A Teacher in the Trenches – Clayton Valley Charter High School

This letter was submitted to us by a current teacher at CVCHS:

There are 81 teachers at Clayton Valley Charter High School. 100% of those teachers are part of the Union (CVEA). Roughly 44 of those teachers are considered Veterans, many of which helped to write the Charter in 2011 and have stayed on the campus through the past two years. The first year, teachers were excited as they embarked on a brave new adventure. By the second year, all teachers- veteran and new- were buried under Benchmarks and testing rubric.  Clayton Valley has much to celebrate with its 62 point rise in scores but it is old news now, and based on a test that no longer exists. Do they complain about the workload? No, they do not. The reason is that they love what they do and are invested in a school that brings the brightest and best out in all kids to reach their potential. These teachers keep office hours, spend countless lunches tutoring students or going the extra mile to help that one student who is struggling.   The teachers are the pulse of the school. So, it makes sense, that someone should now take that pulse.

The heartbeat of Clayton Valley is faltering. The teachers in the trenches are breaking their backs to keep this CV body moving while some administrators flit from breakfast to lunch with Rotary and Church groups and schmooze with county board supervisors. They visit other charter schools (Oakland Arts Academy) and Dozier Libbey. And while those in charge are coming in late because they have been busy off the school grounds writing outside charters, the teachers are busy keeping the CV body alive. The window dressing hides the internal administrative cancer that is growing. It looks great from the outside, but eventually this cancer will take out the CV body. The teachers are aware of the sickness- as all people would be when it involves their body. They feel run down and tired, wary of the invasion of enemy cells, worried about their future with a wonder if there is a cure?    Yes, there is a cancer at Clayton Valley and the teachers know it because they can feel it.

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