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.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Should he stay or should he go?

What do you think the Duval County School Board should do Tuesday when members meet to discuss Superintendent Joseph Wise’s contract?

Leave your comments here.

Also, take a look at what Times-Union readers said when we posed them this question on Saturday: http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/101407/met_208750047.shtml.


Anonymous said...

Dr. Wise should RUN for elected office because he loves playing politics. He seems to be very petty and insecure. The students are what matters, and he seems hell-bent on creating personal issues between himself and the board. DCSB, admit you made a mistake, and fire this guy. You can do better, and Duval County deserves better than this guy.

Anonymous said...

I am a Duval County teacher who believes that Dr. Wise should go - before we lose MANY excellent teachers in this county. I have been successfully teaching for 20+ years and I'll be gone as soon as I hit my 30 years. I know of many young - very skilled - teachers who are ready to get out NOW. They don't have the years in, so they are looking for other options now.

Anonymous said...

I think the entire board, including the superintendent, should be dismissed and a new board elected by people in the education field, an election by peers, so to speak. The public keeps voting people like Ms. Priestly-Jackson on the board without knowing what she is capable of doing and now, their votes have caused a major fracas among school district members.

I will agree with the posting that says Dr. Wise should be elected and I will even go further and state that any superintendent should be elected, just like the mayor and the others who run our city. Why are we paying so much money to these people? to give them a platform for their petty antics? I don't think so!

We all try to teach our kids to listen, get along, and respect others. Our kids are reprimanded in school for not doing so. Now, how can the kids be expected to follow these simple rules when the very people on the school board are breaking them? It makes no sense! The kids see and hear about these arguments and just think it's okay to do it too.

Hey board members, hey Dr. Wise? It's not about you, it's about the kids and doing what is best for them. If you have a separate agenda, take it elsewhere, period! We don't want or need it here in our school district!

Anonymous said...

Even with the high dollar cost of a contract termination, Joseph Wise needs to be forced to resign as soon as possible before even more educational damage is done to our students. His decisions have adversely affected not only the children throughout the county, but also the morale of the teachers within the system … as evidenced by the recent School Board meeting where teachers were given the opportunity to speak.

Anonymous said...

I am a Duval County teacher that believes Dr. Wise has placed our school system further behind our surrounding counties. His programs are of personal interest with financial and future employment for himself. The other members of his team that followed him from Delaware as principals and county staff are just as out of touch as he is. Veteran and new teachers alike have expressed a desire to go to other counties or just change careers. I wonder how many teachers Dr. Wise lost last year when he surplused positions to pay for his pet projects. Schools are for the children, not appointed despots!

Anonymous said...

Either Priestly-Jackson lives in her district or she doesn't. If she doesn't she is breaking the rules. Either she took a personal trip and wanted us to pay for it or she didn't. These facts are easy to obtain. If she is guilty of either of these charges - she needs to resign. I don't care about race - it is not about that. It is about what is best for our schools.
Can we expect kids to follow rules when we as adults don't seem to think they apply to us?
Maybe it's time the school board let the Superintendent do his job and stop trying to control everything.
This school system was in a mess before he came and it was run by pretty much the same school board. Maybe they are the ones who should go.

Anonymous said...

he should be fired...

Anonymous said...

I think he is trying to get fired. Now that this friend Eric Smith is the new education commissioner, I wondering if he is looking to get a job on the College Board but is not eligible for consideration because he is employed as a Super with a school district. Joey needs to go.

Anonymous said...

I am appalled at the actions of Mr. Wise and the hand-picked team he brought along with him. Mrs. Priestly-Jackson will answer to her voters, but Mr. Wise should be answering to her and the other School Board Members--with respect and honor. To think we are paying him his extremely generous salary for along with a bonus for less than 50% success of his goals, and he is spending his time investigating board members and creating dissension??? If we don't fire this guy, shame on us. And in the meantime, our children are the losers.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Wise is one of the few individuals hired in this position with an educational background. I believe that he should be given the opportunity to to make the changes needed to turn this county's low performing schools around. I think that his call for a school board member to resign should be a wake-up call that the board is a large part of the problem. They are the ones who should go!

Anonymous said...

Ah, this reminds me of the good old days of board members Nancy Corwin, Gwen Gibson, Linda Sparks, and Superintendent Larry Zenke. The micromanaging and infighting are still with us folks! It doesn't matter we have some of the dumbest students in the state, the board wants to argue about how Wise is organizing his management team.

I believe someone suggested changing the way the board is structured 15 years ago from a direct election to an appointed commission by the Mayor. I did not think it was a good idea then, but after several iterations and receiving the same results, maybe we should change the charter to allow something like it.

Anonymous said...

I think Dr. Wise should stay and the school board needs to GROW UP!

Anonymous said...

A line is now drawn in the sand. The board will have no choice but to dismiss JW. If they do not act, they will appear weak. Nevertheless, no meaningful work will ever be accomplished with this Super and Board - no matter how much time Peyton and Delaney will waste on mediation. The damage is done.

JW molded his entourage and the board would be amiss ending with him. After all, they are his clones.

Anonymous said...

When school board members ran for office, I thought I heard many promises that they were all there for the children of this county. It was all about the children. Children, children, children.

Next, I heard they were all giving themselves big raises, which were equal to or more than that of a beginning teacher. (Don't forget perks and benefits). Money, money, money.

Where and when did we citizens let this happen? This is a lot of money going to people who "were only here for children". It is a lot of money being taken away from children. It seems as if it has become a money making opportunity, rather than a voluntary civic duty position.

In my opinion, part time elected officials should not be paid.

Anonymous said...

I know several teachers who are beyond the frustration part with Dr. Wise. The perception is that he is aloof, uncaring and incompetent. The school board would be wise to buy out his contract and let him go.

Anonymous said...

As many teachers have said, this is a case of The Emporor's New Clothes. Many of Wise's decisions are made for his own personal gain. Let's take a look at the AP program that just awarded Dr. Wise a hefty bonus. His bonus is based on the amount of students who take the AP exam, NOT pass it. My friend, a teacher at a Duval middle school, is fed up with the fact that his class, full of Level 1 and 2 students and ESE students, is labeled ADVANCED. This was coded by the Superintedent's office, in order to justify placing students in AP classes; and it completely misrepresents the students abilities. This is just one example of poor leadership. Duval County NEEDS a new direction. Everyone says it's about the students, and if they truly believe that, Wise should be fired tomorrow. I'm assuming every teacher lounge would be celebrating on Wednesday if this is the case. School board, CUT YOUR LOSSES! We all make mistakes... If you want to be reelected, you'll make the right decision. Ask any teacher, I did.

Anonymous said...

15 Reasons Wise Should Be Fired:
1. Johnathan Brice (friend) has had 3 different positions in the past year but can never seem to answer one question from the board without Wise's help.
2. T Giles (friend)is the CFO. Here again, can't seem to answer questions without WISe or Perrone...who sometimes can't answer questions without Bright.
3. Huge Salary increases to keep top management quiet.
4. Constant position swaps and demotions to create a culture of fear.
5. Lean budgets at the school level...pay increases at the district level.
6. Fl. Statutes indicate SUP must have good relations with board.
7. Cat fighting and pettiness is bad for Jax.
8. Millions of dollars given to organizations that WISE is acquainted with.
9. New positions created without rationale.
10. Some new positions created because of millions of dollars in software/hardware to outside vendors..ie., springboard, read180.
11. Some principals who are friends of WISE attend many conferences during the school year...keeping them out of their building an alarming amount of time (see Terry Parker).
12. Obvious targeting of board members with opinions different from his own.
13. Increasing amount of AP courses for children who are not ready for the degree of rigor.
14. Culture of rudeness on the part of top district staff encouraged by WISE that is evident to teachers.

Anonymous said...

In Las Vegas, NV there is a county Commissioner named Lynette Boggs-McDonald who claimed she lived in one place but was found to be living in another outside her district. She too was renting a home just like this school board member as claimed and lived at another as this school board member says she does.

What happened was the lady in Las Vegas was removed from her post and brought up on federal Charges. This school board member faces the same fate. She lied to her people who voted her in and she by staying a school board member is teaching our youg people it is okay to lie and say more lies if it gets you what you want.

Even Bill Clinton said explain what is is when he was questioned about having sex with that woman in the Oval office. Bill Clinton lied and got caught. Lynette Boggs MaDonald, the former county Commissioner from Las Vegas lied and got caught.

Now this school board member has admitted to lying, with her own twist of justification and she got caught.

Anonymous said...

This is not about the School Board members. This is about a hired Superintendent who is unwilling to create a culture of mutuality, trust and cohesion with the goal of EDUCATING OUR CHILDREN. With the underhanded, ugly manner in which Dr Wise has chosen to run his office, there is no salvaging him or his administration. He is absolutely replaceable, and his behavior should be the model for what we do not want and will not accept. Is no one else disturbed that Wise seems to have spent his time trying hard to uncover dirt on everyone else while receiving his enormous salary (how many readers make $275K annually) and a healthy bonus, despite FAILING to even meet, much less exceed, the majority of his goals? Between Dr. Wise and his heavy-hitting, highly paid administration and staff, our school system is being raped--and in his paranoia, Dr Wise spends the majority of his time looking over his shoulder making bizarre and ridiculous accusations.

Duval Teacher said...

I am a teacher at an A school and Wise has attempted to force us to comply with his ridiculous agenda, even though his fascist "pacing guide" (be on the same page as every other teacher in the entire district, OR ELSE) and lame curriculum ("I bought it so I'd get a kickback, and you must use it because I said so") would undoubtedly drop us to a B. Why try to "fix" an A school that is not broken? Because this petty dictator insists that everyone must follow his every whim to the letter, regardless of whether it makes a modicum of sense. No one here has pointed out the sheer insanity of Wise's policy that one curriculum and one only should be forced on every school in the county. Think about it-- Raines is not Sandalwood is not Stanton is not Mandarin. To suggest that the teachers at each school are unable to differentiate instruction for their own students, based on their intimate knowledge of said student's abilities and needs, is demeaning and disheartening. It is also stunningly ineffective, as will be evidenced when this year's batch of test scores comes out.

Those who have said that teacher morale is at an all-time low do not know the half of it. If Wise does not go-- and his asinine lock-step policies with him-- many excellent teachers will leave for greener pastures. Fire him, NOW.

Anonymous said...

He wants to be fired. He is planning on the job with College Board. He wants our money to take with him.

Anonymous said...

I am appalled by this latest stunt by Joe Wise, and it clearly shows that he’s vindictive and that his intentions are not based upon what’s best for our children, let alone for the school district as a whole. His blatant disregard for wanting to work along with the school board members, as is his lack of support for those who work in the schools, is becoming more and more obvious. If anyone needs to go, it’s Wise!

The school board members asked, in fact, they pleaded with him to hold off for 36 hours to allow some time to review his plan of reorganization….but he flat out refused! Like a child standing in defiance, which is the perception he left by his outright refusal to wait a few days. This shows that he’s not at all interested in working with the school board.

Aside from that, our schools are forced to make very serious budget cuts and here he wants to add more personnel at the administrative levels, along with higher salaries. How is this working in the best interest of the children and their educational needs?

As for the allegations against Brenda Priestly Jackson, this is clearly a witch hunt. I suppose that Burney and Hazzouri will be next, as Wise continues to dig for any dirt he feels he can use to discredit them, in response to their opposition to his tactics as superintendent.

Joe Wise is showing more in the way of arrogance and vindictiveness than he is leadership. None of which this school district needs, when we have 15 failing schools that need strong, supportive leadership.

It’s my opinion, as a resident of Jacksonville and an employee of the DCPS that Joe Wise needs to go. I feel that the board made a hasty choice and that Wise was not properly investigated before he was hired. He left behind financial woes from a district the size of one of our high schools, and now he’s running our district into the ground. Enough is enough!

Jean Lee Allen said...

I feel Dr. Wise has done a terrific job! The school board should be FIRED and let him do his job. Also parents have these children and it's up to them to help get their homework done, study with them so they can pass the FCAT test. Dr. Wise or the teachers can go home with every child in the district to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to do. Parents step up to the plate and quit complaining about other people.

Good School Board......Good Job, Dr. Wise!

Michael said...

It is quite clear that the whole school board should resign. When was the last time a superintendent lead the system for more than 3 years? The superintendent has orchrestrated his firing so let's let him succeed. School board aside, he is not up to the task. This has been outlined in article after article, now let's piece this together for one big story; falling graduation rates, school safety, teacher turnover, fiscal responsibility, etc.

Ex-teacher said...

Wise visited my classroom when he first was hired and his only comment was on how my desks were arranged, not about the interaction between my students and myself. This pattern of his focus on the peripheral issues rather than on the important issues has continued for two years as he continues to be paid an outrageous salary.

Also, the school board should be a voluntary position filled by those whose interested truly are only for the betterment of our schools. Look around the county and look at how organized and successful districts are when their school board is run by volunteers.

I loved teaching, but found it too difficult to support my family on a teacher's salary and too frustrating to see Wise and the school board being paid to make poor decisions.

Anonymous said...

You will hear a giant celebration from teachers and parents when Wise is given the boot. His policies are FLAWED!

His AP quota system has ruined many student's chances at scholarships. As soon as he is gone, please, please, please re-examine forcing high school freshmen to take AP Human Geography, a course not required by the state. AP classes should be voluntary, not forced on average students, especially freshman.

There are so many horror stories about AP classes since Wise's quota system began. Let's hope that is the next thing to go after Wise.

Anonymous said...

I think Wise should be let go. I've thought that ever since it was in print about the circumstances of his last job. I graduated from Duval County Schools, my 2 children went through the Duval County School System. Now I have a granddaughter in Middle School who makes B's, C's and D's and she's been put into AP classes and she's struggling. That is the only area that Wise received any bonus money for. That is not saying very much for his performance. He should be FIRED and NOT receive any MONEY for the TWO Years REMAINING.

Anonymous said...

Please, lets not be naive enough to believe that Ms. Priestly-Jackson is the only Duval County official breaking rules. The accusations Mr. Wise has brought against Ms. Preistly Jackson are insignificant compared to the wrongs He and other city officals have committed. Countless numbers of outstanding DCSB employees were fired by Joseph Wise. He has set back us back dramatically and needed to be fired.

Anonymous said...

I am so pleased that the board decided to fire Dr. Wise on today. Being an educator under hasn't been easy. He wants us to believe that he is such a diversed person,not true! only when he is being pleased! He should really sweep around his own front door before he tries to discredit others.Men don't behave in such a manner as he did against Mrs. Preistly Jackson. If he is so in control, tel me how is it that special educatio students bring in the most money in schools and our district doesn't have a director. He got rid of Dr.Gillespie, and now look. A word to the WISE, BE careful how you treat people!

Anonymous said...

I hope Wise take all of his ignorant entourage with him. I had the opportunity to listen to them at a community meeting in Sherwood. I was too embarassed for the DCPS to know that they employed such idiots. I just hope that the board will now select someone that can lead us into the future. The board does not need to hire anyone who is involved with the day to day running of the schools now. Be patient and smart in your choices. Take a hard look at how teachers are treated as well. Always remember,that teachers touch lives.

Anonymous said...

Dr Wise addressed a large group of DCPS employees last spring and told them that he was embarrassed to tell fellow attendees at out-of-state conferences that he was the Supt of the school system in Jacksonville, FL.

Good news, Dr Wise, the problem has been solved.

Anonymous said...

The overall wisdom at our lunch table today indicated that Dr. Wise should have to work through his contract and earn his pay, but in a position that places him where he will experience the weight and the results of his policies. Why should he be "promoted" to the College Board so he can do damage at a state wide level on our dime?
As a teacher, I really did not like to lose a wonderful web domain name, "educationcentral.org". Now our school board web name, "dreamsbeginhere.org", reads like a porn site from Disney.
The largest schools have lost hard won, state funding to pay salaries for his friends to have administrative positions. Didn't we already have people working in similiar positions who could have been given more responsibility, more authority, more cash, with an assistant? What's wrong with promoting from within, IF you make a good choice?