Open Letter to the Murphy Governing Board (Revised)

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Post on 04-Jul-2015




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Updated version Jan. 29, 2010


  • 1. Dear MSD board members, The Office of the Auditor General has conducted a performance audit of the Murphy Elementary School District.

2. The Districts administrative costs were significantly higher than costs of comparable districts primarily due to a higher number of administrative positions. ( June, 2003)See full report by clicking here: 3. Ever since this audit took place, the Murphy School District student population has decreased by almost 500 students. 4. During his administration, Dr. Mohr did not reduce administration costs and in the spring of 2009, he justified his decision by blaming crime and demographics. 5. The declined in student population is the equivalent to a whole school. 6. Dr. Mohr has been placed on administrative leave pending investigation. Current district administrators have announced major cuts across the board. Unfortunately, they have not practiced what they preach. 7. Proof of this is that in the middle of the school year, they replaced an instructional coach as if this was a priority. They did not replace the PE teacher at the same school. 8. In addition, they did not replace the 5th grade teacher that moved up the ladder to become an instructional coach. Talk about priorities! 9. Who will make the greatest impact on children? A classroom teacher, a PE teacher or an Instructional coach? The reality is that you dont need a degree to know the answer to this question. 10. Now, if you are wondering about the job description of an instructional coach, this might be best description: 11. Instructional Coach Someone who assists school administrators. They spend 70% of their time assisting the school principals and 30% of their time supporting teachers. 12. We believe the current Murphy administration is MOHR of the same. The Districts administrative costs are significantly higher than costs of comparable districts. 13. Further, the pay for some administrative positions is much higher than for comparable positions in other districts. 14. The sad news is that the four schools have failed to make AYP. We think is time to face the brutal facts. Good intentions are not enough. 15. Poor management in schools translates to underperforming schools. The children of this community deserve an excellent education. 16. Recognizing the problem is the first step down that long and difficult road. Its a fallacy to believe that the current administration will meet the challenges we face. 17. Murphy teachers are enmeshed in a political web, which means school reform is often not about children, but about power. 18. Many teachers care deeply about kids; they want to do good. But the nature of the job and the trade-off involved are built-in roadblocks to change. 19. We believe some existing school administrators cannot solve the problem [of low-performing students], because they are the problem. 20. We do not dismiss the good use to which money can be put when used wisely, but the racial gap in academic achievement cannot be traced to inadequate school funding. 21. The educational foundations of our society presently being erode by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our future as a Nation and people. 22. Fundamental change in the Murphy School District is necessarychange much more radical than that contemplated by the most visionary of todays public officials. 23. Unfortunately, rules, regulations, politics, and a culture hostile to reform all constrain those who want change. 24. Those in charge of the current systemthose with vested interest in the status quohave the power to prevent fundamental change. 25. Those in charge of the current systemthose with vested interest in the status quohave the power to prevent fundamental change. 26. In sum, the Murphy School District has been investing a great deal of additional money in our public schools over the past generation, and yet the test scores of the students attending our increasingly well-funded schools have been essentially flat. 27. During the last elections, Murphy Community Voters approved merging Murphy Schools with other school districts. 28. The voters believe this will create more competent schools: a sense of belonging to a wider community and a feeling of solidarity with other Americans. 29. Through a democratic process, the voters seek out a system that required all children, rich and poor, to go to the same school so that they would get an equal chance regardless of who their parents happened to be. 30. The voters see the schools as the central and main hope for the preservation of democratic ideals. A good general education in the early grades is the necessary foundation for citizenship.Truthfully,Your community