Nov 15, 2008

Believe It Or Not !

A DC teacher just emailed me that the former principal Lynn Gober, who was fired from Anacostia Senior High School last year by Chancellor Rhee, has been asked by Rhee to come to Hart Middle School to clean it up.

A Roving Leader sent the following message about the new principal at MacFarland Middle School:

"To Whom It May Concern:
I am a visitor to MacFarland Middle School twice week. I have observed the new principal on numerous occasions. It is my conclusion that Mr. Barber, principal, is too young and inexperienced to deal with the type of students at MacFarland. All of the problems that were noted at Hart are ongoing at MacFarland. Apparently Chancellor Rhee does not understand that it takes poise, experience, sensitivity, and mental toughness to lead the type of students at MacFarland. Mr. Barber does not have any of these qualities. He lacks communication skills with staff and more importantly, he is unable or unwilling to communicate with the students. The situation at MacFarland is totally out of control, due to daily food fights, water fountains being ripped from the walls, and fires being started in the schools, and staff and students being assaulted. Something needs to be done YESTERDAY." Fact or fiction - you tell me ? (posted by The Washington Teacher).

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Add MacFarland to the list of schools that are out of control. I'm hearing several similar stories from friends who work throughout the city of other DCPS schools where the discipline had gotten so bad. Even at the elementary school level. Rhee loves these new leaders, who may be good with some things (like data analysis, latest educational research). But it's becoming so clear that they are failing in their most important mission: being a school leader. These new principals can't get basic order and discipline in their schools so that teachers can teach, students learn and schools eventually make gains and finally AYP. This is serious, as it impacts both student and teacher safety.

Anonymous said...

At my school the only way the principal and school administration know how to handle children with acting out behaviors is to call their parents to the point of harassment and to suspend them.

Sometimes they are not even officially suspended. Instead the parents are asked to keep their children home. In a few incidents the parents were told to keep their children home until they see a doctor. What is a regular physician supposed to do to immediately address these behaviors?

Anonymous said...

The idea of parents being told to keep their children at home or to be told to come and pick up your child, is because principals are supposed to keep track of how many suspensions and report them to their superiors. So all the talk of suspensions don't work, we don't want to suspend students, is just to keep their official count of suspensions low.

Concerned Citizen said...

I hope that the press picks this story up about the violence at MacFarland, especially assaults on teachers and students.Sounds like Rhee's reform plan is short on stopping violence in our public schools.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what anybody thinks about this, but wouldn't adding more administrative staff (my elementary school just has one principal and one counselor) help? When Rhee thought about her staffing model, I don't think she took into considereation that all schools need assistant principals, not just schools with an enrollment above a certain figure. Or even a dean of students or an in house suspension coordinator would help get a handle on this outrageous behavior. I too have friends in other schools and am hearing the same things about out of control kids in a lot of schools, not just the few that have made the press.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking about this. Rhee is so crazy about these New Leaders For New Schools types to be the principals rather than the old school DCPS principal veterans. Maybe the old timers were a little weak on data-driven management, being instructional leaders and didn't know all the buzz words currently in vogue in education ("Research shows that ...") But they could run a building and the kids weren't buckwild.
Why didn't she include, especially in these schools with discipline problems, and MacFarland now comes to mind, a comprehensive staffing plan with assistant principals? I have met the principal of MacFarland and he's a decent guy, trying to do what's right and he must be in over his head. And clearly, he's not the only one in DCPS as a principal with serious behavior problems at a school.
I have heard that Rhee reads this blog. So think about this, Ms. Rhee...

Anonymous said...

anonymous wrote:
"When Rhee thought about her staffing model, I don't think she took into considereation that all schools need assistant principals, not just schools with an enrollment above a certain figure."

Sure she did - it's part of Plan B.
Don't we know the official line: student misbehavior is a classroom management problem and a sign of a weak teacher. Principals are supposed to be "instructional leaders," while teachers are supposed to teach and maintain order. That's setting teachers up for failure, so they can be put on 90 day plans.

Anonymous said...

You couldn't pay me $200,000 a year to work under another first year principle and then this NCLB ? Now Rhee and in the inner city ! Data driven ? We don't see Rhee's data yet ! Who's spending what and where in dollars and cents ? Tax payers want to see accountability data on line !

mommilan&jr said...

I past McFarland on Mondays to go to Raymond for Fillmore Arts classes, and every Monday I see kids hanging outside in large groups, smoking, rubbing, etc... and its like 9:30 when we pass...

Mr. Barber is soft spoken, but he is organized...

I dunno otherwise... all these principals are on a short rope tho... just like us...

mommilan&jr said...

excuse me... I meant "pass"

Anonymous said...

I just became aware of this blog. Took a look at the McFarland issue and a comment about more administrators. I know of a Middle School that has a Principal, two former "ousted" principals and an ousted AP and....the school is still running wild with assaults on students and teachers. Intervention must take place with medical, mental health and cognitive scientist's evaluations of the students with a total revamping of retraining the brains of these young people. The plasticity of the brain is vast and can be rewired to engage and learn. Without this, the cycle will continue and prevail.