26 days after the last year ends, DCPS releases new principal list.

At the recent Tiger Cope candidate forum one of the questions was about principal changes. There have been so many and they were concerned.

I asked to see the principal last week and was told they weren’t putting it out yet because there was still some TBD.

With retirements, moves and promotions we should expect to see about a ten percent turnover rate. DCPS just about doubled that.



It’s my thought replacing a fifth or the principals is to much especially during a pandemic. I would also like to see the way principals are replaced/changed so that the SAC, PTA and shared decision making committees are included. Maybe if we involved more people who would be working directly with them, we wouldn’t be replacing them with such an alarming regularity. 

To see all the HR transactions, click the link,
https://duvalcosb.civicclerk.com/Web/GenFile.aspx?ad=18215

Let’s talk abut the issues, libraries.

I am going to do a series on the issues and I wanted to talk briefly about libraries.


For a district with a reading problem it did not make any sense to get rid of the libraries but we did we sure did.


This may have started under Pratt-Dannals but it really escalated under Vitti, but here is the thing, Vitti has been gone for going on 4 years now and libraries still have not made a come back. 


Vitti was slick too, with a wink he said well I gave schools an option a test coordinator or a librarian but the fix was in because Vitti didn’t appreciate libraries or librarians and I don’t know if it was because he was dyslexic or he did some cost benefit ratio and decided schools needed another defacto administrator or something else but he decimated the librarian corp. This despite lots of evidence pointing to how valuable they are.


From Phi Delta Kappan,


Since 1992, a growing body of research known as the school library impact studies has consistently shown positive correlations between high-quality library programs and student achievement (Gretes, 2013; Scholastic, 2016). Data from more than 34 statewide studies suggest that students tend to earn better standardized test scores in schools that have strong library programs. Further, when administrators, teachers, and librarians themselves rated the importance and frequency of various library practices associated with student learning, their ratings correlated with student test scores, further substantiating claims of libraries’ benefits. In addition, newer studies, conducted over the last several years, show that strong school libraries are also linked to other important indicators of student success, including graduation rates and mastery of academic standards.


https://kappanonline.org/lance-kachel-school-librarians-matter-years-research/

I believe kids will do better if we play to their strengths and interests, something we might not always be able to do with a fairly rigid curriculum, but it is definitely something we could do with a library.

A Colleague reminded me of what their duties should be as well. And librarians need to be just that: librarians. Not ID makers, test proctors, attendance clerks, etc. We need to get back to filling our libraries with tons of books in different genres and push reading for enjoyment. Librarians are the best at helping kids find books they love.

Every school should have a library and and a librarian, and not split a librarian with another school either but their own and that is the bottom line.

To read more, click the link

http://www.ilovelibraries.org/school-libraries/why-are-school-libraries-essential#

So much for the constitution, Supreme Court takes scissors to it

On Twitter I follow a lot of state republican figures and they are all taking victory laps over the Supreme Courts ruling allowing public money to go to private religious schools.


From Reuters,


 The U.S. Supreme Court narrowed the separation of church and state in a major ruling on Tuesday by endorsing Montana tax credits that helped pay for students to attend religious schools, a decision paving the way for more public funding of faith-based institutions.


In a 5-4 decision with the conservative justices in the majority and the liberal justices dissenting, the court backed a Montana program that gave tax incentives for people to donate to a scholarship fund that provided money to Christian schools for student tuition expenses.


https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-religion-idUSKBN2412FX


First you should know that Florida has been doing this for years. We have been sending wheel barrels’ full of money to school that can discriminate, pick who they take and keep and teach man lived with dinosaurs and slaves were free as long as they had Jesus in their hearts. 


Other states however have fought against this weakening of the barriers between church and state. They have said no to this obvious over reach and they could, up till today that is. 


This was a bad day for the constitution and sadly a good day for the creation of a state run religion.

What lesson is the district giving its teachers and kids with its reopening plan. (draft)

I have to say having a zoom call to discuss reopening subjects is a terrible look. If you don’t feel safe enough to meet in person, why would you expect staff and students.

I want to thank the board and district for working so hard to ensure students can return to the classroom. It is what we all want and I also want to acknowledge how hard this must be, there are lots of moving parts and they all have moving parts too.

That being said I and many others have grave concerns about the district’s plan as is.
Unless there is a robust mask and ease of movement plan the district is assuring the virus will spread, people will get sick and schools will close. Some people say that is inevitable, well I reject that.
Then what lesson will we be teaching our children?
We will be teaching our children that science does not matter because all the science says masks are necessary.
We will be teaching our children that we can ignore experts because all the experts say masks are necessary.
We will be teaching our children that kindness, courtesy, and concern for their fellow citizens if optional as well.
These are the lessons the district will be teaching.
Somebody said to me, well we could not enforce it, kids don’t listen to teachers now. If that is true, then that’s indicative of a huge problem the district should address. I know the district hates to say no to children but with lives on the line the district needs to step up.
Then somebody said to me well if you want your kid to wear a mask, then do Duval homeroom or virtual school, the things is that is what we should be saying to families that don’t believe in science, care what experts say or have concern for their fellow citizens, the district should be saying to them have we have these other options but for in person school, to protect the health of our students and staff we are going to do everything possible. To me and many others the fact that you have not said that up till now is reckless and unacceptable.  
 Also while you have been trying to give families options what options have you given to staff? (pause) As far as I can the only option you have given them is risk your health or quit your job. Then not to let staff especially those with children to work from home on distant learning days just cements and screams you don’t value your staff.
We all want to be back, but the district’s plan is assuring people will get sick and classes will close and we can do better than that.
The district needs to create a robust mask and ease of movement plan, anything else assures people will get sick and schools will close.  
Real quick about Plexiglas screens, where not against them, I wonder if the district has thought through everything. If kids switch classes how are they going to be cleaned in between for example. I personally believe the money could be better spent on things like more bus routes so you could stagger start times and nurses, because lord knows if the district goes through with its current plan we are going to need them.

Chris Guerrieri