Thursday, June 26, 2008
Schools mask problems instead of solving them
In times of crisis, schools hire consultants to calm everybody down instead of addressing the basic problem: teachers who can't think straight.
Helix High School in San Diego Unified School District has suffered from a rash of teacher-student sexual encounters. Since this makes the news, the school is doing something about it: hiring an ethics advisor.
Castle Park Elementary School in Chula Vista also hired an advisor, Peter Barron Stark, a few years back, in the mid-90s, when teachers were so hostile to bilingual education that they were using staff meetings as an emotional outlet to scream at their opponents.
Peter Barron Stark's advice didn't them help much. It seems that Castle Park Elementary teachers needed help with thinking skills and basic human decency. All they learned was how to conduct a meeting without yelling at each other. In other words, problems were covered up instead of being addressed.
According to Stark's website, the following educational institutions have hired Peter Barron Stark and Associates.
It's hard to miss MiraCosta College and others with legal problems on the list; many of these problem schools use Daniel Shinoff as their lawyer.
Is the failure of consultants caused by the fact that these institutions were asking for the wrong thing? They wanted to keep everything calm and quiet, when open, honest discussion was needed. Instead of hiring PBS consulting, they should have hired ethical lawyers, teachers, and administrators. Clearly, CVESD needs new board members.
PBS Consulting's education client list:
...Butte County Office of Education
Cal Poly Pomona
Chula Vista Elementary School District
Edison Charter Academy
National School District
Poway Unified School District
San Diego County Office of Education
San Dieguito Union High School District
San Diego State University - College of Extended Studies
San Diego Community College District
Soquel Elementary School District
Southwestern Christian School
University of Phoenix
Mr. Stark says, "I view each client I have the privilege of working with as the beginning of a lifelong relationship. I am committed to providing you with a customized presentation that begins long before I take the stage and doesn't end until your expectations have been exceeded."
I think you have some work left to do at Castle Park Elementary, Mr. Stark. And while you're at it, a visit to MiraCosta College might be in order.