Northgate Community Has a Voice for Change

Welcome to the Northgate High School Blog. The sole purpose of this blog is to gather information from parents, students, teachers, staff and administrators who would like to share ideas about improving Northgate. The blog will also provide information about MDUSD's, and Northgate's, failure to provide a quality education for our students. If you believe everything is wonderful at Northgate feel free to write that in a post but please understand that this blog is about change. No form of name calling or intimidation will be tolerated, your post will be removed. This is a serious blog for serious people who want to make a difference. Members of the school board view this site, this link can easily be sent to the Superintendent, this is your opportunity to tell them what you think needs to change at Northgate.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Still No Answers, We Are Not That Patient

They were complex but not difficult questions. This blogger is disappointed that we still have no answers. The questions again:

1. We heard back from members of the interview panels that there were three excellent Principal candidates for Northgate that were unanimously sent through to the District. Now we hear that the process is starting completely over and that the candidates "did not fit the total picture of what the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent thought was a good fit for Northgate." When Mr. Young was asked where additional candidates would be found he first responded that the district would go back out to the same publications. When pushed further he admitted, "We are going to rely on our contacts." These panel members include members of our faculty and parent body. Is this panel legitimate? Do they really have an opportunity to represent our school? Is the process a bit of a set-up? Will the District be picking our new Principal from their "contacts"? Do we want that?

2. I would like to know why this district claims to be so data driven and then when confronted with data showing that almost 90% of the district schools are performing below average, when compared to similar schools, they dismiss this data? They claim to not understand the data, to not believe the data and yesterday Ms. Treece suggested it was the fault and responsibility of the school site. Please note that nine years ago all Northgate feeder pattern schools were above average or well above average. Today all of these same schools are below average or well-below average when compared with similar schools.

3. Teacher morale is at an all-time low, MDUSD teacher experience levels are the lowest in the county (they are approaching an average of 6 years), in last three years Northgate has turned over almost half of it's teachers and the new teacher support is just not adequate. What is the District doing to attract the best and the brightest? What is the District doing to insure new teachers are properly mentored? Who is monitoring the progress of these new teachers to make sure they are up to the task? Many teacher issues come down to a lack of a contract and specifically the lack of an adequate compensation package. The district negotiators have only made three offers in the last 18 months, how can a contract get settled when the process moves so slowly? How high of a priority is this? Be careful about making it all about our budget woes when the district recently spent $10,000,000 on new technology and cut $1.8 million of funds set aside for teacher benefits months before it was necessary.


Anonymous said...

Are you waiting for an answer from April Treece? Please... I hope you aren't turning blue. But that's the problem... she has no concept of accountability.

Paul Strange said...


I responded to your questions by email with the answers interlineated - As I said in my email, If I just paste it into a comment, it may not be understandable. Check your email, I sent it on Friday.

Anonymous said...

Let make sure we are all on the same page. All that counts, is the children served by MDUSD, not if Mr. McHenry is a nice man or not. MDUSD is without a vision and clear leadership. That hurts our children. Here is a case of not only failing numbers, but a high level of unhappiness. The unwillingness to make some big changes in order to improve the school district is unacceptable. Something have to give, and in this case it seems that we have to start with removing the top.
Sure, we can thank Mr. McHenry for all his hard work, but we do need to move on.