I have been posting about the dysfunctional education system in this country since I was hired as a teacher in July of 2014. Pay special attention to this previous post.
I have been working as a teacher at a charter school run by a private company. It is being used as a sales tool for the commercial real estate division of that company. (As in: Look at how great the school here is! If you buy property here, your employees will have access to this great school.)
On Tuesday, some of my students came to see me during lunch and warned me that they were being called to the principal’s office one at a time, told that I was being investigated in connection with a parent complaint, and asked to provide any negative comments that they had about me.
On Wednesday I was called to the principal’s office and presented with the complaints. The only negative things were that I once played a video of Superbowl commercials in class, that I was curving exams, and that students felt like they were not learning in my class.
The principal also told me that out of the 50 students they questioned, all but three of them had positive things to say. He went on to claim that this was probably due to the fact that the students were afraid of retribution. I then said “So when a student complains about not liking my class, they are being accurate and truthful, but when they are happy with my class, they must be lying?”
I also pointed out that the students were all receiving test scores that were showing progress, and in fact were the same or higher than the other teachers who were teaching my subject. We had just gotten our evaluations from last school year, and my evaluations were the same or higher than teachers with decades on the job. The meeting ended there.
On Thursday and Friday, administrators came into my classroom no less than seven times to observe my teaching. I even found a recording device hidden in one of my two classrooms, that was actively and secretly recording me as I taught class.
After school on Friday, I was called from my duty of watching the parking lot and summarily fired. The only reason given was “We are letting you go. You are just not a good fit for the vision that we have here.” That was the best that they could do, even after looking for a reason for four days.
Under the terms of my contract, I have to be paid for the work I have done to this point, and they owe me about two month’s pay. I am not sure where I will work after this, but I have some time and plenty of money.
One of my students contacted me through another teacher. It turns out that there is a student who is bragging that she got me fired. That student has been complaining all year that she doesn’t belong in my class, but in an honors class. She stated that my class was the “dummy class” and was too easy. She received a C on my last exam, and was mad, claiming that she had never received a C in her life on any test. Her father is one of the the named partners of the law firm that represents the company that owns the charter school.
Other sources in the main offices of the school tell me that the father was indignant that his daughter received a C and demanded that I be fired, but as long as I don’t make waves, the school will not give me a bad recommendation when I apply elsewhere.
That is where education is today.