Friday, July 04, 2008

The promised update: Part One

I am going to try to get all of this in here as close to chronological as possible.

Last year, my program was flagged. This means that the state was watching my numbers (primarily enrollment) as a means to determine whether the class should continue. The state required a ratio of around 10 students per class. That recently changed to 12.5 per class. My numbers were around 11.

Sometime in the middle of the year, I got a letter that my program was subject to closure. All the while, every person I spoke with in the department in which I worked assured me that the state had never closed a program that they could recall. Now, this is not to say that I relied on that fact.

My program was just in its third full year. Every year the ratio increased. Each time it got close to the number required, it seemed that the state raised the number. What I didn’t understand, and I do consider myself to be somewhat intelligent, was how I was supposed to increase the numbers for my program. Every time the numbers were brought up, everyone looked in my direction for answers. I am a teacher and an electrician. I am not an administrator. I am not a career counselor. I am not at the high school where I meet students. The students that I meet are the 300 students out of 1750 that have decided to take a class at the ATC (Area Technology Center.) Recruiting these students would only steal them from other programs and not fix the overall problem.

Anyway, there was a meeting. Everyone was there, almost. The Director of the OCTE (Office of Career and Technical Education,) the Deputy Director of the OCTE, the area supervisor (over 12 schools,) my principal, several counselors from GRC (George Rogers Clark High School,) and one of the associate principals from GRC, and the Superintendent of the Board of Education of Clark County, and myself. Missing were my advisors to my program. The meeting was scheduled for an earlier date which all of them planned to attend. The rescheduled meeting did not work with schedules, so they couldn’t be there.

In the meeting, I was given a few minutes at the start to talk about my program. I talked for about 5 minutes and answered a few questions. Then I left. The meeting progressed without me.

The following morning, I got the news on the results of the meeting. I needed to invite speakers to talk to my classes about employment opportunities after graduation. Their concern here was that we hadn’t placed any students into the trade. Of course, what was not taken into consideration was that this was just my third full year, and the first year I had ‘completers’ that could go into the field.

The next thing I needed to do was to add the names of 30 students that would be interested in taking my class the following year. They didn’t have to schedule my class per say, but they did have to put on their schedule that they were interested.

Oh yeah, I had ten days to do this.

Next: The challenge …

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