The below is a comment in response to a recent story in the Oregonian about the failure of Corbett School District’s third bond:
Missing in this story: The point…
Oregon’s BEST public school district, according to US News and World Report, can’t get the locals to support the schools.
Ms. House misses the golden opportunity to ask, simply, Why?
Mr. Trani runs a tiny district and earns good money for it (for life). He is known for enrolling special ed kids in AP courses to skew his school’s evaluations. His seniors are ALL required to apply for college (also to skew statistics), at a time when even many of those who apply willingly are not prepared. This school leader is a clever guy.
Think how much he is doing for those special ed kids, and for those teachers who are fired for objecting to his exploitation of students (true story).
Mr. Trani is not above creating (unfounded) anxiety by alluding to those goshdarn state tests: “Imagine that when state testing comes around, and every kid needs to take a seven-and-a-half-hour test.”
Corbett’s schools are full of talented and hard-working educators who deserve safe, functional places too teach and work. They have earned much of the acclaim that has been awarded their school district. Like all of Oregon’s public institutions, they deserve supportive, trustworthy, competent leaders. Why would a collation of local folks sabotage this effort to improve schools?
Because, well, Corbett Save Our Schools is for real–those are the parents and teachers and community members who apparently know more than Ms. House about the reasons for the failure of this bond.
They know that Trani can spend public education money for legal protection of allegations of unsavory personal conduct at the work place. We all know the adage about power and absolute power. Mr. Trani is one of the untouchables that the education establishment promotes and celebrates naively.
Without accountability for administrators, reform is smokescreen hypocrisy and public education is mostly a great place for lawyers and cheaters, but not for teachers and their students. Our system at the state level is dysfunctional (thanks, OEA-T-M) and Trani is iconic, as naked an emperor as ever there was.
This failed measure is the voice of accountability whispering in the Superintendent’s ear: We are watching.
Ms. House owes her readers WAY more story, Come to think of it, most of the O’s education reporters seem disinclined to provide information that reflects poorly on self-interested bureaucrats sheltered until their generous retirements by a system that enjoys sparse oversight and limited accountability.