From the Ypsilanti Community Schools facebook page, from an anonymous Willow Run teacher:
I am a Willow Run teacher who was not hired back, although I met the criteria. I am a little shocked because I have always had very high evaluations and good feedback from other teachers, students and families. I was upset that none of my references were contacted after spending so much time getting them together. This preparation took hours and I am highly insulted. I am also upset because Emma Jackson was quoted saying that counselors would be available in each building. No one was at my building, and when I asked my principal he said he could call one if I needed it. (Emphasis added.)
Update 5/3/2013 6 p.m.:
@_KrystalElliott: Ypsi Community Schools offers positions to 171 of 258 teachers, 32 receive "call back" notices. 55 not offered positions
And one of those not offered a position was the Ypsilanti teachers' union head, Krista Boyer--from all accounts that I have heard an excellent teacher. Did that have anything to do with her being the head of the union?
In this post (which I will probably be adding to) I am just taking information from different things I've been reading over the past few days, many of which are rather troubling.
1. From the Ypsilanti Community Schools facebook page:
We have been forwarded yet another email from Bob Galardi, this one dated May 2, 2013:2. From the Ypsilanti Community Schools facebook page:
"During this week I have received several inquiries about reference checks. A decision was made early in the process that we would not use references for selection. We thought we would check references for candidates that we were going to select. This is typically when references are needed. After further review we determined that reference checks on current employees would not be a productive use of our limited time. Because of the nature of this process we are not selecting unknowns - we know the employees we are selecting. It is almost as if we are transferring employees from one department to another and in that case we would not contact a reference."
This is, of course, a complete contradiction of his emails sent on March 21 & 22 and April 19. Moreover, this shows that the district is not the least bit interested in receiving input from the community when making these hiring decisions and that the district has no respect for the time and effort community members put into these recommendations. Listening to the community is, in Mr. Galardi's words, "not a productive use of our limited time." [Emphasis added.]
Excerpt from April 19 email from Bob Galardi:
"We will begin contacting references of top candidates next week." [Emphasis added.]
3.. From the Ypsilanti Community Schools facebook page:
This is an excerpt from a "Crisis Management" document emailed on May 1, 2013 from the district's administration to staff, explaining that references were to be included in the 20-point score on which hiring decisions were based:
"HOW DECISIONS WERE MADE
1. No current administrator or Board member of YPS, WR, or WISD, served on the interview committees. External consultants (comprised of retired educators and administrators) followed a process that was aligned to the teacher commitments that were adopted by the board. The process resulted in a score in four areas (application review, references, interview, and classroom visit) with a maximum of 20 possible points. . . . "
Mr. Galardi's explanation sent late last night appears to be false. While he justifies failing to contact references by stating that "A decision was made early in the process that we would not use references for selection," the above excerpt contradicts this, as does his own email from April 19. The above excerpt confirms that just two days ago, the district sent an email specifically stating that references were to be used in the hiring process. We now know they were not.
Mr. Galardi's explanation sent late last night appears to be false. While he justifies failing to contact references by stating that "A decision was made early in the process that we would not use references for selection," the above excerpt contradicts this, as does his own email from April 19. The above excerpt confirms that just two days ago, the district sent an email specifically stating that references were to be used in the hiring process. We now know they were not. (Emphasis added.)
4. From the comments section on this article on annarbor.com (I know! the Comments section!):
What Danielle failed to quote is that the teachers received an agenda at their "crisis" staff meeting this week with a sentence that read, "Most likely, everyone will be handling a message that will be shattering", and that Ms. Lisiscki's email stated, "Please be aware that if you withdraw your application for employment, you will be deemed to have waived any right to challenge the hiring process or hiring decisions." This is the REAL hidden agenda. The administration knows that the hiring process was shady at best and that many will have a lawsuit to file against the unfair hiring process that followed very few Human Resource guidelines and regualtions. This is also why another message was sent yesterday stating the number of teachers who will receive "maybe" letters has increased drastically! They will send out many "maybe" letters today so that they will not be challenged and FOIA'd to death by the "no" letters they had originally planned to deliver. This will also give Menzel the opportunity to tell the press that they handed out very few "no" letters, trying to make them look like good. Ypsi Schools recenlty attended a job fair, looking for teachers. My question, if the people who receive "maybe" letters today, end up not getting called back (which is most likely their scheme) and then the new district hires external teachers, what can "maybe" teachers do about it? Lawyers get ready! It is absolutely a shame how the 3 superintendents and the hiring team at WISD have manipulated, scared, and demoralized these fine teachers who have given their blood, sweat and tears to work in an urban district that has become increasingly high stress and low achieving over the years. (Emphasis added.)
5. From the comments on the same annarbor.com article:
Maybe A2.com and Reporter Arndt will keep a close eye on if Ypsilanti Community Schools hires "Teach for America" employees to "replace" the experienced teachers of both of these soon-to-be former school districts. There's a suspicion that this is what Menzel and Crew (including that so-called un-elected Board of Education) is trying to do.
"Teach for America" teach are paid a bottom basement rate, only are required to have a bachelors degree in ANY subject to teach, are not unionized and are used by various "charter schools" corporations to keep wages low and unionization out. Now, Ypsilanti Community Schools are supposed to be a "public school district" but their actions over the past year acts like "corporate top down" structure more than anything else.
Maybe at the press conference this afternoon Reporter Arndt can inquire if Menzel and the rest plan on hiring "Teach for America" employees. (Emphasis added.)
6. From the comments on the same annarbor.com article:
First, Danielle Arndt (article author) writes in the comments:
The current breakdown of teachers in both districts was not readily available. I was told by Scott Menzel this information is being prepared for tonight's press conference. So I hope to be able to answers these questions for readers in this evening's report. I do know, and it was included in an earlier article, that about 330 internal candidates in total from both districts applied for spots. (Emphasis added.)
Then, a commenter says:
If you would ,like information regarding projections go to the consolidated schools website and look at their consolidated budget funding for teacher professional development and it show that 240 teachers will be allowed 15 days of professional development over the summer. The question remains who will these teachers be if they have a large amount of "Maybe" offers dependent upon enrollment. Based on that document it seems they have already made decisions based on enrollment and enrollment trends. Are the teachers who are given maybe letters going to have priority over external applicants? If the district begins to accept external applicants then we can only assume that they are going to fill positions that the "maybe" internal applicants could be filling which then harkens other questions about the purpose of this process and if it was really designed to retain current good teachers. (Emphasis added.)