The first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one. I was beginning to hold hope that the district was beginning to recognize the growing problem with attracting and retaining great teachers and staff, but after reviewing tonight’s presentation, it appears that I am wrong.
After too many years of refusing to acknowledge that teacher, principal and administrative turnover rates were too high and escalating, the time is now to admit that we have a problem that has gone unrecognized for too long, resulting in the loss of morale within the district and some of the highest turnover we’ve ever experienced. The time is now to admit the pay bands have NOT resulted in attracting high quality candidates. No data supports that. Instead, they have contributed to the loss of great, experienced teachers who no longer feel appreciated by the vision of members of this board.
The time is now to admit that the custom created CITE system is
· overly burdensome,
· and prevents teachers from providing the proper direct instruction required for our students to be successful.
The time is now to fix these glaring flaws in the systems created with great enthusiasm but spun out of control. All of these now-identified problems can and should be addressed immediately. The children of DCSD have one chance at an education. We must stop the loss of our most valuable resource: the dedicated employees of DCSD.
You can twist the numbers to say what you want, but MY CHILD has been hurt by teacher turnover, and she is not a number. She signed up for specific, challenging classes in the spring because of certain teachers with excellent reputations, only to arrive in the fall and find the teachers had left. This happened two years in a row. We all know that one great teacher can make a difference. We’ve lost so many of our best and brightest teachers due to our reinvention of American education, and these teachers are now making a difference in Littleton or Cherry Creek or entirely different professions. We are thankful that many of the teachers that remain are true life-changers for our children and have stayed despite being devalued by a flawed pay for performance system and insulting salary bands.
The public wants the six of you to work together, three of you to acknowledge the problems in the district, and all of you to find solutions to fix them. Will you finally admit that Douglas County School District has a problem and start working together to solve it? It’s time to move from being a district that pretends to consistently attract and retain the best teachers to one that actually makes this a priority.