I’m sorry to have been gone so long of late. It’s the end of the semester, and the beginning of school, so I’ve been a bit buried doing my job of educating students here in Huntsville.
I’ve got several long posts that are coming up concerning Dr. Wardynski’s meeting with the public at Grissom on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 as well as a long overdue post on the changes that are coming to the gifted program in Huntsville this school year.
But until I have a moment to complete those posts, I thought I would leave you with just this quick thought.
At Least 1,099 Volunteer to Leave
Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I’ve been keeping count of the number of district employees who have voluntarily left Huntsville City Schools since August 2011 (the month after Dr. Wardynski arrived).
This count includes teachers and staff (but is overwhelmingly teachers) who have chosen to either retire or resign to take a position elsewhere.
For those who have chosen to resign, this means that a teacher who has stayed long enough in Huntsville City Schools to gain tenure in the district is willing to give up that tenured position to take her (or his) chances at gaining tenure again in another district. (Tenure does not transfer from district to district.)
Since August 2011 then, at least (I know that I have missed some of the reports) 1,099 teachers and staff have volunteered to leave this district.
62 Teachers Left Huntsville City Schools in July
This number includes a total of 32 teachers who resigned or retired from the district on July 8, 2015 and 30 who resigned or retired from the district a week later on July 16, 2015.
Sixty-two teachers volunteered to leave the district in July. There’s been much said about why. Here are my thoughts on why they’ve left. If you would like to read some thought directly from some teachers’ mouths, try this site: www.glassdoor.com. One of the most telling quotes from there is:
Teaching should not be as soul killing as it is in this district.
Perhaps that will provide some guidance to the superintendent and the board of education how teachers are actually feeling about teaching here.
Teachers, please consider going to that site and posting your thoughts.
HCS has 64 Current Teaching Openings
Tonight is the second night of the 2015-2016 school year, and as of tonight, there are sixty-four open certified (teacher) positions listed on the state’s website for Huntsville City Schools. If you’re interested in reviewing this list, or if you wish to apply, you may view the list here.
By the way, four of those sixty-four positions are special education teachers.
As a point of reference, Huntsville City isn’t the only district in the state that is still looking to hire teachers. The largest district in the state, Mobile County Public Schools is also still hiring. With nearly three times the student population as Huntsville City Schools, as well as three times the teachers, Mobile County is still hiring as well.
They are in need of 38 certified positions. With a district that is three times the size of Huntsville City, they are looking to hire 40% fewer teachers than Huntsville City is currently looking for.
Oh, and Mobile County’s first day of school is still half a week away. They don’t start school until Monday, August 10, 2015.
If this weren’t so frightening for our kids, Dr. Wardynski’s statement below delivered on July 22 would be the height of irony.
All the Good Teachers Hired By July
While talking about how important hiring good teachers is, Dr. Wardynski had this to say:
The school system will have lost it’s ability by July to go get teachers. All the good teachers have been hired by July.
For the sake of the students who will be in one of the 64 classrooms that Huntsville City still needs to fill, let us hope that Dr. Wardynski was wrong.
Joke about our teachers leaving all you wish, Dr. Wardynski. (Wardynski: “Yeah, we got a low morale because we went out and hired a bunch of teachers. I don’t quite get that.”) Celebrate it all you wish as well. The truth is that your treatment of our teachers as “feed stock” is now clearly and demonstrably hurting our children. It is time for you to leave education to the professionals.
I’m sure Pearson has a job waiting for you; take it. Please.
Only three days into the new school year and already the complaints are flying. Yesterday, without any prior notice, History students were yanked out of class to participate in some city-wide picture ID or something like that. The teachers were not notified and lost a day of teaching. I also do not understand a policy of this administration to rotate principals and assistant principals around different schools. What in the world does this accomplish? When a principal gets to work well with his or her staff and develop a good chemistry (as well as acceptance by the student body), why disrupt that? Case in point….Huntsville High has a new principal (apparently fresh out of being a middle school administrator) and certainly has brought that mentality with him. Not only is there a new dress code in school, but on the first day, school officials were actually seen in the hallways with a RULER measuring the length of shorts and skirts! Seriously? Does this sound like Gestapo to anyone? What’s next, turning off the air conditioning to make the kids sweat a little while in class? So sad to see the downward spiral of our education system since I went to school. I didn’t have (or need) a brand new high tech facility to go to every day. Certainly didn’t need a laptop or be pampered by teaching me only what I needed to know to pass the next mandatory test. What I do remember though is going to each class and melting into the learning environment that each unique teacher created in the classroom. They made learning fun, but more important, the onus was on us to take what they taught and learn the material such that we could explain it when tested. We weren’t given study guides which contained all of the questions that we were going to see on the test the next day. All the school is now is an assembly line cranking out students from one grade to the next and then padding their scores to get them into the next farce of education: our college system. God help us….we need it.
They’re creating yet another ID system without parental consent?
God help us, indeed.
Yes, it’s now mandatory with no picture. I just learned from my child. Apparently we are tagging them like cattle. I came from a district with picture IDs. I thought I escaped the chaos but apparently I moved right into it.
Same at Grissom. I’m still waiting for a homework assignment versus IDs and dress code being discussed for the umpteenth time. What the heck is going on?
More teachers would have left but it was too close to the beginning of the school year. They weren’t allowed out of their contract. I know this because I know of at least one teacher offered a job by another system and had to turn it down.
How do we collectively get them to speak out. Without them, we have very little evidence. I understand the fear but no one should live in fear. We’re in it for the kids!
Btw, I came from a district that required MBA’s for goodness sake. This district takes anyone! This district has an agenda to save a dime by hiring inexperienced teachers and axing the more experienced. It’s dollars and sense. It’s right in front of our faces.
As if my blood couldn’t boil any more……..I was shown a picture of a girl who was sent home yesterday by the Gestapo squad (read that as assistant principals roaming the halls with rulers to enforce dress code). She was sent home because her jeans had two rips in them on the thigh (each was around the size of a quarter). No doubt they were purchased that way. So here’s a senior in high school, showing up on time and ready to attend classes but the dress code police think that these two small rips on her leg are a major distraction and warrant that she go home? These newbie principals and their gopher assistant principals are out of control and no doubt so afraid of Wardynski and the grade he will give them, that they are basically bullying the kids and making this year absolutely miserable so far. And we’re only 4 days into the school year! So let’s see…the teachers are fed up, the students are practically ready to riot, and we have not only a bullying, uncaring administration, but now the principals and their staff are getting into the act. Our Huntsville school system is an embarrassment.
You only get a job as of late if you’re willing to be a puppet for him. Do any of these people try shopping for clothes that fit their dress code for kids? It’s impossible. I’m waiting for uniforms to come next. We know it’s coming.
Wait…so the DOJ has “revamped” discipline issues to the point that 2 students can get into a physical altercation and it’s now deemed a class 1 offense and nothing can be done about it….yet, a student gets sent home the first day because of the way her jeans look? I do not understand! I’m so glad I have retired. I would suggest that parents start calling the DOJ with formal complaints!
It is an astonishing “work in progress” as they said repeatedly Thursday night.
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