw tonight? To this outsider, me, that guy looks like a chump.

Anonymous said...

To keep your job, you just have to be willing to contribute productively and constructively and get the job done.

Rick said...

Beers was fantastic; wish we could hire him.

I am really glad of the vote made tonight to keep Maria in place until June 30, 2011. I just think hiring an outsider would have run the risk of another Sprague situation and all that drama that we do not need right now. Maria is known and stable quantity that we can work with until we search for a permanent replacement.

One way to bring an outside perspective on things is to bring Beers back on a regular basis and review how we are doing.

I like Mark Jackson a lot, but what he did tonight in attacking Catherine was totally inappropriate.

Anonymous said...

Is it a surprise that K Mazur didn't want to do a search??? Isn't that what she's paid to do? Is it a surprise M Jackson feels entitled to attack a School Board member? These two ran the super out of town and have put in a puppet they can manipulate as interim. That's change we can believe in...NOT!

Catherine A. Sanderson said...

I just got home after a long night, and don't really feel able (emotionally or physically) to comment on any of these thoughtful remarks from today. But I'll post the Gazette article as soon as it is available, and I will try to respond more tomorrow to these comments personally. For those who have defended me on this blog, or sent me private emails of support, thank you -- it means a lot. It has been a hard week.

Anonymous said...

Mazur is not a lawyer and rumors say she doesn't even have a degree. Like Geryk, she was promoted without merit on the "cover my back" plan.

Anonymous said...

11:28- And on what are you basing your claims? On the basis that Mark Jackson pointed out the very big inconsistency of holding up the man you have just fired as an example of how having outside eyes is good? The Super was "run out of town" by the School Committee- in case you didn't hear that over and over again.

Anonymous said...

That makes two of us.

"I like Mark Jackson a lot, but what he did tonight in attacking Catherine was totally inappropriate."

Thanks for saying that, Rick Hood. I was watching tonight.

From my observations of "the dialogue" inside the High School where my daughter is attending, I do not think that Catherine has gotten a fair shake there.

I challenged Riverwolf Productions awhile back to interview her on their ACTV show: so far, no response. Instead they have been running strikingly skewed material on her since last summer. There appear to be a number of young people on the production crew who are still smarting about the closing of Mark's Meadow. But they need to be as committed to fairness as any adult media outlet.

I would put the same challenge to the editors of the Graphic. And, if Ms. Koch is as committed to fairness and civility as she claims to be on this blog, perhaps she could facilitate such an opportunity.

A school is supposed to be committed to a free exchange of ideas, not the demonization of individual School Committee members. Instead, there seems to be a predetermined narrative inside the school about Catherine and her ideas. Mark Jackson seemed to be speaking out of that closed mindset tonight. It was a cheap shot and I'm glad that Steve Rivkin talked back to it.

Rich Morse

Nina Koch said...

Rich,

I am confused. What opportunity am I supposed to facilitate?

Anonymous said...

to Rich Morse 12:19am: "I challenged Riverwolf Productions awhile back to interview her on their ACTV show: so far, no response." There was a response. And a doozie!

I guess you don't watch, you just criticize.

Anonymous said...

Rich- they did ask her to be on and got no response from her. Get your facts straight.

Anonymous said...

I am aware of no invitation to conduct an in-depth interview with Catherine on their programming.

But you can correct me on that.

And I watch it whenever I see it. And what I have seen has not been fair.

I'm signing MY name.

Rich Morse

Anonymous said...

If an invitation was extended, I stand corrected. On this, I'd rather be wrong. I understand that many of the posters on here are never mistaken on anything, which must be a terrible burden for you.

I think that we should make this interview happen.

Rich Morse

Anonymous said...

Rich- They completely skewered you on air ( and justifiably so in my opinion) when they responded to your email to them. You should watch it if you haven't already. It's really quite clever and very much to the point.

Anonymous said...

I must say that I can understand why Mark Jackson responded the way he did. I really bristled at the exact same comment from Catherine that he did. What I heard her saying is that there has been a lot of comment from the community about Rodgriguez being gone because of coming in and trying to change things and that that ruffled too many feathers. To make that statement, without countering it's basis in fact, when you have been privy to the full evaluation, felt accusatory and irresponsible to me. I haven't had any personal dealings with Rodriguez, but I can't imagine that the school committee, many members of which WANT the kind of change that Rodriguez was trying to implement, would allow him to be railroaded out of town because he was "ruffling feathers". There must have been problems or deficiencies that were pretty SIGNIFICANT and ongoing for them to be moved to bring his tenure here to a close. So floating that insinuation out there Catherine, was problematic at best, particularly on the heels of the "no trust" conversation of a few weeks back.

With that said, I think Mr. Jackson's response was overblown, or not as to the point as it could be. But seriously folks, he's running two schools, his staff is being given all kinds of requests for major budget revisions at a very late date in relation to plans that need to be put in place to implement them, there is all kind of uncertainty about revenue to fund those plans, there's staff that he's dealing with that don't know if they're going to have jobs next year or not, and you expect him to just sit there and have comments like that go unchallenged?

I hope we can cut both Catherine and Mark some slack in this instance and let it be handled between the two of them. They both spoke insensitively last night, but this is a difficult time and nerves are frazzled. Let's all just chill and give these hard working people a chance to come to an understanding on their own.

Anonymous said...

7:25- well said and quite a rational comment- prepare to be flamed.

Rick said...

”I think Mr. Jackson's response was overblown” …that was my main problem with it also. He could have addressed the “ruffled feathers” thing in a more calmer straightforward way.

But I couldn’t agree more with Anon 7:25’s last paragraph. Thanks for that 7:25.

Catherine A. Sanderson said...

Two responses:

1. If you read the paper yesterday, it was chock full of comments regarding the departure being caused by the superintendent's ruffling some feathers. And I received numerous calls and emails over the last few days that indicated that perception. My statement was that there was a PERCEPTION, which I stated, that this was a factor. And hiring an internal interim for 16 months feeds into this perception for some. I think Mark's comments were really unfair.

2. I have not been invited to appear on the student news program -- and I am pretty easy to find (casanderson@amherst.edu, 542-2438, 256-4977).

Anonymous said...

Is the full report about ARMS going to be posted on the district website?

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:24 AM

How are you doing? Hope you and the family are well. Glad you enjoyed the skewering.

Now about that interview?

Rich Morse

Anonymous said...

Rich- My family is quite well. Thank you for asking. And as for the skewering- well when an adult tells a bunch of teenagers to grow a pair in an email that is taking them to task for a lack of civility and which also accuses them of being fronts for their parents opinions-- then yea- I enjoyed. it.

Anonymous said...

I think Mark Jackson should be next out the door. I don't care if he's overworked. Talk to people in industry who have worked throught several lay offs, and all they get in exchange for being able to avoid the lay of is carrying the extra work load. NO YOU DON'T GET A FREE PASS BECAUSE YOU'RE OVERWORKED. He's an oaf, and he should be next to get the axe. What a horses ass.
Ali

Anonymous said...

Ali- What is your real experience with Mr. Jackson- NONE. You send you kids to private schools and then sit there and snipe about the Amherst schools. When was the last year you had a child actually in the distirct? 5 years ago? You have called RVJ a jerk and worse, Mr. Jackson a horse's ass. What does that make you- a rude, unimformed buffoon? GA great example for you boys I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

My taxes are paying for his salary. I have every right to criticize him. No he doesn't get a free ride because my kids (thank gooness) are in private school.
Ali

Anonymous said...

I did take them, these young adults, to task and I stand by it.

And as anyone who knows me knows, I will be the first to acknowledge their fairness when it happens, and say that I was wrong. Until then, what I see them portraying is "the predetermined narrative", with spliced video footage of Ms. Sanderson last summer and interviews with some SC members, but not others.

Posted with my name,
Rich Morse

Anonymous said...

Can someone print out here on this blog--exactly what the hs principal is being bashed for having said? For those of us who do not get cable...Thanks!

Anonymous said...

"If you read the paper yesterday, it was chock full of comments regarding the departure being caused by the superintendents ruffling some feathers".

That's a big part of the problem!
"The paper" has a great deal of sway in creating public perceptions, and what they chose to emphasize and what they chose to leave out or fail to pursue can lead to misperceptions.

Not long ago a pricipal at one of our elementary schools left office after staff and parents rose up against his management style.
The "paper", at that time, was chock full of comments from at least one school committee member and the Superintendent about staff discomfort with change. There was absolutely no mention of the fact that many dozens of parents had signed letters and petitions echoing the staff concerns and complaints. There was little specific detail about those concerns(though those who chose to visit the Talkback section of the Amherst Bulletin could begin to scratch the surface of the situation).

I can remember experiencing the pain and frustration of the staff, the feeling they had been thrown under the bus.

Perhaps that's part of what was going on last night. Maybe Mr. Jackson was voicing staff frustration with the paper's tendency to emphasize comments that reflect poorly on staff and don't reveal the whole story, and you came under fire after appearing to validate what the paper was saying without giving equal voice to what must have been concerns that were so serious that the SC moved so swiftly on this departure.

Anonymous said...

7:25 a.m. I disagree that Catherine spoke insensitively last night. How and when? She did not attack anyone, she did not challenge anyone in a nasty way. Her tone was not confrontational. I watched the whole meeting. Did you?

If anything, Catherine went out of her way to say positive things about Dr. Rodriguez, which was very classy and appropriate. News flash, even though Dr. Rodriguez isn't here it doesn't mean there were not positive things about his tenure here. Having an outsider's perspective and the ability to say we need evaluations of certain programs here is vital.

If you mean that voting for a new superintendent search now, and voting against an interim superintendent is insensitive, then you are plain not interested in improving our public schools, and recruiting the right leadership.

I do appreciate that you are trying to be thoughtful and help us understand Jackson's perspective. But it just did not happen that way. There is no defending his remarks and delivery, they were just wrong and inappropriate. He remarked on the point of having an outsider here, and made it seem like Dr. Rodriguez was an outsider who failed so we don't need any outsiders here. He didn't say anything about ruffling feathers. He didn't need to. I could see the feathers flying all over the place.

Anonymous said...

I think that Catherine's comment leaves the impression that Dr. R was fired because he ruffled feathers of the senior staff and I did watch the whole meeting. I guess as usual- how one inteprets comments is all in the eye of the beholder. I can perfectly understand why Mr. Jackson- who has done an admirable job in his tenure here- guiding a school that has faced 5 consecutive years of flat or declining budgets,has steered the school through mulitple rounds of layoffs and diminished program offerings, and has still managed to provide a high quality educational product for most students, AND who I might add stepped up and took on the added responsibility of ARMS- woud be upset.

As was mentioned any number of times last night- the SC is the responsible party here. They and they alone. They need to own that and not be throwing staff under the bus.

Anonymous said...

Dr. R is the responsible party here if his performance was problematic.

Not HR or the SC.

Hindsight is always 20/20! "He shouldn't have been hired."

Well, there were some red flags, but there were also some very good reasons to have hired him. And in fact he did do some smart, effective things during his brief stay. It's just that what he did right was [apparently, we don't know exactly] overshadowed by what he did wrong (or didn't do at all)

I do NOT think it is about shoving the snake out of admin's cozy nest.

Anonymous said...

11:25 a.m. the SC that *hired* Rodriguez is to blame here. Catherine voted against that decision. Several of those members are no longer serving. As someone keeps posting here, facts matter. Please get your facts right.

Another fact is that Jackson was bashing Rodriguez publicly. Nobody else did that last night. Deserved or not, it seemed highly inappropriate in that forum and very ill-timed.

And Jackson's rancor toward Catherine was totally misplaced yesterday evening. And it made me scared of him.

Let's be clear, Catherine Sanderson voted not to hire Dr. Rodriguez. He was hired anyway. She nonetheless worked with him and supported him while he was here and a lot of good things were accomplished in a short amount of time (from what we are learning this may not have had a lot to do with Rodriguez). Then when she and the SC received the negative evaluations from the district personnel, she and her colleagues somberly, after a lot of thought and deliberation, took swift and bold action to end the contract with Rodriguez.

This shows me that Catherine is a champion of the district personnel, that Catherine trusts them and put her faith in them by acting on the information they gave her. And if we trusted her and put our faith in her, we could have avoided this debacle in the first place.

Again and again, Professor Sanderson has shown her commitment to the kids and teachers and this district as a whole. And we are lucky to have her here. My sincere hope is that she does not give up. We really need her. Good teachers all over town support her because they know what she is doing is right.

Anonymous said...

OK let me re-phrase- this current SC is the only party responsibile for firing Dr. R.- not senior level school staff and my opinion, Catherine's comment left the impression that the SC fired Dr. R because he ruffled feathers.

I never said anything about his hiring- CS part in or objections to it and frankly I think that that is really irrelevant to what happened last night.

Anonymous said...

The hire was problematic but showed some potential as well (for tackling tough issues and change, didn't we want an outsider?).

And actually, the way it played out pretty much was predicted by the hiring process: he wasn't the right fit, but nonetheless some changes were made.

If a better candidate had been found, wouldn't the SC have hired him or her? I think the choices -- start over or hire the one who seemed most likely to shake things up -- weren't all that great anyway.

Like I said already, hindsight is always 20/20.

Good grief, I hope this time next year we won't be rehasing who supported making MG Interim Supe and who wanted a new search right away.

Anonymous said...

To 12:53 p.m.
It's possible for people to be both right and wrong, or right and then wrong, and to simply make mistakes. There's no need to deify one party and demonize the other. They each have their strong moments. And weak ones.

Anonymous said...

I'm the morning commenter who spoke in sympathy for Mark Jackson's reaction to Catherine, despite the fact that I thought it was overblown. To answer a question that was asked, yes I did watch the whole meeting. I understand and appreciate that Catherine was trying to acknowledge some positive things about Dr. R's tenure here. That was noble and right to do. I have no problem with it. What I have a problem with, as I said, was that she referred to opinions she has heard from the public alleging that Rodriguez was run out of town by staff whose "feathers got ruffled" because he was bringing outside eyes and advocating for change. It is true that people are alleging that. Are their allegations based in fact? I would hope and guess NOT, because the SC would be in SERIOUS breach of their responsibilities if they were. So to float that comment out there without denying it's basis in fact was insensitive and accusatory. I'm guessing that Catherine did not intend to be insensitive or accusatory but it certainly came off that way to me, and apparently to Mr. Jackson, who responded accordingly. Neither Catherine, nor Mark communicated effectively. But I think neither should be lambasted for it. As I've said, nerves are understandably frazzled on all sides. The fact is that it's not so much what we say as the way we say it that can hurt. And what I'm hoping, again, is that we can cut them and they can cut each other some slack.

Catherine A. Sanderson said...

Anonymous 5:27 - what I said was very clearly that there is a PERCEPTION that this is an issue ... and it was a perception I heard about all day, and was in the paper. I didn't say it was an accurate perception, but I said it was a perception, and that perception concerned me, and would be further enhanced by the appointment of an interim (appointed without a search or any feedback from the public -- or teachers or parents -- for a period of 16 months). That was one of several points I made in support of conducting a search, and again, I did NOT say, as Mark implied, that this was WHY the superintendent left.

I agree with giving people slack -- but I guess I made a statement that didn't blame Mark or any other staff members for anything, and simply was explaining my reasoning for preferring a search. And then Mark was very accusatory about the nature of my remarks (which wasn't relevant to address to make his point) -- and his remarks stated that he felt I hadn't even done my job. Thus, I don't think my behavior and his behavior are really remotely similar.

Anonymous said...

Catherine lets be real. You didn't say anything to counter that perception either. Which is what I responded to in my easy chair at home. Mark is not sitting in an easy chair. I've been trying to cut you some slack but it just ran out. WHY must you always be so righteous? Everyone else is wrong and out to get you and you are totally innocent and above reproach. It would be pitiful if there weren't so much at stake for our kids and our community.

Catherine A. Sanderson said...

Anonymous 6:44 - if you were watching the meeting, you will see me sit up in my chair, and open my mouth to clarify my words -- which Mark either deliberately or accidentally misinterpreted -- and you will see Mark lift up his hand and say "That was a statement, not a question." I'm wondering how you expect me to counter-act his assertion if I'm not allowed to respond?

Anonymous said...

He simply wasn't listening.

He needed to make a demonstration of strength for his people, and he wasn't going to let the actual content of what you were saying get in the way.

The irony of all this is that the biggest, most wide open forum for teachers to sound off is right here. And we know they do, day after day, post after post.

Rich Morse

Anonymous said...

I don't think the camera was on you when he was speaking, though I could be wrong. I do remember him saying the piece about his comments being a statement and not a question. It's unfortunate that he was too angry to allow you to clarify. I hope though, that you can consider WHY this pushed him over the edge. The adage about straws and camels comes to mind. And no Rich, I am not a teacher in the district. Just an interested citizen with a great deal of respect for all he juggles within a climate that has been pretty negative, high pressured and demanding. I can understand him losing it. That doesn't mean I condone or agree with his response. Just that I understand it. And understanding; simple, basic HUMAN understanding is something I think we need to practice more of in the process of trying to better our schools.

Anonymous said...

9:00 - well said. In all the discussion, lets try to model collaboration, empathy and forgiveness -- qualities I like to think our kids are exposed to in this town.

E.L.