Grant Names Non-Renewed Teachers Again

Albemarle County School Board member Gary Grant has, for the second time in as many years, publicly released a listing of teachers whose contracts are being non-renewed. He sent out the listing of 38 employees along with the reason for their non-renewal via his e-mail newsletter that he sends out to his constituents. When Grant did this last year, his fellow board members ended up passing a motion to scold him. His move isn’t much more popular this year: says board member Diantha McKeel, “I’ve had it with this kind of behavior.” Grant argues that it’s public information that is useful to the public. Kate Andrews has the story in today’s Progress.

11 thoughts on “Grant Names Non-Renewed Teachers Again”

  1. How does Grant see this as useful for the public? I guess it could be if someone from a competing school system sees the name of an allegedly “bad” teacher trying to get into their system. But that seems unfair to perpetually punish a teacher who didn’t make it. I have had friends who are teachers and they have had bad years because of really bad students, no support from parents and principals (one year, she had 25 emotionally disturbed kids in her class — she wasn’t ED trained at all).

    Now, I’m not saying that there are no bad teachers but that there might be extentuating circumstances for non-renewal — it seems that Grant tars them all with the same kind of brush.

    Everything that I have read about him indicates that he is a showboater of the first order. (Do you remember him pitching a fit b/c a parent brought a video for the kids to ride en route to a field trip to Williamsburg? And why was his kid in the C’ville School System?)

  2. I am sure that if your e-mail your request to Grant, he’ll send you a copy. Use the link above, in Waldo’s intro, to get his address.

  3. I can only guess that you havenít seen one of Grantís e-mail newsletters.

    You ask:

    How does Grant see this as useful for the public?

    He quotes:

    “The affairs of government are not intended to be conducted in an

    atmosphere of secrecy since at all times the public is to be the

    beneficiary of any action taken at any level of government.”

    Virginia Freedom of Information Act, 2.2-3700

    But that seems unfair to perpetually punish a teacher who didn’t make it . . . Now, I’m not saying that there are no bad teachers but that there might be extentuating circumstances for non-renewal — it seems that Grant tars them all with the same kind of brush.

    I think you are just focusing on one part of the newsletter Ė that which the local media has latched upon and their characterization of it. The “personnel actions approved” section I just one part in one issue of an occasional newsletter. And the non-renewals are just one category in the personnel actions section; there are three others including:

    “Departing Employees (from resignations, retirements, and/or early

    retirements effective the end of the 2001-2002 school year)”

    “Tenure Recipients for 2002-2003”

    “Hirings for Baker-Butler Elementary School”

    The category of “non-renewals” isnít specific about the reasons why any particular teacher didnít have his/her contract renewed. The newsletter uses the broadest (and therefore least “tar-brushing”, to copy your phrase) language possible:

    “Contract Non-renewals (.Non-renewals may be the result of

    licensure issues, changing program needs, enrollment or budget uncertainties,

    and/or performance.)”

    So, whatís your beef?

  4. He paid tuition to send his children to Burnley-Moran so that they could take a Spanish course that wasn’t offered in County elementary schools.

  5. If I am a parent how can I tell if a teacher I like is going to be there next year. I could call the School office and ask, if I can figure out what to ask. I could request the very information thta Gary Grant e-mails out, if I knew what to call it.

    This is about information. How can the average citzen tell if there is a large turnover in teacher every year; this report is one of the only timely ways to tell. It’s totally legal and the report is one small part of a long report about other matters.

    So raise your hands, how many people want less information or should we just leave this information like little nuggets hid in a byzantine maze of adminstrative double talk?

  6. Diantha Mckeel has had it with this behavior. So what? Has she had with elected officials providing legal information to there constituents. McKeel is a puppet for the teachers. Anything that bothers the vocal teachers bothers her. When faced with numbers that don’t fit her “feelings” she just says they must be wrong. This woman wanted to pass rules that the school boards own lawyer told her were not legal. She can’t pass a rule not to release this information brecause that would be ILLEGAL! this e-mail must be asked for and this is woman last year demanded that he reveal his private e-mail list.

    Hey Waldo, you want to answer what you would have done if she requested your list after you published such a list?

    Gary Grant is not a grandstander. He did not go to the press about this list nor did he about the bus trip. The press came to him. Outed by the very people who are offended by this behavior. And he stood by what he said and fully disclosed his position. He could have not commented. I am shocked to see this board come to McKeel’s way of thinking. She is wrong. And what message does it send to find one part of many e-mails to bitter complain about. The e-mail does not say anywhere why the teacher won’t be there.

    I for one, am thankful Gary Grant is informing his people and am sick of hearing a collective whine of people offended by an elected official giving out too much information. If it’s legal, and it is, what the problem?

  7. Well, my question is still the same. Is it legal?

    Whenever there are discussions about personnel, boards usually go into closed sessions about this. I would think that salaries are part of the public record. OTOH, I am not sure that personnel actions part of the public record.

  8. the actions of the board about individual cases are covered in secret. However the non renewal of contracts or resignations have always been part of the public record. The issue is some people think a list of people not renewed is cruel to publish not illegal. Last year the group leaving were seperated so you could tell who wasn’t renewed and who resigned, this year you can’t tell the difference.

  9. He simply reported the actions of school officials. He reports what happen, there is no coment made on why someone left. Infact if this smear campaign wasn’t played up by the press it would have gone by unnoticed. This is simply public information passed along without comment. If you suscribed tp the e-mail you know this but like the press it’s easier to point fingers then take a moment to find truth. And it doesn’t sell as many papers.

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