Divide and Conquer

High School Report 8

Although there are no more than one hundred employees in the whole school district, which is made up of one little elementary school, one little middle school, and one little high school, all on the same grounds, the superintendent insists on everyone following the correct hierarchical lines. This leads to idiotic situations.

The business manager thinks I ordered something without filling out a requisition form first. So he has a problem. He tells the principal that I ordered something without a requisition, but he doesn’t give the particulars, or the principal doesn’t listen and/or remember. Either way, now the principal also has a problem. He walks into the library and tells me that I did something wrong. Apparently I had ordered something without a requisition. So now I have a problem. Of course I immediately ask the principal what order he’s referring to, because I know something else must be going on, but the principal doesn’t know. So I tell him that I can’t solve a problem if I don’t know what it is. If the business manager could just call me when he has a question, then it would been solved right away. Now three people have a problem, and it never gets solved.

All the employees have issues like this. Every now and then their boss tells them they have done something wrong, but that’s all. The morale is deplorable. Teachers who don’t appreciate being treated like children and who can get a job elsewhere leave as soon as they can, so, with a few exceptions, only the least qualified teachers stay, not out of loyalty, but because they have nowhere else to go.

(From a letter in 1996)

The next post in this series is about the financing.

One response to “Divide and Conquer

  1. Pingback: Is Our Children Learning? | Resident Alien — Being Dutch in America

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