Tell me that I'm not the only one troubled by the wide gap between what the District leadership says - mostly the Board, but senior staff as well - and what they do.
They say that they are committed to transparency, but they never offer any. We went through this long process for the BEX IV plan with all kinds of community meetings and you would think that every idea was aired and discussed, but then, at the 11th hour, they interject this weird Jane Addams to Pinehurst idea. It comes out of nowhere and there's no time left to discuss it. And what, exactly, is the process for program placement decisions? What is the rationale behind under-funding the "non-traditional" schools?
They say that they are committed to community engagement, but look at the motions that come before the Board. The vast majority of them have had no community engagement at all. The Board's primary community engagement, public testimony, has been squeezed and reduced and diminished.
They say that they support advanced learning, but they have made a mockery of ALOs, they have destroyed Spectrum, and they are actively ripping APP apart. When have they ever supported advanced learning in any way? What would they have done to APP if they did not support it?
They say that they care about Special Education, but they have abandoned it completely. There is no effort to make the fantasy inclusive classrooms real.
They say that they want equitable access to programs, but they put the programs in attendance area schools and deny access to students living outside the neighborhood. What more could they have done to reduce the equity of access? Oh! Right! They could put language immersion schools adjacent to each other.
They say that they want to make decisions based on data, but they never collect or review any data prior to making any decisions. They didn't regard the data before entering into a contract with NTN or before closing schools.
They say that they want to create a culture of compliance but they never enforce any of the rules or complain when people break them. They violate state law when hiring Teach for America corps members, they engage in unfair labor practices, they ignore their own procedures on investigations, they usually don't even bother to check what the rules are.
They say that they want to build the public's trust in the District, but they never keep any of their commitments and prove themselves utterly un-trustworthy. Over and over again. What do they think builds trust?
I sometimes feel like I'm living in some kind of inverse reality - or maybe they are. When I confront them with these things I just get blank looks. It's as if they are surprised by it. It's as if they don't realize that they do the exact opposite of everything they say. How can it be unknown to them when it is so obvious to us?