A few thoughts on the proposed schedule change

I haven’t personally seen Kim Fandiño’s proposed schedule change, but it sounds like it might be viable.  Heck, it might even be done well.

But that’s largely irrelevant.  What I want to point out is that she just tried to subvert the entire scheduling system and ignored half the teachers, all the counselors and all the administrators in putting the schedule together.  I think there can and should be consequences there; I also think that’s telling.

First, I can’t imagine any district other than Lebanon ever hiring her as a teacher again.  Not after this.  Maybe as an administrator, but I know I’d be reaaalllllly hesitant to hire someone if I found out they did something like this.

Second, were I a teacher at LHS, I would have never got involved with such an effort.  It’s unprofessional and, I would think, hurts the credibility of the teachers who did get involved.  I don’t think it’s intrinsically wrong to not follow a hierarchical chain of command – far from it – but the way I have heard that Fandiño went about this, from her own mouth – is not good.  It ignored a lot of people who could have offered relevant advice, like administrators and counselors.

Third, I think it reveals something about Fandiño – namely, that she’s still operating in a “my way or the highway” model.  My sense is that the LCSD Board of Directors, even Alexander and Wineteer to an extent, might actually be moving towards a collaborative model; they showed that by being willing to take into account Fandiño’s schedule, but not to do it without thinking about it carefully and seeing how it fits into the rest of what the district is doing.  Fandiño seems to be interested in charging ahead – in the case of the schedule change, the obvious reason is that the new trimester starts in 15 days.  The less obvious reason is that an interim superintendent may not want to do something so, um, rash.

Someone who has lived in the district for a long, long time has said to me that they think that Hazen and Robinson were good Superintendents because they took a more active role in leading the district – as opposed to having teachers having such a strong leadership role.  This person would call the mid-90s and earlier the times when “the inmates ran the asylum.”  I don’t necessarily agree with the statement – I wasn’t exactly old enough to know what was going on – but I think it probably gets at something true:  Namely, that if you go back 10 or 15 years, the power balance between teachers and administrators might have been different.  This is speculation, but I wonder if part of the reason Fandiño is behaving the way she is, well, that change in power relations.

Additionally, maybe she just doesn’t like not having the power that being LEA President gave her.  Who knows?

Bottom line:  While her proposed schedule may have merits – and Steve Kelley noted that it probably does, but since he didn’t get a chance to see it far enough in advance, he doesn’t know – the way she went about creating it, and the way she went around trying to sell it to the board, should simply be unacceptable.  It certainly doesn’t have a place within the new LCSD board, a board that’s been surprisingly and refreshingly collaborative and deliberative.

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4 Comments on “A few thoughts on the proposed schedule change”

  1. sailor Says:

    I don’t understand how it is that Ms. Fandino became the spokesperson for this concept and stepped over the councilors, administrators, etc to bring it forward when she is no longer the union president. She is the true definition of a narcissistic personality, obsessed with power and absolutely convinced that only she can bring solutions that work. What is the big rush to dismantle the school system and how on earth does any of it benefit the kids?

  2. Tracy Says:

    I have seen her proposed changes and they are extremely biased toward her friends. Looking right now at just the math teachers, at least three have had upper division courses taken away from them and given to those on the inside. Kim is obviously slighting several teachers in this schedule. This also looks to be true in the other areas. I am looking at math because that is what concerns me. My student needs math and some of the changes take the current teacher out of the class. Therefore, my student has to adjust to a new teacher for the second half. Looking at the schedule more closely, I see at least one teacher has only the second half of a course. Another teacher is teaching only Geometry for the rest of the year. I think Kim needs to be reprimanded. To have presented this to the board without going through the administration is, to me, a cause for dismissal. If there is a problem with the schedule, address that to the board, do not build your own behind the scenes, taking revenge on teachers you do not like.

  3. Joe the wary Says:

    O.K. Tracy,

    Just because you disagree with Fandino does not mean she should be dismissed. I don’t agree with her at times, though sometimes I do. In this case, she does not speak for all teachers nor am I excited about changes of this sort right before Trimester 2. However, she is both a citizen and a teacher and has the right to question the ‘wisdom’ (or lack there of) of her bosses. This is a ‘PUBLIC’ school system, not the private preserve of a Superintendent, or a Board Cabal, or
    After the way the master schedule was created last spring, problems were exacerbated. It was done without respect to teacher’s knowledge, skills, interests, abilities, or INPUT. It was created to serve the new software, not students, parents, grad requirements or any of the things that really matter in a school.
    Anyhow, glad you are involved.

  4. Tracy Says:

    Actually, the students create the schedule to great extent. They pick their classes and, for the most part, the schedule is built around those requests. With the exception of a limited number classes that are dropped due to low enrollment, the classes are filled by request. Also, there is a limited number of teachers to teach so course numbers are made to fit the needs. But regardless, Kim should not have made up a schedule based no her interpretations of need. She should have gone to the administration, which she said she did and has e-mails to show the communication. But, if that did not work, she could have come to the school board meeting and made that point. Then the school board could have made a decision based upon need and told the administration to do the fixes necessary. Kim claims to have talked to some 15-20 teachers, I know of at least four math teachers she did not talk to. She tried to eliminate the skills of many teachers she felt inferior. She did not have that right to do so in public. She can play her games as much as she wants behind the scenes, it is hurtful to school morale, but she can do so. She should be disciplined just for the harm she caused to the teachers not only because of her braking the chain of command. I have heard many comments about Mr. Hellend and Mr. Martens to be fired for doing their jobs. She should be fired for causing this harm. I would not work around her and she would not have my trust if I worked on the staff at LHS. If she wasn’t such a selfish, power-monger, maybe more could be done. I think we should cooperate to achieve results, not take a superior attitude.

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