[LCSD] Whoops

Two comments, in order, from the RLT blog:

Anonymous said…
The reason things are better at the High School are because of Yates. Not because of Alexander or any other board member.

The Real LT said…

And Yates is at the high school because of Alexander and the board.

That might be a rather large piece of news to anyone who was at the board meeting when Interim Superintendent George Lanning announced near the beginning of the meeting that he, George Lanning – not the board – was taking unilateral action to move Mark Finch from LHS to the DO and moving Bo Yates to LHS.  It was CRYSTAL clear, according to Lanning, that it was his choice and not the board’s.

That comment from RLT seems to suggest otherwise.  Now one could speculate and say that RLT meant that Yates got to LHS because Lanning was Super and Lanning was only Super because of Alexander and the board, which would make a lot of sense.  But that’s not what RLT said.  What they said was that Alexander and the board were the reason that Yates got to LHS.

That, of course, suggests kind of what I thought all along:  That Lanning made the move to pre-empt the board unilaterally acting to do the same thing.  The way it played out had two consequences:  Lanning covered for the board, and Lanning’s covering for the board might have meant that the board did not leave itself open to another settlement.  (As a side note, the most cynical interpretation of this is that Lanning’s decision meant the board owed him, but part of me thinks he’s above that sort of thing.)

This is all speculation, of course – such a conversation, were it to involve the board, would have happened in Executive Session.

So:  Either we rely on reading a whole second sentence into RLT’s comment that wasn’t there, or RLT has information from Executive Session.  Given the tendency of RLT to say what they think, I’m going with the latter, which raises the question of where RLT got the information – and whether or not Lanning’s decision was really Lanning’s decision, or if he was forced to cover for the board’s obssession with getting Yates into the LHS Principal’s job at all costs.  (Note:  I am not saying Yates doesn’t belong there, or that he is doing a bad job; I am saying that his installation by others is looking a bit sketchier.)  So if there was an Executive Session leak on this… where did it come from?

Anyone care to weigh in on this?  What am I missing?

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6 Comments on “[LCSD] Whoops”

  1. Tre' Kennedy Says:

    My understanding is that Lanning appointed Yates to the High School to keep the Board from either (1) non-renewing Finch or (2) terminating Finch. Finch had gotten nothing but good reviews so either was another potential lawsuit against the District. Either a termination or a non-renew would also probably end Finch’s career. Lanning did what he did to stand up for an administrator that he did not believe was being treated fairly and to protect the District from more liability. The Board renewed Finch but he gets moved, Yates goes to the High School.

    Let’s be honest, no matter what Finch did he was not going to get the support from some members of the Board or some segments of the community. Mainly those that were the most anti-Robinson were also the most anti-Finch. That is the main reason Bo does have a chance to succeed whcih Finch never had. Those of us on the other side of Alexander are willing to support Bo because it means supporting the kids.

    That being said, it is clear that RLT is a Rick Alexander ally, as if there was any question. Rick has been taking credit for getting Bo to the high school since the day it was announced.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    You would have to be a moron to think George wasn’t pushed into getting Finch out and Yates in.

  3. Lebanon Mom Says:

    I can kind of see what RLT means…maybe. In my observations, the board has been falling over themselves trying to promote Yates for years. Even at the “pay-off” to settle the lawsuit, Debbie said they really hoped they could find a way to move him into a higher administrative position. Anyway, like you say, I don’t think he was a bad choice for the HS, but the board’s wishes were fulfilled even if Lanning made the decision.

  4. Amy Says:

    Actually I posted on that other blog, well tried to it hasn’t been posted yet, that the high school isn’t better now that Mr. Yates is there, just different. The high school still has the same problems but they are really being ignored right now with the budget being the biggest concern. I still hear of teachers not teaching to the end of class, allowing students to come late, students bringing food and non-water drinks to class, cell phones, etc. I think the staff is waiting for all the shoes to drop before really reacting to Mr. Yates. With job losses, new schedule, new grad requirements, and a new superintendent, too much is going on to really react to the situation.

    Mr. Yates has a vision that he is sharing with the staff but implementation is being delayed due to all the changes. Like any new administrator I hope the staff gives him at least a year before asking for changes. But with Kim as union president again and a bargaining year coming up it does not look good. I do think that Mr. Yates has the support of the current board but that board may change. If Mr. Yates has the support of the community that would be a change for the better.

  5. LT Says:

    We think that it is fair to say that things are better at the high school right now because there is no active opposition to the current leadership. Under Mr. Finch, there were a number of teachers and community members in open warfare against Finch. Those staff members are not sabotaging Yates, although we have heard that Fandino has flared on occasion.

    There have been some cosmetic changes to the climate at the school — cell phones are not being used and hoodies are down. As a result, the school feels better on a superficial level.

    We think Amy is right that there are too many other things going on, as well as end-of-the-year burnout, for staff to start implementing much of Yates’ vision.

    We think that Yates is trying to get on top of the situation, but it is an enormous problem, one where there can be no hope of improvement without all stake-holders cooperating. And, unlike other situations, it is not possible to implement reforms in mid-stream.

    We also agree with Amy that Yates should be given a fair opportunity to lead, and a fair opportunity should be a full school year.

  6. Annonymous Says:

    I am more concerned with who is carrying information out of executive session.


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