Patrick Germond: Accountability needed
February 1, 2013
To the editor:
Denver's Channel Nine News recently did a story about the schools in Colorado in which they compiled information about the school districts across the state, including Moffat County, giving each school a letter grade. Moffat County High School received a "D+", and Sunset Elementary an "F" in the area of academic growth (coloradoschoolgrades.com, click the report card link for each school). This story coming on the heels of Moffat County School District scoring in the bottom one percent statewide last year.
This level of epic failure from an organization is caused by systemic management collapse and inferior leadership.
Speaking with Sandy Johns the Moffat County School Board President recently, she stated that, "this is just a phase our schools are going through".
I didn't realize that school systems could go through a phase, but if this is the case, it is a phase that has lasted for several years. To put it in psychological terms comparing Moffat County Schools to a bipolar disorder, they would be diagnosed as catatonic.
Attending a recent school board meeting and hearing some of the proposals presented to the school board, I was astounded by one particularly "stellar" idea put forth for consideration. The plan is to restrict all high school students that have an "F" from any school functions, like dances or games.
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Let me clarify, I'm not talking about restrictions on playing sports. I'm talking about excommunicating kids with bad grades from wholesome supervised social activities taking place at the high school.
This proposal proves that school officials have forgotten about underage drinking and how much we would appreciate them using the tax dollars they are provided to create a positive social environment for our community's children.
In my opinion, there are a higher number of high school students that have family problems than many of us had when we were growing up. In society today a lot more single parents and grandparents are struggling to fill the shoes of a traditional family. A nice sporting event can give the family, in whatever form, a chance to be together.
The most comical thing about this proposal is, if participation in activities were based on grades, no one from the school district would be allowed to attend any of these activities.
Moffat County has very good teachers employed to instruct our children. The problem does not lie solely with the teachers or the teachers union.
I assumed four years ago that the teachers were failing our students. When I was asked to be a volunteer in the classrooms, I accepted.
During the time I spent in the different classrooms, I realized that the teachers are amazing. Sure a few could be replaced, but as a whole the teachers are not the problem.
Responsibility for our failing schools rests squarely on the leadership at the top. This isn't a complex esoteric argument that Rhodes scholars need to decipher to us lowly masses. The children of Moffat County have lost years of their educational lives to sub-quality education and have been left behind, with no one being held accountable.
I would like to give the people of Moffat County, and the school board members some advice when it comes to Moffat County School District administration, "When somebody does not do the job, we got to let them go" (Clint Eastwood).
Patrick Wayne Germond
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