I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sacked! Jim Bailey Middle to Lose Their Current Principal

From wikipedia...

"Sacked is a chiefly British slang term for being dismissed (fired) from a job. It also is a term used for describing the condition of a quarterback tackled behind the line of scrimmage while attempting a pass in American and Canadian football.The phrase was current in 17th-century France and was said of a servant or worker who had been dismissed by their master or boss. The expression appears in Randle Cotgrave’s 1611 Dictionary under ‘sac,’ which is ‘bag’ in French: “‘On luy a donnĂ© son sac’— said of servant whom his master hath put away.” Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang provided the equivalent expressions used by the Dutch ‘iemand den zak geven,’ to give someone the sack, and ‘den zak krijgen,’ to get the sack, but no dates were given.
The probable explanation for the expression is that in medieval times workman carried the tools or implements of their trade in a bag or sack, which they left at the end of the day in a safe place at their worksite. When an unsatisfactory worker was to be fired, on the last day on the job, his employer would hand him his pay and the sack containing his tools – he had gotten the SACK, he had been SACKED"

It was brought to my attention today that Dr. Judy Pippen, the Principal for District 1's Jim Bailey Middle School, one of the most successful middle schools in Escambia County, (and all of Northwest Florida, for that matter) is not being brought back next year. I am perplexed by this decision. This is a model school, great students, great teachers, very few discipline issues, and a fantastic leader at the helm. Check out the State of Florida letter grade ranking for this school for the past eight years.

A=2006-2007 school letter grade
A=2005-2006 school letter grade
B=2004-2005 school letter grade
B=2003-2004 school letter grade
A=2002-2003 school letter grade
A=2001-2002 school letter grade
A=2000-2001 school letter grade
A=1999-2000 school letter grade

This school is tremendously successful, with a great parental support network, fantastic community involvement, a dedicated and effective faculty, and an exceptional atmosphere for learning.

To release Dr. Pippen now, in the twilight of the current district administration's term, is to send a chilling message to every student, teacher, and employee at Bailey Middle School. Based upon what I have learned today, I think this action is excessive. This is just my opinion, and I may not be privy to all of the facts surrounding this decision. From what I do know, Issues regarding this non-reappointment could have been handled differently, and/or avoided altogether, in my opinion. I also believe that to dismiss a veteran principal from a fantastic, successful, “A” rated school for any reason other than something completely egregious, right as one administration is preparing to hand off to a new administration, looks really bad. That is my opinion, my sense of this situation.

To draw a football analogy, this is the equivalent of Bob Kraft firing Bill Belichick right after the big game-- Something is just not right with this.

While I am keenly aware that the appointment of Professional Personnel is a duty of the superintendent, and I do agree with a vast majority of the superintendent's recommendations,
this is one that I flat disagree with. I've heard from many concerned individuals about this decision, and I share their concern.

I intend to ask the superintendent to reconsider this move. I hope he will. If he does not, then I will lobby his successor this November to do what is right and bring back Dr. Pippen!

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