Thursday, April 16, 2015

APS teacher morale; lowest in a third of a century?

The APS school board met last night.  During the public forum, a good number of teachers showed up to try during the 60 seconds they were allowed to speak, to convince the board that the bell schedule they and Interim Supt Brad Winter foisted on them, is creating significant hardship for high school teachers and adversely affecting their morale.

One speaker informed the board that in the 33 years he has been teaching in the APS, he has never seen lower teacher morale.

One man's opinion.  But it begs a question;

How is APS teacher (and employee) morale?
Or, a more fundamental question; does the morale of the people who work in schools make any difference; should we care?  Does teacher morale affect student educational outcomes?

The questions seem rhetorical; yet there are times when discussion needs to be grounding by restating the obvious;
employee morale and performance correlate;
morale and performance rise and fall as one.  
Clearly, educator's morale is important.

So why don't we know the state of the morale of APS employees?  Why hasn't there been an honest survey of employees over their morale and a number of other issues that affect morale; student discipline and chronically disruptive students to name for example.

We know why the leadership of the APS won't survey stake and interest holders.  The survey would document the existence of a number of problems that they have failed to solve but have successfully led people to believe have been solved or don't exist.

If teacher morale were high, the survey would be done in a New York minute.  What appears to be success is the result of a million dollar a year two pronged public relations campaign; celebrate success and cover up failure.  Success is surveyed, failure is not.

We know why the leadership of the APS doesn't want to talk about morale (or any one of a myriad of significant problems).  What, we don't know is why the Journal doesn't won't investigate and report on teacher morale (or any one of a myriad of significant problems that would make the leadership of the APS appear incompetent or corrupt)?

We don't know why the Journal, for example, step up and investigate and report upon
  1. teacher morale, or 
  2. student discipline and chronically disruptive, or
  3. student violence, crime, and bullying, or
  4. the ethics, standards and accountability scandal in the leadership of APS, or
  5. ...

Actually, we do know why not.

Journal Editor in Chief
Kent Walz is typical of those in
power in the press who have
abandoned their rather sacred
obligation to inform stake and
interest holders in favor of the
personal interests of politicians
and powerful public servants.

It is as appropriate to hold Walz as accountable as any other editor or news director who is covering up the ethics, standards and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS, maybe more.

photo Mark Bralley

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