Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wasted Effort Sends Another Bad Message in FCPS Transportation

It has taken me longer than anticipated to dig out from under the pile of work that had arrived on my desk recently. I have a backlog of material from April, and blogging continues to be lighter than normal. I have resolved "my Cassidy problem" and will post something on it soon. I hope to be back at full strength after the 8th International Symposium on School Reform (ISER) wraps up at UK in mid June.

But I have no complaint. The work is satisfying, and as I complete one task I can simply move on the the next. I don't have to do specific tasks over and over again. Too bad the Fayette County Schools Transportation Department managers and supervisors couldn't say that last month.

A February audit of district practices--on the academic side--called for more consistency in evaluation. Had the "diagnostic review" looked at operations, it may well have reported the same problem. Sources within Transportation Department leadership tell KSN&C that a meeting was held with managers and supervisors this spring to review the district's evaluation system. The system is based on a 5-point scale. But at that meeting, according to several who were in attendance, Transportation Director John Kiser directed his staff that "nobody should get over a 3." The supervisors and managers dutifully completed the process as they were instructed.

Meanwhile, in other departments, FCPS staff were being evaluated using the full scale of 5 points. Wanna guess what happened next? Transportation folks suddenly wanted to know why they were the only ones marked down on their evaluations. So much for consistency. Kiser had to obtain an extension on the due date, and all managers and supervisors had to complete a rush job of redoing all of the evaluations they had already done according to instructions, to put their ratings back in line.

In the April 17th bulletin, now titled "Training and Safety," (wasn't it formerly called the We Sheet?)  the department explains it this way:
Due to the inflated nature of previous annual evaluations, the district has developed new forms that were designed to more accurately depict grading of individual performance. Unfortunately, the new system caused some people to feel they were being downgraded.
Of course they felt that way because that's exactly what was happening. The new system, with Kiser's instructions, was meant to downgrade employees, but the department finds it unfortunate that transportation employees might notice and care? It's apparently those pesky feelings that are the problem.
Nobody wants to be considered average, and in order to correct the feeling that the grades did not accurately depict actual performance; all supervisors have been instructed to review their evaluations and to consider the 3-4 grades as a single "Component" category with the 3 representing the base level and the 4 representing the high end of the category.
So, if we understand Kiser correctly, either he just learned that nobody wants to be considered average, or he knew it at the time he instructed his supervisors to downgrade his employees. Apparently, the real problem for Kiser is that anyone would have negative feelings about being downgraded. How should an employee with perfect attendance feel about being downgraded to a 3? The strong implication remains that Kiser doesn't think much of the performance of his staff.
Explanation is needed for any grade 5's. An example would be that perfect attendance would be a 5, no more than 5 absences might be a 4, and more than 10 but less than 12 might be a 3. Many evaluation forms will be redone and new signatures will be requested. Any changes will be a higher number. None of the scores will be lowered. Therefore, there won't be a lot of time for discussion. We have a two-week extension on the completion time in order to accomplish the changes.
So shut up and let us get this mess cleaned up. Is it fair to ask how Kiser would feel about his own evaluation? Does he score higher than a 3 in staff relations, and if so, what's the explanation for that?



20 comments:

Anonymous said...

The climate of fear continues to permeate Fayette County Public Schools. Mr. Kiser's presence is proof that those at the top are frightened of the political repercussions of his dismissal. Having been at Central Office, and on the Board for years, I understand that Mr. Kiser has some of the influence at FCPS that Frank Peterson had at UK before he was finally ousted by Governor Combs. Such a sad situation is not part of the agenda of a forward-thinking superintendent.

Anonymous said...

Wow, if something as finite as transportation is this screwed up, wonder what is going on with district instruction and assessment personnel?

Anonymous said...

I can only say this.


I work at Central Office. The following personnel matters: someone has engaged legal counsel after being terminated. She was a member of the Subfinder system and should not hav ebeen dismissed. A special education officer has gone on extended leave and is claiming a hostile work environment in special ed. And the HR director had a DUI and no disciplinary action was taken. It is positively frightening.

Brenda Allen has been in twice that I have seen.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Shelton is a true disappointment. He made a lot of promises of change and transparency and has delivered on none of them. I find it impossible to believe that any attorney would advise Shelton not to investigate Transportation until the pending lawsuit ends. That makes no sense. Who would risk more claims and allow employees to suffer for years more? He is quick to non-renew and fire people for nothing, but the big offenders, his highly paid cronies continue to wreak havoc and make life a living hell for whoever they set their sites on. You supply proof of Kim Webb using a state car to pick up her kid and no firing there! What, is is he still investigating? Are his eyes lying to him? There is no difference between Tom Shelton and Stu Silberman except that Stu Silberman was a bit more savvy and did a better job of covering his tracks--well that, and Stu actually was an educator. I doubt Shelton will make it two years at this rate and I hope The Board of Education shows him the same compassion he has shown his employees......NONE!

Anonymous said...

Ditto to all of the above. FCPS is corrupt .It is right up there with the cornbread maffia!

Anonymous said...

This from Central Office:

The female principal at Lexington Traditional Middle School walked out on the job yesterday. I think the principals are still feeling they are not supported by the new superintendent, Dr. Shelton.

Anonymous said...

I regret that things have improved very little since Dr. Shelton took over. It's not a good atmosphere when you spend five of your instructional days preparing for "the test." I don't know that anything can help the drivers either as long as Kiser is still there.

Anonymous said...

Time to fire Kiser and Dobbs and put Ms. Webb in this position. She is the only person that the employees really TRUST!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I heard faculty were wearing microphones to record the principal at LTMS who was questionable in here ability to perform her job. Today the principal at Bryan Station Middle resigns similar reasons. There is rising hope for the faculty and students at Deep Springs who have suffered the last three years under no leadership.

Anonymous said...

What are the political implications of firing Kiser? I can't think of a single one.

Anonymous said...

Speaking up is so difficult in this school system, provided you are an employee.

I sometimes wonder if Brenda Allen, or any school board members hear us.

Do you think Tom Shelton does? Or Mrs. Parker?

Anonymous said...

Central Office Employee:

Melodee Parker has been under the radar for some time now. She must knows where bodies are buried because imcompetent is a blaring for her but no one is listening.

She definitely is a squeaky wheel that makes the most noise yet they keep putting her at the table to continue to do damage.

She is a bully in six inch heels with no real training. Check her record at Scott County. The proof is in the pudding!

Anonymous said...

if you work for john Kiser and you see him this aug of school year 12-13 on the stage for the yearly enservice ,you will know he's their for life. time will tell very soon if DR shelton is a liar or not for saying he is going to fix transportation . aug will tell .

Anonymous said...

you can't trust kim webb everyone in transportations knows how she went from being a bus driver in 1996 to dt And then routing supervisor and now transportation manager i can tell you it wasn't because she was qualified for any of the jobs only her and john kiser knows why she went through the ranks so quick i'm sure mary wright probably knows about it too

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the devil in six inch heels has ever seen the film "The Devil Wears Prada."

Anonymous said...

I can't figure out if I am reading TOPIX for Lexington or a gas stations bathroom stall. Reminds me of petty middle school gossip. Rather slander people annonymously than actually do something about making conditions better, you are suppose to be serving kids not practicing voodoo for the TV stations and personal attacks. You deserve what you got in my book.

Anonymous said...

in just over two month we will know if the director of tran john kiser will be back. his contract for this school year is up in jun and word has it this might be the last . if you pray now would be a good time to do some .evil only grows when good people do nothing . why do you think a man like kiser has been able to cause so much pain to so many. if he comes back next school year i hope the mob called his employes finely stand up and say enough and go to the school board in a group of mass and tell them end this nightmare called john kiser from doing anymore harm how and if shelton wont get rid of him get rid of shelton .

Anonymous said...

The principal of LTMS did more for the children there in two years than anyone can imagine. Her heart is too large but she doesn't play politics. Every call she made wasn't always popular but they were for the protection of the children at all costs. I teach there and I can say her efforts to integrate the school and move it forward weren't supported. The teachers didn't have the microphones. She recorded all her meetings with everyone's knowledge. It was for people who had to miss the meeting. They could watch it. I personally wonder if it could help protect herself from the harassment too. Richard, you should call her. I do know one reason she left was for her child and the other was for her health.

Anonymous said...

Ditto to the LTMS principal being innovative. As a parent, the first time I felt welcomed in the school is when she became the principal. She transformed the school to welcome all children. There is a force still remaining in the school and in the district that doesn't want the "neighborhood" children in the school. The district wouldn't stand behind her and do something about the mistreatment of our children. She brought the injustice to the forefront and stood up for the community. The community is talking about rising up again. I hope the next principal has her integrity or will be strong enough to face the truth.

Anonymous said...

I understand that M. Parker has been drug through the mud because of the DUI but has anyone looked into Jack Hayes and using district funds to attend conferences with his girlfriend? As someone with a child in the district, I am frustrated with the schools not having funds for resources when district personnel are going on vacations that are disguised as workshops.