Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Where is the site administrator?
by Bill McCune
Because I am married to someone with a good job I was just able to take a couple of days off. Even so I compulsively checked the computer for work. I do this a dozen times a day from very early morning until quite late at night. Because I do this so constantly I work often but it means that I spend about 8-12 non-classroom hours a week in pursuit of work. But this is not what this entry is about.
Yesterday at 8:30 am there were two jobs available that day. These two jobs just sat. I checked back again and again, I even opened the entries and found the opportunity to accept the jobs. 9 am, 10 am and finally after 11 am the jobs were gone.
Why in the depths of this depression when many subs are saying they aren’t finding enough work to pay the rent and phone bill were these jobs going untaken?
Having worked at both schools and decided not to go back I think the word must have finally gotten out. Too bad the central administration can’t figure this out. Subs are the canaries in the mine. Zillions of dollars and hours could be saved by replacing every principal whose school takes more than 30 minutes to find a sub.
If you work at a school more than once and have never seen the site administrator (principal) and have never had an assistant principal or principal stick their head in the room and check you and your students out very carefully then you very likely have found a failing school. If you have disruptive students that are sent right back to the classroom or choose on campus suspension because it is so poorly supervised that it is more fun than the classroom you have a better sense of the school failing than all of the standardized tests in the world could provide. If subs don’t get support at a school I am sure that you will find that third of the schools students are failing and that it has more to do with an environment not suitable for learning than the efforts of teachers.
And the same principle applies to those supervising principals. A district with more than 4 or 5% failing principals needs to replace central administrators and school board members. I don’t think this requires spending boat loads of money just a little American activism. Much improvement could occur in a single year or election.
So what’s the fuss and spending about testing, laying blame on individual teachers and endless charter school chatter all about? It must be the money and political careers to be made promoting testing, antiunion opinion and charter (read corporate) schools.