Leadership, criticism and progress — 1/13/2012

by chris robling

I’d like to propose that we not use posts here, or anywhere else, to make personal statements about individual teachers or their compensation. I believe it does no good, and in fact a considerable amount of harm, to write, “Sally Sue teaches algebra for $100,000 per year and in the private sector she’d be lucky to make $50,000.”

We–-the community, as represented by the District 208 School Board and its employee–asked these teachers to work for us at RB. We offered them the compensation package they currently receive. We are shirking our responsibility if we blame them for accepting something we offered. By attacking compensation, we are really expressing disappointment with the folks we put on the board, and the people they hired to run the school.

The teachers recently voted to reopen the contract–an important step towards a fiscally sustainable RB. It is in our best interests to have the new negotiations result in a better relationship. How does it make sense to beat up the teachers?

Additionally, if kids see posts portraying a teacher as an unemployable private-sector drop-out who won the career lottery, it undermines that teacher’s stature in the classroom. That inevitably effects the 100 or so kids who cycle through that teacher’s classroom daily.

Most of us know zilch about what’s happening at RB day-to-day — so our evaluation of “Sally Sue” is worthless. Yet many of us are frustrated with the current state of RB.

I believe that frustration arises from our former governance problem, which was largely a delegation problem. In other words, via school board elections we delegated our authority over RB decisions to board members. The past several boards (improperly) passed along most of that authority to several power centers, or fiefdoms, within the school — the athletic center, the vice/assistant principal center, the superintendent center, the outsourced service provider center, the RBEA, etc.

Whatever may be said of these centers, as such they were not primarily oriented toward the students and taxpayers. The wheels fell off when the voters said “no” to bills with which they did not agree. We are in the resulting crisis.

Our current school board is at long last bringing these centers into alignment. In Dr. Skinkis we finally have a superintendent who works with and for the school board, not the fiefdoms.

As a community we have passed from ‘showing there is a problem’ to ‘finding a solution to the problem.’ Much of the solution resides in the school – teacher relationship. That means our smart play is to strengthen both the board (us) and RBEA (the teachers) to make the extremely difficult choices that will return RBHS to fiscal sustainability. Personal attacks of those not responsible simply do not fit in this picture.

POSTED FRIDAY JAN 13, 2012 12:34 #
at http://www.riversideinfo.org/forum
Explore posts in the same categories: Riverside Brookfield High School -- Turnaround

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