Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cronyism at Potsdam Central?

The Superintendent has made his recommendation and the Board of Education has chosen to support a personnel recommendation that deserves further scrutiny. They handed a part-time teaching position to the athletic director when his full-time job was cut to part-time, thus reinstating him to a full-time position.

First, it is incompatible to simultaneously be both an administrator and a teacher. When does the administrator hat come off? It doesn't and this could and should be a cause for concern for teacher colleagues at Lawrence Avenue.

Next, any administrator has an unfair advantage when job cuts are discussed. They get to sit at budgetary meetings, at the table, and look Board members in the eye as members debate the status of proposed cuts. (Essentially lobbying for their positions by their mere presence at the Board table.)

Last year, a teacher (the mother of 3 young children and the sole support of her family) was laid off. I wonder what would have occurred if she was permitted to sit at the Board table - at every budgetary meeting - and look members in the eye as they bandied about the Superintendent's recommendation to cut her job? This employee, and many others like her, had no such lobbying advantage.

Finally, and most importantly, the elementary students deserve to have the best available physical education teacher teaching them next year. Is the AD this person? We will never know because neither the Superintendent nor the BOE thought it was worth searching for the best candidate.

The primary mission of any school is to do what is in the best interest of students and providing them with the best available teachers is an essential fiduciary responsibility of school officials.

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