Drifting from central mission
Hiring displays nepotism-like biases
A tough indictment of the Jefferson County Public School District’s central office was handed out today, and it substantiates many Bluegrass Institute concerns.
The Courier-Journal’s “Audit calls for overhaul of JCPS central office” story has more details, but here are some highlights (lowlights?):
• A total of 36 central office jobs need to be eliminated, with 31 new positions established with different job descriptions.
• Administrative recruitment and selection is biased with favoritism toward friends or relatives in JCPS.
• The teachers’ contract with the Jefferson County Teachers Association stands in the way of getting proper staffing into low-performing schools.
• Teacher experience varies dramatically from an average of 20 years in upscale schools to a low of only 5 years in the high-poverty schools. That means many high-poverty teachers are still probationary.
This is what happens when school systems are run as monopolies where parents have no real choices on where their kids will attend school. The bureaucracy builds itself a comfy, cozy nest and forgets, as one of the auditors who created the new report puts it, the “central mission.”
The Bluegrass Institute has pointed out for years that Kentucky has one of the very worst ratios of teachers to other education staff of any state in the nation. It looks like Jefferson County has helped contribute to that undesirable statistic.
It’s time we stopped running our schools as cushy public works projects for adults and start to operate some high quality educational programs for our kids. It’s also time for some of our politicians to look themselves in the mirror and ask how they can continue to kowtow to the teachers union’s ‘adult interests’ while kids continue to be badly left behind.