|September 17, 2012||Ineffective Principals is the real reason our schools are failing...What can I do as a parent?||1 comments|
|September 13, 2012||You be the Judge!||1 comments|
Much has been written or talked about in the news of late about what the classroom teacher is/not doing to educate our children. But very little has been said about the ineffective principals that remain in failing schools year after year with no improvement in test scores. For too long…ineffective principals have been blaming their staff/faculty for their lack of leadership, goals, vision, and failure to improve test scores. The classroom teacher is the most visible person in your child's life at school, but it is the principal who is responsible for providing a high- quality education for all students there.
An ineffective principal is very detrimental to a school’s progress. Instead of leading, many try to bully classroom teachers by threatening to place them on a PDP (Professional Development Plan) or write them up about something that’s frivolous in mature. What is so ironic about being placed on a PDP by an ineffective principal is that they are…many times, are on a PDP also. Teachers don’t respond to this type of maltreatment well because it leads to low morale, high teacher turnovers, transfers, or teachers leaving the profession altogether. And when the school’s environment is dysfunctional…the children suffer, parents suffer, teachers suffer, and community suffers.
How do you know if your child’s principal is providing the kind of leadership that it takes to make a great school? There are seven warning signs parents need to look for when visiting their child’s school.
1. The principal has no overall vision for the school. She doesn't have a sense of what kind of school community she and the staff are trying to establish or what values the whole school should uphold.
2. There is no plan to address academic achievement and the schools' test scores continue to decline. Although principals can't take all the blame for declining test scores, they should have clear goals for school-wide academic improvement that they communicate to staff and students, and ways to measure improvement against the goals. They should include staff and parents in the goal-setting process.
3. The principal spends all her time in her office pushing papers. He/she delegates discipline decisions and dealing with parents to the school secretary. You never see him/her in classrooms, hallways, and lunchroom or on the playground. He/she doesn't know students' names and doesn't interact with them.
4. The principal is seldom there. He/she spends much of his time away from the school in meetings or at conferences.
5. The principal does not return your phone calls. If you have tried to contact her several times and he/she does not respond, you should be concerned. If you do make contact, but he/she doesn't provide you with any possible solution, you have a problem.
6. The principal tells everyone what he or she wants to hear. He/she says "yes" to everyone but doesn't take action.
7. The principal shows favoritism. It is obvious that certain teachers, students or parents have the ear of the principal but others do not.
Parents have the right to contact the principal when there is a concern about their child's academic achievement or discipline within the classroom. But, you should first contact your child's teacher. If you are not satisfied with the teacher's response, you should contact the principal. It is always better to try to work out problems with the teacher first. If you have a concern about a school-wide discipline problem or the school's philosophy, you should contact the principal.
Parents should contact the superintendent if the principal does not return your phone calls or if you are dissatisfied with the response of the principal. If you have concerns about the principal's leadership abilities and you can clearly document those concerns, you should contact the superintendent. If several parents feel the same way, make an appointment as a group to visit the superintendent. There is always greater power in numbers!
In closing, effective principals don't make excuses for why their schools can't succeed. Instead they make it their top priority to figure out how their schools can excel, and do everything they can to make that happen.
Florida A&M University has asked a judge to drop a civil lawsuit, arguing that Robert Champion, who died in a hazing incident, is to blame for his own death. This is by far the most asinine statement I have heard of late. It is not only in poor taste, but lacks sensitivity.
Florida’s State Law defines Hazing as any circumstance in which a party purposely endangers the physical or mental health of a person by pressuring or coercing him/her to violate the law, forcing consumption of food, drugs or alcohol, committing physical abuse or inducing mental stress through sleep deprivation or any activity that compromises dignity.
FAMU attorneys in an attempt to rid themselves of blame stated that Robert Champion should have refused to participate in the hazing, and reported it to police or the university. It comes as the school defends itself from a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Champion's parents. FAMU has asked a judge to drop the civil lawsuit.
However, their request to have the lawsuit dropped will be denied because it is contrary to the Hazing Law of Florida.
Florida’s Hazing law states that it does not permit those accused of hazing to offer certain types of defenses. Examples include the consent of the victim and the fact that the activity was not officially sanctioned by the organization or required as part of entry into the organization. None of these reasons would permit a defendant to seek a lesser charge.
Also Florida’s Hazing Policies requires any educational institution, public or private, where students receive state aid to officially outline an anti-hazing policy that explicitly forbids any activity defined as such. The school must also prepare an official set of regulations and penalties and carry out such penalties. Possible penalties include fines, suspension or dismissal of students and disbandment of offending organizations. These rules apply to both on and off campus hazing activities.
Finally, anyone found guilty of Hazing can face charges of a first degree misdemeanor if he/she intentionally commits any act upon another that poses a risk of physical injury or death. In Florida, a first degree misdemeanor carries a fine up to $1000 and a year in jail. If hazing activities result in serious injury or death, the defendant can face charges of a third degree felony which carries a prison term up to five years and a fine of up to $5000.
FAMU lawyers’ assertion that Robert Champion is somehow responsible for his own death is without merit. The Champions have lost a son to a senseless ritual or so-called right of passage that was accepted by many as Tradition.
In closing, whether Robert Champion agreed to be hazed or not...Hazing is illegal and the school will be found totally liable. Numerous other laws were broken also. To say that one caused their own death when an illegal act is being committed is ludicrous. I can’t say I know how the Champions feel after the loss of a child, but as a parent I feel their pain. No parent should have to bury their child…the child is suppose to bury the parent. I hope and pray that the Champions receive justice and compensation for their loss.