We, taxpaying citizens of the town of Cumberland, request that the School Committee immediately vote to allow the contract of the current Superintendent of Cumberland Schools, Dr. Donna Morelle, to expire in June, 2011. We want a vote of NON-RENEWAL.
Dr. Morelle's slogan as Superintendent has been "100% of the children, 100% of the time" and we do not believe that she has met this standard. She is not the right person to lead Cumberland Schools at this time.
Our desire for new leadership stems from, but is not limited to, the following areas:
-Currently, 34% of our 11th graders are proficient in mathematics and 56% are proficient in writing. Cumberland High School was recently ranked 29th out of 51 high schools in the state. (In 2004, prior to Dr. Morelle's appointment as Superintendent, 68% of 11th graders were proficient in mathematics and 62% were proficient in writing effectiveness and 80% were proficient in writing conventions.)
-Out of the 8 public schools in town (non-charter), there are only two with proficiencies above 75% in both reading and mathematics.
2. Communication & Morale
-In 2008, the teachers' union issued a vote of 'no confidence' in the Superintendent. Many teachers still privately report that they are not professionally supported by the Superintendent and that morale among teachers is low. A change in leadership could make a huge difference to our teachers and our children.
-In 2010, the Superintendent designed a proposal to restructure the elementary schools. This proposal was created by a 'Leadership Team' which did not include a single teacher or principal. The fact that the Superintendent was willing to completely change the structure of elementary schools without consulting the professionals with daily access to elementary children demonstrates a problem not only in communication within the administration but also a lack of respect for the professionals she employs.
There is a crisis of morale within the School Department. There is also a palpable lack of confidence in the Superintendent's ability to lead effectively.
3. Transparency & Truthfulness
There is a documented pattern of an unwillingness on the part of the Superintendent to answer basic questions and respond to requests for information. Dr. Morelle disseminates information in a way that is at best misleading and at worst dishonest.
We want new leadership. We can do better for the students of Cumberland.