When the discussion of the state of schools is brought up, it feels like a full moon is out and people go crazy…
…or turn into egomaniacal savages, hell-bent on turning the school district into their personal Manifest Destiny.
For as much grief and criticism the Des Moines School District receives, it’s a shame really. The students, teachers, staff, and principals should be receiving support, but something always get in the way of that.
What is it?
The inability for everyone to be on the same page. Jealousy, egos, and self-serving individuals are the ones who have made the Des Moines schools a laughing-stock. Over the past 14 years since I moved to Des Moines, the superintendent, the school board, and the so-called expert critics in the community has made it virtually impossible for this school district to move forward.
Oh, the schools have made progress, but it’s being stunted by a group of people who can’t seem to stop meddling and pointing fingers.
They are the ones who have made a mockery of the whole thing.
Not just those in administration and on the school board. It is those who have never spent a day on the board or in the classroom. People think that they can do a better job of running the school than the teacher, principal, and the staff. People like Graham Gillette, Jonathan Narcisse, and Dick Murphy. There’s a bunch of people who have made it a priority to push their own personal agendas to make the schools in Des Moines a figuration in their own minds.
Up in Ankeny, I guess you can say I want to feel sorry for the school board up there, but I really can’t. After all, they were the ones who were elected to the board by those who were against Ankeny High splitting into two schools. That board was so wrapped up in that saga, they never bothered to ask questions on why former superintendent Dr. Matthew Wendt was asking for severance when he tendered his resignation?
Terree Caldwell-Johnson and Dick Murphy thinks the Ankeny board need to get voted out in the next election for being that naive. The board was never a Wendt fan anyway, since he’s the guy who did the unthinkable: spilt up Ankeny High.
It is so easy to attack the board and the superintendent, but the real problem is the culture of mistrust, from all sides. Parents don’t trust the teachers, teachers don’t trust the board, so-called school crusaders don’t trust no one, and everyone gets blamed.
And sadly, no one accepts responsibility for their own actions.
That’s the true crime of this story: a culture of selfishness and ego.
And that’s why the smart people, the people who can look past the personal agendas and arrogance, are staying away in droves…or making a mockery of the process.
Such a pity.