Change is hard. This may seem like a cliché, but it is still true.
Most of the time, the actual change isn’t as difficult as dealing with our own feelings of resistance and the resistance of those around us. People say they want change — until you actually change something. Then their true beliefs emerge.
Most politicians have already figured out society’s bipolar attitude towards change. That is why so many of them campaign on a platform of change, then when they get into office, that wind of change becomes more like the stagnant fog of same-old, same-old. If the people truly wanted change, then politicians would give it to them, so that they could stay in office. But more often than not, when an elected official makes an actual change, a backlash of criticism follows.
This is also true in public and private organizations. Every single manager can attest to the truth that nothing is harder to implement than a policy of change. This resistance to change can sometimes be even more hypocritical in the business world where employees of companies large and small often spend hours upon hours complaining about the problems in the office, but then act like the world is coming to an end when change happens.
Case in point, Cunningham Elementary School. The Turlock Unified School District administration decided to take a proactive stance towards the dismal test scores at Cunningham by revamping the way the school is run.
To do this, they made significant staff changes, including bringing in a principal whose track record in test scores speaks for itself and making sure the right teachers for the job are at Cunningham.
Some teachers will be asked to leave Cunningham and teach at another school. Other teachers will be asked to leave campuses they have been successfully teaching at for years and come to Cunningham, a school in trouble.
Is this fair? Maybe not. Is it the right thing to do for the children at Cunningham School? Maybe.
I don’t think one parent, teacher or administrator thinks that Cunningham’s test scores are acceptable. They have been on the lowest-performing schools list for three years now, and the time for the TUSD to be able to make decisions on the types of change that should happen is getting short. The state would and could take over the school, giving local educators few choices in what happens at the Turlock school.
On Monday, TUSD administrators and trustees held a public forum to talk about the changes at Cunningham. This meeting was a good idea, but it should have happened weeks ago. Telling parents you have made significant changes at their child’s school after the fact is just wrong.
Despite TUSD’s communication faux pas, parents and staff at Cunningham should allow the district to make the changes desperately needed at the school. Something needs to be done, and the district should be allowed to give it their best shot.
To contact Kristina Hacker, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2004.