Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Better the Devil You Know?

As recently as 2009, a survey of JCTA members pointed toward trouble for recently non-renewed Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Sheldon Berman.

57.1% either disagreed or strongly disagreed that they were satisfied with Berman's administration of the schools. 60% disagreed or strongly disagree that Berman exhibited effective leadership that fully supports teachers. 76.2% agreed or strongly agreed that they felt safe in their school. 59.9% disagreed or strongly disagreed that Berman involved classroom teachers in a collaborative decision making process.

So it has been somewhat surprising to find the JCTA leadership apparently lining up behind the superintendent.

It also seems it won't matter.

This from C-J:
Sheldon Berman supporters say
they will seek new JCPS school board
vote to keep him

With the teachers union and NAACP lining up behind him, supporters of ousted Jefferson County Superintendent Sheldon Berman say they will push for a new school board vote next month to keep him.

Board of education member Linda Duncan said Tuesday she will formally ask the school board at its Feb. 14 meeting to reconsider its decision to replace Berman, whose contract expires on June 30.

Duncan, a Berman supporter who was on the losing end of the 5-2 vote last November that ended his tenure, said she wanted to give Berman's supporters
time to make their case to retain him — which would require at least two board members to change their mind.

“I wanted a little bit more time for input from the community, before we close this and say, ‘That's it,'” she said.

Members of the Jefferson County Teachers Association and the Louisville branch of the NAACP both said they plan to use that time to lobby board members to retain Berman, who they say has been a staunch advocate for integrated schools and has instituted education reforms.

But board members who voted against Berman, including Debbie Wesslund, Diane Porter, Joe Hardesty and Carol Ann Haddad, said Tuesday they remain committed to finding a new superintendent....


Anonymous said...

Richard: I wonder if the teacher's association in Fayette County would survey it's membership or teachers at large with a similar survey regading satisfaction with the
Fayette County superintendent? Fat chance, but woudln't that be interesting? Mr. Silberman is big on having "school culture and climate" assessment's done at schools, yet he wouldn't dare allow the same for himself as the district's instructional leader or even at the Central Office as the "leader of the building." I have never seen morale at such an all time low. Interesting thought, huh?

Anonymous said...

Why would a superintendent that has been non-renewed by a majority of board members want to stay? According to your figures from the 2009 JCTA members survey, a majority of those folks weren't pleased either. Doesn't that seem odd to anyone else?

Richard Day said...

January 26, 2011 11:51 PM: I was chatting with a board member recently who made an unsolicited remark of surprise about the depths to which morale seems to have sunk. That member's read, is that it's bad in the schools; worse still downtown.

January 27, 2011 2:06 PM: The JCTA switch surprised me, but then Berman only has to sway a dozen or so influential JCTA people to get the support of the whole organization. I doubt the JCTA leadership risked asking the rank and file what their thoughts were.

Your other question is intriguing too. What, or who, is in Louisville that Berman might not want to leave?

Anonymous said...

"Your other question is intriguing too. What, or who, is in Louisville that Berman might not want to leave?"

Just one thought that I also considered.