Controversy at Desert Mirage High School

By | March 13, 2013 at 2:40 pm | No comments | Columns, Education

Desert Mirage High School (DMHS) had approximately 100 students walk out of class on Monday in response to the firing of Principal Mario Walker and Assistant Principal Max Friedman. Schools are educational facilities that must have a trust and comfort built between faculty and students, which is necessary for the learning process. Monday, many students and parents lost that trust and comfort, not in the school, but with the Coachella Valley Unified School District (CVUSD). Parents and students are up in arms with questions referencing why, without notice, did CVUSD, fire Walker and Friedman. No reasons as of yet have been given. Also, Notice to leave position next year was given to the principal of Coachella Valley High School (CVHS), again with reasons unknown.

The surprise firing of Walker and Friedman comes at a questionable time. In search for answers, I looked to the schools Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR). These tests meet state standards and give an approximation of the school’s success. According to DMHS’ School Accountability Report Card, DMHS has a positive and steady increase in the STAR scores sense 2008 in all subjects scored, which are math, science, English, and history. When a school is doing well in overall standardized scoring, why fire the two people that have a large influence on the school’s success? Another question circulating around the firing includes, “Why would a school district fire their two top administrators at a school just a few months before school ended?”

The decision takes great affect on students’ learning as was shown in Monday’s walkout. The affect does not only reach the students, but teachers as well. Teachers and parents are welcome to discuss such issues at the next CVUSD board meeting held March 14, 2013, in the CVUSD – Board Room, 87-225 Church Street, Thermal, CA 92236. I encourage all affected to attend the board meeting in support of those losing their jobs. The meeting convenes at 5:30 pm in a closed session, but at 6:30 pm the session becomes open to the public. Go to the meeting, ask your questions and give your concerns, and fight for your local educators.

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