Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Pillai-Diaz Story Continues: Update 2

The Whole Story?
In the on-going matter of Shiba Pillai-Diaz, the Home News Tribune is reporting that Pillai-Diaz, her attorney, and South Brunswick School District administrators held a lengthy meeting Tuesday to discuss her situation.

According to the teacher, she was dismissed from her job because she refused to remove a photograph of President George Bush from a bulletin board on her classroom wall. The district is alleging that she abandoned her students while class was in session.

Michelle Donahue, the parent of one of Pillai-Diaz's students, is backing the district's account and has gone so far as to send a letter to the district indicating that should the teacher return to her assignment, Donahue would then remove her child from Ms. Pillai-Diaz's class.

A writer indicating that he was the spouse of a teaching colleague of Pillai-Diaz posted an exhaustive comment on your EdWonk's Tuesday report. (Please see posting published 10/05.) This letter raises a number of interesting points including the fact that Pillai-Diaz has worked for three school districts in the last six years.

The EdWonk has 13 years of classroom service in the same school system. It has been his experience that effective teachers don't usually tend to change districts very often due to the fact that one loses seniority, which may result in reduced pay. Here at the Education Wonks, we continue to be intrigued by her seemingly frequent changes of employers.

It has also been the EdWonk's experience that the education bureaucracy very rarely admits mistakes, and never admits that any decision was made because of politics. The bureaucrcy's first response is to always "circle the wagons" and protect their collective hides.

And that is not good for children or teachers.