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Original post made
on Apr 11, 2008
My complete comment was:
- There is also the question of relevance -- I wouldn't take Joe McCreary (or any Los Altos principal for that matter) and suggest that they would be a great principal at an inner city school. There experiences don't translate. So when we are asked to welcome a principal from a school with significantly lower test scores, why would the board be surprised that we're skeptical? Understanding HOW to work in the Los Altos environment is critical. Joe's 1 year of experience in this environment is probably worth 5-6 years of working someplace else. We face different challenges here. Check the test results for yourself...
Please note that this doesn't mean we wouldn't accept a teacher from a lesser-scoring school. In reality, we're in the very top 1% of the state, so we'd almost have to choose someone from a lesser scoring school. But the question would be, what has the measured impact of that individual be. In this case, it doesn't seem to be trending to the positive.
I agree with Mr Goines that the communication process was inadequate.
However, I disagree on his statement that "...it depends on the community pulling together".
The Los Altos School District benefits from a terrific community providing countless of hours of volunteer time, extra programs only possible via the community dedication and generosity. In fact, a sizable extra source of revenue for the District comes directly from that same community (donations to Los Altos Education Foundation, PTAs...).
Year and year the community "pulls it together" and there is no reason it won't continue.
However the onus is really on the district and the board to reconnect with its community and rebuild some bridges badly damaged by its (often poorly communicated) decisions over the past year.
There is also some urgency for the District and the Board to rebuild these bridges as the District faces a pretty dire budget situation and will need all the community support to go pass these budget issues.
Here are two articles from the Palo Alto Daily News on the same subject:
April 9, Los Altos school board vows improved communication
April 11, Almond principal: I never sent out furor-sparking letter
Apparently a Board member sent to the Palo Alto Daily News, a letter that was never vetted by the principal nor even sent to the parents. the "letter" suggested that the parents stop their protests.
This type of communication is straight out of the Soviet Era Politburo's playbook.
What's next? Televised "Confessions"?
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