Monday, February 27, 2012

Administrative Cuts?

    Panelists involved in an education roundtable discussion by Finding Common Ground, were asked about administrative cuts by moderator Alexandra Jacobs. While I know that the PCSD needs vital administrative positions (superintendent, principals), I believe there is room for cuts. Like it or not, at a time that so many teachers are losing jobs, we need to closely examine administrative positions.
    At Potsdam Central, it has been recommended that the relatively new administrative position of Dean of Students/Athletic Director be cut to a part-time Athletic Director position for next year. Initially, that looked like a good faith effort to show employees and the public that administrators would not be immune to three years of State aid cuts to education. However, the Superintendent then recommended that the AD be handed a part-time PE (physical ed.) job at Lawrence Avenue so that he would still have a full-time job next year.
    We all know what that appears to be...administrators protecting administrators. Many laid-off employees (from CSEA and the Teachers' Union) would have liked to have administration hand them work when their jobs were cut from full-time to part-time. Administrators need to be careful lest they be perceived as feathering each others' nests.
     Allow me to simply share why I am opposed to this newly proposed AD/Elem. Phy. Ed. position. First of all, when the BOE searched for a full-time administrative professional to become the Dean/AD at Potsdam Central, we vetted the candidates for their administrative qualities - not their teaching abilities. To simply hand over a teaching job to an administrator presumes school officials know something that they do not know - namely, how the current AD/Dean would measure up in a competitive search process for an elementary PE teacher. The students and the taxpayers in the PCSD deserve to have the administrators search for and the BOE support the best qualified PE teacher available to us. Let's face it, we all know that a good teacher will not necessarily be a good administrator and, conversely, a good administrator will not necessarily be a good teacher. Last May, I was one of two BOE members who said that we should have cut the Dean/AD position in order to save a teaching position. I stand behind that belief and have a suggestion: Why not take a successful math teacher, Josh Brosell, off the proposed cut list, retain him as a teacher, and offer him a stipend to do the AD job after school hours? Just a suggestion...but it's not a bad idea, is it?

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