Depress ctrl and + keys together to increase zoom/font size; depress ctrl and – keys together to reduce
In some ways, yesterday was a pretty interesting day, including what let up to the psychiatric evaluation of Peter Anderson and other people who want the channel strip-mined so more and bigger cruise ships and their hordes of illegal immigrants can call on Key West post today at goodmorningkeywest.com, which you should be able to reach by clicking on that link.
Among yesterday’s intrigue was a telephone conversation with Todd German of Key West last night, far right in photo, at the lovely Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden,
who told me that School Board Chairman Andy Griffiths
had told him that when it comes to news in Key West, there is the Key West Citizen, the Keynoter, and Sloan’s blogs. Todd said Andy had grown wary of me, but he said I publish heaps and use good English and people he had no idea read my blogs tell him they are reading my blogs.
Todd said Andy is bothered by my attacking Andy for how the school district is going, but he told Andy I’m not attacking Andy about how the school district is going, but am attacking the school district.
I said, no, I’m attacking Andy, now in his sixth 4-year term. It all happened on his watch.
I said Larry Murray sent me something recently about school district crud,
after getting back from his vacation in Ireland, and I was unable to open the attachment. Larry said he was sorry to hear that. I said I was not sorry, I hoped it was a sign I was through writing about the school district,
because there was nothing he or I could do about it; it needs to be taken over by the state of Florida.
Todd said Andy had said there might be a downside to the state taking over the school district, because the state doesn’t have a good record with school districts it took over.
Maybe not, but if the state takes over our school district and gets rid of Andy and the rest of the school board, and maybe even schools superintendent Mark Porter, and runs the school district for a while, I bet that will leave an ever-lasting impression. I bet if the school district is ever given back to the Florida Keys to run, it will be run a hell of a lot differently than it has been run.
As if a prayer was answered, a beauty hit the front page of the Key West Citizen today – www.keysnews.com – blowing the Griffiths Rule, “Praise in public, criticize in private,” to kingdom come. My interjected thoughts in italics. I added pics.
60 percent of students in survey report being bullied
BY TERRY SCHMIDA Citizen Staff
Well over half of student respondents to a survey reported being bullied at Monroe County schools.
That’s according to a “climate” survey prepared for the School District by Hanover Research of Washington, D.C., and released to the public on Tuesday.
Among the annual survey’s many findings was that 60 percent of the students claimed to have been bullied “either physically, verbally, or electronically (text message, email)” at or outside school. At the same time, while “more than half of teachers report witnessing bullying,” the survey showed that “only 20 percent believe that bullying occurs in the classroom.”
“Parents and students agree that discipline and security are the greatest problems in MCSD Schools,” according to survey results, and the “majority of parents, students, and teachers all agree that it is too easy for unauthorized adults to enter the school.”
Unauthorized adults are being blamed for long-standing systemic bullying within the student population, to which the schools and teachers and principals and superintendents and school board have turned a blind eye
since the beginning of time?
The survey, which dealt with the 2012-13 school year, was conducted online, and elicited full or partial responses from 646 staff members, 2,247 students, and 314 parents.
Among the key findings:
Although I was led to believe by the title to this article that it was about school bullying, I suppose it would have been to unkind to just keep the article focused on that
• “Parents, students, and teachers generally agree the quality of teachers and academic programs in MCSD schools is good” and “all groups most frequently cite teachers as the foremost strength of the district’s schools,” however, “parents and students voice some strong reservations about the instructional environment,” and “around one-third of parents and students state that teachers do not regularly communicate with parents about students progress.”
• “The most common and serious concerns raised by all respondent groups deal with bullying, discipline, and security.”
• “Teachers express overall satisfaction with working at MCSD, with almost three fourths of teachers … being satisfied with their jobs,” though a similar number aren’t happy with their salary and benefits. Most teacher respondents also said they need more time for planning and other routine tasks.
• “Views of administrators are positive, but respondents stress the need for more administrators and greater visibility. Parents and teacher comments identify many excellent administrators yet also note staffing shortages and weaknesses.” Teachers, in particular “report a need for more assistant principals to reduce the workload of principals, and maintain orderly schools.”
• “Both parents and teachers would appreciate more frequent and substantive communication and engagement with school administrators and the district.
• “All respondent groups hold generally favorable views of school facilities and equipment,” however, “around one-fourth of parents and teachers do not believe that teachers have adequate materials to teach effectively. In addition, significant numbers of students and teachers have concerns about the climate or classrooms and the cleanliness of their schools.”
• “The primary motivator for parents who consider charter schools are academic excellence and teacher quality” and “only significant improvements in these areas at traditional schools would convince parents to transfer their children to traditional schools.
A press release from Superintendent Mark Porter that accompanied the survey claimed participation in the poll “far exceeded previous survey efforts,” but the survey results may be skewed by lukewarm participation rates from groups such as Lower Keys students.
Subtext, maybe the bullying statistics would have been less devastating by higher participation rates from Lower Keys students. Maybe Lower Keys students more afraid to come forward, maybe Key West schools is where bullying is the worst.
In particular, more than half the student respondents attend either Sugarloaf School, Coral Shores High School, or Key Largo K-8.
In the press release, Porter also expressed “some disappointment” with the low rate of parental response.
Maybe the low rate of parental response is related to parental lack of confidence in the school district ever doing anything about bullying; maybe parents gave up on that hope decades ago.
However, he said he was “excited to have this more detailed feedback and information available to our leadership team. It will allow us to specifically respond to the concerns expressed, while maintaining the outstanding results that are also identified,” he wrote. “This is consistent with our ongoing efforts to seek excellence in all that we do on behalf of students, families and citizens of the Monroe County School District.”
Propaganda, Pravda would be proud.
Bash- Thought you might be able to use this.
“When money talks, the truth goes silent” Russian proverb
I wrote back:
Amensky, Cuzinsky – I believe that Bolshevik will find a good prominent home soon at goodmorningkeywest.com and goodmorningfloridakeys.com.
On Tuesday, Porter also said that “in that past we did a less thorough and rigorous survey. This time, we did a deeper dive into the realities. You find some affirmations, but also some significant challenges, and you have to be prepared for that when you take on a more rigorous type of survey.”
Asked specifically about the bullying issue, Porter said, “It’s a figure that draws your attention. It confirms what we know. Bullying is an issue and a challenge in the schools. We wouldn’t put as much time and energy into it as we do if we didn’t think so. Our efforts to address this issue need to continue, and probably to increase.”
I hope they didn’t spend taxpayer money to be told what they already knew about bullying but were doing nothing about.
District 3 School Board member Ed Davidson,
who has been especially candid in his criticisms of many School District policies since his election in November, called the bullying figures “somewhat misleading.”
“Any degree of bullying is reprehensible and should be addressed, “Davidson said. “But the percentages in the climate survey are certainly inflated to some degree by the fact that people with an issue and a cross to bear and an ax to grind are bound to speak up more than people who don’t have an issue. I doubt that it’s 60 percent across the district, but that it exists at all needs to be dealt with.”
Ed Davidson bullies the school board and school district unceasing about all sorts of things that bother Ed about the school board and school district, but I have yet to see or hear of Ed bully the school board or the school district to do anything about students bullying students. I was the only school board candidate last year, in same race Ed was in, same race Larry Murray was in, who hollered about the school district doing something about students bullying students. I hollered before I entered that race, during it, and afterward. I have yet to hear another candidate in either of the two races, the other race was for Andy Griffiths’ school board seat, holler about students bullying students in the schools. Nor have I heard any school board member or Mark Porter or any school principal holler about students bullying students. The only hollering came from me and some students and their parents, the later terrified of retaliation for hollering about bullying.
Maybe the bullies will grow up to be like this fine upstanding American citizen, forwarded to me yesterday by retired Florida Keys schools psychiatrist Jerry Weinstock, M.D., with this note: “Appropriate”
I told Andy Griffths in latish 2011 that he had been on the school board long enough; he needed to move on, do what else Andy needed to do in this life, which being on the school board would hold him back from doing. He really does need to start hollering about students bullying students.