Principal of school for the deaf in Millcreek resigns, chastising leadership

Miss-Delectable

New Member
Principal of school for the deaf in Millcreek resigns, chastising leadership | The Salt Lake Tribune

Just one week into the new school year, Jill Radford has resigned as principal of Jean Massieu School of the Deaf in Millcreek, citing differences with the superintendent of the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind.

“If I hope to exact real and measurable change, I simply cannot continue to work for a superintendent who so blatantly demoralizes the efforts, dedication and passion of the faculty and staff at JMS,” Radford wrote in a letter after she announced her resignation Thursday evening at a USDB Advisory Council meeting. “I will continue to fight as a deaf adult for the rights and needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing children all across this great state.”

Radford has been principal of the school for three years. Her parting blasts are the latest aimed at Superintendent Steve Noyce by deaf education advocates who say he has favored USDB’s listening-and-spoken-language (LSL) program at the expense of the American Sign Language (ASL) program. Noyce, who is starting his third year as superintendent, insists the programs have been supported equally. Both have been hit with budget cuts following a tight year.

Noyce has the backing of the state Board of Education, which formed a task force earlier this year to review complaints at USDB and examine ways to strengthen the schools.

“The board has made the decision that, right now, he is going to serve as superintendent of USDB,” said state board member Leslie Castle, who also serves on the USDB Advisory Council. “This controversy that Steve Noyce has been dealing with has been going on for years. It did not start with Steve Noyce and it will not end with Steve Noyce, whenever Steve Noyce leaves.”

The listening-and-spoken language program has become increasingly popular in recent years as technology for digital hearing aids and cochlear implants has improved. About 70 percent of parents choose the LSL track for their deaf and hard-of-hearing students before they enter preschool. Students learn to listen and speak and most are able to return to their neighborhood schools by third grade.

In the ASL/English program, students learn to sign and to read and write in English. Their teachers use sign language to teach the curriculum. Proponents of this program say it fosters a sense of belonging to the deaf community and allows students to learn in a visual language that is more readily accessible to them. In her letter, Radford, who is deaf, refers to ASL as the “natural language” of deaf people.

Ultimately, parents make the choice of which program is best for their children.

But Radford worries parents are choosing the LSL program regardless of their children’s abilities. Students who do not learn to listen and speak as readily as their parents had hoped are then sent to the ASL program as a fallback.

“Under the current educational structure, ‘failed’ students are given a second track through which to learn, but years of development are lost in the process,” Radford wrote in her letter. “As a result of these lost years, these improperly served students of Schools of the Deaf are forced into a game of continuous ‘catch-up.’ The culture of ‘failure’ is thusly perpetuated.”

Noyce said few students are moved from the LSL to ASL program, but it does happen.

The timing of Radford’s departure leaves USDB searching for a replacement in the second week of school. Earlier this week, JMS, which has 88 students, celebrated the debut of a new playground after volunteers removed graffiti days before the start of school.

Trena Roueche, who recently was named associate superintendent of the schools for the deaf, will step in at JMS as USDB conducts a national search.

Castle said she was “disheartened” by the timing and manner of Radford’s resignation.

“It did not serve the students of JMS, and it was all done with a finger pointed at Steve Noyce, who was guilty of none of those things,” Castle said Friday. “I found that to be unprofessional, at best.”

Also on Thursday, the advisory council discussed troubling test scores at JMS. Results from state exams show that students there are performing below their peers both in other ASL programs and in the LSL program, Noyce said. The lower test scores include students who have always been taught in an ASL setting.
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
I am glad this is coming to a head. The thing is.....I DO agree with faire joure that if things were tweaked at USDB, and the bi bi program included GOOD speech therapy, or if there was a set up, like hoh Clarke style English education in the morning, and then ASL in the afternoon, a LOT MORE parents would opt for a program using ASL.
I really think the key is making Deaf Ed hoh friendly......Deaf ed needs to realize that it made a mistake in assuming that hoh kids don't need ASL and Deaf ed.
 

shel90

Audist are not welcome
Premium Member
But Radford worries parents are choosing the LSL program regardless of their children’s abilities. Students who do not learn to listen and speak as readily as their parents had hoped are then sent to the ASL program as a fallback

Yep..what we have been telling these idiot people who say Deaf schools perform poorly...it is because of people like those who use ASL as a fall-back not because of ASL itself.
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
And you know what? Oralists really do brush the fact that things get harder as kids get older, under the rug. They assume everything is going to be JUST ducky, and all the kids need is hearing and speech. They're also REALLY clueless as to the social emotional defiects that hoh kids deal with too.
You know, I predict that in five years a lot of the "sucesses" will be like the way those of us who are hoh and post here are. They'll hear about Deaf Schools like MSSD and CSDB, and be all " gee that sounds great. I wish I had known about that."
 

NickysMom

New Member
This is my little boy's school. I know it was not an easy decision to make for Ms. Radford, she loves all of our children so dearly.

Noyce has been involved with USDB for over 10 years and does not know sign language. He's been heavily involved with the AG Bell Association and firmly opposes teaching deaf/hoh children ASL. Parents are not provided full information regarding the educational placement of their children. To the extent that they are lied to about the ASL/English program. It is no secret that I have tried to bring his bias and inequities to the attention of our state board of education. At the term of his 2 year contract, over 1,200 signed a petition in support of his dismissal. A lawyer was retained to bring to the boards attention the numeration violations made be Mr. Noyce. I don't understand their decision to keep him on, possibly indefinitely.
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
This is my little boy's school. I know it was not an easy decision to make for Ms. Radford, she loves all of our children so dearly.

Noyce has been involved with USDB for over 10 years and does not know sign language. He's been heavily involved with the AG Bell Association and firmly opposes teaching deaf/hoh children ASL. Parents are not provided full information regarding the educational placement of their children. To the extent that they are lied to about the ASL/English program. It is no secret that I have tried to bring his bias and inequities to the attention of our state board of education. At the term of his 2 year contract, over 1,200 signed a petition in support of his dismissal. A lawyer was retained to bring to the boards attention the numeration violations made be Mr. Noyce. I don't understand their decision to keep him on, possibly indefinitely.

Just as I thought. It doesn't surprise me at ALL!!!!
 

posts from hell

New Member
This is my little boy's school. I know it was not an easy decision to make for Ms. Radford, she loves all of our children so dearly.

Noyce has been involved with USDB for over 10 years and does not know sign language. He's been heavily involved with the AG Bell Association and firmly opposes teaching deaf/hoh children ASL. Parents are not provided full information regarding the educational placement of their children. To the extent that they are lied to about the ASL/English program. It is no secret that I have tried to bring his bias and inequities to the attention of our state board of education. At the term of his 2 year contract, over 1,200 signed a petition in support of his dismissal. A lawyer was retained to bring to the boards attention the numeration violations made be Mr. Noyce. I don't understand their decision to keep him on, possibly indefinitely.

Terribly sad.
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
Yes, I agree.....it is SO sad. The thing is....it does seem like the Ag Bell oralists want to "reform" deaf ed , by only offering ASL OR oral only.....and they think that kids only need oral only formal program up til kindergarten. They also mindlessly worship mainstreaming......I don't get it. Mainstreamign and oral only has not been innovative for decades now!
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
The irony is that in five or ten years, a lot of parents of oral kids may be thinking " Why can't our kids have a Deaf School, where we don't have to fight for accomodnations, and where our kids can have good TODs ......
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
Hey PFH, one thing that might help a bit, maybe you could suggest that CSDB pursue looking into accepting students from Utah. Unfortunatly Utah's res school is pretty much dead :( and Utah just seems to not really care about Deaf Ed, as a seperate thing.
 
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