Accountability

(This page is a work in progress. For more information, please also visit the Maupin School of Innovation Timeline on Facebook.)

 

It’s a tragic story. The district is not admitting any wrongdoing, but clearly something isn’t right. And it’s the kids who suffer. Please help us raise public awareness of this situation and encourage the board to vote no to the district’s proposal to remove the Waldorf program from Maupin.

Fallacy: The school is failing because of the Waldorf model, and therefore needs to be removed.

Fact: The scores were down BEFORE Waldorf. As a result of persistently low scores, and the threat of a state intervention or takeover looming after 3 years of low performance, this is probably why they decided to place this school of innovation at Maupin. It’s a commonly used shell game in our district. If enough of the population changes, the school gets a “reset” and starts the clock over for them. When that didn’t happen, they they carried two years of failing scores INTO the brand new Waldorf model. Therefore, the school was subjected to a state intervention after just one year under its new, innovative program. Someone miscalculated what it would take to get a reset, or didn’t do the marketing and communications in order to attract enough new magnet families. The program was destined to fail. 

Here is a timeline of events:

8-11-14 – After extensive research, presentations, and Q&A sessions, the Catalpa School is approved by the JCPS Board of Education as one of the winners of the District of Innovation contest.

9-22-14 – Board considers putting the Waldorf program at Maupin. State mandated testing concerns noted. Student mobility concerns noted. Parent communications will address.

9-22-14 — INITIAL WORK SESSION: This “video” merges the audio file with the powerpoints from the 9-22-14 work session.

10-13-14 — FOLLOW-UP WORK SESSION: The above work session ran out of time, so the audio for the follow-up meeting on 10-13-14 is here (the first 18 minutes are focused on Maupin).

10-13-14 – BOARD MEETING — JCPS Board of Education approved a “schoolwide implementation of the Waldorf-inspired Catalpa School concept at Maupin Elementary School for the 2015-16 school year.”

2-23-15 — WAIVER APPROVAL: Here is a snippet from the board meeting where Bob Rodosky proposes the waivers that the district will be requesting for Maupin.

Order #2015-32 – Motion Passed: Superintendent Donna Hargens recommends that the Board of Education approve four waiver requests to be submitted to the Kentucky Board of Education as part of our District of Innovation status: (1) the minimum requirements for high school graduation; (2) accountability administrative procedures and guidelines for Limited English Proficiency students; (3) Maupin Elementary—grade-level timeline deviation for coverage of Kentucky Core Academic Standards; and (4) Maupin Elementary—activities of the student attendance day. The recommendation passed with a motion by Mr. Chris Brady and a second by Mrs. Stephanie Horne.

http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/education/education-blog/2015/06/05/jcps-maupin-elementary-waiver-common-core-timeline-waldorf/28435821/

4-24-15 – Kerrick Elementary principal to move to Maupin

Because the school is technically closing and reopening as a School of Innovation next year, Hargens had the ability to choose the principal because the new school does not yet technically have a school-based decision-making committee.

6-5-15Maupin may diverge from Common Core timeline

The Kentucky Department of Education has approved a waiver request from Jefferson County Public Schools that would allow Maupin Elementary to deviate from the laid-out sequence of what must be taught at each grade level under the Common Core standards.

(JCPS’ original waiver request would have allowed for even more flexibility, with all the K-8 standards needing to have been taught by the end of eighth grade, but JCPS tailored its request after speaking with state officials, who in part wanted to make sure that all elementary-level concepts were taught in elementary grades.)

11-27-15Maupin’s School of Innovation has rocky start

Maupin has struggled with implementing its new curriculum in this first year and also with managing student behavior that some teachers have said has significantly disrupted learning.

As students return to classes after Thanksgiving break, third-, fourth- and fifth-grade classes will move back toward a more traditional curriculum – although teachers will still “engage in Waldorf-inspired methods,” principal Maria Clemons said.

2-9-16Struggling school risks priority status tag

During a presentation on the district’s 19 priority schools to the school board Tuesday evening, JCPS staff warned that Maupin Elementary could fall into the dreaded state category this year because the school has not met its annual improvement goal for the past two years and currently is in the bottom 5 percent of all elementary schools statewide.

Schools are labeled in priority status if they are in the bottom 5 percent and don’t meet their goals for three consecutive years.

Maupin Elementary is the JCPS school in most danger of joining the 19 other low-performing district schools with that label, although district staff noted that other schools also could potentially enter that category after this school year, including the other School of Innovation, Atkinson Elementary.

2-29-16 – Assistant Superintendent who oversaw the implementation of Catalpa School at Maupin, Kirk Lattimore, retires

9-28-16 – JCPS test scores show little progress, achievement gap widens among student groups

Schools are placed in priority status as a result of a 2010 law that called for the Kentucky Department of Education to identify the state’s lowest-performing schools and outline a range of interventions aimed at turning them around.

However, no new priority schools were identified this year, due to the fact that the state will be switching to a new accountability model next year. Officials said it would be unfair to identify new priority schools under one accountability system and hold them accountable under a new system.

Had there been a list, district officials say Maupin Elementary School would have been on it. The number of Maupin students scoring proficient or higher in reading dropped from 17.9 percent last year to 12.8 percent this year, while math proficiency fell from 17 percent to 8.9 percent.

“Without a doubt, they would have been a priority school this year,” said Marco Munoz, the district’s director of priority schools. “Maupin is going to require a pretty strong turnaround effort. One of the first things I am going to do is get into the instructional framework and monitor how the instruction there is being implemented.”

11-19-16 – Schools of Innovation Update – audio file and powerpoint, discussion points to problem with parents who came for SOI, and also glosses over the test scores not being reset.

12-5-16State official encourages JCPS to ‘think bolder’ during Maupin Elementary visit

… test scores released by the state on Sept. 30 show dismal results at Maupin, placing it as among the lowest performing in the state and prompting the Kentucky Department of Education to step in.

4-6-17 — LETTER FROM PARENT: This letter from a Maupin parent was sent to Dr. Hargens.
http://dearjcps.com/dr-hargens-keep-your-promises-keep-mau…/

4-13-17 – Dear JCPS sends email to board, with some of the timeline of events, also explaining:

Parents and teachers deserve to know what the district’s plans are for this school, even if the decision is NOT to continue with the Catalpa model. Teachers have been told to put in for transfers “just to be safe.” Parents are being told nothing can be done to accommodate them if they want to transfer their children to another magnet since “no decision has been made.” We respectfully request that the JCPS BOE add this item for vote on the April 25 board meeting and allow time on the agenda for Maupin representatives to make a presentation to the board so that you can make an informed decision on how to move forward.

4-19-17 — School sends home flyer indicating the board has already approved the discontinuation of the Waldorf program. (On right.)

4-25-17 — BOARD MEETING – Recommended Motion

“Superintendent Donna Hargens recommends the Board of Education approve the removal of magnet status from Maupin Elementary School’s Catalpa School of Innovation Magnet Program and discontinue the Catalpa Model for the 2017-18 school year.”

Only one problem. The district already made this decision over the course of the past two years, so the board is only rubber stamping their actions already in place.

NOTHING HAS CHANGED! THEY KNEW ALL OF THIS WHEN THEY APPROVED IT!! IT TAKES TIME!!!

Attachments

Sadly, if they had put as much effort into supporting the school as they did preparing all of these reports, the board wouldn’t be put in this position to renege on promises made to parents, teachers, students and community members.

IS THE SCHOOL BEING SET UP FOR A CHARTER TAKEOVER?


To Dr. Hargens and others,

I came to the JCPS Board about the issues that we are dealing with at Maupin. I sat in front of them and I asked them, each of them, to fight with all their power for my daughter.  My daughter is a second grader at Maupin Elementary School. The school that was gifted or you may even say awarded the “School of Innovation” stamp just a little under 2 years ago. This year, we found out that gift that was so generously given to us, may be taken away.  You know Maupin, this school is in the West End of town.  This is also the same school, I as a neighborhood mom went to in grade school. I started there 3 years ago as a parent when the school had a traditional school feel, but then all of a sudden, JCPS came in and surprised us all by saying WE want Maupin to be our School of Innovation. And we are going to bring in this new and exciting program and everything will be grand.  This Pep Rally they pulled off was amazing, because guess what, the next year my daughter was there in attendance. The colorful walls and talk about teaching folklore and line dancing excited me a bit. Also, this Waldorf learning style and all these new teachers and staff members, made me, a resident of the west end proud of my daughter’s school.  We made it through the first year of transition and this year I thought this will be the breakout year, everything will be great!  And you would guess it, it was!  Kids seemed to be enjoying this new learning style and progressing through.  And then October 2016 hit, and my life has forever been changed.

Audit? What audit?! No one ever said the school would be audited! What do you mean 3rd-5th grade isn’t teaching Waldorf style?  What do you mean we are now a priority school, and what does that mean? Smoke and mirrors, no real answers, just wait on the audit results they all said. And then March 2017 happened, and again NO REAL ANSWERS!  Joe Leffert came in to help, but this problem isn’t his or Maria (the Principal at Maupin). It started well before they arrived on the scene and now we NEED your help.

Lately, I have attended your JCPS board meetings because like many in our community I was naïve to think that you would make sure my baby girl would be getting the education she deserves. She, along with her peers aren’t your experimental hamsters, they are kids who love coming to school.  They love Maupin Elementary, they love their teachers, and special area instructors, they are a family at Maupin.  They teach my kids day in and day out how to be a good citizen and how to show love and compassion for each other.  They have shown me how to be a better mom to my child and how to effectively teach my daughter so that her mind expands. OH and wait, they also teach my daughter academic things too, it’s not all tree hugging stuff.  Maupin is better because of the Catalpa School.  Maupin is better because of each and every one of those teachers and staff members who changed their lives to come into this community and teach these concepts.

It’s sad to hear that many of those teachers have already put in transfers to move to another school.  It’s even sadder for those kids who lives change many times a year.  Living in one house with family or without.  Losing family members to incarceration or by death.  Many come to Maupin with mental and emotional issues that make me cry just thinking about it.  And you feel that it is okay to shake up their worlds again.  To just give up and throw in the towel.  To say that this Waldorf style just doesn’t work and no need to press forward. How would you feel if every JCPS student did that said “It’s just too hard, I can’t do it”?  You’re quitting a program that has barely even gotten off the ground, has barely been even given a chance to grow.

Next year you want to spend $400,000 on a Deeper Learning Program.  Dr. Herring, add Maupin to your list of deeper learning schools.  Devote some of that money there to help them build this program up, like I was promised you would 2 years ago.  Instead of hiring more folks take that money and put it into making JCPS better.  Fix the issues, devote your dollars to keeping your word. We have JCPS senior classes setting up Gofundme pages to pay for senior prom, how about put some of that 400K there? I want to have a voice and choice for my daughter to attend the public school Waldorf program at Maupin Elementary.

I do believe that at this time, I don’t know who to trust with my daughter’s education.  Are you telling me that maybe I was wrong to call my state representatives and denounce Charter Schools? Because you have me feeling like maybe, just maybe, a Waldorf style Charter school is the way to go. Again I am asking you to HELP US!!!  We are neighborhood moms who love the teachings of compassion, self-value, and good citizenship.  How great would it be to have 400 little ambassadors walking around Louisville spreading the news of good citizenship and compassion?  Think about all the murders that happened last year, you have a program at a West End Elementary School that could curb that.  My little 7-year-old is praised often because she won’t stand for anyone in her class to be bullied.  She speaks up, and she is not alone.  Ask other parents at Maupin how this program has helped them with parenting their kids and helped with deal with trauma in their own lives.  TALK TO US, THE PARENTS AT MAUPIN!!! Most Importantly DO SOMETHING NOW!!!! Don’t let us down! Don’t let these kids down!!

Carla Robinson
Maupin Parent

 

Dear JCPS Board of Education Members,

On November 30, I spoke before the board and asked for follow-up data with regards to Adam Edelen’s audit. To date, I have not received a response.

In particular, I am interested in knowing how the following numbers look today, relative to what was identified by the audit several years ago.

  • JCPS ranks at or near the bottom in teacher staffing and expenditures for instruction, while ranking highest in the categories of administrators, support staff and instructional aides.1
  • Specifically, he found that the district pays 369 administrators more than $100,000 a year.2
  • JCPS also had the second-highest student-to-teacher ratio,
  • JCPS ranked the lowest in instructional spending, (at 53 percent of its budget (four of the other five were 60 percent or higher), while ranking highest in administration and operations spending, at 31 percent of its budget.)

Please provide a report with this information as soon as possible.

Following the April 26 board meeting last year when the Community Advisory Team (CAT) made observations that “JCPS needs market reconciliation for teachers, certified administrators and classified positions,” – nearly a year ago –  I sent district leaders the following email message (to which I also received no formal response). In addition to concerns about the CAT make-up, I also mentioned:

“… you’ll recall, the original audit from Adam Edelen came with the observation that administrative salaries were too high, not teachers’. So I’m not sure how this discussion led to the talking point that teachers are “overpaid.” I’m guessing the committee mix above could have had something to do with it. … Again, we feel that the make-up of this committee has led to some very short-sighted conclusions, and seems to have missed the point entirely.”

Upon requesting information as to how these recommendations came about, we were told no minutes were kept. It would appear to us that open meetings and open records laws were violated. Honest mistake, perhaps, but much of this painful detour could have been avoided had the process been more transparent and inclusive of authentic stakeholder input from the beginning.

I further cautioned, “Parents, community members, teachers, students all need district leaders who will do better than this. We ask that JCPS go back to the drawing board to make sure these decisions are being influenced by committees made up of people who bring balanced and “tuned-in” perspectives, who will work together to find equitable and sustainable solutions, and provide our school board with proposals that are likely to result in the best results — the first time! Our kids’ futures are at stake. We don’t get do-overs.”

Taxpayers deserve transparent decision-making and authentic answers to our questions. We expect to see action taken as it relates to the actual “action items” in the audit, or answers that can be used to dispel myths that continue to be used against our district in Frankfort. And we demand accountability. When mistakes are made, we want to know, as our former board chair put it so eloquently, “whose throat to choke.”

I truly thank you for your willingness to serve as an advocate for Jefferson County students. I look forward to your reply.

Thanks, Gay

Gay Adelmann
Dear JCPS

Click to play.

At last night’s board meeting, Maupin parent Shanna Miller spoke to @JCPSKY Board Members about her daughter’s experiences at Maupin and her reasons for choosing to send her daughter to a Catalpa-modeled school. She had a list of questions regarding the failed implementation of the School of Innovation contest winner and subsequent state intervention that resulted in the loss of SBDM, as well as uncertainty for the future of the school. Unfortunately, due to time constraints she did not get a chance to ask her questions last night, so we are posting them here in the hopes that her questions can be answered and the district can be held accountable for the numerous missteps along the way.

Dear JCPS Board Members:

  1. We had waivers for the deviated teaching timeline so that things would be taught at the age appropriate time as well in an age appropriate way. We also had waivers for testing due to the deviated teaching timeline. Why, did we not use them. When parents ask, we are told it was an Administrative decision. Who in the Administration made those decisions? Where is the documentation?
  2. According to the Catalpa Model School of Innovation contract with the Kentucky Department of Education they had 5 years before an audit was to be performed. Why did the District allow them to be audited prior to the 5 years that is in the School of Innovation contract, and I believe law?
  3. If you change the teaching model at Maupin from what was in the Catalpa Model School of Innovation, aren’t you in breach of the contract that was given to the School of Innovation design which is a 5 year contract with the Kentucky State of Education?
  4. According to the Administration they want to change the model since Maupin has so many students that are transient. The School Board chose this school to place the program in. This should have been a non-issue since they knew that when they placed the program here.
  5. When is the Administration going to release the add on funds that pay for our Magnet Coordinator, retired teachers as well as some special area teacher positions? These are part of the Catalpa Model School of Innovation proposal and was agreed to for the 5 year, minimum? How do you expect a Magnet school to succeed without a Magnet Coordinator? Wouldn’t you be setting that school up for future failure? Again, aren’t these positions part of the KDE School of Innovation contract with the District for Maupin, a Catalpa model school of innovation?
  6. The School Board chose this program and chose the school it was to be placed in. What positive support, other than paying for the building, keeping the lights on and paying teacher/staff salaries, have you provided to Maupin, a Catalpa model school of Innovation to help ensure its success? How are you supporting my child and what is in her best interest?
  7. Who is reviewing the questions and concerns that were submitted to Maria Holmes (Principal) and/or Joe Leffert (Asst. Superintendent)? When will the Parents get answers to their many questions and not just be briefed on what we already know via the many news outlets who have already provided that information? Parents need to know what direction this school is making, so they can plan for their children’s future. We need a definitive answer now.
  8. The Board does remember that this is a Magnet School, so it’s not just an issue of concern for families in the 1st District but for many others. The parents, voters in the many different Districts, are also the stakeholders of this Magnet School. It’s a JCPS Magnet School so it is a JCPS concern.

Thanks,
Shanna Miller
Maupin Parent

Dear JCPS,

I don’t want an apology from MAG. I want an apology from Dr. Hargens.

To make a public spectacle about cutting teachers’ pay (and being forced by the union to grant years-of-service Steps) based on erroneous data is unacceptable. ( Why weren’t the figures given to department heads to compare to actual payroll data? It would seem SOMEONE would cross reference the salary figures, in at least a few departments, prior to recommending something so drastic as cutting pay.) This action alone is enough to diminish trust in the district’s ability to make sound decisions. Honestly, I lost trust long ago.

Click to play.

But, Dr. Hargens’ statement that this $40 million mistake is the cause of teachers feeling undervalued and unappreciated is what I find absolutely unforgivable. It’s not just a feeling. It’s a fact that teachers are undervalued and unappreciated, specifically and precisely, due to this district’s policies that create over-worked, exhausted, paper-pushing teachers; a fear-based, top-down administrative approach, and policies that strip teachers and students of time, creativity, and a voice.

Clearly the atmosphere in our communities and in our schools has changed dramatically – violence, drug use, poverty. high-stakes testing, budget cuts. Teachers’ roles have changed and responsibilities have spiked. JCPS’ policies have failed to acknowledge, much less support these changing roles and THIS is the cause of teachers’ reality of being undervalued and unappreciated.

Signed,
Frustrated

Magnet “programs” will not be protected under this new law. Many families will lose out on choice.

Be sure to see where your board members stood on this discussion prior to the unanimous vote to support local control over student assignment (opposition to HB151).

Read Chris Kolb’s full speech here.

Dear JCPS,

After following the schools of innovation competition I decided to send my then emerging 2nd grader and kindergartener to the newly incepted Catalpa school at Maupin. I could have left the 2nd grader at Lincoln and likely obtained a seat for the kindergartener, as I knew these spots (at Lincoln) were highly coveted, but I was greatly inspired by the Catalpa model and felt it would be even more beneficial for my children. I was mostly right. While the school faced inherent challenges through the transition, my children’s confidence and creativity was blossoming. Then without any warning, the media informed us over Thanksgiving break that first year, only three months in, that the the school was going to be held accountable for prior year’s test scores, which meant without a massive improvement Maupin would enter “priority status.” In response, administration decided to revert back to traditional curriculum for grades 3-5. This combined with the addition of several teachers, thus some students being moved to new classes, caused several magnet families to leave. Once test scores for the school year came out, to no surprise, the children who were already struggling and just underwent a major transition with new staff and new models, were incredibly low.

 

Somehow, despite former talk of an alternate time line and waived scores, this prompted an audit by KDE. Because of this, the SBDM (through the administration’s push) decided to remove Waldorf language from the school’s mission and vision statement. At that time, administration insisted that in practice, nothing would change. It was just an attempt to please the highly anticipated auditors.

When returning to the school for the 16-17 school year, things also felt different. While the hallways were more peaceful and several classes were able to loop with their teachers, there were also numerous classrooms that no longer had the homey Waldorf feel they did the prior year. It appeared that the encouragement and support for Waldorf methods had dropped off to some degree, despite increasing magnet enrollment and parent involvement. Even still, talks continued as if the magnet program was not under threat. I kept being told that they had preemptively done everything the auditors could ask for, such as new administration, new staff, removing the waldorf language along with the alternate timeline.

Then last week, SBDM apparently met to discuss the budget and discussions were had that JCPS had put the “add-on” budget for Maupin on hold which meant funding for many of the items that make Maupin unique, such as the magnet coordinator, a special area teacher (which is presumed to be handwork, an integral part of Waldorf), retired teachers, and extended day were not being included in budget talks at this time. Yesterday Mr. Leffert held a last minute Q&A which provided probably more questions than answers, but in short said that all of this is pending the audit results which will be released at an undetermined time.

Meanwhile, potential incoming families had a sticker applied to their acceptance letter, stating “We want to inform you that Maupin Elementary is currently designated as a priority school by the Kentucky Department of Education. Based on our priority status, changes may occur that impact the magnet program for the 2017-2018 school year,” but up until yesterday, currently enrolled families had no clue of the pending potentials. Here it is well past the enrollment period, and we remain in the dark about what this means for our children.

Jessica Deis, RN, BSN
Maupin Parent

 

Dear JCPS,

I briefly reviewed the results of the recent audit. It seems that the documents I read about the audit, and nearly every other document about or by JCPS, rarely address real-life problems faced by students and teachers…issues that the general public are rarely aware of. Here are a few:

  • Students who are supposed to be receiving counseling and mental health services are not getting their needs met. There are too many students needing too many services and the 1 mental health counselor in the school can’t possibly meet the demand. Kids are falling through the cracks.
  • Teachers can’t teach. Kids can’t learn. The district has created an atmosphere that inundates teachers and other school staff with an unimaginable amount of paperwork, meetings, number crunching and data, data, data. In moderation, these are all great and necessary. But it’s primarily bullshit. These mandates keep teachers so stressed out with deadline after deadline. Paperwork has truly become a part-time job.
  • West End schools are failing. JCPS IS a disaster. Kids need more help. Teachers need more help. Students in these schools experience trauma on a daily basis, yet programs, policies and promises never live up to the hype – they never produce results because the people making the decisions are those who have worked hard to climb the ladder and ‘get out of the classroom’. Teachers are under such scrutiny. More and more demands are placed on teachers’ very limited time. We are expected to teach cookie-cutter, scripted lessons to students who act out, due to trauma, in the way of fighting, throwing objects, kicking chairs, destroying property – crying out for help. Clearly, they need MORE help. Clearly, they are living a trauma-based life. THEY NEED MORE. COOKIE-CUTTER, DISTRICT approaches DON’T WORK. We know what’s waiting for our students of poverty. Why not offer real interventions that could change the trajectory of their lives? Why not ask teachers what help THEY need to better serve their students? Does the district even care?
  • Many principals push all the district mandates without thinking about the specific population of students they are serving; without thinking about all the demands that are placed on teachers and how hard they work day in and day out. Everyone in education it seems touts “students come first.” This is such crap. Nothing is further from the truth in my opinion. It should be, “covering our butts” comes first. The people who know their students best, are rarely asked what they need to help their kids. And even if you were asked, you couldn’t tell the truth for fear of retribution. It’s one way – the district’s – or the highway.
  • Here at JCPS, there’s one way to teach. If kids can’t recite the standard they are learning, then you’re an ineffective teacher. If the wording of the learning objective is misstated, uh-oh. If you’re not using the script of the “research-based” brand-new program we’re shoving down your throat, whoops. I’m not a teacher. I’m a robot. My poor kids.
  • PLC’s are exhausting. Nobody likes them. Just another avenue for administration to regurgitate what the district erroneously considers “best practices.” PLCs are the epitome of number-crunching, uber-focus on data, more tracking, more paperwork, more of “you’re shit teachers and you’re not doing it the way we believe it’s right.”
  • BULLYING IS AN ISSUE! Some administrators either don’t know how to handle it, don’t believe they can change it, or they completely disregard it on a systemic level. If only parents knew! It’s ridiculous.
  • PGES is another way JCPS covers their butt. It’s more paperwork. It’s more deadlines. It’s a joke.
  • Teachers work hard and put in very long hours, often to the detriment of their family-life, health, etc. They love their students. They truly don’t stop when the bell rings. I would ask that the district and admin cut us some slack, for crying out loud. Give us a voice. Let us teach!

How in the world did we get to where we are in education today? Prior to the last 4 or 5 years, I felt I was truly able to teach and meet the needs of my kids. Not sure if it was the initiation of Common Core or the beginning of Hargens rule. Regardless, I am so frustrated and I feel helpless and hopeless. It’s time to REALLY start putting our kids AND teachers first.

Signed,
A JCPS Teacher

Join us! Call for Resignation of JCPS Superintendent!

The community of JCPS stakeholders (parents, teachers, staff and community leaders) will come together tomorrow night to issue a vote of “no confidence” in our superintendent’s ability to continue to lead our district and ask for her to step down.

At least 5 of the 7 JCPS board members have expressed concern in her ability to lead, as have numerous organizations and community members. However, we understand that with more than two years left on her contract, terminating Dr. Hargens, even with cause, can be costly and time consuming. With potential negative outcomes from recent BOE executive sessions and the state audit, we believe it would be in everyone’s best interest if she would step down from her position immediately so that the board can appoint an interim superintendent who can fully cooperate with the state audit team and help get our district back on course.

There have been repeated examples of mismanagement and misreporting of data, denial of/failure to address problems, misrepresentation of facts to board members, media, state and community members, with zero accountability. Our kids can not afford to wait any longer as our district continues in this out-of-control downward spiral, which has invited legislators to propose overreaching bills such as HB151 (neighborhood schools bill), paved the way for unproven charter schools to siphon money away from public schools, and more recently resulted in an unprecedented state audit and potential takeover. We do not feel the superintendent is equipped to guide our district going forward, much less through the state audit.

The press conference will take place from 6:30 – 7:00 pm tomorrow night outside of VanHoose, prior to the 7:00 board meeting. Any groups or individuals wishing to speak to the press or during the board meeting on Tuesday evening, please contact moderator@dearjcps.com or call (502) 565-8397.

In addition to attending the event, please sign this petition. The petition has over 6,000 signatures so far.

The Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) District is conducting the 2017 Comprehensive School Survey (CSS) until March 24, 2017. Be sure to share your feedback here, as well.

This letter was submitted via our Open Letter Form. Please join in the conversation on our Facebook page.

Dear JCPS,

Why is it that the females in our schools are punished more severely than the boys? I have been in the JCPS system for years, and every year when girls act up, their punishments are almost 3 times as harsh as when boys do the same “crime.” I used to coach for a boys athletic team here, and even though I finished the season with them, they were horrible. Lack of discipline and respect for the teachers Continue Reading