Teacher John Mulhall reacts to an email written by Parent Jim Willey.

From: "John Mulhall"
To: info@ismstakeholders.com
Date: 07 Sep 2006, 01:05:08 PM
Subject: Response to Parent Jim Willey (Dumbing Down with Locals)

Dear Sirs/Madams:

Certainly all of us, as stakeholders, are fully engaged in this current crisis; everybody has something at stake and, naturally, we are passionate about this situation.

I am a faculty member, currently in my 5th year of teaching at ISM. I love this school, and respect the faculty and educational leadership without question.

In his September 6th letter, Mr. Jim Willey expressed some important observations. However, he also wrote the following statement:

The Board members Lahm and Navaserro have an agenda to dumb down the faculty and school by hiring what they believe to be equally qualified local eduactors. Local professionals are not who the ISM parents want to educate their children. We want a top drawer INTERNATIONAL group of educators. I believe they already are employed at ISM

I take great offense to this statement. We are an international school and I understand that parents want an international faculty. However, to make such a broad and prejudiced statement about locally hired teachers is offensive and inaccurate.

Our local hires consist of teachers who are locally trained, foreign trained, locally AND foreign trained, Filipino, non-Filipino, part-Filipino, foreign-raised Filipino, citizens, residents, ISM alumni, etc. The term "international" does not mean "non-Filipino"; it means many things. In fact, even just within our locally hired teachers (Filipino and non-), the term "international" applies not only to nationality or ethnicity but also to training and experience.

To make the assumption and statement that having the presence of locally hired teachers on faculty will "dumb down" the school is condescending and deeply offensive. We've had bad teachers come through this school, regardless of training, ethnicity, nationality and experience. To make a blanket assumption that local hires are THE bad ones is inaccurate. There are locally hired teachers that have worked in this school for several years and have the utmost respect of the students, faculty and administration, not because they are cool or easy graders, but because they challenge students and produce life-long learners. They are committed to their jobs and they produce results. They fulfill their duties as part of an international faculty both inside and outside the classroom. They inspire students. Not every teacher in the world has the passion you will find amongst the local and foreign faculty at ISM.

As I stated, I realize that you have some valid points in your letter, to which many would agree. However, I do request that you demonstrate more respect toward the members of a faculty that is every bit a part of this international community and its goal toward excellent education.


John P. Mulhall
(Irish-Canadian, and Local Hire)