Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Standard-Examiner: Non-renewed Ogden Teachers Question the System

It's time for a thorough Ogden School Board "house-cleaning," wethinks

Eye-opening Becky Wright story from the Standard-Examiner, profiling the plight of former Ogden High School chemistry teacher Jennifer Claesgens, "one of 17 provisional teachers who received notices from Ogden School District that their contracts would not be renewed." Here's the lede:
Jennifer Claesgens’ resume boasts a Ph.D. in science and mathematics education, with an emphasis in chemistry, experience teaching high school, and four years as an assistant professor at Northern Arizona University’s Center for Science Teaching and Learning. When she married a man from Ogden, Claesgens left the university to become the new chemistry teacher at Ogden High School.
Before the school year was over, Claesgens received notice that her contract with Ogden School District was not going to be renewed for the coming year. She was stunned.
“I actually looked at them and said, ‘This is the first I’ve heard that there was a problem,’ ” she recalled, thinking back to a meeting with her principal and other district administrators. “I asked, ‘What’s the basis of this?’ and they said ‘goodness of fit.’ ”
Check out the full text and embedded video here:
Our take-away concerning academically well-qualified Ms. Claesgens’ sudden blind-siding by the Ogden School District Administration?

"Toe the line (and keep your mouth shut.)"

In our view, today's story is symptomatic of the greater problem in the Ogden School District, of course, where OSD Schools Superintendent Brad Smith has ruthlessly dismantled much of the previously existing OSD personnel infrastructure over the past few years.

Happily, there will be a remedy for the OSD's heavy-handed treatment of Ogden school teachers coming up in November, O Gentle Ones, as all three Ogden School Board incumbents who will stand for re-election in our Ogden School Board races face well-qualified challengers, who are poised to change the Superintendent Brad Smith-centric culture of the Ogden School Board:

District #2 - 4 year term
Steven L. Marker - Incumbent
Douglas B. Barker - Challenger

District # 4 - 2 year term
Jeffrey Heiner - Incumbent
Dori Stauffer Mosher - Challenger

District #7 - 4 year term
Joyce J. Wilson - Incumbent
Aaron G. Garza - Challenger

Our advice for Ogden residents concerning in the upcoming 2014 Ogden School Board Elections?

Write this down so you don't forget it, folks!

It's time for a thorough Ogden School Board "house-cleaning," wethinks.


Bob Becker said...

Two comments: (a). Yes, Jennifer C. has great credentials. But such do not necessarily mean she was an effective teacher. I've known people who were credentialed up the wazoo but who were dreadful teachers. (I am NOT saying Jennifer C. was a poor teacher. Merely noting that her impressive credentials do not establish the point one way or the other. More telling, I thi nk, were her good evaluations until she was canned.) And (b), on the school biard elections: I know nothing about the challengers, and their being challengers to Smith-backing members is not enough. I'd hate to vite for the non-incumbents only to discover that I'd voted for a Tea Party Young-earth Creationist Loony Toon who was determined to turn OSD schools into, mini - bible academies.

Dori said...

The three of us all oppose the BS regime and the mistreatment of teachers and the dismissive attitude the board has towards parents and the community. Two of us are teachers. And I am as far from the tea party as you can get.

Bob Becker said...

That's good to know. Hope you didn't take offese at my wanting to know more about the challengers than just their opposition to our present less-than-impressive OSD board members. I presume, as the election approaches, voters like me will come to know more.

May I suggest to you and the others that WCF has been very open in the past to posting candidates' statements and links to campaign websites.

Jim said...

So, in other words Bob, as long as the candidates are left-leaning, they're OK, but if they lean right, they're unacceptable to YOU and that's the only criteria required, right?

Just close the public schools already.

Bob Becker said...

Ah... since I am a liberal and a Democrat, it should hardly be surprising that I'd find right-leaning candidates unappealing for many offices. Just as conservative Republicans generally find left-leaning candidates unappealing. It's kind of how the system works. Haven't you noticed? And since I was educated, and well, in the public schools of New York, and my children in public schools elsewhere and since I have some understanding of the importance public schools have had in American history, and continue to have today, and I think it would be a national catastrophe to lose them, it should not be surprising either that I wouldn't find Tea Party opponents of public schools acceptable schoolboard candidates.

I also recall that post- Brown vs Board of Education, Prince George Co in Va closed its public schools to prevent desegregation. Truly awful private Segregation (often Christian) Academies sprang up in their place. Within a few years the public forced the re-opening of the public schools.

Be careful what you ask for. You may get it.

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