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 August 23, 1998

   The evening of August 19th found the Board of Education and the Superintendent of Schools discussing the goals and objectives of our school district for the coming academic year.   It was all-together usual form them to to be doing that.  For years boards of education have done the same, spinning glaring generalities that are doomed to be accomplished.  Has anyone ever heard a report by a president of the Board or Superintendent concerning itself with how we failed to accomplish one of our goals and objectives? Thus, year upon year goals spring from the educational ether, to waft over the school community for a while only to slip quietly back into the vastness of intellectual space from which they too often come.  All of the usual stuff was at this year's workshop.  We need to improve communication.  We must better align the curriculum to state requirements.  Continue incorporating technology into the curriculum.  They were all there, and they will probably be adopted by the Board of Education at their meeting of August 24, 1998. In them, however, was not a single word about how we might concretely improve our district and avoid some of the very difficult problems that have plagued us in recent times.

    Last year, for example, the process for evaluating staff was called into serious question.  Teachers of unblemished records were recommended for termination, two were eventually fired, all of this coming about with more than a hint of foul play by powerful forces in the district.   Does anyone seriously believe that a staff is capable of its best work in an environment that makes them subject to removal without just cause?  Yet, nowhere in the goals and objectives for the coming school year do we find any desire to investigate how this all happened and what we might do to prevent it in the future.  Nowhere do we find even a hint of the very poor job we have done in recent times of training new staff and supporting their efforts to succeed in their new positions.  After all the wrenching difficulties of last year, might we not have expected to find that we were going to dedicate ourselves rethinking what we have been through?  We might have expected it, but it appears, sadly, that this will not happen.  Addressing this problem would require candor and action, two items in short supply these days.  

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