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Does a School Principal Who Doesn’t Write Well Deserve Tenure?

ABC

You'd think the correct order in which to put letters is something that would come naturally to a school principal. You'd think.

It seems as though parents often struggle with their kids to get them to use correct grammar and spelling in everything from homework to term papers and letters to grandparents. With a kid, of course, it’s somewhat understandable and expected when they don’t get it right every time. After all, they are in the process of learning. What happens, however, if the person who can’t write well is your kid’s school principal?

Of course we all know adults who are challenged in the grammar and spelling department. But for how many of you is that person the one ultimately leading the charge for your child’s education, and should that person ultimately be in charge?

A principal in Brooklyn who is infamous for sending letters rife with errors to parents are now asking those parents for their support in his bid for tenure. Is Andrew Buck of the Middle School for Art and Philosophy someone who deserves tenure?

Buck first rose to prominence (?) last fall when the New York Daily News ran a story about rambling, nonsensical letters he sent to parents that contained 50 errors of logic and grammar about denying students textbooks because he said they were unnecessary in the learning process. Now he’s requesting — via Department of Education letterhead — help from those same parents he offended.

Buck sent out memos over the past few weeks asking parents to write him letters of recommendation mentioning his “leadership decisions” and “academic rigor” so officials will take their thoughts into account when deciding on his future in the NYC public school system.

A principal’s union spokesperson said asking parents for help in his tenure efforts in this way is “highly unorthodox.” A special commission has been appointed to investigate the matter.

Buck earns $129,913 in his role as principal. He was denied tenure last June. In 2008, he was voted the least-trustworthy principal in the city by the teachers union.

Do you think Buck should be denied tenure just because he can’t write well or should he be judged based on additional factors?

Image: Creative Commons

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