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Marshall Miles Editorial Opinion On Region One Board Of Educations Lack Of Intestinal Fortitude On Substantial Additional Expenses
The NEAS&C consultants are an unconscionable waste of funds— we’re talking a new full-time teacher for a year here! It’s true that Dr. Vogle doesn’t know the first thing about accreditation in New England, but Dr. Martinez is something of an expert, having served on 14 visiting teams. One of the primary demerits HVRHS received ten years ago was that the principal was not allowed to run her school- the superintendent was overriding her authority. At that time, many teachers were willing to sabotage Dr. Foster… those teachers learned something in that process. Now the teachers are united in believing that the principal needs to run the school and succeed or fail on his own merits. But it appears NEAS&C will find the same problem as before when they visit Housy next March.
Get Central Office OUT of the high school.
Based on what was said at the meeting it appeared to be known by the business manager, the superintendent, the assistant superintendent and director of pupil services, a number of days before the meeting, that there would have to be an increase in the Pupil Services proposed spending plan regarding salaries. It seems inconceivable that the assistant superintendent didn’t know prior to the meeting that more time and consultation was needed to prepare for the accreditation and that the cost would increase significantly. This debacle lies at the feet of the “central office” administration, first and foremost. My guess is, that at the latest, these increases were known about last week, if not earlier. These administrators should have informed the budget committee first (Sharon, Kent and Canaan(FV)) and then Board of these changes and the chair should have called a special meeting before Monday’s regular April 3rd meeting to discuss this. The Board also bears some responsibility by “caving”. They should have voted to keep the bottom line the same, if they weren’t going to defer the hearing to another time and then they should have instructed the Director of Pupil Services and the Assistant Superintendent to stay within the bottom line that had previously been agreed upon for each of their “budgets”. This is not the first time that something like this has happened. Last year the Board approved an additional staff position at the high school after the referendum approved the three budgets and miraculously there was enough money to do that. The lack of transparency here, that at the moment, seems to lie with the administrators in “central office”. None of this should come as a surprise given other recent events!
A true message if I ever heard one! It is not the job of the assistant superintendent to micromanage the high school, which is what has been going on for at least the last 8 years. Given the stance of the current “central office” administration, though, nothing will change without some intestinal fortitude from the Board of Education to make sure that the principal is in charge and if he/she doesn’t do the job to act appropriately!
Sometimes it’s as simple, and absurd, as it looks. Ms. Vogel took it upon herself to hire consultants to gather data that four administrators working in the high school are entirely qualified to collect (the district’s evaluation plan, in fact, requires that they do so throughout the year). To imply that these administrators are incapable of providing unbiased data, as Ms. Vogel did, is offensive.
Suggesting that the decision, which was again made in isolation, was necessary for the upcoming NEAS&C visit is a falsehood. The high school’s steering committee did not request the services of said consultants, nor were its members informed in advance that these data gatherers had been contracted by Region One. The BOE, having put its unwavering support behind a leader who sees no benefit to collaboration, communication, or transparency, was left no choice but to double down and vote in favor of budget increases they’d been blindsided with.