Consider our Superintendent's incubation at Plant High School under the tutelage of Beth Shields.
Starting as a Reading Resource Specialist, she has never actually taught in a Hillsborough County classroom. (No grading, no parent phone calls, no scheduled daily classes, no attendence, no homeroom.)
Out of breath yet?
Like a rock skipping over the water, there were surface ripples but nothing that could be considered leadership currents.
It makes me think she's really not the innovator some would have us believe.
Consider the bureaucratic structure of ROSSAC.
Has anyone ever been fired?
(Not even Doug Erwin earned that distinction. His bravery and endurance was recognized by the County Commissioners. It cost the district money. You get the point.)
Thoughts, focus and direction appear to be seeded in positions below the Superintendent.
It is hard to imagine that in less than 2 years in the Superintendent's position anyone could possibly have a grasp on all the ramifications of the 6 out of 7 plan she has brought forth and championed.
They can't get the buses to run on time due to attrition, burnout, and staffing. A consultant was paid handsomely to identify problems and suggest resolutions. How many kids are still waiting for the bus before and after school? Next year's classrooms will be similar.
Its a house of cards and the Superintendent has an itch in her nose.
Somebody has her ear.
Somebody has sold her on this plan.
Whistle Blower Resigns After Reporting $100 Million in losses to the F.B.I.
TAMPA - The Hillsborough County School Board will end its fight with former employee Doug Erwin, who sued the district under the Florida Whistle-Blowers Act and won a jury award of $175,000.
"We based it on our attorney's recommendation," school board Chairwoman Candy Olson said
after a closed board meeting Tuesday to discuss litigation. "I still think we did nothing wrong, but we've got other things we need to pay attention to. We need to move on." Erwin, reached at his home near Atlanta, said, "That's great. ... I really didn't know what to expect at this point in time. I'm happy to see the end of it."
Erwin said he is spending his time working in his garden and "enjoying life as much as possible"
with his wife, Pat.
The district's battle with Erwin will cost taxpayers $215,184 in the school board attorney's fees, school board attorney Tom Gonzalez said, plus Erwin's attorney's fees and costs. Erwin's attorney, Priscilla Ryan, has asked for more than $1.6 million, Gonzalez said, which will be determined in a court hearing.
Erwin's saga started in November 2001, when he went public with allegations of shoddy work,
mismanagement and coverup in school construction and maintenance. A 33-year school district employee, Erwin had been a popular principal before being promoted to general director of operations in 1998. There, he sparked internal investigations into wrongdoing in the maintenance and grounds departments he supervised. Those led to criminal charges against former school district employees
and showed $560,000 apparently misappropriated in the grounds department. Florida's auditor general verified accusations of waste and mismanagement.
Erwin's original request to air his concerns before the school board was denied, followed by
heated debates with the board.
In late January 2002, then-Superintendent Earl Lennard reassigned Erwin, ordering him to find an estimated $100 million in district losses. Erwin announced his retirement the next day and sued the district, saying he was forced to resign after his allegations. A trial in December before U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore resulted in the $175,000 award, not yet paid because the district appealed.
In late September, Whittemore refused to overturn the award.
"I think the judge is dead wrong, but the truth about an appeal is that the odds are against you,"
Gonzalez said. Ryan, Erwin's attorney, has filed for $43,246 in costs plus $799,180 in fees and has asked that the fees be at least doubled, Gonzalez said.
The money to pay Erwin and all attorneys comes out of the district's general fund used to pay employees and operating expenses, he said. Only four of seven school board members were at Tuesday's meeting. Two of them, Doretha Edgecomb and Susan Valdes, were not on the board when the Erwin case made headlines. "I just think it's a new administration, and we have to move forward," Valdes said.
Edgecomb agreed: "We have done all that we could. I think we have bigger issues to focus on.
We should just accept the judgment and move on from there."
( SOURCE: MARILYN BROWN , The Tampa Tribune
Tampa Bay Online)
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