GPS Assistant Superintendent Has Lost All Respect for Teachers

Actually, the headline is that Assistant Superintendent Clyde Dangerfield, Esquire, specifically referring to National Board Certified Teachers, thinks they pushed some papers and got themselves a dubious award equivalent to the financial reporting self-congratulating awards Good Old Clyde has received in the past (when it looked like he had to be bailed out of trouble  … again).

We posted before about how Gilbert Public Schools disrespects National Board Certified Teachers. Now you can hear it from the horse’s … mouth. With no further ado, let’s cut to a video of exactly what we have described, Good Old Clyde Dangerfield testifying under oath about how he loathes NBCTs:

Because I’ve come to learn that national board certification is just people that go through the process and know how to fill out the forms and do the documentation. There’s no — nothing in that distinction that shows that there is student achievement involved. You go through the procedures and the process of getting that stamp of approval, but it doesn’t, anyway — I personally lost all my respect for that designation.

Gilbert Public Schools has been bragging for several years that the district has the most National Board Certified Teachers in the entire state.  At one time, GPS actually encouraged teachers to achieve this high-level recognition. Now there are 105 NBCTs in GPS, but the numbers are off. Good Old Korry Brenner, who fled to Chandler, and Double-Dipper Debbie Singleton, both principals, are carried on the roll, along with some of the teachers who have already announced their resignation from GPS and others who are no longer teaching in GPS.

Gilbert NBCTs have seen their stipends reduced for working toward NBCT recognition, and the stipends awarded to NBCTs have been cut in recent years. That’s because GPS admins really don’t like NBCTs, as we have discussed in the past. For example, Jason Martin, Principal of Highland Park Elementary testified he didn’t know if he had any NBCTs at his school. Vicki Hester, now Principal of Meridian Elementary School and soon to be Principal of Salk Elementary School in Mesa really, really doesn’t like NBCTs, although there are plenty of NBCTs in her old school.

• It does not mean you are above needing help in areas or that you are an outstanding teacher
• The credential is obtained by providing artifacts of teaching; not of direct observation of their teaching on a daily basis
• There is no input from the Principal; they do not look at teacher evaluations or discipline.

It appears that administrators in Gilbert Public Schools who have a bare minimum of teaching and administrative experience feel most threatened by teachers who aspire to professional excellence in teaching. That’s really too bad, because the community has bought into what GPS used to be selling insofar as NBCTs, shown by the Gilbert Mayor’s Award to GPS earlier this year:

While we recognize all Gilbert educators, this year’s Mayoral Award goes to the organization that laid the foundation for Gilbert to be known as a community of education excellence — Gilbert Public Schools. In the past 12 months, GPS has had many accomplishments, including a 90 percent-plus graduation rate, the highest number of national board-certified teachers

Yeah, it’s embarrassing that GPS administrators disrespect teacher-leaders. It’s probably because GPS GOB administrators are afraid their own inadequacies will be on display in interactions with NBCTs on their staffs. As Martha Stewart would say, “That’s a good thing.” Inadequate administrators are not good for students, schools, teachers, support staff, parents or taxpayers. To the NBCTs who have spoken out at Governing Board meetings: it’s the superintendency that’s your nemesis.

GPS has a track record of promoting Good Old Boys by systemic Gut Check Management.BS We won’t let that stop the Greek chorus about how the best and brightest employees are leaving GPS in droves. Oh no, it’s far better for the GOB acolytes to attract negative attention as they try to save GPS from what the voters demanded in terms of accountability and consequences for the Good Old Boys who broke the district. In 2012, Good Old Dave Allison laid the consequences of the defeat solely on GPS employees with heart-rending crocodile tears:

“Why did the override fail? The reasons were somewhat varied and complicated. That is, for the first time a district vote asking for funds faced a well-organized and an effective opposition. Many anti-override signs, some of which provided very negative messages, were placed strategically throughout the district…

Therefore, because the override failed, the first item that will be cut from the 2013-2014 budget will be the stipend to all employees, which amounts to $3.74 million. It is unfortunate this will occur as all employees deserve to keep this raise because of their hard work.”

Then in 2013, Interim Superintendent Jack Keegan managed to lose again with the taxpaying public that didn’t trust him, after seeing him becoming one of the Good Old Boys himself. To top that discrediting perception, his staff and his acolytes worked against the very override he said he wanted to pass.

The 2013 override failed, and the screaming meemies who so loudly demanded GPS go hat-in-hand to voters AGAIN were furtively working behind the scenes to undermine the vote.  Ah, the revenge of former school board members who got themselves unelected and their acolytes…  Their attempts to set up campaign issues for the next election are pretty transparent, but perhaps the same set-ups will be thrown out in campaigns to recall board members this year.  All this, of course, depletes funds available to the district to…wait for it…EDUCATE students in Gilbert Public Schools.

Believe it or not, the Arizona Education Association was doing some heavy lifting for GPS and their vaunted NBCTs back in December 2012. From AEA employee Lisa Guzman, who is a GPS parent and a member of the defunct The Truth In Gilbert group:

AEA is the Arizona Education Association. It represents teachers and support staff. It is also known as ” the teacher’s union” but in Arizona we are the professional association for educators. We are affiliated with the Gilbert Education Association and the National Education Association. My specific job is in Quality Teaching and Learning. I am also a lobbyist at the state level. I was assigned Gilbert Education Association specifically because they have the highest number of National Board Certified educators.

… Did I mention Gilbert has the most National Board Certified educators in Arizona?

 Gilbert Public Schools has a black hole where a functioning public relations staff should be (or community relations, if you prefer that designation). That’s too bad. Back when new NBCTs were announced in 2013, GPS was operating in radio-silence mode.  Of course, since the administration’s disdain for NBCTs has become well known, GPS didn’t have any new NBCTs for 2013. Cause, meet effect.

We posted some time back that GPS could expect an exodus, seeing as how rotten NBCTs have been treated. We were wrong, as it turns out. The exodus is from the ranks of the Good Old Boys who ran GPS into the ground. Dr. Kishimoto has a big job ahead, replacing GOBs with credentialed, experienced public servants who value public education more than their own wallets and zippers.

What are the odds of another tax override on the ballot in November 2014? More to the point: what are the odds such an override would pass this time?

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