A frank admission
Teachers grumbled - some very loudly - at Pasco superintendent Heather Fiorentino's decision to train everyone in a newly adopted teaching program called Learning Focused Strategies. Some complained that the method amounted to little more than warmed over best practices - things they had done for years. Others griped that the system put too much of a burden on their shoulders without taking anything away. One school filed a grievance against the way its principal put the program into practice.
In a podcast to all teachers, Fiorentino admits that she made some missteps. "I've made some mistakes in the implementation of LFS," she says. "Yes, we did expand it too fast, and in doing so we created a variety of expectations for our staff and throughout the district." She also speaks of problems with the quality of the training, and confusion about who should be trained and when. Fiorentino then pledges to fix the problems as implementation of the $5-million program moves forward.
Why step up? After hearing the complaining, Fiorentino couldn't help but admit the errors and make adjustments. Why the podcast? "I want my teachers to be more technologically advanced, and I've got to be role modeling," she explained. Is her method working? "That sounds like a positive direction on the superintendent's part," United School Employees of Pasco president Lynne Webb said (of the message, that is).