Today is the day that most Florida teachers dread and despise like no other day-School Grading day. Yes, no matter what level of ability or economics your school is associated with, it is a day of dread. Today, the worst case scenario happened. My district, already in a state of upheaval because of poor management, scored very poorly. 17 elementary and middle schools received a D or F score based on the "new" system established by the state. It doesn't matter what my school scored, it matters what is being done to all students and teachers in this district. We have undergone pay cut after pay cut that promised to protect jobs. Then, jobs were cut-lots of them-300 teachers alone! Our neighborhoods are changing. My former school is now a Title 1 school. It sits in what is considered one of the wealthiest areas of town. What was once farm and woods to the east is now an elite society, master planned to be just that. Everything has shifted-jobs, housing, wealth-to this outer areas of our county. Our system is now headed by a very different regime, one who is finally doing away with many of our district level problems, through job loss or movement out of the positions once held by friends of friends of friends. So many changes! So many moments of loss and, now, this.
It also offers hope, if you can find it in this kind of moment. Real change comes not from the same ideas, but from new ideas. Many are upset by the idea that one set of good ole' boys is being replaced by another. I, in my willingness to embrace change, am seeing it as an opportunity to improve and build. I am very impressed by many of the leaders that are coming into our system, their resumes are impressive-let them live up to it and do the same changes here in our county as they have in others. Today, as dreaded and despised as it is by us, today, may this be the last day that we face this news. May it be the final hole that is dug. May it be the hole that is filled with fresh soil, fertile for change and growth. I look forward to seeing what will grow and grow and grow!