Open Letter to the Murphy Governing Board (Revised)
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Open Letter to the Murphy Governing Board (Revised)

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Updated version Jan. 29, 2010

Updated version Jan. 29, 2010

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Open Letter to the Murphy Governing Board (Revised) Open Letter to the Murphy Governing Board (Revised) Presentation Transcript

  • Dear MSD board members, The Office of the Auditor General has conducted a performance audit of the Murphy Elementary School District.
  • The District’s administrative costs were significantly higher than costs of comparable districts primarily due to a higher number of administrative positions. ( June, 2003) See full report by clicking here:
  • Ever since this audit took place, the Murphy School District student population has decreased by almost 500 students.
  • During his administration, Dr. Mohr did not reduce administration costs and in the spring of 2009, he justified his decision by blaming crime and demographics.
  • The declined in student population is the equivalent to a whole school.
  • Dr. Mohr has been placed on administrative leave pending investigation. Current district administrators have announced major cuts across the board. Unfortunately, they have not practiced what they preach.
  • Proof of this is that in the middle of the school year, they replaced an instructional coach as if this was a priority. They did not replace the PE teacher at the same school.
  • In addition, they did not replace the 5th grade teacher that moved up the ladder to become an instructional coach. Talk about priorities!
  • Who will make the greatest impact on children? A classroom teacher, a PE teacher or an Instructional coach? The reality is that you don’t need a degree to know the answer to this question.
  • Now, if you are wondering about the job description of an instructional coach, this might be best description:
  • Instructional Coach Someone who assists school administrators. They spend 70% of their time assisting the school principals and 30% of their time supporting teachers.
  • We believe the current Murphy administration is MOHR of the same. The District’s administrative costs are significantly higher than costs of comparable districts.
  • Further, the pay for some administrative positions is much higher than for comparable positions in other districts.
  • The sad news is that the four schools have failed to make AYP. We think is time to face the brutal facts. Good intentions are not enough.
  • Poor management in schools translates to underperforming schools. The children of this community deserve an excellent education.
  • Recognizing the problem is the first step down that long and difficult road. It’s a fallacy to believe that the current administration will meet the challenges we face.
  • Murphy teachers are enmeshed in a political web, which means school reform is often not about children, but about power.
  • Many teachers care deeply about kids; they want to do good. But the nature of the job and the trade-off involved are built-in roadblocks to change.
  • We believe some existing school administrators cannot solve the problem [of low-performing students], because they are the problem.
  • We do not dismiss the good use to which money can be put when used wisely, but the racial gap in academic achievement cannot be traced to inadequate school funding.
  • The educational foundations of our society presently being erode by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our future as a Nation and people.
  • Fundamental change in the Murphy School District is necessary―change much more radical than that contemplated by the most visionary of today’s public officials.
  • Unfortunately, rules, regulations, politics, and a culture hostile to reform all constrain those who want change.
  • Those in charge of the current system―those with vested interest in the status quo―have the power to prevent fundamental change.
  • Those in charge of the current system―those with vested interest in the status quo―have the power to prevent fundamental change.
  • In sum, the Murphy School District has been investing a great deal of additional money in our public schools over the past generation, and yet the test scores of the students attending our increasingly well-funded schools have been essentially flat.
  • During the last elections, Murphy Community Voters approved merging Murphy Schools with other school districts.
  • The voters believe this will create more competent schools: a sense of belonging to a wider community and a feeling of solidarity with other Americans.
  • Through a democratic process, the voters seek out a system that required all children, rich and poor, to go to the same school so that they would get an equal chance regardless of who their parents happened to be.
  • The voters see the schools as the central and main hope for the preservation of democratic ideals. A good general education in the early grades is the necessary foundation for citizenship. Truthfully, Your community