Reaching Out to His Staff

This morning, I received an email from Brad Neavin, superintendent of the Vandalia-Butler City Schools. Brad is one the leaders of the superintendent-led initiative to provide Ohio citizens with a stronger voice in shaping statewide education policy.

Brad’s email to me

Corky – Just wanted to share what I sent out to staff today.  This was an item as part of several that I sent as an update.  I’ve received several thank you’s from staff members.  I am in my 30th year and the state of education in Ohio is the worst I have seen.

His email to his staff

Happy Friday!

I wanted to provide you with some updates and thoughts as we finish off what has been a short but busy week here in VBCSD.

On Thursday, selected teachers and students throughout our district will participate in a test of our technology infrastructure to determine if our network, our A-Site, and our internet provider are ready for the ramp up of the actual testing.   As I am sure you are aware, there are many concerns about the testing – including the question of the capacity of technologies to handle the tasks.   Our district is far ahead of most, yet even the most advanced of districts are expressing concerns about the requirements of the online assessments.

I met with Brandon Hartley, Director of Curriculum and David Mohler, Director of Technology earlier today about this very issue.   They relayed the concerns that they have heard from staff about the readiness of our infrastructure and, if the systems crash, the impacts upon student test scores and, ultimately, the impacts on teacher evaluations.  These are all legitimate concerns as we seem to be operating in a climate (as imposed from the state) where the focus is more about ranking and sorting kids and schools than on teaching and learning.

I want to be very clear on this.  I, my staff, and our Board of Education hear your concerns and share your views on the burdens being placed upon you with this accountability model – a model that is in constant flux and confusing on its best days!  We have great educators in this district that are committed to their students NOT because the “State” says you should be, but because you care deeply about your students.

So, now that you have heard my rant…what does this mean?  It means that your focus should be on doing what you know is right for your students.  We, educators across Ohio, are in a state of limbo while the legislators toss around the political “football” and ODE tries to interpret what the new and pending legislation means for Ohio’s schools.  In the meantime, keep doing what’s right for your kids and don’t worry yourselves with trying to define what is undefinable at this point.  Bottom line…we’ve got your back and are fighting with you and for you on behalf of our kids.

Enjoy your weekend and call me if you need to comment, talk, or vent!  If you need to reach me outside of the office, my cell phone number is 937-533-0625.

We ARE Aviators!


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