Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Friend, Follower or Problem....Review Time!

As unbelievable as it seems, the school year is just over half way through. For most districts and schools, the Administration is still focused on the current year and how to make sure that everyone, both students and teachers, reaches their potential. Unfortunately at MVRCS that isn't quite the case as it is this time of year each year that the Board and Administration begin reviewing the teachers and staff of the school. In any other district we would be encouraging parents to be sure that they voiced their opinions and thoughts regarding the teachers and staff. Our hope would be that when reviews were being completed they accurately reflected not only the perceptions and views of the Board and Administration but also those of the parents. It is a well known fact that at MVRCS the insights and feelings of parents regarding the performance of any teacher or staff is of no concern or consideration to the Administration and Board. Unfortunately many times neither is a teacher or staff members actual performance, consideration for potential, contributions to the school community or students, nor their efforts.
When it comes to performance reviews what matters at MVRCS is who an individual knows, how much they are willing to go along with (without questioning or challenging the ethical or moral aspect), what they are willing to overlook, and their not looking for support or insight from the Administration (as this is seen as a negative). Reviews at MVRCS rarely reflect an individuals true ability, potential, or effectiveness within the classroom but rather are a reflection of whether they have been identified as a 'friend' (of Kinnon), 'follower' (willing to just collect their checks and do as they are told without question), or a 'problem' (someone unwilling to accept the rules and limitations that are placed upon them). A staff member deemed as a 'friend' who does the bare minimum within their position, makes little effort or contributions to the school community or students, and/or is less than dependable may receive a review that is within the 'warning' or less than acceptable range but will still be rehired (and probably given a 'staying bonus'). On the alternative, an individual who goes above and beyond within their position and efforts but who has been labeled as a 'problem' (as a result of their questioning, opinions, efforts or simply pissing off of a Kinnon) may also receive a similar review yet not only will they NOT be rehired but they probably will not stick around for the remainder of the year. Yes, insight for parents into the incredibly high turnover that typically occurs in early spring. Of course the staff are adamantly forbidden from even discussing their reviews or expectations. So while one individual may be held to one set of standards or expectations, their counterpart(s) can (and usually are) held to very different standards or expectations but are forbidden from discussing the differences. We are not speaking of salary issues but rather job descriptions and expectations. The rule is so firmly enforced that any individual who acknowledges such off limited conversations are terminated. The Board and Administration wouldn't want everyone to know how much variance in expectations truly exists among the 'classes' of MVRCS.
We mention this now as we find it disturbing that parents have so little say (and that the Board and Administration place so little value on parental insight) in not only performance reviews but to which teachers and staff members are and should be valued. We have all seen some wonderful teachers and staff come and too quickly leave for unknown reasons (although rumors usually run a muck) much to the disappointment of parents and students. The Board and Administration believes that the relationship between parents and teachers and teachers and students should all be very adversarial; they don't want bonds to be built or nurtured. If teachers and staff are permitted to show concern for their students, they are not as likely to turn a blind eye to the questionable, unethical, and illegal actions of the Board and Administration. So, unfortunately in our school writing those letters to praise or criticize a staff member or teachers performance or incident will do nothing except either get ignored (if an issue or concern) or possibly result in the termination of a teacher or staff member who doesn't believe in adversarial relationships. No wonder why so many teachers and staff members don't stick around long.


  1. You should stick to talking about snow. Although smearing nearly every employee at the school seems to be your specialty.

  2. This is exactly how the school operates. How unfortunate to lose good teachers because of the dictatorship at MVRCS.

  3. Andrew (@ Anonymous Feb 9th 9:58PM)
    We weren't necessarily smearing anyone at the school but rather sharing how employee reviews are handled. In fact, our intent was the exact opposite - that it doesn't matter how good some of the teachers and staff members are there, if they don't play the game they are not allowed to stick around. We support the majority of the teachers and staff members and actually feel for them for all that many of them have to put up with in order to do what they love and take home a paycheck. Sorry you misunderstood us or if our message wasn't clear.

  4. No wonder the moral is so incredibly low! I hear the longer they take to actually do your review and then the longer it takes to get your contract for next year shows on low on the totem pole an employee is. Also heard that if a teacher signs the contract for the upcoming year and finds another job, the school has been known to sue them. Nice.

  5. Teachers are expected to give notice if they don't plan on returning the next year but if you do let them know, you are gone before the day is over. I pity the teachers who don't know the ways of the school when they try to do the right thing. Teachers are not allowed to say goodbye to the students for fear of what I am not sure. This was one of the signs of the cult atmosphere that prevails here.