Thursday, May 7, 2009

Jefferson Parish Public School System

The school board gave the authority to the superintendent to appoint personnel. By statute and Dandridge, the superintendent actually had this power anyway, with the school board vote being, it seems, more or less a formality. At one time, this seemed like a good idea, because we didn't trust the school board to make these decisions thoughtfully. However, it seems now that we can't trust the superintendent to make such decisions either.

I have a problem with appointing a principal to serve a magnet school who has NO principal experience at any type of school. I also have a problem with appointing a principal who has no experience teaching any of the grade levels she will be presiding over. I also have a problem with appointing a principal who has only been certified as such for two months, and who only holds a preliminary certification, contigent upon her receiving additional education. While I think it's wonderful that Mrs. Christy Templet, the newly appointed principal, has glowing recommendations from individuals she has worked with in the past, I could get the same from judges, other attorneys, politicians. That would no more give me the proper qualifications to be the principal of Thomas Jefferson High School than it would give me the proper qualifications to fly a plane or perform heart surgery.

Also, I think our superintendent's motivation is clear when she decides to change the qualifications for a different position, that being Eastbank superintendent, just to keep a particular candidate from having the necessary qualifications. Interesting, Ms. Rousell feels that principal experience is necessary for the assistant superintendent position, but neither principal experience nor teaching experience are prerequisites to being a principal of a relatively new magnet school.

We can discuss political motivation, eastbank/westbank inequality, school board members who sign off on things they haven't bothered to read, until we're blue in the face. The bottom line is, the superintendent apparently has her own agenda, and there is nothing we can do about it. She's hired by the school board. They are keeping her. The best we can do is replace the school board members, and pray that we replace them with individuals who will appoint a superintendent who will make thoughtful considerations in her appointments.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A left! a right!! another right!!! Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!

As a candidate for a job one of the usual prerequisites for being selected, appointed or hired is for the individual to have the capacity to improve, advance and promote the well-being of the company. Given the fact that there are tons of credentials available to assert that an individual is qualified to do this may not always reflect on a persons true potential to do it. Having worked with outstanding individuals with minor educational credentials who were extremely competent and other individuals with outstanding credentials who were idiots, I tend to believe what I see rather than what I read.

Given the flutter of emails that detail the "blow by blow" assessment of Dr. Roussel's appointment of Dr. Templet as Principal of Thomas Jefferson Senior High School it is important that somewhere in them it is made clear how such an appointment will improve, advance and promote the well-being of the Westbank's only Magnet high school. This is certainly necessary due to the fact that there may be students who will have no other option but to attend this school due to the "geographic segregation" imposed on them by the school board's attorneys. It is because of this segregation that this is so important of an issue. There would be nothing personal against Dr. Roussel or Mr. Morgan or any official that would give clear evidence for actions taken to reveal the benefits of this or any decision affecting the public and in particular our children. This is as important if not more important to the well being of our system as the well promoted and communicated "swine flu" infection. No, there is no "organization" representing the parents and students of Jefferson Parish. That I believe is the school board's job. We expect greater clarity in communication on this issue at the JP School Board meeting Wednesday May 6th at the Bonnabel High School at 3 pm. I'll be there!