Wow! I would have assumed the press release from the Delaware Department of Education about the town hall meetings scheduled for the first three Wednesdays in November would have gone out to anyone with an email that ends in k12.de.us. Apparently this was NOT the case, and many teachers are very fired up. Mike Matthews, the President of the Red Clay Educators Association, shot an email to Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy tonight about this very topic. Mike posted the email in the comments on my article from earlier today about these meetings, but I felt it deserved a post all its own. It highlights the severe frustration teachers are having with the DOE.
It’s a very terrifying thought that my little blog is becoming a traditional news media outlet Mr. Matthews! I wish the DOE would be more forthcoming with news like this as well.
I received word of a planned series of three public meetings regarding school accountability tonight. I did not receive word via an email or any traditional news media outlet. I read about it on the Exceptional Delaware blog (link at end of email.) I have concerns that these meetings 1) Are announced just a week before the first meeting, 2) Were not more widely broadcast, at the very least to the nearly 12,000 educators, administrators and key stakeholders on the State email server, and 3) Are being held on two evenings when other key education meetings are being held, namely the compensation work group on November 5 and the IEP Task Force and Wilmington Council meeting on Priority Schools on November 12.
In my District, our teachers are having a tough time understanding the rationale behind much of what DoE has been doing these past few years. It’s moves like this that make it seem like DoE is truly not interested in being a collaborative partner with the individuals in our schools working with our students every day. I’m disappointed that whoever does the scheduling at DoE didn’t notice the “double-booking” on these days and attempt to find an alternate date.
As president of a local association representing more than 1200 teachers, I’m asking you and your department to PLEASE TRY HARDER. These meetings should not be scheduled on dates when other department/education events are being held.
I have members emailing me and coming up to me all the time saying “Why doesn’t DoE ‘get it?’” I’m afraid it’s business like this that has continued to sour teachers on the work the Department does, no matter how critical that work is.
I will be sharing the press release from the blog with my 1200 members. I will also urge them to complete the survey. I provide to my membership my interpretation and opinion of one of the questions on the survey asking for feedback on how schools should be identified. I call this the “Stoplight question.” I will urge them to copy me on the free-form comments they submit. I want to make sure the Department includes all answers from the survey in any reports made public at these meetings.
In the future, I would respectfully ask that you please consider never double-booking meetings on nights when something is already planned. As someone interested in both meetings on November 5, I don’t believe this is a choice I or my interested members should have to make.