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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Why I hate the Clark County School District


As grateful as I am to finally have a real, career-type job with great benefits, I really hate CCSD.

Don't get me completely wrong; there are some good things, which I will get to later. However, like a supervillian who helps old ladies cross the street in between his evil schemes, there's not enough good to balance out the bad. It may even be worse, because it says the district knows how to do something right, it just chooses not to for whatever reason.

Let me tell you my story.

I graduated from UNLV this past December with my degree in education. It took me seven years to get this degree because it was essentially a dual major in education and English (plus I change my mind a lot and took an unnecessary course or two). All the while I'm going through this program, there are a bunch of yahoos in my practicum classes who have non-education degrees and who are taking, like, five education classes and then they will have a master's degree. In education. Because CCSD needs people so bad, any sucker with a communications degree suddenly gets to run a classroom.

I suck it up anyway because, hey, that's what I do. "Wait to rock the boat until after you've gotten out of it," that's what I always say.

So after New Year's, after my degree posts and I do the last of my paperwork to get my license, I'm sitting by the phone waiting for a call. I need a job by the end of January. See, the deal was, if I got a job by January 31st, a couple of good things would happen to me.

  1. I would qualify for insurance on the day after my old insurance expired.
  2. I would start out on year 2 on the payscale, provided I make it to a couple of classes and Saturday conferences.
  3. I would only have to spend a year and a half at my school before being eligible for transfer.

The first thing went without a hitch. The last thing I wasn't even concerned about at the time because I was fairly certain of getting a private school job offer for next fall. And the extra paychecks, wow, that was just going to be great.

Finally the phone rings. The lady at the personnel office says "hey, you need to come in and sign your contract," and I'm like "what contract? I haven't even had an interview yet" and she says "come down tomorrow and sign."

I show up the next day at the contracting office and they plop a stack of papers in front of me. They ask if I have a copy of my job offer and the other paperwork I filled out at my interview, and I say "what interview? what's going on? I haven't been to any interviews."

The lady behind the counter says "oh," then she sends me with another stack of forms down to the district police station for fingerprints, retinal scans, the whole works. All this time, I'm trying to get a straight answer out of someone, asking questions like "Do I have a job? Why didn't anyone tell me? Where is it? What grade? What subject?"

Finally someone tells me it's a reading position, which means sixth or seventh grade, but they "hadn't decided" on what school. I said "do I have a choice?" and they said they would "put me close to home." If nothing else, I could appeal.

I shouldn't have signed. Oh, Lord, I should have kept my ink inside my pen where it belonged.

At 7:30 the next morning, I got a viocemail from Lisa, the secretary at Swainston Middle School, welcoming me to the team and inviting me to the inservice the next week. "Haven't decided," my ass. I looked up the address on the internet and started to cry. The school was in North Las Vegas (aka "Northtown"), more than 25 miles from my house, and, for all I knew, deep in the ghetto. Turns out it was only on the edge of the ghetto. Still, I live on the edge of the ghetto in my part of town. Why couldn't I just teach in my own ghetto, instead of driving to the ghetto two whole towns over?

This, unfortunately, is but the first of my complaints about Clark County School District. The rest, I am too griped out to go into today. For mental health reasons, I try to keep my dwelling-on-crappy-things time to a minimum.

1 comment:

David Harmon said...

Yeek! Sounds like those folks are desperate!