WCSD Superintendent Race

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by beachbums77, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. beachbums77

    beachbums77 Beach Comber

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    From WZEP First News‎ > ‎
    Rosemary Ragle Speaks Against ESE Changes
    posted an hour ago by WZEP AM 1460 An Exceptional Student Education employee with the Walton School District took issue with Superintendent Anderson’s recommendation to add a Coordinator of Instructional Support Services. Rosemary Ragle spoke to the Board and questioned adding the position at a time she says morale is low, questioned changes in ESE staff location and questioned spending money for a position when it could be used elsewhere.
    Ragle, who is with the Walton School District ESE Department, talked to WZEP First News. Ragle is also qualified as a democrat candidate for Walton Superintendent of Schools. With limited time to make comments, and with the meeting being an agenda specific special meeting, Ragle made several comments and points, but not all were fully cited or allowed due to the specific question on the agenda.
    At the meeting Ragle talked about constraints on financing and teachers not getting step raises. She says she is concerned about teachers. Ragle also thinks moral is low and does not think teachers feel valued. Talking to WZEP, she noted the recent School Accreditation Report and says they cited the need to develop a plan of corrective action to improve the confidence of the stakeholders in the school district. Stakeholders can be teachers, support and parents. She says another area of weakness noted by the Accreditation team was the need to increase parent involvement.
    Ragle also talked about Building One at the Tivoli Complex. She says it has always housed the exceptional education department. Currently they have six staff members with offices there. She told the Board that in the past the district spent funds to install a confidential record file room that meets requirements. Ragle tells First News her staff will be moved in July to accommodate the phy services department. Ragle says she is concerned that the departments are being split into two and that if the ESE staff is separated from the building, they will lose easy accessibility to the records needed to their everyday work. Ragle was stopped from discussing the relocation of her staff since the meeting was an agenda special meeting and the personnel recommendations were listed, but not building needs.
    Ragle also questioned adding another administrative position to the payroll. She says the two departments were one, Psychological and ESE and now there will be two. At the meeting, Superintendent Anderson told the Board there will be no additional cost and there might even be a savings. It was explained the position would be funded through several TItle programs. Saying that union negotiations have been at an impasse, Ragle expressed concern with adding a position to the Tivoli Complex. She tells WZEP she feels it would have a negative public perception. Ragle says these funds can not be used to pay teachers, but could be used elsewhere. She says they could find areas of need where the funds could be used, without creating an administrative position. An example would be using these funds to provide inclusive services for V-PK and pre-Kindergarten disabilities.
     
  2. seagrovegirl

    seagrovegirl Beach Fanatic

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    I take exception to some of the comments by Ragle.

    First, moral is low due to budget constraints and payroll freezes, this is across the counrty, not an isolated circumstance.

    Second, I think teachers are notoriously underfunded and it takes a special person to educate our kids. That being said, don't contribute to the bickering, kids come first. It will get better, we have to get through the perfect storm.

    Third, hiring additional staff to help the ESE students sounds like a plus to me, especially since it will be at no additional cost to WCSD. ESE programs need improvement in Walton Co.

    Fourth, what would be Ragle's recommendation for improvement? The issues were addressed, in a meeting that was agenda specific, so I understand the limited conversation, so what was the point? It seems the motive is political which in my opinion was counter productive. It leaves more questions than answers.

    My thoughts that remain, are this is a Union issue, and hiring more staff ( even though fully funded elsewhere)during pay freezes will detract from their paycheck. This sickens me.

    Lastly, I have nothing to gain by my comments. I currently have no children in the school system and I have not chosen a candidate to support. I see this for what it is, it is so obvious to me, so I had to speak out.

    I admire our teachers, they work hard and put up with a bunch of crap from kids, parents and administration, but the current circumstances are what they are. I want to see some thoughts on solutions, not negative comments in a limited meeting.
     
  3. ann watson

    ann watson Banned

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    My husband has attended a lot of school board meetings and he was at the meeting on Wednesday. I understand that the most interesting issues to come up were personnel recommendations that some parents and others expressed concerns about. I am a teacher of 32 years who no longer works in Walton schools so I do know a little about schools and education. I also have a son who graduated from South Walton High in 2010. I understand that the personnel recommendations are given to the board by the superintendent and the board always approves them as a whole and not individually. With the exception of relatives of a board member, no individual names are even mentioned. The board is told by the board attorney that they must approve the superintendent's recommendations unless they have good cause not to do so. This would be a more valid argument if individual names were submitted for approval and not just the whole list with no names given to the board. The fact is that a lot of instructional candidates with better qualifications are passed over for less qualified teachers. It is a fact that in Walton County the number of experienced teachers with graduate degrees is below the state average. But less experienced teachers with only BA degrees can be paid less which is what Tea Party types with no children seem to think is needed. Our children deserve the best teachers we can recruit.
     
  4. beachbums77

    beachbums77 Beach Comber

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    Four years ago when I went to the poll to vote I felt I really knew very little about the local candidates especially the candidates for school board and superintendent. For that reason I was very glad to come across the interview conducted by the Defuniak radio station and hope they continue to report on the local candidates. The WCSD pays the superintendent over $100,000 so I think it's pretty important to all about the candidates.
    Also on the station's website is a summary of the school board meeting. So, though I agree that the payroll freeze our teachers have experienced over the past 3-5 years would definitly dampen moral, there does seem to be another problem. According to the summary a person spoke on behalf of a group of teachers that were "too afraid" to speak for themselves. Afraid?
    Hiring additional ESE staff I also agree would be of great benefit to our school distict. I imagine with budget constraints it is often the students with disabilities that can be most affected. But, as noted in the summary, this position is not for a person to work with students with special needs it is admisistrative position. From what I am able to find out online these positions start out at over $65,000 a year. And even though it seems the position will be paid for from "title" money couldn't that money have paid for 2 or 3 classroom aides? or much needed materials? Beginning teacher pay is only $34,700.
    Current circumstances being what they are, I would hope school board staff would be thinking of providing educational services to the students first.
    Hopefully there will be more to come from and about all the local candidates.
     
  5. playing4possum

    playing4possum Beach Comber

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    It is quite interesting to note that Walton County School Board needs to have more "parent involvement". I not longer have a child in the here in Walton County and I thank Florida Virtual School and Northwest Florida State College for my child's education. I consider myself an active parent. I know the teachers and administrators that gave my child more education in a day than some gave him in a year. Say "YES" to parental involvement. Say "NO" to pedigree jobs. Seriously folks who are new here, it is not what you know but who you are related to when it comes to jobs here/especially political ones. I have not voted for Carlene Anderson once in all the times she has won in this county and this election will be no different. Until she sees the value of the community (especially parents) becoming involved in here in education, she will not have my vote. Yes, she has the biggest sign but it is not an A+ system here.

    I can see where instructors were "afraid". It is true, she has not been compassionate toward them. I remember back to when she was an elementary school principal. She needs to pack her bags and go back to college. Why are we continually paying over 100, 000 a year to someone who railroads our instructors, changes them from school to school year after year so that they are at her whim of where she wants to send them.

    Walton County School System needs a great leader. It is time to put aside who is related to what school board member, erase all the bad marks off the backs of paid professional teachers and move on with 21st century education. I may be one person but I will speak my mind.

    The ABC's of education= Anyone But Carlene
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  6. ricky bobby

    ricky bobby Banned

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    From what I hear from parents and teachers I agree with the ABC formula. It appears that Mrs. Anderson has supreme authority and the board only rubber stamps her decisions, teachers live in fear and parents and other concerned citizens are ignored.
     
  7. playing4possum

    playing4possum Beach Comber

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    Supreme Authority and Rubber Stamps make for pretty impressive diplomas, huh? What the Walton County children need is a role model, someone who believes in children, who is educated and trained in management. In this day and age, our children need to be learning skills that will sustain them for life and not focused on some government mandate of FCAT that will long be obsolete when they need to be focused on feeding their children. Frankly, I haven't seen that capability here. Sadly many of our voters think their votes do not count and wouldn't give Carlene the time of day, if they had it. That is how Carlene has managed to railroad through political doors to her seat of education.
     
  8. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    So who do you recommend we vote for and why? Please be specific. One candidate did not wow me at all in the last election and there is a brand new candidate it this election that I would love to know more about- she sounds very sharp.
     
  9. playing4possum

    playing4possum Beach Comber

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    I do not endorse any of the candidates currently but I will be doing my research before I make my own choice as I hope every American Citizen chooses to do at voting time. Take some time and do the research. www.greatschools.com has a write in section where parents and have students have been writing down information. It also shows you how schools measure up nationally. Those kids at Walton Academy seem to not be doing so well. I understand why they are sent there but there should be a program in place that is teaching them more than where the next step to drop out is. Someone should go into the schools with an open mind and ask questions. A private group of citizens that gathers information about what our kids think their school is like. Sure it is mandatory that they go to compulsory school but we can use this time to change their lives for the better as obviously their lives spiral out of control from there forward. The whole reason we have children being taught is that we do not want them to grow up illiterate. Isn't that why little two room school houses were built in the little farming areas here. Now that we have bigger schools w

    With more expensive advanced technology let teachers do their jobs and send our school board attorney doing for us? Can't he file a motion on behalf of the residents of Walton County to say we are going to reclaim the schools, teach our children and we refuse to continue paying our taxes toward a unjust way of measuring children's abilities. Or does the attorney feel he is powerless to take on that task?

     
  10. Annie66

    Annie66 Beach Lover

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    From experience, I can say that Mrs. Anderson is more concerned with test scores, getting government grants, and making sure that her authority isn't challenged. My friends are teachers and I can tell you morale is low. And from what I hear and read, the board meetings are held for the sole purpose of approving the agendas to satisfy statutory requirement. Teachers don't need to live in fear of the head of the school district.
     
  11. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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  12. SGB

    SGB Beach Fanatic

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    I have now met both candidates and have some personal experience with Carlene over the years. I think we need a write-in candidate. I attended the meeting on Wednesday and it was an education. I finally realized how screwed up our system really is.

    A list of employees that the board was voting on was given to the attendees after it was realized what was happening and an audience member requested the list. The list was not on the web site prior to the meeting. I assume the board had the list already. Once employee recommendation get before the board, they are pretty much forced to approve them unless an employee has committed one of a specific list of "sins". Basically it boils down to if they aren't a criminal (I'm simplifying here.) then the board has to approve the employees that the Superintendent puts forth. It is rubber stamping her recommendations. It has become obvious to me that the school board has very little power and, for the most part, what Carlene wants, Carlene gets. I have come to the same conclusion I did many years ago when I first moved here. The Superintendent should be a hired position, not an elected one. It always seemed odd to me that the Superintendent was elected but figured that was just because it wasn't how it was done where I lived previously.

    I've been hearing the theory of the ABC's of Education = Anyone But Carlene, a lot lately, but am at a loss on the alternative. I am hoping that as I learn more about each of the candidates, one stands out, but so far no one is impressing me and it makes me sad for the future of our school system. I have been hearing consistent stories about the morale across the school district and that Carlene has a very heavy hand when dealing with employees. I've witnessed the shuffle of administrators between schools that goes on every year. If a principal or other administrator doesn't work out at one school, they are sometimes left in place (sorry Paxton) or shuffled around to a different school or to the district office.

    I have seen improvements in our schools through the years, but they could be incredible schools if given the right guidance and strong leadership. Unfortunately the time to qualify for the election has passed. What are our options now?
     
  13. ann watson

    ann watson Banned

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    I have nothing against the tea party. And just so you'll know, I'm posting under my real maiden name. Perhaps some of you have a problem with me because I lost a career of 30 years and I can't just accept it because we were told that 'the law doesn't require a reason' for non renewal. The school district actually hired more than 60 additional teachers after I was dismissed. There was also a collective bargaining agreement that was ignored. I was a good teacher and my childrens' performance reflects that. I'd gladly take a job at an entry level salary, but I also have it on good authority that Mrs. Anderson's policy is not to rehire non-renewed teachers. As for the election, she'll more than likely stay in her position. My family hasn't lived in Walton county for 6 generations so I'm a nobody who doesn't deserve any explanation about crappy decisions by our public servants. Oh and it might be nice if some of the more prolific voices on this site actually attended school board meetings and talked to some of the ex-teachers who will never work in Walton County Schools again. I would go to some meetings but at 9:00AM I'm sometimes working at my part time hourly job.
     
  14. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    I am very sorry about your situation and feel it was unfairly enacted. A couple more questions. Why was your union, to which I assume you paid dues, unable to help? Also, as you had 30 years service was there no retirement?

    I, admittedly, do not attend school board meetings as I leave that to active parents. I do attend BCC meetings in the South. Oh, and I do pay taxes. I feel most of those at the federal level are wasted, however.
     
  15. ann watson

    ann watson Banned

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    WCEA is a token union. As far as I know they don't even have a website or a mailing address. When I was teaching our representative was Trisha Hutchison and she only said that the union didn't really represent you unless you were under a professional services contract (tenure). Now that tenure is gone thanks to Sen. Gaetz and some of our other illustrious members of the legislature, I suppose the union only represents members who had tenure prior to the end my fourth year of teaching. Mrs. Anderson canned me just in the nick of time. Had I been rehired I would have had tenure. How convenient.
     
  16. BJackson

    BJackson Beach Lover

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    I have a friend here in Freeport who had a similar experience. She was not renewed by her principal with no explanation. Because she was not renewed no other principal in Walton County would allow her to interview for an open teaching position. She was devastated. Her career was essentially over unless she moved from here. After a brief time working in the hospitality field, she was lucky enough to be hired for a teaching position in the Bay County School District. She was unable to get a recommendation from her previous principal but after a Walton County School Board member reviewed her personnel file, she received a glowing recommendation.
     
  17. j p nettles

    j p nettles Banned

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    A person's resume may look good on paper but performance says a lot more. That goes for candidates as well as business leaders. I worked for a company for more than 25 years and when I started, the CEO had a great educational background and a reputation for ruthlessness. The board of directors finally replaced him with a man who was successful in his business interests but he wasn't a college graduate. The company, under his direction and leadership experienced it's greatest period of prosperity and profitability in it's history. When he assumed the position of CEO he surrounded himself with qualified, competent people who got the job done. And he was a fair person and if he had to fire someone or replace someone he could give you a reason for doing so. I say this and I was way, way down on the totem pole.
     
  18. liz coats

    liz coats Beach Lover

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    Low morale, unfair treatment of teachers, and rule by fear and intimidation. That's what I'm hearing. I'd hate to work under those conditions. "my way or the highway" isn't my cup of tea.
     
  19. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

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    That's funny, you said tea.
     
  20. ann watson

    ann watson Banned

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    I'd like for the candidates to have some kind of town hall meetings so the public might interact with them. I taught in the same school with Trisha Hutchison but I don't know Mrs. Ragle or Mrs. Anderson. In the four years I taught the superintendent never darkened the door of our school unless I missed seeing her. In Alabama where I taught for 27 years, the superintendent made regular visits to all the schools and always visited my class. If the public could ask the candidates questions and get a feel for them and their plans it would be helpful.
     

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