Deborah Grill’s SRC testimony – June 16, 2016

Deborah Grill 6-16-16  pic

A review of 30 recent studies on the effect of a teacher’s classroom experience found that as teachers gain experience their students’ academic achievement improves.  This is true well into their second and 3rd decade teaching.

Dr. Hite, when you first came to the district you said that you wanted to attract and keep good teachers.  Since then, your policies, and those of the SRC, have decimated the teaching force, driving out experienced teachers and discouraging new ones—so much so that the District is now trying to recruit 400 applicants to fill the vacancies that these policies have created.  I have seen the recruitment video. It says come to work in a school district where you are valued and respected, where you are supported.  It is just a bait and switch, plain and simple.

Your actions speak much louder than your words.

A district that values and supports teachers would not cancel their contract under questionable circumstances.  It would not deny teachers well-earned raises over the past  3 years.  It would not eliminate step salary increases and increases for graduate degrees.   It would not spend untold amounts of money appealing the lower court rulings on the contract cancellation while teachers are forced to purchase their own teaching supplies and make do without the support staff they need to meet their students needs.

A district that valued  and supported teachers would not strain already over-burdened and under-resourced schools by outsourcing public services to private companies that focus on profits rather than services.

A district that valued and supported teachers would not create instability by requiring teachers to reapply for the jobs they already have, and then stipulate that no more that 50% can be hired back.  You do this every time you decide to transform or redesign an existing school.

A district that valued and supported teachers would not insult their professionalism by engaging the New Teacher Project and The Relay School of Graduate Education, entities run by people who have had little or no teaching experience, to train district teachers and principals.

Your policies and so-called reforms have created so much churn and insecurity within the system that qualified candidates hesitate to apply, and good experienced teachers leave as soon as they can.

At best, your actions exhibit  an incredible cognitive dissonance.  At worse, they exhibit the deliberate destruction of a public school system.

Either way, your actions speak much louder that your words, and make one wonder who is behind the curtain pulling the strings.  Clearly, it is not the community you allegedly serve.