One Bad Apple Might Spoil Madera Schools Success Print
News - Opinion
Written by B|V|N Newsroom   
Saturday, 02 April 2011 18:56

Another Exclusive Big Valley News Editorial

Madera
- Madera Unified’s John Adams Elementary School is being led by a "lame duck" principal who was recently reassigned back to the classroom by the school district. Under his leadership the multiple award winning “California Distinguished School” failed to meet its federal goals last year for the first time. One more failure and the school that was once the “Golden Apple” of the district with the highest test scores, will fall into Program Improvement (PI) status and be on probation.

 

As a parent at John Adams I have seen several problems over the last three years that I haven’t seen with any other administration. Bullying is going unchecked at that school. The school held an anti-bullying assembly but offered no follow up or gave victims of bullying any relief or tools to handle it. I wrote an editorial last year about this principal's actions when my ex-wife and I reported that my daughter was the victim of a school bully.

Last year under this principal’s leadership, end of year celebrations began almost two and a half weeks before the end of the school year. The parent club brought in waterslides and blow up games when students should have been in the classroom learning. Because testing was over, no one thought there was any problem with it. While I have no problem with celebrations and fun time the last week of school, I hope this year after testing our children are still being taught reading, writing and arithmetic.

His lack of leadership is also apparent with some of the people he has hired. It has come to my attention that on her own time the lunch lady sells adult sex toys at ”sex toy parties” through out the community. I have seen her hand out samples of her oils and lubes to parents at the local Little League; has she done this in our school? Has she handed out catalogs or invitations to her “parties” at John Adams?

I understand that selling sex toys is not against the law but shouldn’t the people that work with our children be held to a higher moral standard and be of the highest moral character? Shouldn’t parents be made aware of what kind of people are in control of our children when we are not around?

My oldest daughter has pointed out that the lunch lady is in her classroom during school hours teaching science. Does she have a teaching credential? Doesn’t the Williams Act guarantee that our children will be taught by qualified teachers?

Our principal has also allowed a sixteen year old boy to work as an intern in the school’s office that did not go through a background check or be finger printed. Yet if a parent wants to help out in their own child’s classroom they need to go through such checks. How many other people are working at John Adams under this principal’s leadership without background checks?

Our children’s education is too important to leave such a man in charge of our school. If the district felt it important enough to reassign him to the classroom, that reassignment should have been immediate. He should not be allowed to remain in charge of a school that’s achievements decorate that hallways of the district office.

John Adams is filled with highly motivated and highly qualified teachers but there are also some that should never have gotten into the profession. There are teachers who don’t feel they have to follow the adopted teaching methods of the district. While I am not sure I agree with all these new district teaching methods, I am sure it is not the teachers call to go against them. This principal has allowed his teachers to go rogue and toss out district policy; Now this school is not meeting its goals.

We were to get a new vice principal that would have gotten this ship back on course but one teacher with some political influence put a stop to that. This is the same teacher that told parents they couldn’t attend their children’s field trips, yet she took her own children along with her. She also accused the Madera High School Football team of being a gang when one player clocked her son in the jaw when he was harassing the team and she raided the school’s files for student’s addresses for her kid’s birthday party. At that party, that was held on the school grounds, she allowed fireworks to be shot off.

There are problems at our school and these problems are not going to be corrected until we hire new leadership and remove the bad apples. I think it was Donnie Osmond who said, “One bad apple might spoil the whole bunch”. It’s time for the district to throw John Adam’s bad apples out and get it back to being the district’s Golden Apple it once was.

 

WAS IT HIS CHOICE?
MUSD Principal  $84.5K to $94.7K per year
MUSD Teacher   $42.6K to $66.6K per year.*

Based on 177 work days per year