Note: This teacher signed this letter, but asked me not to put the name on the letter because of retribution from angry school administrators. And as a teacher of 44 years, I can tell you it does go on! Read on:
I'm as disgusted as anyone in regard to the debacle over the 'senior project.' From my standpoint the fault lies entirely with upper admin. I know teachers were not given any info regarding the project until the day before students were made aware of it, and my perception is that building administrators were aware of it only marginally before the teachers. How is it a district can pay a superintendent, an associate superintendent, an assistant superintendent, and a director of secondary education (that's over $400,000 in salary, the equivalent of ten new teachers), let them work for a year, and still not have a practical solution to the problem of what to do with the seniors during MEAP testing. If my students were as remiss with their assigned work and as obtuse in regard to their failures, I could never let them leave my class with a passing grade.
A Dearborn Public Schools,High School Teacher
The incompetence in the hierarchy of the Dearborn Public Schools is becoming laughable. The senior project/testing schedule is the latest abomination perpetrated on the students and staff of this learning community. While almost every other district in southeastern Michigan is putting juniors in their charge in a position to be successful on the MEAP test, we continue to place hurdles and obstacles in front of ours. As a parent of an Edsel Ford student and educator from a nearby district, I am apalled at the idiocy which is this testing schedule. Two of our high schools have been declared failing by the state, and yet our administration continues to ignore the fact that the policies which help determine success in this district are misguided. First, of the three windows for MEAP testing, why on earth would we choose the one immediately after a break. Also, juniors are not put into a situation which testing is a the focus of the day. My son has to attend three classes, and intermingled in that day is the exam in which scholarship money and school passing depends on. My district has a three day testing window in March in which juniors take MEAP tests in the morning, and then go home in the afternoon. The rest of the school comes in the afternoon. However, that's far two logical for the leadership around here. The sad thing is that the leadership in my district has always been on the short end when it comes to vision. What will it take to change this? How many parents will pull their children out of the district?
Did Dr. John Burl Artis, superintendent of the Dearborn Public Schools, spent over 18 thousand dollars for lawyers and a detective to investigate a 22 thousand dollar theft at Fordson High school and still no one has been charged with the crime? Please, tell me that this is not true!!!
I just read that Dr. Artis received a technology award??? He gave the opening day welcome/orientation to over 1000 teachers using an overhead projector and transparencies that no one could read. I am not suggesting that he had to be a good speaker or even speak 1/4 as well as Dr.Hughes. I do think, however, that his secretary could have produced a power point for him if he cared enough about how he presented himself.
A Dearborn Public School Teacher
Dear Mr. Gibb,
As parents of five children that either are currently enrolled in or have graduated from Dearborn schools, we are becoming very disheartened with the system. Our experience with Bryant Middle School over the past three years has been awful, and we have already been through the school with three of our other kids with no problem. For one thing, one of the administrators has blocked many attempts to speak with teachers regarding homework overload issues and the like. We don't think the students' best interests are being considered, at least at Bryant. (We shudder to think what it will be like at Dearborn High next year.) And how can we take the school seriously when so many days are taken away from the learning process for unnecessary side trips?
Trips for this year's eighth grade have included a ski trip in January, 2004, a rollerblading trip in March, 2004, an amusement park trip in May, 2004, a trip to Levagood for swimming in June, 2004, a trip to Camp Dearborn in August, 2004 (the first week of school!!), and another ski trip in February, 2005 (not to mention that when the sixth grade class went skiing, our eighth grader watched the movie Shrek 2, and when the seventh grade class went skiing, he watched the movie Shark Tale). We can no longer feel the necessity to stress the importance of doing his homework, being on time for school in the morning, or even being prepared for class each day when so much time is taken away from actual academics. We as parents rush our children to school each morning so they will be on time, only to learn they watched a movie for the first two hours of school! What a waste of time! Do you really expect us to take the Dearborn Schools and staff seriously when so many days are taken away from the learning process? We personally would like to have this wasted time back to spend time as a family during the summer. Give us our kids back and keep your August start date!
Do the taxpayers of Dearborn realize how much time is being wasted and how little education is really taking place? Maybe this is why our kids get so much homework. They are never in school long enough to do it there!
Tim and Sue Masters
In the Dearborn schools since 1986
Dr. Cheryl Kreger, assistant superintendent for the Dearborn Public Schools, has just been appointed superintendent of a school system in Ohio. Congratulations Dr. Kreger.
Sad news however for the Dearborn school system. Dr. Kreger has been a steady hand in the unsteady administration of superintendent Dr. John Burl Artis.
Had a cordial lunch a few weeks ago with superintendent DR.JOHN BURL ARTIS. He allowed that maybe I was too hard on him, particularly the fact that he lives in Grosse Pointe. "After all I shop in Dearborn, and spend a lot of time in Dearborn" he said. My next comment: "You should live in Dearborn".
Readers, what do you think???