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Concerned about Madison schools
Friday, May 17, 2013 11:00 AM
As I read another article about the Madison Consolidated School Corp., I am saddened. Just as the public was left in the dark regarding Carla Gauger's retirement, we have only been given partial details on some important stories.
You only retire "effective immediately" when you are being forced out, and what a shame since Mrs. Gauger always put the needs of the children first. The very thing that made her wonderful was the very thing that sent her packing. When the corporation provides our schools with little resources and packs children into classes 30 deep, difficult decisions must be made. In every decision, Mrs. Gauger was putting our kids first!
On State Road 7 last week, I saw a little bit of justice for Mrs. Gauger with her "Celebrate Southwestern" signs displayed in her yard. It certainly wasn't lost on me that Dr. Bolinger looked out her window and saw these every single day.
What about Mike Robinson? After 41 years in the school corporation, it is announced that he retired suddenly. There must be more to this story too! Did Mr. Robinson disagree with Dr. Bolinger? Was that the beginning of his end?
And now the ISTEP investigation. If something serious was found, lets hear the facts. I doubt that the allegations are as serious as they are made to seem. Do I condone cheating? No. Do I think that things can easily be misconstrued? Absolutely.
I suggest that the community begin asking questions. How much time passed after the "incident" before students came forward? Are all of the students sticking to their stories? Was the school attorney consulted before students were interrogated without their parent's knowledge?
To the community, Ms. Tuttle was made into a villain, but after 29 years in our corporation, she is far from a villain.
Has the school attorney been consulted before major decisions are made, especially those regarding termination? The school corporation is already involved in litigation and I fear that if decisions continue to be made in the current fashion, more cases will be brought forward against the schools. How much is budgeted for lawsuits?
As a mother to four children that do/will attend Madison Consolidated Schools, I look at the state of our education system, and I'm concerned. Our corporation has fostered an environment of fear for our teachers/faculty. They live each day not knowing if they will have a job. How can they give our children their best when they go to work in fear every day? Their success/employment has been reduced to an ISTEP score, and a number on a Rise Evaluation.
Teachers, I feel confident when I speak for all parents. You are more than a score on a test and more than a number on an evaluation. We appreciate everything that you do as you help mold our children into the future leaders of our community.
Get it together Madison Consolidated Schools. The future of our community depends on it!
I, too, would like to see more looking into the ISTEP situation - I know for a fact (from personal involvement) that concerns were raised to the Courier about the situation and the lack of information being given to parents of children directly involved in the "investigation" weeks before the article was published that seems to be nothing more than a reprint of a press release issued by the school. Where is the reporting? What happened to working to put together a story, asking questions, talking with those who have reached out to your staff and expressed concern about the situation? What is the point of having "reporters" if they are simply going to take statements provided by the school and print them as news? Students were interviewed without parental consent or knowledge, were told not to tell anyone (which many took to include their own parents, so one can only imagine how that message was conveyed), parents received a very non-informative phone call days later in which they were given absolutely no information - only informed that their student had been interviewed by investigators days earlier - and then a teacher is dismissed and scores voided and that is all that is reported? Going back to a previous scandal you have the dismissal of Jacob Blanton over allegations of sexual misconduct. As a band parent who had a student in that class, I learned of that situation not from the school, but from a co-worker who saw coverage of the story on the evening news and contacted me. How did it not occur to the school that it might be best to alert band parents in advance of the news broadcast - very much like the handling of the current ISTEP situation, there was NO information provided to parents who had students that were directly involved and little to no questioning of the facts as presented by the school once they did make a statement. Why is the school not more forthcoming with information and why is the local "reporting" staff not demanding more?
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5/27/2013 7:54:00 AM
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