Monday, June 02, 2008
Half a million dollars spent on lawyers didn't fix Castle Park Elementary; how about trying honesty and respect?
Why has Castle Park Elementary had 11 principals in 11 years?
Because past is prologue.
Hiding a seminal event, such as the moral collapse that occurred in 2001, serves only to exacerbate its causes.
He who fails to learn from history is fated to repeat its mistakes.
Teachers and administrators and board members have relied on their lawyer, Daniel Shinoff, to do whatever is necessary to hide the truth about Castle Park, regardless of the cost to the taxpayers. It's time to stop charging the taxpayers for the wrongdoing of public officials and public employees.
The learning curve of those who control Castle Park Elementary has been flat for more than 11 years. When things don't go well, they just get rid of their principal.
But principals aren't the only people they get rid of.
The serious problems at Castle Park Elementary started when the bilingual program was introduced in 1994. Many teachers were furious that the school had a new kindergarten teacher that year-a bilingual teacher named Heather Smith. They got rid of her that very year; she was dismissed by the district. (The district does not make any effort to determine why teachers have been targeted for dismissal; district administrators allow school politics to make those decisions.)
The bilingual program added a teacher a year until it had a final total of four bilingual teachers in September 1997.
Many teachers refused to allow bilingual classes into their teaming arrangements.
Rae Correira, a district administrator who tried to arrange teaming in the 1997-1998 school year was suddenly transferred to a different job in the middle of the year. The teachers ran the school. The principal did exactly what teacher leaders told her to do. And that included dismissing another bilingual teacher--Maura Larkins.
Other excellent teacher forced out of the school for political reasons only include Luci Fowers, Heather Coman, and principal Ollie Matos. Matos was clearly targeted for allowing ELAC parents to have a voice in the school.
Unfortunatley, the teachers committed crimes to achieve their goal, and the district and teachers union also committed crimes at the teachers' request. Then the district spent roughly half a million dollars for Daniel Shinoff's work in covering up the crimes. The teachers became drunk with power. They felt untouchable.
Castle Park teachers seem to think they live in some country where they can silence public discussion of public issues.
It's time to start dealing with reality. I offer to have an open and honest discussion with the Castle Park teachers. It's the only way to solve the problem. Hiding wrongdoing is rarely the best way to bring peace. It's time for the truth dodgers to deal with the problems they have caused.
Castle Park Elementary teachers want to hide their heads in the sand while a Superior Court Case is going on regarding crimes committed at the school.
I've started a new blog in Spanish about these issues.