Friday, December 19, 2014

MPS Superintendent Driver Under Fire By Morgandale K-8 School Student Parents

Driver just several months into the position of Milwaukee Public School Superintendent has come under fire by parents of the Morgandale K-8 elementary school students for choosing an administrator to become its principal instead of the interim principal who is a bilingual assistant principal.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 19, 2014

Milwaukee, WI - On Thursday, more than 300 Spanish speaking parents became upset and disappointed at the new Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) Superintendent Darienne Driver, 36, for not taking into consideration their position to have the current interim Principal Mary Saldaña to remain as the current principal. Saldaña took over Morgandale after longtime Principal Barbara Luepke retired.
Driver decided to appoint MPS Chief Academic Officer Tina Flood as the new Morgandale K-8 School Principal, despite Flood not having any experience as a teacher or any former principal experience, who is not bilingual as well.
MPS had not officially informed the school district community about Driver's decision other than a verbal announcement, according to parents. The parents reacted to Driver's decision by staging a protest on Thursday and an ongoing petition drive to get signatures from Morgandale student parents to get Driver to reconsider and allow interim Principal Saldaña to remain as the current Principal. So far, the parents have gotten more than 300 signatures. 
According to MPS, more than 75% (580) of students at Morgandale Elementary School, 3635 S. 17 St. are Hispanic and most are bilingual.
The Morgandale student parents say they will continue to protest and are spreading their organizing efforts to get the community and MPS Board involved in working to assure MPS considers their demands and input to determine their needs, including the educational success for their sons and daughters. 
Driver when hired as the MPS Superintendent indicated that she wants the community and parents input to help her to provide the best education for students success. Driver on Thursday during a WUWM Public Radio program stated, "So much emphasis is always put on the schools, on the students, on the teachers, and not realizing that it's really the entire community that has to rally around the schools to make a difference. I'm a firm believer in the village—the fact that it takes a village to raise a child." If Driver is serious about her belief that the community matters, then she should reconsider and allow interim Morgandale Principal Saldaña remain in the position, according to parents.
Esmy Garcia on Facebook posted, "The superintendent is trying replace her with a non bilingual principal and translator which really makes no sense why not just keep a bilingual principal at a bilingual school?!!!! So that's why we are fighting to keep her!!!"

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