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Wed Jul 16, 2014, 10:41 PM

The principal who wrestles an F school to a C in one year gets demotion and pay cut

First of all, I'm not a fan of grading schools. Mostly, in my opinion, school grades tell us about the demographics of a school and not about any bad or good teaching. But, this story, set in Pinellas County, Florida, the story of a principal who plays their game and wins big-time shows us that winning at their game is not enough.

Dunedin Elementary's C too late to save principal, teachers
Tampa Bay Times, in print on 7/17/14, by Katie Mettler

DUNEDIN When Kathleen Brickley became principal at Dunedin Elementary in 2005, the school had an A. Since then, its enrollment of low-income students went up. So did the number of Hispanic students who needed help with English. Reading and math scores steadily declined. And in 2013, the state gave Dunedin an F.

So Brickley set goals and sought help from the city. She helped recruit volunteers and brainstormed with teachers on how to do better.

Last week, their work paid off. The state released school grades, and Dunedin earned a C, jumping two levels in one year, a rarity among Florida schools.

But for Brickley and 17 teachers who helped turn the school around, it was too late.


More

Bottom line? The principal, teachers, and other staff took the school from an F to a C this year. I know these people. They did work their butts off. Their reward? Seventeen teachers were displaced. The principal was demoted to assistant principal at a different school and given a $25,000 pay cut.

The Superintendent? From the article:

When asked about the decision, (Superintendent) Grego said the school's grade had declined since Brickley took the helm. He also angrily objected to being questioned about the decision.

"The day that I have to justify every blasted move in our district . . . You can take over if you like," he told a reporter.

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Reply The principal who wrestles an F school to a C in one year gets demotion and pay cut (Original post)
teach1st Jul 2014 OP
Sancho Jul 2014 #1
mbperrin Jul 2014 #2
femmocrat Jul 2014 #4
dickthegrouch Jul 2014 #3
Ka hrnt Jul 2014 #5
knitter4democracy Jul 2014 #6

Response to teach1st (Original post)

Wed Jul 16, 2014, 10:54 PM

1. Grego is an ass...I don't like him...

My wife has taught 20+ years in Pinellas County, and they have recently been on some kind of crusade to get rid of some principals and teachers. Maybe they want to make room for TFA, or maybe just run off some older veterans.

Welcome to DU!

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Response to teach1st (Original post)

Wed Jul 16, 2014, 11:02 PM

2. This Grego fella is sort of a rat-faced bastard, isn't he?

Dumb as a brick - wonder who he's sleeping with? They did a NATIONAL search and found him a few miles away. He has an assortment of degrees from various third tier institutions, and it shows.



I'll just have to wish him an old-fashioned broken leg when he falls in the hole of his own making.

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Response to mbperrin (Reply #2)

Thu Jul 17, 2014, 04:34 PM

4. He looks like Conrad Bain! nt

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Response to teach1st (Original post)

Thu Jul 17, 2014, 01:24 PM

3. Sounds to me like Grego appointed his successor /nt

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Response to teach1st (Original post)

Fri Jul 18, 2014, 07:11 AM

5. A simple reason...

"...shows us that winning at their game is not enough."

There's a simple reason for that--this is a game you're not supposed to win at. Intentional or not, the grading system in Florida is basically here to shut down public schools. Schools are teaching to the test and gaming the system? Keep moving the bar! That's the (tragically) comic aspect of this big data we're spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year to collect: the results are largely irrelevant. At some point, someone--or group of people--are going to arbitrarily set the cut scores, thus undermining the "authority" that we place on these numbers. Case in point: Florida had to change their standards 2 years ago after the results came back looking "too bad."

And yes, that Superintendent is also emblematic of the real problems facing our schools: grossly incompetent/negligent "leaders" who only know how cower behind the rulebook.

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Response to teach1st (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 07:47 PM

6. Unfortunately, I know how that feels.

I taught in a turnaround school where we got the test scores from the 5th percentile in the state to the 50th in two years, and we got closed anyway. It was one of the most painful things I have ever been through, and now all our students are going to a district unprepared for them where many are just shunted to the alternative high school, especially if their skin is brown.

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