‘No confidence’ in whiners

Darren of Right on the Left Coast doesn’t think much of Sacramento high school teachers who cast a “no confidence vote” in their new principal, Cynthia Clark, after she tried to fire four teachers. Morale
doesn’t require pleasant working conditions, he writes, drawing on his military experience.

Want to improve morale? Quit whining about how much you dislike your principal, quit whining about state-required tests that provide outside eyes on the teaching that goes on in our schools, quit whining. Focus on achievement, and get on board with the person whose instructions you’re paid to follow. When you do this you’ll have “confidence in your ability to get the mission accomplished”. You don’t want to admit it, but your whining causes the low morale, it’s not a product of low morale.

There are principals who make it difficult for teachers to do their job. Darren asks McClatchy High teachers for examples of how this principal has undermined their teaching.

Clark was hired to close McClatchy’s racial achievement gap. At her previous high school in Huntington Beach, “Clark emphasized discipline and the school’s Academic Performance Index score increased 49 points,” reports the Sacramento Bee. Here’s an odd addendum:

Clark’s departure from Edison High last year was marked by controversy. While observing a class discussion on gun control, Clark spoke up, illustrating her point by making a pistol shape with her hand and gesturing at the teacher. The teacher filed a complaint with the district.

Although an investigation by the Huntington Beach Union High School District found Clark’s gesture wasn’t intended as a threat, she resigned in February 2005 and left the school three weeks before graduation.

There’s no way the teacher thought the principal was threatening to shoot her. She just didn’t like Clark. Do teachers dislike her because she pressures them to do more or for some other reason?

About Joanne


  1. I emailed Principal Clark and received a reply. While not offering any further information, she thanked me for recognizing that there are two sides to every story.

    She also said that high standards apply not only to students, but to teachers. Hear hear!