There is at least one principal in DISD who appears to be jeopardizing the learning of students.
For next year, the principal has reassigned a veteran teacher from one content area to a new, completely unfamiliar and highly specialized content area. Teachers at the school suspect the principal, after years of criticizing the veteran, is trying to force the veteran to quit.
With non-renewal letters spewing out of 3700 like volcanic gas and ash, such a cowardly act hardly seems necessary, unless the principal didn’t do the necessary documentation or follow the required process. Could that be the case?
But here’s the worst part: What if the teacher doesn’t quit? What if the teacher calls the principal’s bluff and accepts the new position? How many students will potentially lose an entire and important year of learning because the principal plays personnel games?
Parents at the school should be outraged.
We have a system of due process in DISD and it must be followed to assure parents and taxpayers that schools operate with the children’s best interests in mind rather than becoming small fiefdoms for principals. In fact, the poor quality of instruction at schools that are or have been run as personal fiefdoms are a top reason middle-class parents leave DISD.
Principals or Executive Directors or Superintendents do not legally have the option of using taxpayer funds to punish people they don’t like or to reward their friends and relatives with plum job assignments. Such behavior undermines the noble premise upon which public education is founded.
Principals dislike the due process required because it opens them up to scrutiny and conflict, but due process is important. And if the due process doesn’t determine that the teacher is weak or ineffective, then maybe the problem isn’t the teacher but the campus leadership.
Reassigning teachers in a manner which places the education of children at risk must stop. Principals who use this short-cut must be rooted out and booted out. Their due process can start with a growth plan.