I just wrote about how the Christina School District is not backing up their promise to restore librarians cut last year. But the district seems to have $200,000 to spare for a new assessment suite. Last night, the Christina Board of Education approved a contract with Curriculum Associates for new district assessments to replace two other district assessments. The contract would give the vendor $200,000, of which $181,200 would come out of local funds. Local funds are what the district gets from the taxpayers. Call me crazy, but I don’t remember seeing a new assessment package as part of the referendum promises. In fact, the state has been actively pursuing an agenda where districts have less assessments (although the one assessment that needs to go, the Smarter Balanced Assessment, wasn’t even considered by the Delaware assessment inventory committee). My question would be how valid are these new assessments compared to the two ones they are replacing, DIBELS and Amplify. While I am certainly not a fan of either DIBELS or Amplify, I don’t see too many other districts using this I-Ready made by Curriculum Associates, designed to make kids better at Common Core.
I have to say shame on you Robert Andrzejewski twice in one day. What is this guy thinking? He needs to go! Paving the Way to a New Christina? Hardly. Paving the Way to a revolt by taxpayers is more like it. So let me get this straight. They lie about rehiring librarians but they bring in new, untried testing? And the board approved this crap?
See the board action item in all its glory:
Last night at the Christina Board of Education meeting, it was announced the district would not rehire librarians laid off after the two failed referenda attempts last year. The district passed the third referendum attempt on March 23rd, and one of the promises made was the district would restore positions cut as a result of the budget cuts last year. Included in that was school librarians. While there is no specific mention of librarian positions on the actual Christina website, it does appear on the CSD Paving the Way website which was run by the steering committee for the referendum.
Even the Newark Post had an article in February where Glasgow High School principal Dean Ivory quoted:
Glasgow was one of many secondary schools that lost their librarians and though classroom teachers can still sign up to take their classes to the library, it’s not the same, Ivory said. A teacher in the school’s PATH program, whose class meets in the library, has taken on the extra responsibility of coordinating these class sign-ups, he added. If this year’s referendum does pass and schools can start adding staff again, Ivory said the librarian is one of the first positions he’d bring back. “That was a very painful cut,” he said. “But if it comes down to it, do you want to lose a math teacher or a librarian?”
So much for keeping their word! So where will the funds promised to librarians go to now? I gave First State Liberty a very hard time for how they handled the last referendum. But it looks like I should have been putting some pressure on the district as well. This news is very disappointing to say the least. What purpose does it serve to betray not only the librarians that were cut last year, but also the taxpayers in your district? This is why the referendum process needs to go. It has become like a Presidential election: all sorts of campaign promises that never happen. Social media comments regarding this broken promise are not being kind to the district. Shame on Superintendent Robert Andrzejewski for making promises he had no intention of keeping.
The district has already been under the microscope for immediately hiring outside vendors immediately following the referendum, including Demosophia which is helping the district to create a Strategic Plan in regards to their behavior and climate. Some felt hiring a former Title I administrator from the district as an outside consultant was a bit too much.