Rally Supporting Marjory Stoneman Douglas Principal on Thursday Afternoon

Principal Washington Collado - Photo from Eagles Landing

Principal Washington Collado – Photo from Eagles Landing

A rally will be held for Principal Washington Collado outside of Marjory Stoneman High School after school on Thursday by students and parents protesting that the school board will not be renewing his contract as the result of a controversial new evaluation system.

Collado is the victim of a new principal rating matrix, which is being used as a “hit list” for those who have had run-ins with district administrators or the teacher’s union.  Collado is an unfortunate victim of several cheerleading parents who forced cheerleading coach Melissa Prochilo out in October, despite two district investigations, which found no wrongdoing.  Hundreds of parents supported the coach but it was too late.

Despite a 93 percent teachers approval rating despite being named one of the top high schools in the United States by Newsweek Magazine (number 275 in 2012), Collado will be let go.  This letter went out from Lisa Maxwell, Executive Director of Broward Principals’ and Assistants’ Association”

 All Principals and Assistant Principals:

It is with great concern that the BPAA must inform you of a new practice/policy that the District, through Dr. Desmond Blackburn’s office, has created. This policy will affect more than 50 Principals this year and is expected to be used each year as a means to ‘clean house’.

Dr. Blackburn’s office has created a new matrix which ranks each principal in the district. Using the bottom 25 percent (approximately 50 principals), he has determined that the principals ranked at the bottom are “poor performing” or “low performing’ individuals. The criteria he chose to use to create the ranking is 1) a principal’s VAM score; 2) the answers to the question, ‘does my principal care about my needs on the student customer satisfaction survey; 3) the answers to the question “does my principal care about my needs “ on the teacher satisfaction survey; and 4) the total number of complaints a has principal received by the area director, and for which the area director became involved; i.e., had a meeting, made a call , etc.. Supposedly, these complaints do not include BTU complaints, but that is unclear. Obviously, this criterion is non-scientific, biased, subjective and frankly nonsensical. Many principals on the list had very high VAM scores and were rated highly effective at mid-year on the BASA instrument. Despite my repeated discussions with the District regarding the fact that we do not believe this is a just or legal process, they are moving forward.

The list of 50 people was reduced to 26 by removing retirees and first or second year principals who will remain vulnerable but will be given ‘assistance’ as necessary. The remaining 26 principals have one thing in common: they have had issues with BTU, they have had issues with Dr. Blackburn, or they are vocal and outspoken. This list is – pure and simple- a hit list.

The plan for these 26 principals is that they will be summoned to the office where they will be told that they will not be returning to their schools for the 2013-14 school year. They will be told they can apply for any open position and hope to be rehired. If they are not rehired, then they will either be demoted to Assistant Principal or will be non-renewed.

All principals need to be concerned; they may not make the list this year but could find themselves on it next year. This is nothing more than a way to bypass the legal requirements of due process. If you have had BTU problems, if you have difficult student populations, if you’ve had poor ratings on your customer survey results, or if you have a political situation at your school, which causes uproar, you may be on this list.

BPAA needs your help to fight this unfair and ill-conceived means to dismiss and demote principals. No one is safe. It is believed that the next round of demotions or non-renewals will be every principal currently in DROP. We will be asking you to write letters, attend board meetings, actively seek support from members of the community and back your colleagues. BPAA will let you know exactly where and when we need you to act. Each and every one of these 26 people has effective or highly effective evaluations. Next week, 26 lives will be destroyed. Be prepared to return to the BPAA website for updates and requests for action on your part. You need to get and stay involved!

Lisa Maxwell
Executive Director BPAA

If you would like to show your support at the rally, it will be held at 2:00 pm and will be attended by Mayor Michael Udine of Parkland as well as the media.  Marjory Stoneman Douglas is attended by students from Coral Springs and Parkland.


Principal Collado has done an amazing job at Stoneman Douglas High School. Our numbers have never been higher with FCAT; our school has never been cleaner. He has been responsible for bringing new technology to our school. We have amazing partners in education that has helped make this all possible. We are an A+ School and Nationally Ranked. A few months ago Mr. Collado received a great review by his superiors. So it should surprise you that Principal Collado was fired from our school on Friday. The reason they gave him is because he scored low on the School Board rating system on parent complaints. We believe these complaints are from 4 parents that are politically connected with the school board and some of its members. The same 4 parents that were behind the attacks on our Cheerleading Coach earlier in the year. They targeting him because he had the courage and integrity to stand up to what was right. Now our school is going to suffer.

Please join us in showing our support for Principal Collado by meeting outside of Stoneman Douglas at 2:00 PM on Thursday, March 14, 2013. In addition take 10 minutes and call Superintendent Runcie or his assistant Vicky at 754-321-3838. Tell him to how much you respect and admire Principal Collado and ask them to leave our school alone! Also call our School Board representative Abby Freedman at 754-321-2004  and share these same thoughts. Let’s not let a small group of parents define the destiny of our children. It’s time for all of us to stand up for what’s right just like Principal Collado did!

Marjory Stoneman High School 
5901 Pine Island Rd, Parkland, FL

Author Profile

Sharon Aron Baron

Sharon Aron Baron
Editor of Talk Media and writer for Coral Springs Talk. CST was created in 2012 to provide News, Views, and Entertainment for the residents of Coral Springs and the rest of South Florida.

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