The Other Side Of The Sousa Middle School Story
A total of 50 teachers and staff members left the year that I was there. Jordon terminated 10, but 40 left on their own.To have 50 staff members leave from one school ( Sousa) is unheard of in any district. We complained to the union, and they were helpful but overwhelmed by the sheer volume of complaints. Our union Field Representative was either taking complaints or doing mediation at Sousa at least twice per week in school year 2008-2009. There were at least 45 complaints filed with the WTU and DCPS central office about Jordon. A lot of the staff, including me, worked around the clock to increase the test scores. Prior to Jordon coming to Sousa, we always had a lot less resources and many more students. When Jordon arrived our enrollment was down 60 students. All of our class sizes ranged from 10 to 25 students at most. Also, we did not have any other administrators (i.e., asst. principals) many years before Jordon came. When Jordon arrived, he was given two assistant principals, two coaches, and a dean of students. We only had 230 students with over 56 staff.
Mr. Jordon was very gifted at analyzing data and implementing longer school days. Some teachers even came to work from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily to please him. We were scared as he threatened us with being fired at least three times weekly. In Jordon's (July 6) front page Washington Post article written by Stephanie McCrummen, he wanted to paint a picture of all of the 10 teachers he fired under the 90 day plan as being incompetent. Yet, four teachers retired and six were given their jobs back because many of them had never had a bad evaluation prior to him. Also, Jordon lied and omitted many components from staff evaluations. Based on the 2010 IMPACT preliminary Final Report, these are the ratings of the six teachers who Jordon fired but were reinstated with the help of the WTU: one teacher Minimally Effective, three teachers Effective, and two Highly Effective.
Jordon was very cruel. For instance, one teacher that Jordon did not like had an allergic reaction and needed medical attention. Not only did Mr. Jordon refuse to call the ambulance after the teacher begged him, but he walked down the hall and told the other staff members who witnessed it that they would be in trouble if they gave helped to stabilize the teacher.
Jordon would regularly demean teachers by screaming and yelling at them in the hallways right in front of students as he saw fit. Jordon intimidated many teachers by standing outside of their classroom doors during their lunch periods. Many teachers would go into the bathroom for privacy. It was not uncommon for teachers to be found crying in the halls.
It was very common for most teachers on the 90 day plan to be observed at least three times a day, yes three times a day. Jordon illegally used his Literacy and Math Coaches who both still work at Sousa to officially observe teachers. The teachers had a meeting with the union field representative for Sousa, and the field representative explained to him that the coaches are ET-15's and cannot officially observe teachers.The next day Jordon went to every teacher's classroom that was present in that meeting and wrote them up if they did not have their lesson plans. The Math Coach reported to Jordon all the names of the teachers that were at the meeting. We did not want the coach at our union meeting as she was a snitch; however, the union allowed it because she was also a member of the union. The Literacy and Math Coaches still continued to officially observe teachers until the end of the 2009 school year. All their observations were placed in the teachers 90 day plan file with Jordon's forged signature. Even when asked by teachers, It was seldom that the Literacy and the Math coaches modeled effective instruction.
Jordon was always saying how unprofessional the 2008-2009 staff were; however, he was one of the most immature men that any of us had ever met. Jordon would talk about teachers negatively (without saying their names) in front of their faces almost daily in our morning collaborative meetings. Additionally, he told our students that he was going to get rid of certain teachers, and sure enough those teachers were terminated. Jordon would also bring you into his office, along with his administrative team, to question you if he thought that you talked about him to anyone. Jordon continued to bad mouth many of the former teachers after they left Sousa. Jordon lied on many of our evaluations just so that many people could get bad ratings. He never gave positive references when other administrators called. He even bad mouthed teachers that he did not terminate. However, the few teachers that Jordon liked were given good evaluations and special privileges. For instance, there was a white female teacher that Jordon liked who still works at Sousa. She had no classroom management, was an average Language Arts/Social Studies teacher, but had an Ivy League degree. If a student so much as hiccuped, Jordon would get the student out of her classroom immediately and she never got into trouble. Yet, he would write up other teachers if students misbehaved in their classes. This teacher ended up being on Jordon's administrative/recruitment committee to interview new teachers, and received an Exceeds Expectations rating at the end of 2008-2009.
In contrast, there was an African-American male teacher, who had received many Ward 7 Teacher of the Year awards, had the highest test scores averages in the entire building, and had the best classroom management ever as he dealt with the most behaviorally challenged students at Sousa. He was the best teacher in the building in terms of academic rigor and integrating technology. His students loved him. Jordon even offered to nominate him for Ward 7 teacher of the Year in 2009. However, this male teacher had integrity and continued to still speak and interact with many teachers that Jordon did not prefer. Jordon did not like that he could not control this excellent teacher. Therefore, Jordon got back at this teacher by giving him a lesser rating of Meets Expectations rating at the end of 2008-2009.
Jordon would try to discourage many of the teachers from talking to each other. He would even tell teachers that other teachers had said bad things about them. Yet, he would never identify the teachers in question. Also, Jordon had many very questionable personal relationships with female administrative staff members that we could not prove. Yet, he called himself a role model.
Jordon never rewarded his staff for our hard work except once during the year. Once during Teacher Appreciation Week, he got his Math Coach to bring in 3 dozen stale donuts, which none of us ate. An 8th grade parent felt so bad for all the teachers' that she used her money to cater us lunch from Chick-Fil-A that week. Jordon tried to stop the luncheon. Jordon was reported to the union for not returning the teachers' $400.00 in hospitality dues as he never even sent a card to any sick person in 2009. Also, one teacher had to come out of her pocket and pay $40.00 in cash for a missing textbook in June 2009. None of these monies were ever returned. Yet, he went to "Things Remembered" in Pentagon City and purchased plagues for his two assistant principals, dean of students, and coaches with our hospitality money in 2009. We are still waiting for him to return our money. He blamed it on a former counselor by saying that she was responsible, and took the money when she quit before the school year ended. He also promised us an end of year luncheon but he did not even buy us water in 2009. However, the last week of school in June 2009, he took his administrative staff ( Asst. Principal's and Coaches) to Jasper's Restaurant in Largo, MD using the remaining teacher hospitality funds.
In Closing Candi, Jordon will never mature and teachers will continue to be tormented and ridiculed at Sousa. He has such a high turnover rate that many teachers will never know the full extent of his terror."