Game time for Board of Education

To the Editor:

The teachers’ contract is up for negotiation this fall, yet the silence is deafening. The largest and most valuable town expense and not a word from the Board of Education. Hopefully they are very busy preparing — doing their compensation surveys, developing their top priorities, gathering pubic support and hiring professional negotiators.

Just a few thoughts on priorities: Developing a compensation scheme that can be used to better recruit, reward and retain the best teachers, not a static pay scale based on longevity and degrees; flexibility around staffing of teachers, for example, the ability to remove 87-year-old staff from full-time positions in the classroom (i.e. Dwight) or assignments based on ability not seniority; elimination of work rules that impede administrators from raising standards and quality (i.e. teachers refusing to post homework assignments online); and creating a health benefits plan that is competitive with private employers as taxpayers are fatigued with health cost overruns due to a 1990-era design.

The BOE should be gathering support among school parents and leaders in the town to ensure they can be successful in their goals. Most teachers would, in fact, support the above goals, but unfortunately, the BOE risks continuing to defend the status quo and getting mediocre student results in return.

Let’s take our schools from mediocre to great and stop the excuses.

 

Bill Stapleton

Fairfield

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