Things are winding down. For those of us who have been in the fray of battle for many months, but will now find ourselves in the hinterland of displacement, hearing those hints that we should seek placement in one of the other reconstituting schools, yet breathing a sigh of both resignation and comic relief, the conflict is over. The mess that ensues at HPHS will belong to someone else.
I’m baffled that people are still contacting Laurie Woerfel in order to brush up on their interview skills. It doesn’t matter people! You’re going to be interviewed by kids, parents, and out-of-classroom coordinators. The list has already been drawn up. It’s all done. I’m sure Ms. Flores has been meeting with the “right” people for many months now to come up with the definitive list of “good” teachers to retain.
Those of us who know the dynamics of our school during the past several years can easily predict the names on the list of people to keep. The 15 people who will lead the SLC’s and “small schools” will be the familiar assortment of people who have enjoyed “in-group” status since they were first segregated and nurtured under the previous administration with the exceptions of Nick Adolfo and Maggie Mallen. The regular teachers on the keep list will be docile, unquestioning, and authority worshipping – perfect people to have a lasting impact on adolescents. We can also predict who they will be.
There will be a few exceptions to the description and that number could be a larger one considering the new staffing adjustments that have resulted from contract negotiations, but the poor souls won’t last long in the oppressive and unreasonable environment that precipitates. Have you seen the proposal for the remake of HPHS? Deasy wants constant, intense supervision, review, and assessment …… of students? – NO, of teachers! Welcome to an evaluation system in which you have no control over any of the variables, but reap all of the blame for the results – this will be your reward if your name happens to appear on the keep list. All I can say in response is a hearty, “no thank you.”
Those of us in the hinterland – and that’s the majority – must now focus on making sure that the district makes good on promises to allow us priority in placement at other high schools for next school year. I’ve heard that the board has set the reconstitution axe in place for Gompers Middle School in Watts. That would be expeditious of them. The Gompers teachers would jump with enthusiasm at the opportunity to be in classrooms at HPHS. Does that mean that they expect us to move to Gompers? Oh please. I’d rather take out my retirement money early. I might have to do this – who knows? We’ve reached a point where there are almost no rules in these games and the ones in operation change at the whim of Ms. Flores.
Displacement is okay with me. I can live with it. HPHS has not been a picnic over the past six years or so. With the pressure pushing down and the chaos encroaching, I look ahead with curious anticipation at what the reports from my “spies” will contain in July. The kids were promised no long-term substitutes. The kids were promised no disruption in their course work. The district made all kinds of promises to our kids in order to pacify them and keep them from any more televised embarrassing actions. These kids are the ones in honors classes and with normal GPA’s. They are the ones who will suffer most. The kids who are living it up at “camp HP” will be unaffected, and why should they be? They have no responsibilities and they have nervous “whipping boys” all prepped and ready to receive the consequences of student behavior – such a deal!!