Since my first look under the covers of our school district eight years ago, I’ve been very busy. In addition to being upset by much of what I found hidden and misrepresented, I’ve also found many positives. Most importantly, I engaged, serving on Building Councils, on the Renovation Bond Committee, in PTA’s and the PTA Council. I’ve sat with teachers and Principals to understand their issues, probed the details of both financials and especially our operating practices. Ive engaged both the Board and the Superintendent in many discussions, and looked as far as Washington to understand actions. I’ve been both uplifted and in some areas, disappointed.
First, let me share what I also shared in a public session: The major causes of our problems in public education are NOT related to what the Governor has described as “lousy teachers”. In fact, as I shared with the Board, the quality of our teachers hasn’t changed since I attended school decades ago.
Our issues are ALL management issues, and related to failures at every level, from actions in local schools and school boards all the way to the Whitehouse – broadly, every time the politicians get involved in “improving” education, all that’s accomplished is that they horribly disrupt it and, in the end, make it worse.
When I began, our cost/student was $12k/student year, already the highest in the Nation and one of the highest in the world; now, at over $20k/student year- it now costs more to send a tot to Kindergarten for a year than it does to send a student to SUNY! And the worst part is that as the cost increases, the results have only decreased. And (as yet) indications are that Common Core has only made things worse. …… (to be continued)