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Logic and Emotion


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An Equalizer 9th anniversary special.

If you look at the election between Clinton and Trump, very few people are going to vote based on numbers.  People aren't going to compare these candidates the way you might shopping lists at Kroger Vs. Meijer.   Voting is an emotional endeavor that really, at the end of the day, allows someone to express their deepest thoughts about a particular candidate or a subject.

This week, you saw raw emotion bubble up in the form of resignation of the Orchestra Director.  To be clear, I thought that what he did was unprofessional.  You don't break a teacher contract.  It is actually a violation of ORC 3319.15 to do so without the consent of the board.  No doubt that this consent is going to be granted now as his continued presence is going to be a sideshow for as long as he remains with the district.  For as much as F M-T contributed to the district, no teacher has the right to create such chaos.  During my time at WW, (as a Union Rep.) I counseled a number of teachers that sought to do the same thing.  They stayed until the end of the year, resigned, and moved on. 

That being said, I think a fundamental question should be asked and it is similar to the type of question that the Winton Woods administration liked to ask teachers when a student wouldn't comply with a teacher. 

"What are you doing to cause them to disrespect you?"

Winton Woods administration has no problem holding teachers accountable. The Winton Woods voter has a difficult time holding the administration accountable for results.  Even as people rail about performance, people are quick to defend the leadership?  Why?  You'd fire a teacher after one year.. but assume the high command is doing a great job because they tell you that?    Oh,now the Orchestra Director quits and it's WHY?  WHY? 

A fundamental question that should be asked is this.  What kind of circumstances leads a popular Orchestra teacher to commit such an act that, really, is a form of professional malpractice... you don't openly trash your employer.  I don't care how much you hate them. 

I have defended the new school buildings on here and the levies before that.  At the end of the day, people vote emotionally.   They see the attitudinal and leadership rot from within as being a far more serious problem than the obvious brick and mortar issues within.  I'm sorry.  How desperate are things when your board president decides that THIS is the time to run for another office?   How desperate is it when your administration allows a fairly junior member of the faculty to pull a stunt like that? 

"Why can't the people see the need for new school construction"

The voter believes  that the district's leadership holds them in contempt and, as such, will not trust them with any more money.   You can run a million spreadsheets and show how things are a "no brainer".. but letting the whole place crash down around them is..like it or not.. an option as well. I hate to say that.  Your Chinese exchange students don't vote on this levy.  Your "open enrollment" students don't vote on this levy.  The parents of students who saw their favorite teachers leave will vote on it.  The Sims family (who are suing the district) will be voting on it (probably 3 nos right there).  And trust me when I tell you, the recent alumni are not happy either.  They know exactly what has been going on.  Before they removed the comments on facebook, they were weighing in on the Morales letter. Trust me on that.  Don't count on them rallying behind the cause either.

People will vote emotionally on this one.  They aren't going to be impressed that GH can generate enough money to hire another patrol officer or two. 

People also voted emotionally when they built those new schools in Princeton, Mt. H, NCH, Fairfield, West Chester, Mason, CPS.  They voted YES because the people that ran that school loved them and they loved the school back.  No, not perfect.. but there was some degree of love.

Winton Woods administration views their teachers as widgets... as dispensable as any other commodity.  Morales sort of told you that, didn't he?  Why is anyone shocked that the community views their vision through the same lens?   Spare me the talk about "the children".  It doesn't wash.  If it did, there would be SOME focus on retaining a few people instead of treating them as if they were a bunch of thugs.

I'm sorry.  Until the administration changes or some serious oversight is brought to bear by the board, you will never improve.   Even after you normalize race and Special Ed. (WWWarriors' data).. WW is still 8th out of 12.  Just above Mt. H, North College Hill and Lockland.   Wow.  

Edited by equalizer

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Posted · Report post

EQ,

I agree it was very unprofessional.  I don't believe he ever intended to resign.  He is allegedly now trying to back track.

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He's not trying to keep his job.  He already has plans elsewhere, and some of the students and parents tried to talk him into staying but he said his mind was made up.  It's a great loss for the district.

Luckily, we still have Dani Ashbrook leading the band department - she is fabulous, and has a long history with the district.  She has worked selflessly for the students for years, and too often gets overlooked.  Let's show her and the other great teachers at Winton Woods how much they mean to us, rather than waiting until they leave to express our gratitude.

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I am a big fan of Dani.  Agree completely.   Dani is probably not going anywhere, but I think we have said that about a long list of people that.. all of a sudden.. found better opportunities.  I'd also throw in Joe Whatley, Matt Buhl, Carol Becci-Youngs.  Great people that I respect.

But again, Winton Woods is much more than AGS and a music program.  

I am simply making the case that people have GOT to pay attention to the "human resources" side of the equation at Winton Woods.  No, I am not saying you have to cater to the whims of every teacher you have working for you.. but you can't foster this notion that your teaching staff is corrupt and in need of some kind of intense remediation.   Believe me, this is the recent mindset.  

You need to give the same scrutiny to Mr Smith, Mrs. Wilson, Dr. Holden, Mrs. D'Arcy (who is retiring.. her replacement I guess), Mr. E. Martin,  Doug Sanker, etc. that THEY would pay to anybody in their organization.   Splitting the HR and "legal affairs" role of  CW, Esq.  might be something worth considering even if it costs the district some money.  It might be a good idea to bring in somebody that isn't tied to Taft HS for that role.  Give them some authority and freedom to really make the place great.

It doesn't matter whether or not you "like" them or not.  It has to do with whether or not their "culture" is setting the stage for long term success.   Personally, I think that they believed that they could just operate however they wanted to operate knowing that most teachers would just "go quietly" for fear of burning bridges.  Obviously, that isn't how Mr. M-T went out, right?  Don't allow it to repeat.  That's a burden on the district.

Again, even after you normalize for race and IEP status, Winton Woods is still in the bottom tier.. and that disappoints me as someone that spent a lot of time there.

The district should aspire to be better than St. Bernard-Elmwood Place.   Gosh knows a lot of people are working hard enough to make WW a destination school.  It is time that they get he leadership worthy of their effort.   Morales' letter (unprofessional though it may have been) clearly shows they have a long way to go.

Edited by equalizer

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Posted · Report post

Personally, I think that they believed that they could just operate however they wanted to operate knowing that most teachers would just "go quietly" for fear of burning bridges.

Like you?

EQ you're two different people.  Personality: #1 (while at WWCSD pro-establishment) and Personaility #2 (post WWCSD anti-establishment).  Personality #1 helped perpetuate this mess. You along with many others gave them (administration and the board) the power..  You need to own that!

I have no idea who this director is, but if his resignation sheds some light on what people have been saying for the past 20 years, and brings a "crumb of accountability" to the district leadership -- then good for him!    

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So many teachers are afraid to speak up at Winton Woods for fear of retaliation from the administration.  (They don't fear the board as much, simply because their view of the board is that board members have relinquished their power to the administration and stay uninvolved for fear of appearing to "micromanage" the administration, so therefore they have no real power.)  And some of the administration falsely tells the parents (and the board) that all the teachers support them 100% and that everything is looking great now that they've gotten rid of the bad teachers who weren't getting with the program the way that they should have. 

I don't know if the administrators who say those things believe that themselves, or if it's just a line for the parents, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were out-of-touch enough to actually believe the teachers are all happy there, since the teachers don't have the guts to speak up and instead are grumbling to the parents and each other behind the administration's back.  So while I feel bad for the teachers, I kind of agree with Christine that the teachers can't play victim and complain about the administration when they are choosing to not let their true feelings be known, and their refusal to take action is giving the administration the power to continue along the same trajectory without even considering changes. 

Yes, I know it may jeopardize their career to speak up, and I don't take that lightly - but it is jeopardizing something much bigger by remaining sullenly silent, and living a lie to preserve one's self-interest is not the moral thing to do.

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Don't speak up -- but don't pretend or lie either!

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