Friday, May 22, 2009

CCSD's McGinley's Glass Half-Empty

To make up for its truth-telling on the illiteracy rate in CCSD's upcoming ninth graders, the P & C has exercised its right to put the best spin possible on the Charleston Teacher Alliance's survey of its teachers. [McGinley praised in teacher survey]

Here's the lead: "Some Charleston County teachers say Superintendent Nancy McGinley is doing a far better job of leading the school district than her predecessor." See what I mean? In other words, teachers see McGinley as an improvement over Goodloe-Johnson. Well, who wouldn't?

According to Kent Riddle, chairman of the Alliance, "McGinley has done more to reach out to teachers and let them know what's happening, and it's important to teachers to feel as if they're being treated as professionals." That's right. Public relations.

Riddle thinks that "She likely could have even higher scores if she did more to explain the way teacher input affected her decision-making." Easy, Kent, it doesn't!

Let's face it: what contact do most teachers have with the Superintendent? Not much. However, they do have contact with her emissaries, the Associate Superintendents. These important links in the chain of command are McGinley's choices. And what do teachers say about them?
"Associate superintendents, the liaisons between principals and the superintendent, received worse marks from teachers this year, and their scores continue to be among the lowest for any leadership group. Thirty-four percent said their associate superintendent was an effective leader while 40 percent said they weren't sure."
Given the survey's questions, teachers clearly were not asked to make the connection between McGinley's choice of these administrators and the teachers' poor estimation of their competence. Look at McGinley's response to their concerns: these aren't poor administrators; the teachers have a "perception issue regarding associate superintendents."
That calls for better public relations, of course.

Buried at the end of the article are two disturbing statistics:
"Riddle said areas of concern included the 29 percent of teachers who feared retaliation from the principal if they disagree on an issue or report a concern, and individual schools where less than 50 percent of teachers surveyed believe their school had a positive climate and working environment."[boldface mine]

McGinley plans to hunt them down: "
she promised to look closer at schools with low-approval ratings for their leaders."


Anonymous said...

Why retaliation...against Charleston County teachers by principals...never!!! On what planet am I?

Anonymous said...

I would think Jerry and Mary could offer some insight on McGinley's definition of retaliation.

Anonymous said...

dunno @ mary, but nobody asked me.

Anonymous said...

Dr. McGinley has known about the low morale at some schools and has chosen to kowtow to other interests rather than put her full efforts at those needy schools.

There is a culture of nobility among all levels of administration throughout CCSD. They do not have to follow laws or guidelines on openness.

At a recent teachers' meeting she attended, a comment was made that there might be a racial divide growing, and that perhaps if administrators were not present at the meeting then the truth might be more known. Her comment was she'd not discuss it and concerned teachers should follow chains of command (in other words, tell the principal they worried about retaliation from)

Anonymous said...

Okay, Jerry. I'm asking. What gives? Is she really as clueless as she appears?

Anonymous said...

Too bad the board had followed the process, searched and taken the candidates before the community during the hiring process. The community deserved to get to know her. Too bad. To hear her tell it, she was never CAO and her 'work' here started as superintendent, not making much oif the mess that maria took heat for.

Anonymous said...

Close schools, cut teachers and raise classroom size. Guess what? McGinley is adding another $100,000 administrator to her staff. Now that's arrogance!

It would appear the job of CAO is too much for just one person. Doug Gepford needs a deputy. He doesn't need help. He isn't doing anything as it is.

Anonymous said...

If every position needs a double, maybe we just need to deconsolidate the district. So how many more administrators does the superintendent get to ask for while asking for a tax increase at the same time?