Information for parents of disabled children

Friday, December 17, 2010

T-shirts for education: the RISE Learning Center trade-off

What do we know?

At the beginning of the school year, RISE Learning Center in South Indy sent home free shirts to the student body. While that may sound like an awesome deal, parents didn't react well.

The 175 student school routinely has problems with service delivery, say the parents of the students there. Given the $10 million shortfall in the Perry Township school district, parents were astounded at such largess from a flailing school.  A few parents looked into the purchase made by principal, Dr. Tim Smith.

What they found was astounding; Dr. Smith had ordered the shirts from his own t-shirt company, Quality Ts. The T shirt company operates under TWS Enterprises in the Carmel area and allegedly employs a teacher and job coach from the school in their spare time. The sale generated complaints to RISE and was reported to authorities. There has been no word on a resolution of the allegations.

Parents fear this is the signal of a giant ethics problem at the school. For most of the school year, they've struggled, they say, with case conferences and obtaining services for students on the mild to severe end of the disability spectrum.
AASA's Statement of Ethics for Educational Leaders
An educational leader’s professional conduct must conform to an ethical code of behavior, and the code must set high standards for all educational leaders. The educational leader provides professional leadership across the district and also across the community. This responsibility requires the leader to maintain standards of exemplary professional conduct while recognizing that his or her actions will be viewed and appraised by the community, professional associates and students.
The educational leader acknowledges that he or she serves the schools and community by providing equal educational opportunities to each and every child. The work of the leader must emphasize accountability and results, increased student achievement, and high expectations for each and every student.
To these ends, the educational leader subscribes to the following statements of standards.
The educational leader:
  1. Makes the education and well-being of students the fundamental value of all decision making.
  2. Fulfills all professional duties with honesty and integrity and always acts in a trustworthy and responsible manner.
  3. Supports the principle of due process and protects the civil and human rights of all individuals.
  4. Implements local, state and national laws.
  5. Advises the school board and implements the board's policies and administrative rules and regulations.
  6. Pursues appropriate measures to correct those laws, policies, and regulations that are not consistent with sound educational goals or that are not in the best interest of children.
  7. Avoids using his/her position for personal gain through political, social, religious, economic or other influences.
  8. Accepts academic degrees or professional certification only from accredited institutions.
  9. Maintains the standards and seeks to improve the effectiveness of the profession through research and continuing professional development.
  10. Honors all contracts until fulfillment, release or dissolution mutually agreed upon by all parties.
  11. Accepts responsibility and accountability for one’s own actions and behaviors.
  12. Commits to serving others above self.

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