Friday, October 3, 2014

It just keeps getting worse

The Tacoma school district seems to have an unfortunate knack for generating negative attention.  It's Lincoln High...again.

The district is going to investigate the claims that the administration was trying to offload underperforming students in order to juice Lincoln's graduation rates.  At the same time, the district is suing the staff that made the claims about this less-than-best practice.

How many ways does this make Tacoma look, well, bad?

If this practice actually is going on, how in the world would it come to light in any convincing way without some evidence, which would presumably have to be revealed?  Frankly, if this practice was going on, and nobody revealed it, Lincoln would have been heralded for its great improvement in graduation rates, all the while achieving this by inappropriate conduct.  And, yes, there are all manner of bureaucratic and social incentives to motivate the district leadership to quietly accept (or willfully ignore) the conduct.

Aren't those staff something like whistleblowers?  Doesn't suing them put a chill in anybody else who might try to expose bad practice in the district?  And doesn't that hurt morale?  "Put up with bad practice...if you say anything, we'll punish you."

My father, who spent most of his career advancing and managing the image of the California Highway Patrol as a member of its public relations unit, always said, it matters less what IS than what people PERCEIVE to be.  I perceive the leadership of the Tacoma schools to be vindictive.

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