Sunday, May 06, 2007

TPS at a Crossroads

The issue of TPS and public education in Toledo is exploding, even today, Dal Lawrence called for the resignation of some TPS Board members and the appointment of 2 ex-officio members. We are at a crossroads of TPS and this is a root cause of the intensity of response to each development, each day. In the Fall of 2006, in my blog, the following proposal was offered: "Hold a summit of educational leaders to include: TPS Superintendent; TPS School Board; TFT President; University of Toledo President; and business leaders of regional major corporations to discuss the probability and processes to implement the following plan: Contract with The University of Toledo to manage TPS educationally, financially and administratively, this would mirror the “charter” school concept. All TPS students would receive financial credits toward college courses at the University of Toledo for each year they complete if they achieve required academic standards", etc.

Some may have objections to having UT involved with TPS in a formal matter; in fact, President Jacobs has stated that is not possible. But I would envision great excitement in our community should TPS fall under an "umbrella" of educational ideas and concepts with UT. It could boost the morale of all involved.

The problems that exist in TPS are multi-layered and extremely complex. We have dedicated, experienced educators and administrators in TPS, but we also have a bureaucracy created by federal, state and local regulations; and because this is a litigious society, protections for TPS employees.

The end result is stifling and as a result, teachers, administrators and children are suffering and families are leaving to find more effective school systems. My wish and prayer is that this is resolved sooner than later; but the status quo will not provide the results needed; rather, creative, innovative partnerships within the community should be used to implement effective changes.

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