Sunday, September 9, 2012

Trish Gorham’s Remarks to School Board on 8.22.12

30% of the Resource Specialist Teachers have had their assignments drastically and needlessly changed.

I don’t even entirely fault the technician who created this plan. She was given a structural puzzle to solve: maximize student caseloads and reduce travel time between assigned sites. 

So, the pieces of the puzzle fell into place, like a Tetras game, and ONLY THEN were the humans considered. And if they had to be massively moved in order to justify the puzzle, so be it.

THIS is the essence of the rot at the soul of this district. As was demonstrated previously by the closure of 5 schools.

And I am NOT saying there aren’t structural changes that need to take place that WILL cause discomfort and pain.

But, until you put people ahead of process, people ahead of structure, people ahead of grand visions, we will never move forward in any meaningful way.

And what if the special ed student projections for the sites are wrong? With over a thousand students redistributed through school closures, those figures may prove to be wildly off. So the teachers move again?

Troy Flint, the District’s official spin-doctor, said there were “major shortcomings in the way this was handled.”

It’s okay. We all make mistakes.

Accept it. Own it.
Hit the pause button and rethink it.
Don’t, once again, double down on a flawed process.

Let teachers return to their original sites.
Take a real assessment of site caseloads based on real enrolment.
And THEN consolidate, as needed, putting the HUMAN, not structural, need first. 

For the sake of over 500 of our most vulnerable students and their families who are affected by this proposed outrage, DO THE RIGHT THING.