We have a hotly contested race this year for Penns Valley school directors.
As a past board member and concerned member of the community, I have a few thoughts.
Laying aside the emotional aftermath of the Ram Community Centre, I look at the shape our district is in, since that is the biggest factor to me in whether current people should be replaced.
Financially, as tough as times are, our district is in better shape than most or all of the surrounding districts. Our tax load compared with the others is less than average. Our students’ test achievements are exceptional.
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I’ve heard challengers say, “It isn’t all about test scores.”
I agree, but are we supposed to ignore those achievements? If test scores were low, the challengers would be all over the current leadership assigning blame, so it has to work both ways.
I’ve seen survey results that show high satisfaction with most aspects of our schools but lower satisfaction with the board and administration, and have heard people say it’s the teachers and students who should be commended.
Yes, they should. But school leadership oversees the environment teachers have to work in. The administration also makes the final call in choosing which new teachers to hire out of hundreds of applicants.
With our teachers and students doing an excellent job, you can’t fairly separate that from the leadership. Replacing a majority of an effective school board would be a serious mistake.