Monday, May 13, 2013

Fayette County Superintendent Plans Changes After LEX 18 Investigation

This from WLEX:
Less than a week after LEX 18's investigation into the conduct and activities by school administrators in Fayette County's Department of Special Ed, Superintendent Dr. Tom Shelton, back from a recent educational trip to Australia, talked specifics about a new code of ethics for administrators.

Our stories highlighting some of the behavior during those "professional development trips" have created quite a buzz around the district, and it's not the kind of perception the superintendent wants. In our investigation, we learned special ed personnel got special perks. Facebook postings and pictures called into question the actions by some special ed administrators and staff. As a result, the superintendent is making it a priority to establish a specific code of ethics for administrators so there's no question about what's acceptable behavior.

"We don't want to see these types of email exchanges, social media usage," said Dr. Shelton. "This type of behavior with people missing conferences or doing other types of inappropriate behavior."
Since our story, some viewers, taxpayers, question the benefit of these out of state conferences. Many wonder whether the training and information is making its way back to the classroom.

In the future, Dr. Shelton says he wants employees required to submit reasons in writing why they need to attend a conference, then show proof of their attendance. "Here's how that work affects my and my job," said Dr. Shelton of the new guidelines. "How the info will be used in my job, and how i will pass along the knowledge to begin with."
And after a trip, Shelton plans to require a written plan for how the information is shared with staff.
As for the superintendent's own travel for conferences, he just returned from Australia for the state commissioner of education for a global educational leadership program, paid by the Gates Foundation. Administrators from a dozen countries attended to share teaching and training ideas.


Anonymous said...

But why will Dr. Shelton not ask for Kathy Dykes' resignation? A teacher would have been placed on leave almost immediately.

Richard, I have a crisis of confidence in Fayette County Schools.

How can they allow to Dykes to continue in her capacity? Look at what they did to Rosalind Hurley-Richards. How much did the school district pay the Chenowith Law Firm to try keep her from getting her income?

I feel the Board of Education has failed us once again. It is so frustrating when you feel nobody will listen to your concern.

And now the district is engagaing in a covert attempt to attack Mike Muncy for making this public.

Anonymous said...

How ironic that this superintendent and our state commissioner are in Australia on the Gates foundation dime when this happens. I really don't see how sending people half way around the world to a different continent is going to help kids in Kentucky. Commish has been doing this for 4-5 years now and I haven't heard of anything he has brought back that has done anything to help kids.

Its not just about who pays but also the purpose and perseption. Does it sound right that in the midst of our trumpeted KPREP state testing that our leaders would be in Australia. We don't need money going to leaders taking transcontiental trips regardless of who pays. How much did we pay for those end of course electronic end of course exams that were so important that they were suppose to count 20% of a student's course grade? Commish is off in Austrailia while we get late pencil/paper tests that won't be scored in time to count toward kids grades. So does the state get any money back on that failed promise. To me, the perception is some higher up educational leaders in this state are not much different than their political conterparts - taking benefits from private vendors who want our tax dollars based on big promises that don't hold true.

Anonymous said...

I just want to ask Dr. Shelton one thing. How is it justified to provide financial help to these administrators that make 2-3 times the salary of a regular teacher, who is actually "in the classroom". I attend my in state conference every year with my own money, I have only asked for finacial help to cover the cost of a sub for my class. Every year I'm told there is "no money" so I use my own time.

Wendy W.-M. said...

Hard to believe that Fayette County Public Schools is just NOW developing a Code of Ethics for administrators. REALLY? So now we're protected in the future, but what about what happened in the past? How will that be rectified? The superintendent looks weak as a people manager in the way he handled the employees who misbehaved.

Anonymous said...

mike muncy is AWESOME. if he says that this happened then it happened. EVERYONE ELSE ARE THIEVES WITH NO SCRUPLES. I HATED WHEN HE LEFT.

Anonymous said...

I loved the subtitle "New Code of Ethics for Administrators" New code? Did they ever have one?

Anonymous said...

Lost Trust, and a school board that doesn't seem to listen....

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Day,

How do you account for the fact that the Herald Leader has given no coverage to this story? Does it not simply prove that the H-L has an agreement with Dr. Shelton and the Board not to print negative things about the school district.

Your insight is appreciated, but I have never understtod this "conspiracy of silence." And I don't think this is hyperbole.


A loyal reader

Anonymous said...

There is no code of ethics for about 20% of Fayette County Public Schools certified or classified staff. They are out to do as little as possible for a paycheck. And hey if they can cheat the system by actually clocking in and leaving and coming back to clock out and collect wages for a full days work life is good. Or if you are in good with certain directors you can sit around all day and shoot the #$%& with several other of the favorite people and collect a paycheck while others do your work for you. And how about this one, use Fayette County Schools supplies and equipment to run a side business...ahh nothing like pure profit and a pay check! The list just goes on and on. The sad fact here is that this is not a well kept secret. A lot of people know about all this and more and they do nothing to correct these issues.

Richard Day said...

I was chatting with another FCPS old timer (Alan Siegel) recently and we both recall a time when FCPS had exactly the kind of controls the superintendent is contemplating. We do not recall when they were taken away.

Having said that, as a practical matter, guidelines that require conference attendees to hold workshops on what they have learned doesn't make a lot of sense. Teachers are already burdened with PD requirements that are central to what they do. Requiring them to attend a chat from Kathy Dykes on trending special ed law would keep teachers from higher priorities. The district needs some people to be well-informed on certain topics, but not everyone.

We also had limits (10 days as I recall) on the number of days an employee could be out of the district. Most of the Sp Ed administrators are well over that.

As for the Herald-Leader...I don't know. I thought they might [pick this story up, but alas....

Anonymous said...

Dear Richard,

Thanks for your comments. As always, this teacher looks to you for leadership since we have none in our district. The saddest thing is that FCPS administrators can get away with almost anything, it seems, but teachers and classified staff cannot. Not that I would want to. I know that I'm a public servant.

You would think the Board of Education would want to investigate. You'd think the H-L would see some merit in publishing a story here. I have absolutely no faith in Dr. Tom Shelton. While he is no educator, he can't seem to behave like a businessman and terminate Mrs. Dykes. I have no faith in Central Office.


Anonymous said...

There are a lot of potential whistle blowers employed by FCPS. However, most need to be able to provide for their families and cannot put their job at risk. The complaint/grievance process is stacked against the employee-the process always ends at the Superintendent level.....and we've all seen how that works! He will cover for the administrators and himself. Richard, any suggestions on how employees can blow the whistle without losing their jobs??

angela southern said...

WOW..I can tell you why The Herald-Leader does not print "negative" stories on FCPS..they are PAID no to! Research that! This goes "DEEPER" than Kathy Dykes, check the STATE DEPARTMENT and TERRY HOLIDAY. FCPS STOLE our tax dollars and STIMULUS money and what are they doing about it? NOTHING! ALL should be FIRED including TOM SHELTON, who is not even qualified to be superintendent. Ask yourselves how did TOM SHELTON get this position? Check his resume and past history. You will be shocked! If anyone else had stole tax payers money they would be fired ASAP...I think it's time to "clean house" so to speak. Stealing from disabled kids...SHAME ON YOU FCPS and SHAME on TOM SHELTON for doing nothing..again! And by the way. I AM the ONE that broke this story NOT Mike Muncy! Get the facts right!! I gave the evidence to Leigh Searcy..NOT Mike Muncy..just to set the record straight. I did it and I am not stopping here. Angela