Jacksonville.com

School Board fires superintendent

The Duval County School Board has scheduled a special Tuesday meeting to discuss Superintendent Joseph Wise's contract, which extends through Oct. 31, 2009. Four of seven votes are needed to terminate his employment. Wise has been superintendent since November 2005.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It's Official: Wise Terminated


The vote was 6-1, with Kris Barnes -- the one board member who has always expressed the need for the superintendent and the board to mend their issues -- casting the dissenting vote. Here is the official roll call:
Voting for termination: Chairwoman Vicki Drake, Vice Chairwoman Betty Burney, Brenda Priestly Jackson, Nancy Broner, Tommy Hazouri, Martha Barrett
Against termination: Kris Barnes

Despite the General Counsel's office pleas for board members to make no public statements, they were bombared by media after the meeting adjourned, which was immediately after the vote was taken.

Now that the motion passed, Wise and Chief of Staff David Sundstrom are on administrative leave. I think they have left the building, but I am going to try to find them to get some reaction.

The General Counsel's Office will now begin working on the official termination documents. During the meeting board members laid out their "cause" for termination, which is important to the board.

Under Wise's contract, there are only two ways to terminate him
1: failure to perform his duties, which some board members say he has. He has several duties outlined in his contract.
2: "serious misconduct" that is "injurious" to the school system. Other board members say some of his recent actions qualifies under this.

If Wise is terminated "for cause" he is only eligible for compensation equal to 90 days pay, which is roughly $70,000.

If he is terminated and there is no cause, he must be paid through the duration of his contract. He makes $275,000 a year and his contract has two years remaining, which means the superintendent could be paid roughly $600,000.

That is why the board is being so pain-staking in taking a day to work with attorneys to draft out his termination agreement and attempt to lay out "cause."

Now, I'm off to finish reporting out this story (a little journalist-speak for you). And the School Board and district staff still have other work to do today, such as reviewing the agenda for the upcoming November board meeting. Ed Pratt-Dannals takes over right this minute because that workshop is starting now.

Continue to comment below. I am reading every one and trying to respond to questions you guys have. I will update the blog again, especially after I speak with Interim Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals.

And read tomorrow's Times-Union for the full report.

Blogging live and loving it,
Tia

116 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know in terms of the law, but it certainly seems to me that many of Wise's actions have been "injurious." Just the dissension that has become constant, coupled with the blanket of fear and distrust that has permeated our district since his arrival are injurious enough. Add to that the loss of scholarship dollars to individuals being required to take classes far above their skill set/ability due to policies he implemented...I can see personal injury along with family, teaching staff (numerous teachers quit under his headship), reputation of our county/district...

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the live blog...hope we can see more of this type of reporting!

Anonymous said...

What is most amazing is that one board member must have blinders on to not see what is going on in the school district around her. Does she really represent the voters who elected her?

Students, teachers and parents have been harmed by the flawed policies Wise forced upon the district. Let's hope the board immediately revokes some of those policieis. Unfortunately, many students who were forced to take college level classes as freshman are the ones to suffer.

Anonymous said...

Finally the initial wrong has been undone now on to the most important decision for Duval, its next Superintendent! Please let not be another Broad Foundation trained Superintendent!!! If you ever get to see Eli Broad's statements on his views and how to be successful you would understand how Dr. Wise fit in with this the Broad Foundation so well! Eli is as arrogant as they come!! And the Wise way is Eli's also!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree that this superintendent has been injurious to this district. The level of frustration is sky high among the teachers because of the directives of this superintendent. Fear is not an appropriate motivator, and anyone who runs their organization in that manner cannot be effective.
If this board had done their homework before they hired him (People in his previous district have nothing good to say about him, and what they did say is exactly whatis happening now in Duval County.), they would have realized he is not someone we want running our school district.
I hope the interim superintendent can put a stop to the madness that the teachers are experiencing.

Anonymous said...

Now that Wise and Sunstrom are gone, what is the status of their "Cluster Chiefs?" They were Wise's bullies, going into the schools and roughing up the teachers and administrators without due cause. Just last year one of them drove Wise to Priestly Jacksons husband's school just to intimidate him!

Anonymous said...

Can we please change our email
address back to educationcentral.org?

Anonymous said...

Joseph Wise is a fraud. He talks a good game, but walks out as soons as the situation gets hot. Luckily your school board was wise to fire him. He left the Christiana school district(DE) in a financial bin (12 million dollar hole)and the rest of the state is paying for; He is leaving with the same horrible results that the he left here in Delaware. Good riddance to a bad educator.

JaxDomino said...

Being a parent of two children in DCPS I can honestly say this is the right decision. Mr. Wise has NOT improved this District. He has not reached out to parents, and the people who are on the ground, the teachers and principals. It is amazing that Kris Barnes can't see what the other 6 board members see or even the majority of the community has seen. I pray that this time the Board does a more thorough job in its search for a replacement, even if it takes until the next school year. Our children and this county deserves a qualified superintendent, one who can work with the Board and parents to make DCPS what it can be had used to be, A National Model School District. I expect nothing less from my elected representatives. Now if the City Council only had the same level of resolve.

lilydog49 said...

Those of us in Christina School District in Delaware who have heard the news are rejoicing. It seems there is justice in the world! We are hoping that Duval County wilkl find cause. Wise does not deserve to be paid $600,000. Terminate him with cause!!

Anonymous said...

may be the right decision, but nothing I've heard rises to "cause" as defined in his agreement. Also, what about him receiving notice and having a right to cure as provided in his contract? In the end, Wise is the winner and will collect a very substantial payout based on how the board has handled this and the advice they received.

Anonymous said...

The teachers at my school are almost cheering. This, however, doesn't do us any good unless some of Wise's initiatives are discarded (Springboard, etc.). Tia, you should investigate these initiatives. DTU hates them and is gathering more support as we speak.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

No matter what the board has to pay out, they will save money in the long run. When it came time to pay for the initiatives we now receive grants for, the county would have been bankrupted.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

One thing I loved about Florida, they were not afraid to do what needed to be done when it needed to be done. This chum fled our state and migrated there, looks like someone didn't learn a thing.

Anonymous said...

Good Riddance. This is one superintendent (notice no capitalization, he does not deserve any respect) that need to be shoved to the curb. The things that he ordered the employees to do that was so close to being illegal was the final straw as far as I was concerned. It couldn't have been fast enough. I just may stay on. I was going to resign instead of working under such an absolute jerk as he was. Now my only comment is Kris Barnes are you blind. Maybe the people that voted you in should step back and look at you. It might make one think he had to have something on you for you to be so stupid. Thank God that the rest of the board saw the light. I know that "just cause" can be found with him with all that he did in such a short time. Maybe now the District can get back to the needs of our children.

Anonymous said...

We have all been sucker-punched by the late-not-lamented Dr. Wise and the inept school board who selected him.

Wise is up for a cushy job with his cronies at the College Board. Having oversold millions of dollars of unnecessary and even harmful College Board "products" to the Duval Schools (this is why so many unprepared children were forced into AP classes against their better interests) he can now accept his new job at College Board, sit back and await the outcome of "negotiations" regarding his dismissal and ultimately collect a fat bonus for switching jobs.

It is a sorry comment on the TU's reporting of this matter that this reality has only been touched upon through inference. Wise's recent conduct has been calculated to force the School Board to fire him, what else could it possibly have done in the face of his defiance, discourtesy and finally his attack on a sitting member. Whatever one thinks of Ms. Priestly-Jackson (and I don't think much) his message to the entire Board was clear, "I will screw around with you personally until you dump me." Had he simply been concerned about her election he could easily have reported the matter to the appropriate authorities and allowed the process to work.

And how will this comedy end? "Negotiations" will proceed at a snail's pace through the administrative channels. Eventually, when the topic is so much old news, and when most of the present School Board members who voted to hire and then fire him are out of office (term limits) a settlement will be reached granting him 99% of what he is owed. You and I will pay this creep a lavish bonus so he could accept new employment.

Anonymous said...

Amen to the commenter who asked that our e-mail address domain be changed back to educationcentral.org!!

Our current domain name (dreamsbeginhere.org) is just plain....well...you get the jist.

Let's do away with the intimidation, the embarassment, FORCING high schoolers to take AP courses, the endless amounts of paperwork - let's get this school system back on track. A school system that works together harmoniously, not one that tries to rid one another.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Great reporting!! Just read this morning's paper and to get on-line and see this is a true testament that we do have good reporters in Jacksonville...just jaded newspapers.

Anonymous said...

WOO HOO! Now he just needs to round up his Delaware cronies that he brought with him. And to think he accused others of "using their position" to help their friends/family. HELLO? Did he not kick out the former principals of 1st Coast and Terry Parker and replace them with his Delaware people? GOOD RIDDANCE!

Anonymous said...

Even if you have to pay out his contract, you're ahead of the game. Those of us who pay taxes in the Christina School District (Delaware) would be delighted if all he and his cronies got away with was $600,000.00.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Jacksonville for 'wising up' to this scam artist faster than happened here in Delaware....you relly should take all compensation away from him as well!!!!

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that everyone knows how to educate our children. I find it interesting that the Brenda Priestly thing will now go away. Under Fryer and BP, many white teachers were transferred from Ribault with no reason. Pratt-Dannals fired both the Principal (Brockington) and transferred Richardson to a middle school for no reason.

It seems that the school board needs to be filled with all educators. They don't seem competent enough to choose a decent superintendent nor do they seem competent enough to follow the rules and not use money for travel, etc.

Clay County votes for the Superintendent. Duval needs to do the same. We must be the laughing stock of the state. Who wants to move here now? Why couldn't these issues be settled in a more dignified manner? Pay for view would likely be a great scenario for this cat fight.

Anonymous said...

Sorry you had to deal with him as long as you did. He did the same horrible things in Delaware and he should not have been given another chance to ruin a school district. Keep all the money you can because all he did was steal from us.

Anonymous said...

We from Delaware TRIED to tell you how he was. He did the SAME THING here, and left us in debt. If I were the school board in Duval, I'd do an audit IMMEDIATELY before you let him go. I would not be surprised at all to find that a large amount of money is "missing".

Anonymous said...

Looks like all the posts are from teachers.

Anonymous said...

In response to the 12:04 comment, that was very insightful. Of course, his buddy is going to give him a cush job at the College Board. Thanks for shedding light on all this. These last few weeks have all been calculated plotting on Wise's part to get terminated! He's more devious and diabolical than I had even thought!

Anonymous said...

No, there are a lot of concerned parents here, too...

Anonymous said...

I'm not a teacher, just an outraged taxpayer (re my post "We have all been sucker-punched") above.

Anonymous said...

Yeeehaw!!!

Now lets go back to our good old failing schools, the old boys clubs and lazy union backed teachers. And the next super better not change a damn thing!

Anonymous said...

Send him back to Delaware to face the people he left hanging. Our district is still trying to get out from under the debt he put us in. You had better check your finances before he is gone for good.

By the way, the College Board is also a huge scam, they want every kid to pony up money to take thier tests, and they push for kids to be dumped into AP classes. They have become watered down because the kids in them are not prepared.

It is all a huge money making machine for the College Board. Who are they anyway? A privately held company out to make MONEY.

Anonymous said...

He is a ego driven over the top control freak who has done nothing but bring down the school districts he has touched. The Christina School District in Delaware is still reeling from him and his band of cronies that destroyed a good school district and robbed us blind as he took the money and ran.....
You better have a quick and accurate audit before he jumps ship again or you too will find millions missing or miss spent.
This guy has to be tagged, labeled and ID'd as the person he really is: a greedy, self-serving, ego driven control monger. Flush him away after you do the audit.

Anonymous said...

OK, now let's fix this board. My wife was harrassed by that Jackson women and so were other teachers of her daughter. Time to clean house at the board and get people who understand the needs of the kids.

Dean

Anonymous said...

Ding Dong the witch is dead...lalalalalalalalala..!

Anonymous said...

As a parent with 2 middle school students it is clear I am doing my children a great disservice by leaving their education to the Duval County School System. Unfortunately I do not have the means to make other arrangements so my children have to suffer because our school system is so flawed. I hope that this motion to make changes will do just that changes but good changes!

Anonymous said...

To the 12:54pm poster - SCREW YOU!!

Get two facts straight before you post - 1.) there will ALWAYS be failing schools because you can lead horses (students) to water (school) but you can't make 'em drink a damn bit of it!!
And 2.) "lazy union-backed teachers"?? Are you serious?? Teachers all across this county bust their *ss day-in-and-day-out trying to educate their students properly and tackle the mountain of paperwork that greets them on a daily basis.

Get your facts straight!!

Anonymous said...

Enough of this "chief of staff" and "cluter offices" IF IT IS NOT BROKE DONT FIX IT! Lets stop trying to make such a "government" of our school system to make people feel they have some sort of power. Remember WE THE PARENTS pay for these services! Parents lets take back our children's future! Lets all rise and demand that our children get educated properly! THE ONLY PEOPLE AFFECTED BY ALL THIS NONSENSE ARE OUR CHILDREN! OUR FUTURE LEADERS! HOW HARD IS THAT FOR DUVAL COUNTY TO COMPREHEND!

Anonymous said...

To the misinformed who keep insisting that some of the board members don't have a background in education, please stop...several board members were teachers. Most are college educated with Master's Degrees.

The oversight that the board tried to provide at the start was seen by some to be micromanaging and that was 2 years ago. Today at least one board member still considers oversight micromanaging. Either the board has a responsibility to know a) what goes on and b) why things are going on or they do not. Florida Statues gives them the right to know what's going on...another thing that some of you should view before making posts of this sort.

Regarding the travel comments for BP-Jackson:...did you know that most district level staff and a great deal since Wise got here use district funds for travel? Many times friends, significant others, and children accompany district staff on these trips at no additional expense. The difficulty associated with determining what portion of a hotel room should be applied to a nonemployee is one issue here. But staying out of town longer than a conference is going on, renting cars without cause, and being reimbursed for dinner even though you didn't eat one are all realities for dcps. If we are going to highlight BPJ, please lets get facts about all travel for principals, chiefs, and the x-SUPT.

Some of you simply blog without understanding. For the blogger who insists that we'll go back to the "good old boy days"...wake up and read what everyone is saying..could all the people writing about Wise be making this stuff up? When the auditing process is completed at dcps, we will all see the impact that his reign has had on us and we will all have the proof that we need. He and his friends have robbed us and we've got nothing for it but mounting bills and confusion at the school level.

I haven't even mentioned the practice of constantly reducing minimum qualifications for new or old positions so that hand picked candidates can get jobs they wouldn't be qualified for had Wise not been Supt. If you need proof go bak and read the board agendas from the dcps website..it's public information folks...don't forget to read the board members' profiles.

Jacksonville simply needs to take this as a learning experience...let's rally around each other and make the changes we need to get the job done. Our city has strong support for our tenured politicians. I first became upset with Wise simply because of the manner in which he addressed Hazouri. There is a respect issue that ought to be expected from the Supt and the board. That doesn't mean the board is trying to tell the supt what to do...it just means that board should rightly be involved with decisions...especially those that involve significant changes.

Dcps should re-evaluate all of the initiatives that Wise has established. Hopefully now the fear will be gone and district level staff can now attest that much of this stuff is useless.

Anonymous said...

Teaches do bust their butts ...teachers who care that is. The ones that post comments like "screw you" well enough said! When your child comes home with a poor progress report indicating they did not turn in their work and you find out the teacher received these papers...graded them and returned them to the student but FAILED to put the grade in the computer for a progress report...THIS IS SURE FIRE SIGN THAT SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THE ENTIRE SYSTEM!

Anonymous said...

Can we get rid of our porn appearing email addresses now?

Anonymous said...

the only thing that matters is our children. Do any of you bloggers care about our children's education at all?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Dr. Wise still thinks his position makes him too good to meet with parents? Ironic how things work out isnt it?

Anonymous said...

"Yeeehaw!!!

Now lets go back to our good old failing schools, the old boys clubs and lazy union backed teachers. And the next super better not change a damn thing!"

To the person who stated the above - The issues are not going away along with Wise BUT he added to the problems, not to their actual solution. His actions created opportunities for his friends to make a big buck off of Duval and its children!

When you assume you make an "ass" out of "U" and "me"! What facts do you have that Duval's teachers are lazy because they are represented by a union. Duval's teachers work long and hard houre, which is also way beyond 40 hours a week, and do not qualify, by law, for overtime! Most could get jobs elsewhere for bigger bucks by stay in teaching because of their love for our children. All they all perfect, NO! But the majority should not be rediculed for the very small minority that are not performing up to par. The bigger issue is children coming to school ready to learn and that is a parents responsibility for which a Teacher has little to no impact! When I was in school over 40 years ago very few children showed up unprepared and if they did their parents got on their case! It is harder today with the unfortunate need for multiple incomes for families to make ends meet but it is not impossible!

PS - NO - I am NOT a teacher though I have worked previously for Duval in a non-teaching position downtown.

Anonymous said...

Really....NOW LET'S GET RID OF THE SCHOOL BOARD! Do you think that Wise is the only problem here? What about the board members who are as arrogant as they come? With or without Wise, DCPS are a mess. I wanted to be a teacher when I moved here, but this mess has made me think twice. Wise is not the ONLY problem! The board is full of closed-minded individuals who do not like change. If they had all of the right answers, they would not have as many failing schools. I am ashamed to say that I live in this county. I am just fortunate that I do not have any children in the schools. Now let's see who the board is going to bully next.........

Anonymous said...

NOBODY IN THE SCHOOL BOARD GIVES A RATS BEHIND ABOUT OUR CHILDREN'S EDUCATION. THEY CARE ONLY ABOUT THEMSELVES THIER POWER AND FINANCIAL GAIN. WE PARENTS AND TEACHERS ARE IDIOTS FOR SITTING BACK WATCHING IT HAPPEN! TEACHERS DONT HAVE ENOUGH RESOURCES TO PRINT MATERIALS FOR THEIR CHILDREN BUT HOW MUCH MONEY HAS BEEN MISAPPROPRIATED LEAVING OUR TEACHERS IN THIS POSITION?

DUVAL COUNTY IS A HORRIBLE PLACE FOR YOUR CHILDREN TO ATTEND PUBLIC SCHOOL!

Anonymous said...

hey it is what it is

Anonymous said...

At this point the school board should be fired, not the superintendent. (He should have been fired long ago.) They hired him and they didn't do their job very diligently then. The school board had an opportunity to fire the superintendent when FCAT scores showed that all but two of the high schools were failing ( I don't count D's as passing, you can't graduate with a D average. I also don't count the three special high schools because they are stacked with only "smart" students). This was worst than when he started. But now when he tries to do his job and do some of the things he thinks will help, because they don't agree with him, they want to fire him. Or is it because he used his constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech to question the motivations of a school board member, that he is fired. Guess who is going to pay? At $275,000 a year with two years left on his contract (that’s $550,000) + LEGAL FEES that the school board is going to throw away just because they now decide he doesn’t agree with him and they don't like him. They say they have "cause" to fire him. The contract I saw said "cause" was being notified of willfully doing something wrong and continuing to do it for a period of 10 days after being notified. I don't think their reasoning will fly and it will go to court and he will get his money.

If the school board just wants a yes person to be superintendent, then please just save us the money and don't hire a new superintendent and they can do the job themselves. I (we the taxpayers) can't keep throwing away money and not getting results. Make the right decisions the first time or get out. Kind of sounds like building a new Courthouse

Anonymous said...

As much as I do not like Joseph Wise, I think that the Board should have thought this through a little longer. It just seems to be a bit brash. They should have made sure that they could fire him with only 90 days severence before they voted. Not the other way around. Don't get me wrong I want him gone but the School Board should have shown a little more tact.

Anonymous said...

A lot of the pressure and additional non-teaching duties placed on Teachers comes from the Federal No Child Left Behind which with its lack of sufficient funding actually creates the opposite effect! Second comes the micro managing from the State politicians, who fail to provide sufficient funding - Florida is one of the lowest funded, per student, states in the United States, and also add levels of micro management to the local educator. Now we finally get to the local school district led by Wise and he added even more levels of micro management to the teachers! If you can not see all of this and its negative impact on teaching our children, go back to school and follow you child around for a week or so and talk to their teachers one-on-one and then you might have enough info to express and informed thought on this subject!

Anonymous said...

AMEN!

Anonymous said...

As a Duval County taxpayer, I refuse to accept failing schools. The "you can take a horse to water but you can't make him drink" excuse is just that, an excuse. We are talking about children, not horses.

Teachers who have this attitude don't get it. Salaries for employees of failing schools are getting a free ride. If a teacher's hard work isn't showing student achievement, change what you're doing. That's what Wise was trying to do, change some of the old ways of doing things.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see him go. Wise is just another empire builder trying to make a name for himself at the expense of Duval county. Its ashame all of the teachers, Asst. Principals and Principals that he demoted or fired cant be reinstated.(Karma - simplistic definiton: What goes around comes around

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness, his reign is over! The morale among teachers has hit rock bottom, and it was past time to recify the mistake made when hiring him.
Tia....thanks for the live blog! You made it possible for us to be there! Great job.

Anonymous said...

To the 1:48pm poster - "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make 'em drink it!" - that, my friend, is no excuse. It's FACT!!

Students, day-in-and-day-out, make the CHOICE to just sit in class and waste their lives.

Ohhhhh...I "get it" alright. I've been in the trenches with the kids that have this attitude and I am still in the trenches with kids that have this attitude.

No excuses here. Just facts. Go visit a classroom at just about ANY of the middle schools around JVille - most are frothing with kids who don't want to do anything.

Anonymous said...

...and it's NOT our jobs to babysit your child. That's what mothers and fathers are for - to PARENT them.

Time to put the ball back in the parents' court.

Anonymous said...

...and it's NOT our jobs to babysit your child. That's what mothers and fathers are for - to PARENT them.

Time to put the ball back in the parents' court.

Anonymous said...

If I was forced to go to your class everyday, I wouldn't want to do anything either. You sound burnt OUt!!!

Anonymous said...

In response to the 1:48 blog: Teachers at "failing" schools are not getting a "free ride". Please! To make that statement is simply false. As an educator at an "underachieving" institution, we are facing the aftermath of a situation out of the educators hands. Mismanagement, Micromanagement and fear are 3 scenearios that every one in Duval County must reevaluate in how our school system has fell into this quandry. I have faith that our School Board will overall assess the situation and make sound decisions at this point for our community.

Anonymous said...

Now all he has to do is see if he qualifies for whistleblower status. Then DCPS can really pay for firing without cause. They fired because he made people aware of fraud perpetrated by a school board member.

Anonymous said...

I challenge any individual in Duval county to walk into an inner city classroom and see exactly what teachers are dealing with. Children come to school smelling of urine and feces, can not afford to buy school supplies, yet parents can afford to buy their children Nike's or have their hair braided professionally. Dr. Wise has taken away supporting resources needed to adequately teach these children. Along with this, we are getting weekly visits from Cluster Chiefs handing out their insults and negativity. I would like to remind the public, teachers are hired to teach. We are not miracle workers. Next time you blame a teacher for a child's failure, look at the big picture. Are they getting any help at home? Are they attending school regularly? Are they tardy everyday? Look beyond the teacher next time.

Anonymous said...

They didn't fire because Wise was trying to get rid of a board member. Look at Wise's Delaware record. Joey is just being little Hitler. He wants everything his way. Wise has no ethics.

Anonymous said...

As you can see the teacher who is posting that thinks the majority of our children have no interest in learning....WELL DUH have you heard yourself talk? It is teachers like you that cause our intelligent children to lose interest. You need to remember you are in America if you dont like your job get a new one! Our schools ARE big daycare centers for our children because teachers like you dont care about our future! Throw the school board on top and you have a complete disaster! My office is two blocks from my children's school and I go there frequently and I see what goes on first hand. Duval County is a joke and the thing is some of the problems are not the teachers fault. The problem is parents and teachers just sit back and allow this to happen. At what point do we all stand up and say "NO WE ARE IN CHARGE OF THINGS" and take control of our children's futures away from these idiots who think they know what is best for our kids and teachers? I think the teacher that has "horses" for students should resign immediatly! I wouldnt want that person teaching any child who is going to make decisions regarding my health and wealth in the future!

Anonymous said...

To the poster @ 2:30pm - THANK YOU!!!

Game. Set. Match.

Teachers do not need to speak any further because you've hit every nail squarely on the head.

Anonymous said...

My complaint would be that parents are asked to provide school supplies down to handsoap and toilet paper....what the hell is Duval County School Officials doing with all our schools money? I am spending a fortune on ink because teachers cant even afford to print enough materials for all the kids! What is going on?

Anonymous said...

To all the teachers posting...who is teaching the kids while your blogging?

Kevin Greene said...

I think it is time to set some standards for Board Members. I must commend Ms. Priestly-Jackson and Burney for not rubber stamping his late Job Evaluation earlier this year. Tommy H. gave him a good eval only to see the errors in his ways a little too late.

Many people feel like we are throwing money away by buying out his contract (although I believe we would have be able to fire him for cause if more Board Members would have paid attention to his eval). How much money was he going to waste on completely reorganizing the District? Millions. Did it need to happen? Who knows, the board asked that Mr. Wise wait before implementing the plan so they could get a few facts before spending so much money. He refused.

7 Board members are over seeing this multi-million dollar industry which molds our most precious asset, our future - our children. The Board needs to bear some of the heat for their choice of Mr. Wise and their lack of an yearly evaluation. But they should be commended for nipping this in the bud quickly, before Mr. Wise put our School Disctrict and community in a financial hole

Anonymous said...

As a parent of 5 kids- 3 in DCPS schools, I agree with the teachers. I have 2 children that excel. I have one that will show me his completed homework, but the homework never gets turned in. Sometimes even when parents are involved the kids need to learn from their mistakes. Sometimes the parents and teachers need to let the kids fail and suffer consequences at home and at school.

Anonymous said...

1:41 Post - I agree with you!

Like Wise or not, I can not understand why the Board did not do this with a little more time and thought. You can not fire someone and then look for a reason. This will never hold up in court and the taxpayers will be responsible for their rash decision.

Duval County needs to vote for their Superintendent! That would be the first step in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

No matter what has happened during the last few years in this district, it is time for us as a community to examine some complex issues and make some difficult changes. The board needs to be more diligent as they start searching for a replacement and as they review some of the outrageous policies and initiatives of this superintendant.

Teachers and administrators need to reevaluate the needs of our students in every school at every level and work hard to reach every student.

Students need to come to school, behave themselves, pay attention, and study.

Parents need to be an active participant in their child's education... and that might mean making them get off myspace for a whole hour to do their homework.

This culture needs to learn to embrace education and intelligence instead of glorifying pop culture and the idiots who waste space.

It's up to all of us, and it is not going to be easy.

Anonymous said...

To the poster at 2:45pm, wondering who's teaching the students while we're blogging - here's a little English lesson for you....it's "YOU'RE", not "YOUR"

There, I've earned my salary for the day, while I educate the youth of Duval County.

Actually, I showed my class your poor grammar and they pointed out the error immediately.

Have a great afternoon, 2:45pm poster...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for correcting my grammer....I was educated in Duval County's Public School System...ENOUGH SAID! You really should get back to work and teach the children not play online idiot!

Anonymous said...

YOU MEAN WITH THE 9 WEEKS ENDING TEACHERS ARE SPENDING CLASS TIME DOING SHOWING CHILDREN BLOGS AND INVOLVING THEM? I SUGGEST SOMEONE FIND OUT THE IP INFO ON THESE TEACHERS AND FIRE THEM FOR MISAPPROPRIATING THEIR TIME!

Anonymous said...

they must be the teacher with the "horses" no wonder their students do so bad

Anonymous said...

Parents, remove your children from Duval County Schools! There are so many other options. Do not let your children get lost in this "system". Read the blogs these are the people your children spend up to 8 hours a day with!

Anonymous said...

HELP WANTED AD:
(We could of used this ad for the past 25 years in Duval County)

Looking for a qualified School Superintendent for a failing school system. Must be willing to say "yes mam" and "no sir" to all your School Board Bosses.

Must be able to make a quick turn-around in student performance without making any changes.

Must be willing to give all success to the School Board and take blame for any failures.

Must remain quite if you see any illegal activities performed by a School Board Member.

We guarantee a warm welcome and a bitter departure.

Anonymous said...

From the posts it appears that Wise has a long history of "failure" and there is a great passion for his demise. I have 3 kids in the DPCS so i have a great interest. Now that Wise is gone, shouldn't the board, who are the ones who have oversight and the ones who have been over years of failure and the ones who evidently messed up in large fashion, be held to account? Why do they get away with presiding over failure? Why shouldn't they in good conscience accept responsibility and resign immediately. Perhaps Wise is a skunk , but I wonder if there is some validity to his charge of corruption? I wish the blogger\reporter would investigate that.

Keith

Anonymous said...

Any way we look at it, this is a sad day. Students have watched board members, the superintendent and others fighting publically, in the media, being unprofessional and selfish. I was most upset that only the two black board members gave Dr. Wise a negative performance evaluation. Why didn't all board members see the troubling situation our schools, especially our high schools, are in? Suddenly he is not performing?? I think there was too much kissing up from some members, too much spite and hatred from others, and no middle ground. Who was questioning even silly things like the new email address for educators? It is just a symbol of the arrogant, change for change's sake, mentality. I would love to have seen Dr. Wise come in and try to work honestly and sincerely with ALL board members, giving special credence to those who have so many failing schools in their districts. Instead, they got even shorter shrift. None of our schools are succeeding when many of our predominantly minority schools are failing. Free ride??? Wow, that is from a blogger who is out of touch!! Those teachers are only being asked to do the impossible and then being blamed when they cannot pull it off. None of us is as smart as all of us, and we had better find a way for "all of us" to become solution oriented. That was just not going to happen with Dr. Wise or certain board members...This is precious stuff we teachers, administrators and parents are responsible for,and it is time our kids see us pulling together, not kowtowing to the emperor with no clothes. Shame on all of us, we are all responsible for this. It is too bad Jax's dirty laundry is out there, but nothing good could have come from such a poisonous root as this administration had become.

Anonymous said...

First Baptist Church is hoping to open an elementary school Fall of 2008

Kevin Greene said...

If you would like to make your comments more impressive, please don't hide behind a curtain. Anyone can throw stones and make comments when you are anonymous. It takes character to stand up and be judged for what you believe.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info..I think I am going to start a website for parents who dont give a you know what about the politics of the school system but just want their children to receive the best education possible. I think parents need to unite to save our children.

Anonymous said...

Yes the school board would like you to indicate your name, your children's names and their schools so they may see to it that they receive a "good" education...are you crazy Mr. Greene? Do you know what they would do to our children if they knew who they were?

Anonymous said...

Who is really responsible and should be held responsible for DCPS's failure? Wise or the Board?

Kevin Greene said...

If you are scared to speak up for your children, what kind of example are you setting for them? If you are scared of your School Board member, why did you vote for him/her? The voter turn out for Duval County is not very good. I hope that the people of Duval County realize they need to go to the polls and vote for someone they feel best represents them. If they don't feel like there is a candidate who best represents them, say so and either find that candidate or become that candidate.

Anonymous said...

Hey, we've been operating in a culture of fear, blame and retaliation. Who can blame anyone for being hesitant to identify themselves? Please, Mr. Pratt Daniels, help us with this chaos - be a force for calm and focused direction as we all try to sort out this mess.
God bless the kids and everyone who genuinely cares about how all of this will affect them.

Anonymous said...

There will always be corruption in our school system and every system in America. I have been screaming that something is wrong with the way my children are being educated and I just never realized it was so bad. I have made the decision I am on my way to take my children off their school's roll and I will home school them until I find a good private school for them. It is a shame that my city and county is that bad. It doesnt matter who you vote for regardless our school system is nearly beyond repair and from the blogs it doesnt seem as though the powers that be have an interest in fixing the problems. Thank God for my freedom of choice.

Anonymous said...

It is funny because I am the parent who sits with both their children all evening into the late night doing homework with them studying and really learning along with them. My children dont have t.v. in their room, they earn such rewards and yet they are both failing. The school board convinced me my kids were just stupid...until I found out what was really going on. I dont need to be specific but one of my chilren received 4 years college when I adopted her but with the education she is receiving in Duval County she will have a hard time being accepted in any college. It is not the teachers fault they do what they are told it is the authorities who put the guidlines in place that have our children so messed up.

Anonymous said...

There is enough blame to go around on both the board and Mr. Wise part. I have gone to the schools and I am the parent of several teachers in the system. It appears that between the egos of the board and Mr. Wise here again we are sending our children the wrong message, draw your line in the sand and don't move, no conflict resolution just take your ball and go home. OUR POOR CHILDREN ADULTS ACTING VERY UNPROFESSIONAL. The children cant hear anything that the board or Mr. Wise is saying for seeing how they are acting. Everybody need to step back and look at what they have been called to do and do a better job and stop wasting our hard earned money and be about the business of the children. You are either a part of the solution or part of the problem be it board member, teacher, Mr. Wise, parent, student etc., What part are you willing to be?

Anonymous said...

Remember a lot of frustration, anger and bitterness is flowing right now from teachers and others who have felt they had to stuff their opinions to keep their challenging jobs. The Duval County Public Schools will do just fine, as we face and meet our challenges. We really have to, you see. Our kids are at stake. I am just advocating a little patience and letting the dust settle before we go off on our knee-jerk reactions. Parents, there are MANY fine educators who genuinely love your children and will continue to break their backs to educate them, sometimes because of new programs and political changes, and sometimes in spite of them.. Everything seems exaggerated right now - and frankly, we are probably all a little scared and confused about what all this means. Wise wasn't the anti-Christ, and I would have to agree it seems in some part, especially in his letter to the principals today that he may have been wanting exactly what happened. When I read his letter on Saturday in the paper, I said to my husband: "He wamts to be fired - he knows this letter will push it past the point of no return." You can't tell me he didn't figure that out. Let's learn from this - the answer cannot be a savior who swoops in and makes it happen. Neither can it be a dictator who blames the very people who are laying down their lives to make the changes. We need a partnership, so let's take a deep breath and remember we have no choice but to succeed.

Anonymous said...

As a parent of 3 in the Duval County system, I applaud the decision of the Board. I have sent numerous letters to Wise with no response from his office or staff. I have complained about dozens of initiatives that did more harm to our community than good, all to deaf ears.

Allow me to mention a few that make no sense whatsoever: "Early release" on Wednesday midday. Hello... parents and caregivers have to WORK to pay that exorbitant salary of the Supt. Make it a Friday if you have to continue this absurd practice... or simply have the teachers come in for a half day on a Saturday once a month.

Another one and a longtime rant of many parents: How about the education depriving practice of focusing the entire school curriculum on FCAT to the exclusion of all other studies for a significant part of each year for those grades participating? (For my tax dollars, give me a blind test that actually produces valid results: One that is administered at random schools at random times with only an afternoon's warning).

Here's another that was probably Wise at his finest: How about the policy in recent years of taking the academically gifted, or most likely to skew the bell curve on the FCAT tests, and placing them in special prep sessions after school to ensure that they score off the scale and therefore have their results thrown out without affecting the rest of the school's performance review? (Don't you think it raises suspicion when the smartest kids are offered special assistance in subjects that comprise the FCAT and the special classes just suddenly end days before the FCAT commences)? You bet this happened recently. The special prep sessions were sold to the parents as a stroke to the ego because their kids, who were special to begin with, were chosen to participate in this exclusive and intense extra special studies curriculum after school. What the district failed to realize was that gifted students as likely as not would have fairly astute parents too. Parents who were more than up to the task of seeing through the suspicious signs of a ruse... that the special sessions that their children qualified for were scheduled in the weeks before FCAT. These sessions ended mere days prior to FCAT. They comprised two days each week... one that exclusively focused studies on english and writing skills... and one that focused exclusively on math; the two focal points of the FCAT. These sessions were comprised only of the top percentile performing kids in the school. Odd... you would think that the brightest kids would need the least additional help. Unless the help was provided with an agenda attached. That's right; children with high IQs were trained to overperform so their skew never showed up on the FCAT results. Children with the greatest need to receive that supplementation to their academics were simply hammered with FCAT prep in class along with all the other students for the months leading up to the all important benchmark - not of the student's performance, but of the school's performance. The FCAT is flawed and the Duval County School District has figured out how to work those flaws to their advantage. No one simply expected any parents to figure out how they were working the system to their advantage. So does that mean that the A+ schools don't really perform better, they just know how to FCAT prep the students and work the system better?

The only complaint I have now is why does the Superintendent need to be paid more than many executives at major corporations? Any history teacher can tell you that "wealth produces greed", that "absolute power corrupts absolutely", and "wealth and power are a dangerous combination in any society". Now, Jacksonville, call upon your board members to clean up the mess he made and let his "dreams end here".
The kids are all that matters. They are the future. Time is fleeting. This is your chance to make the difference he didn't have the right ethics or constitution to make.

Anonymous said...

To all the teachers posting...who is teaching the kids while your blogging?

October 16, 2007 2:45 PM


Hopefully not you.

Yes, I realize that was a sentence fragment, but used as an answer to a question, I believe it is acceptable.

Anonymous said...

My daughter graduated from a magnet high school in May as a A+ student, but I can't tell you how glad I am for her to be out of the public school system. Goodby Wise and I hope he goes far far away from Jacksonville.

Anonymous said...

There are, I'm sure many reasons why students perform poorly in school. I had a 7th grade science teacher who spoke in monotone, and it wasn't easy keeping awake in his class. On the other end of the spectrum, I had a Spanish teacher who made the class fun and exciting, so much so that I was thrilled when she was my teacher for the next level the following year.

Making a classroom exciting isn't easy. Not everyone gets the same thrill over calculus as some. Parents, please send your kids to school with a decent night's sleep, food in their stomachs, and completed homework. I know that sometimes things happen and you can't acheive these three things, but make an effort. I'd like to think that almost every day, a child is sent to school after a decent sleep, a hearty breakfast, and completed homework. A student who is alert might actually be more interested in the lesson, and if they can contribute, maybe it would be fun.

Teachers, please don't give up hope on a troubled student. Reach out to them, and if they refuse, at least make sure they know you are there to help them in any way you can.

Tax-paying public: demand to know why the schools cannot afford to pay for simple things, like paper towels, soap for the bathrooms, and ink/toner for their printers and copiers. Without basic tools, such as the ability to copy a worksheet for the entire class, how is a student supposed to learn?

I didn't attend schools in this district, but I did attend school in a district that did not have the funds it needed. Too often I had to share a textbook with a classmate, which was especially problematic if there was reading assigned. I was lucky, though; I managed to get through school with an exceptional GPA, and have since finished my bachelor's degree with honors.

I do have one question about the whole situation: did I read correctly that the salary for the Superintendant over the course of 90 days is $70,000?? If so, is that on par with similar districts in the area? It seems high to me, but that's probably because is about two and a half times what I currently make. I'm not saying the Superintendant doesn't earn it (although it seems this one hasn't), just curious.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to investigate BP Jackson and her husband's career. It seems that accomodations for him have been made since he started.Someone needs to investigate the nepotism. BP went to various inner city schools speaking that black students shouldonly have black teachers. Subsequently, white teachers were quietly transferred during the summer to other schools.I suppose she will get off the hook for living somewhere illegally. Our newspaper editor came from Ribault, an award winning school for student journalism. She is fantastic. She has no idea why she was transferred. What a great day for us,however. Have they had a great newspaper since?

Freyer shoved NCEE on us.Who can forget that a teacher is only good when the walls are covered with standards? It seems that each superintendent wants to push his agenda in order to make money or get a job.

Our professional development is taking workshops to help a superintendent make money.

Fire the school board. Start over.
Elect the superintendent. Let the people have some say. I mean everyone can criticize a teacher, but teachers can't criticize anyone. You can't write referrals because a school can't have too many. You have too many students in class. The F word is all you hear and you can do nothing about it. Skirts show everything, and blouses leave nothing to the imagination. And now we have to allow IPODS and cell phones.

Please find a school board and superintendent who will allow a teacher to teach without a common assessment and pacing guide!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Why was S fired along with JW? Was he fired for being next in line? By Association??? I am intrigued.....

Anonymous said...

Why should a teacher desire to teach in an "F" rated school? With the current State system in place a school gets an "F" they lose resources and those children who can leave do so and thus begins a cycle downward for that school as is proof by Ribault and Raines High Schools. A teacher who is viewed as a quality teacher at a non-F school goes to an "F" school and it continues to fail is now considered as a failure as a teacher. The state system is set up to scare good teachers away from the challenge of teaching in an "F" school. The local union tried to counter this with an offer of more money. How much is your reputation worth that you may have taken 10, 15, 20 or more years to build and which you would place at risk by teaching at such schools. After one year 20 or 30 years could be down the drain! More importantly the State system refuses to take social-economic factors into consideration, which is like walking in front of a MAC Truck and ignoring it but demanding others to join for the thrill of it all! This is a community issue and to the whole community of Jacksonville addresses all underlining issues that have created this mess, it cannot and will not be solved no matter who the Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools may be including President George W. Bush and Hillary Rodham Clinton!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Regarding the post Our newspaper editor came from Ribault, an award winning school for student journalism. She is fantastic. She has no idea why she was transferred. What a great day for us,however. Have they had a great newspaper since?"

NO, as a matter of fact last year's newspaper was printed on regular paper with a staple in the right hand corner(3-4 pages). After being accustomed to seeing a student newspaper that actually resembled a newspaper, this was quite insulting and embarrassing....we won't discuss the topics that led each issue.

Student talent is rarely showcased, as a matter of fact it is not encouraged and great student role models are not known to the general public therefore lending credit to the misconception that there are NO bright or intelligent students walking the halls of Ribault High. I am familiar with the work of the former Journalism teacher and can attest that she was exceptional. Ribault has lost its share of excellent teachers, teachers who came and stayed to support student achievement. Even when the entire district thought they were traveling on a sinking ship, many of them fought to remain at Ribault. Whether JW is the superintendent or not the fact remains that students MUST be educated and accountability is the responsibility of the entire community.

Anonymous said...

I thought the reasoning behind the school board was to help our children thrive. The school board has just looked for ways to dethrone Dr. Wise all the while Dr. Wise is trying to bring programs and ideas to the district to better our students. I am disappointed and quite appalled by the school board not trying to work with the person that is most important to work with in their roles and if you ever watched a school board meeting you could very visibly see that some of the board members had absolutely no interest in working with Dr. Wise. I hope the school board very soon realizes their job is to help the schools and the children, not sobatoge people they don't 'like' and worry about their own personal agendas. Dr. Wise created change and change to many people is a scary thing but without change how can you possibly expect anything to improve? In a nutshell Duval lost a person that was in the process of improving the school district and the reason why he was lost is because the board showcased him negatively when favors were not obliged and the Times Union hopped on the negativity bandwagon. Hopefully the board and the newspaper can learn from this...I hope someday soon Duval can be the school district it is supposed to be and Dr. Wise could have led it there.

Anonymous said...

I cannot speak to Dr. Wises performance. I can however speak to the performance of Duval county schools...horrible...and they were horrible before Dr. Wise ever set foot in Duval county. I suspect that Duval county teachers and administrators were finally having their feet held to the fire and that is why Dr. Wise is gone. Can't have any accountability in public education.

The problem in Duval county (and the rest of the country) is the teachers unions. The unions buy off the politicians to make sure that parents are forced to send their children to public schools. Individual teachers want to do the right thing, but their unions only care about sqeezzing more $$ out of the taxpayers.

The situation will never improve, it's hopeless. Let's get the government OUT of education. Let the people choose where to send their children and you will see the problem solved.

Anonymous said...

It appears that all the teachers and adminstrators who were posting comments on this blog, when they should have been working, have all gone home for the day.

Anonymous said...

Who decides whether there is cause or not? And is Tommy Hazzouri's statement available yet? EXCELLENT reporting!!

Anonymous said...

"To all the teachers posting...who is teaching the kids while your blogging?"

So very, very true. Get back to work and quit trying to be politcal while on the job! We're not paying you to worry about things administrators do at the school board, so actually follow through with what so many teachers have said on this blog all day long. Do our kids the service they deserve, and TEACH don't PREACH!

Anonymous said...

Not all teachers are union members. And having a degree doesn't mean a person knows anything about education and more importantly, educating children. The board members are educated and are successful at what they do, however, they aren't educators so they don't realize what it is like. I'm not a teacher, but I know it's a difficult job working in an environment where the administration doesn't have any respect and the community seems to think teachers in general are lazy. The sup had to go no question, but we trusted the board to manage this and they let us down.

Anonymous said...

"To all the teachers posting...who is teaching the kids while your blogging?"

That's "you're" not "your"...
I blame your former teachers for the mistake!

Anonymous said...

If we look back at Little Joey's report cards as a child. I am sure the comments from the teacher would say "Joey does not play well with other children"

Anonymous said...

If we look back at Little Joey's report cards as a child. I am sure the comments from the teacher would say "Joey does not play well with other children"

Anonymous said...

Now that he is history, we need to find out exactly how much money he has obligated the district to spend with his friend's company (FastforWord). By the way has anyone checked out his public financial disclosure? Has he been making money on the who deal on the side through stocks, etc.?

Anonymous said...

As a parent in Delaware celebrating JW's ouster, I suggest you do a few things. 1 - audit your books ASAP. 2 - vote out all members of the board who voted for this guy as soon as you can. 3 - be prepared to lose all the JW "apostles" who followed him into Delaware before jumping ship and following him to Florida. We're STILL reeling from what he got away with here. Best of luck to you all.

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher, who posted at 1:18PM this afternoon. Like it or not, I am entitled to my 30 minute lunch. During this time, which began at 1:10, I logged onto Jacksonville.com to read the news.

Being as Joseph Wise's signature is on each of my paychecks, I felt I had a right to check out the lastest news story regarding him, and to comment, as well.

I was back at work by 1:30. Only a 20 minute minute lunch today. You are getting your money's worth.

Anonymous said...

Yikes! That should be latest, not lastest...I am a teacher, not a typist! Thank God for UOPDs.

Anonymous said...

Pratt-Dannals was at Ribault and walked through the school's courtyard while students were holding a "we will not go to class" rally. Nothing bothered him. He never asked about discipline, never said hello, never interacted with staff or students. Good luck with him.

sailor said...

Congratulations to Jacksonville! Sure wish Delaware would of done it sooner! Now you need to get rid of everyone he brought with him! I'm sure they were enjoying their waterfront homes, too bad.

Joe said...

AS A CITIZEN OF JACKSONVILLE, I DEMAND AN AUDIT.

Anonymous said...

I'm a DE parent who lives smack in the middle of Christina School District. I'm spending over $10K/year to send my child to private school kindergarten rather than the mess Wise left behind. J'ville, consider yourselves lucky to have gotten rid of him before it was way too late.

Anonymous said...

Please do NOT give that man anything. He left the Christinia District in Delaware with a $28,000,000 deficit, dozens of jobs loft and a deep hole for the Christinia District to dig out of. He, and his cronies deserve to be behind bars.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Wise could donate his bonus to me so I can pay for my son's college. Looks like my son may lose his Bright Futures Scholarship because of the AP class he is being made to take. That is how Wise got the bonus, making students take AP classes. Not all students are AP students. It makes me furious to think of losing the Bright Futures Scholarship so Wise can get his bonus. Looks like his $6000. bonus will end up costing me about $25000. Wake up parents, we must demand our rights. We should have the final say about the classes our kids take. What happend to high school classes in high school?

Anonymous said...

No matter what is said on this or any other comment board regarding Wise, his actions, the Board and their actions, how Duval got into this mess, who is right and who is wrong, or the money spent to assist Wise out of town, it will not change anything today in the classrooms for the teachers or the children.
The needed changes will take time and there is no guarantee that what is needed to be changed will be changed no matter who is in charge or on the Board.
You can NOT fix a problem that either you do not recognize, are not trained to recognize, or just plain refuse to recognize. And therein lays the major problem WITHIN Duval County Public School System!!
There are flaws within this education community's culture and to some extent in all such cultures that prohibit it from becoming the best it can be! They will fuss big time about teachers who are forced to "teach out of field" but not professionals who working in the administration side of the organization, though intelligent and good people, who are "professionals out of field." In such situations the best decisions are not being made, sufficient checks and balances are not in place, and money is spent that should not be. These good people are not trained to and in many cases have no practical experience in recognizing their errors and sometime, like Wise, get insulted when someone with the expertise tries to enlighten them!
This issue has been an underlining problem with Duval for 20, 30, 40 or more years! It is embedded deep into the organization’s culture that school administrators (Principals, Assistant Principals, educators with business graduate degrees without practical application of same) can learn and do anything on the administrative/operational side of the house with little to no training AND are more qualified than those with the appropriate training and experience from outside the school district! Such mistakes in thinking lead to wasted taxpayers money and the frustration of this organization’s direct service providers - the teachers and those paraprofessionals who assist them in providing for the educational needs of our children and creating the leaders of tomorrow!!