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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

My Take on John Q. Porter

Dr. John Porter in happier times

I've noticed that I have had quite a few "hits" on my blog since my school district's controversy over district superintendent John Q. Porter. Several have come from Porter's previous school district back in Maryland. I wish someone from back there would either post a comment on the blog or send me an e-mail to let me know what your opinion of Dr. Porter is. If you want to keep it confidential, I will be glad to accomodate you.

For what it's worth, here's my take. I wish we could get beyond this, but I'm afraid it's gone too far already to do so. There are many claims and counter claims. The School Board believes that Dr. Porter has misused district funds. Dr. Porter claims that he has made errors and is willing to reimburse the district for any expenses not allowed by district policy. The Board is also upset that Dr. Porter has refused to discuss these problems prior to their being made public. Dr. Porter claims that he was unable to respond in a timely manner because he was involved in family matters during the holidays. The Board claims that Dr. Porter has created a hostiliies with employees and principals. He claims that he has just be doing his job in regards to incompetent administrators.

I wish that we could say, "We've all learned a valuable lesson here, and we will do better together in the future." That only works in sitcoms. Perhaps the board could allow Dr. Porter the opportunity to state how he would change his procedures to comply with board policy. I think he could become a good community leader. But I fear he has been weakened too much to do the job he was hired to do.

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