Saturday, February 20, 2010
Clarity on the "Instructional Specialists" vs "Instructional Supervisors"
Bloggers - we try very hard to ensure that we are dealing in facts, however, apparently, our confusion as to the roles of Instructional Specialists have left our readers with the wrong impression and wrong facts. We truly apologize. We have now been given the gift of facts via some very intense research by one of our own. We have unfortunately, left readers with the impression that all of the jobs labeled "Instructional Specialists" are what some people refer to as "Gloria Talley's Army".
Yes, Gloria has built up quite a large group of "Instructional Supervisors" - those people who supposedly supervise teachers, send out email recovery plans, schedule meetings and critique bulletin boards. However, the actual title "Instructional Specialist", while sounding similar, is totally different. We had discussed this in the comments area of a couple of posts, however, it is important enough to warrant a front page article. These people are teachers and we want that known and clarified. They have a whole different job description from "Instructional Supervisors" - they are special teachers such as art, music, and P.E.
Here is a brief overview of the facts from our dear researcher/reader:
I often read on the blog about the "army of instructional specialists", some 400+ in number. I know the general consensus is that there are 400+ additional people sitting around Building B, taking over $20 million from schools, adding to the "district administrative bloat", and doing nothing to support children. I know for a fact that this is not true in the case of the "Instructional Specialists P-8". I also know (and completely understand why) the website's visitors would be very distrustful of anyone who defends the district office.
I went to the Open.Georgia.gov page for the 2008-2009 school year and downloaded the entire list of 445 names. I looked up every single name and determined the person's role in the district. The "Instructional Specialists P-8" are, in fact, teachers. When the district has to classify employees for the state CPI (Certified/Classified Personnel Index) report that is displayed on the Open.Georgia.gov site, the district is restricted by the state's titles. There is no way to identify those teachers who are certified as K-12 specialists and work in elementary or middle schools. The only title under which those teachers may be classified is "Instructional Specialists P-8". The breakdown of the 445 "Instructional Specialists P-8" who work in our elementary and middle schools is as follows:
Art -- 65 teachers
Band/General Music/Chorus/Orchestra/Strings -- 153 teachers
Physical Education -- 182 teachers
Left the system after 2008-2009 -- 45 teachers
(I put the music teachers together as they often serve multiple roles in the elementary & middle schools. For example, someone may be classified as "Chorus" but be teaching the music, orchestra, and band courses as well.)
So, please, do not come to the microphone at the board meetings using the "Instructional Specialists" as ammunition when they are really teachers. If we cut those employees, we will be cutting the very people that you fight for every year. I know there are MANY reasons to be upset with the district, but this is not one of them. Be mad for a litany of reasons, but don't throw the Instructional Specialists into the mix. They serve children every day. They also represent $23,865,446.18 of the budget that has been incorrectly attributed to the district office.
Now, the Instructional Supervisors - well, if anyone can clarify their roles and value, please share your input in the comments!