Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Goals in Muscle Shoals Schools?

We're waiting on reports from Leslie M. Shoals and others as to the events at the Muscle Shoals City Council meeting late this afternoon. Until then, here's an interesting report from a reader on "goals" in the Muscle Shoals education system:

SEPTEMBER 6, 2017 -http://www.timesdaily.com/news/education/board-sets-goals-for-superintendent/article_ee46d0e5-7736-54bb-84d8-37d37be04dce.html

GOALS - Muscle Shoals school Superintendent Brian Lindsey has five extra objectives. The goal with the highest priority likely is Lindsey's effort to secure additional funds for the school system.

Lindsey has said the revenue is needed to meet capital needs, such as building repairs and potentially a new elementary school in the near future. He's also to research the feasibility of using additional bond revenue to fund projects. The school board has also set the expectation that Lindsey lead an effort to establish a one-to-one technology program for the entire district.

Other goals set for Lindsey include:

Updating the system-wide job description manual with the chief finance officer and other administrators.
Exploring paper-less options for record storage.
Evaluating the out-of-district fee charged to students who go to school in Muscle Shoals, but do not live in the city school district.

Lindsey said it has not been determined that an increase in the out-of-district fee is necessary, but it is an item that needs to be reviewed routinely. School board president, Celia Rudolph, said Lindsey should be "commended" for meeting his previous year's goals, and applauded for his dedication to the school system.

AUGUST 16, 2016 - http://www.timesdaily.com/news/education/board-sets-goals-for-superintendent/article_ee91c22a-0e55-5867-9a39-618c54feb59d.html

City schools Superintendent Brian Lindsey has three goals as the school system gets settled into a new school year. Lindsey has been charged by his five-member school board to develop and implement a effectiveness evaluation model for system leaders, evaluate the district's salary supplement schedule, and update the system-wide promotional video.

This year's goals were developed by Board President Clayton Wood, V. President Celia Rudolph and Lindsey. Rudolph said one of the challenges in creating goals is to determine priorities outside the realm of daily operations expected of the superintendent.

"I don't want us to put thing into goals that we expect (Lindsey) to do anyway," Rudolph said. "If we let one little thing creep in, we are going to be micromanaging what you do with your day-to-day (operations), and I don't want to do that."

Last school year, Lindsey was challenged to create a teacher evaluation model, which was completed and put in place this year. Now, he needs to do the same for school administrators and other system leaders, according to the school board. Lindsey said he will work to create that model with input from the administration team he meets with regularly throughout the school year.

Board members asked Lindsey earlier this summer to review the athletic and activity salary supplement schedules. Supplement salary schedules are the set amount of money the school system will pay an employee for duties outside their normal responsibilities, such as coaching a team or advising a club or student organization.

School board member Farrell Southern asked that Lindsey also be mindful about updating the school board on changes to the strategic plan and capital improvement plan so the school board members are abreast of the "vision and priorities of the school system." Southern did not request that be added as a goal, but said the communication between the superintendent and the board will make sure both are moving in the same direction.

"We need to be brought up to date on what our visions are, and what our priorities are, because people come and ask us what we are going to do about this and what are you going to do about that.”

2016, the oldest veteran member of the school board (Farrell Southern) is asking the superintendent to keep the board up to date on "our visions" and "what our priorities are".

Parents - Mr. Southern has clearly confirmed the board expects Mr. Lindsey to tell them what to think.

Mr. & Ms. Board member, 2016 "goals" were day to day operational and employee issues.

We do feel confident Mr. Lindsey paid close attention to the supplements given coaches for "duties outside their normal responsibilities" after all, it does mean $$$ for coaches. It is incumbent on the school board to question what those “normal responsibilities” are. Coaches would have to be paid from local taxes if not in a teaching position or position by state salary standards. Each employee has to be reported to the state in their role to receive state funding. How are those coaches reported, such as Basden and others that spend their days in the athletic facility or driving a bus? No mention in 2016 of the critical need of overcrowding in a lunchroom, or a new elementary school.

2017 - Lindsey has a goal for raising taxes for capital needs, and potentially a new elementary school. Here again, no pressing priority for an elementary school, rather a second component after “capital needs”. The final three - a system wide job description manual (?), Paperless storage, and increasing non resident fees (?)

2016 - GOAL - evaluation model for employees, one year later, 2017 GOAL - employee job description. (You should have a job description BEFORE hiring employees before the evaluation model. Surprised retired educator Rudolph doesn’t know this.)

Increase non resident fees by charging non resident EMPLOYEES for their children to attend MSCS is a good start!.

Paperless storage? Heard about that new thing called a cloud?

Lindsey and his crew remind me of the tigers in the children’s book, “Little Black Sambo”. Sambo is a South Indian boy who lives with his father and mother, named Black Jumbo and Black Mumbo, respectively. While out walking, Sambo encounters four hungry tigers, and surrenders his colorful new clothes, shoes, and umbrella so they will not eat him. The tigers are vain and each thinks he is better dressed than the others. They chase each other around a tree until they are reduced to a pool of ghee (clarified butter). Sambo then recovers his clothes and collects the ghee, which his mother uses to make pancakes. 


We heard this during a debate over the new animal shelter in Florence:

Person A: Why should I want my tax dollars to go to an animal shelter? I don't have pets and I don't even like animals.

Person B: Fair enough. Why should I want my tax dollars to go to schools? I don't have kids and I don't even like children.

Indeed, all Muscle Shoals citizens should be interested in their city school system. Assuring that graduates are prepared for the real world also assures your tax dollars won't be used for incarceration or welfare.

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