Tonight WAFF ran a story about a math class at Butler High School that hasn’t had a teacher since the first week of classes.
The principal Sanchella Graham and Dr. Wardynski blame the failure to fill the position on “the stigma Butler carries.”
Wardynski went on to claim:
“When you’ve got a school you are looking to turn around by dramatically improving education, there are all kinds of impediments in making that happen. This is an example of one of those impediments. Folks that focus on things that really don’t have to do with education is another one. All those things are key parameters in why “failing schools” fail.The superintendents and principals have to work past all that,” said Wardynski.
This sounds completely reasonable until you remember that one of the very first changes that Wardynski implemented when he came to town was to move the hiring for the district from the school to the district level.
No longer would the decision of whom to hire would be left up to the individual schools, it would rather be up to the district to hire teachers, and the teachers the district hired would be placed wherever Dr. Wardynski believed they were needed.
Beginning on January 19, 2012, Dr. Wardynski will decide which teachers will be hired, promoted, given tenure, and allowed to progress through the tenure process during their first and second years of teaching.
Later that year, Dr. Cooper offered a presentation on Key Affirmations that all new employees of the district must agree to upon their hiring.
The list of affirmations includes:
- I believe every child can learn.
- I am willing to work in any school in the Huntsville City School System.
- As a professional educator, I am willing to serve as a model for students.
- I am willing to be held accountable for student achievement using measures of student growth based upon progress monitoring and benchmark assessments.
- I am willing to work as a professional member of a collaborative learning community to advance professional development and student achievement.
- I am willing to employ technology to create a differentiated learning environment that supports the varied learning needs of students.
- I am willing to create an environment designed to prepare children to enter educational and work settings characterized by continuous change and the need for life-long learning.
You’ll notice that the second “affirmation” that every new district employee has agreed to states, “I am willing to work in any school in the Huntsville City School System.
So, Dr. Wardynski’s claim that he and the school are facing “impediments” in the hiring of a math teacher to replace the teacher who quit after the first week, is, to be polite, complete crap.
Dr. Wardynski has taken total control of teachers and placement, and when he’s caught not having done his job, as in the case of filling a vacancy in a classroom, what does he do? Well, he says:
“This is an example of one of those impediments. Folks that focus on things that really don’t have to do with education is another one. All those things are key parameters in why “failing schools” fail.”
So you see, it isn’t the superintendent’s fault that the math class at Butler hasn’t had a teacher for five of the first six weeks of school. It’s the fault of “impediments.” It’s the fault of “folks that focus on things that really don’t have to do with education.”
In other words, the blame for why the superintendent and the principal haven’t done their job of hiring and placing a math teacher at Butler is more, oh I don’t know, my fault than it is Wardynski’s. (He regularly refers to parents who raise questions about his policies as people who are focusing on things that don’t matter.)
Keep in mind that during the State of the Schools address on April 30th, Wardynski claimed that the district had received more than 19,000 applicants for approximately 200 positions.
You would think that among those 19,000 applicants that at least one or two might be qualified to teach high school math . . .
But honestly, anyone who has been paying attention should be clearly aware that Wardynski will always seek and find a way to blame someone else for his failure to do his job. Hell, if he’s willing to blame a child for being bullied because she went to the bathroom, why wouldn’t we expect him to blame his inability to hire a teacher on everyone else as well?
Wouldn’t it be nice if this “strong leader” could actually take responsibility for his actions, just once?
Wouldn’t it be nice if someone in this town held him accountable for his actions, just once?
I guess the board is too busy attending parties for TFAers to actually, you know, do their job.