Clarifying, and questioning the school district’s schedule
Wow, what reactions to questioning the need for school days and children schedules to change to accommodate for additional meeting times for administrators and teachers. After reading the original article, the recent editorial and guest commentary by Superintendent Millie Hamner, I still cannot find where there is a need to alter the school week. If this time is so valuable (and it probably is), why can’t the standard work week for the teachers be altered? Dr. Hamner states that the schedule fits inside the contracted day. Is the Union so inflexible as not to agree to reworking contracted schedule to accommodate the parents and children? Why can’t the teachers arrive later or leave earlier the rest of the week? Give the individual teacher or building the choice. Instead the people of Summit County are given a take it or leave it choice. Somehow that just does not seem right.I would like to address a point or two that Dr. Hamner brought up in her guest commentary. I wrote the piece in question which supposedly attacked an individual. I have three children in school and have kept current with the anti-bullying programs. No student would be allowed to construct an argument that puts a particular action as a moral imperative and to place next to that comment a question of how one could disagree. The intent of such structure is to put anyone in disagreement in the position of choosing an immoral position. Contrary to the “we attack issues not people” backhand, how things were put in the original article would attack anyone in disagreement. Time and time again in open forums dealing with education, supporters (teachers, administrators, the public and even school board members) of this or that measure often claim that they are in favor of whatever because its for the children and better education and that those opposed must, by extension, be against children and education. This is fair in politics – over the top, but fair. I do regret saying that Ms. Ziperman is not a positive role model. It would have been more accurate to say that her tactics in this instance are not those of a positive role model. The wording that she used was inflammatory and bullying in nature. She, as a person, probably is wonderful. Please accept my apologies.Interesting though that the question of tactics was ignored. Instead the “clumsy” use of moral imperative is excused away. Good education probably is a moral imperative. The problem is when one side of a potential debate stakes out the moral highground. How the issue was put forth by Ms. Ziperman in the original article did just that. Wouldn’t it have been better to say that: this time is needed to improve “abc”; by improving “abc”, the children will benefit this way; this is the best way that we can think of accomplishing “abc”; we are open to hearing alternatives. It would be interesting to hear from our Superintendent her views if public employees should be putting policy questions into a moral framework.It would be interesting to hear from Dr. Hamner what were the objections to altering the contracted day of the teachers. Were the union representatives in opposition? Were a majority of the teachers opposed? Was it even discussed? Instead the parents and the children of Summit County are once again told to accommodate the people who work for us. The children will adjust. The parents will adjust. But there is something wrong with a system where one of its representatives puts the “debate” into a moral booby-trap and the people are not told why this is the one and only option, when there appears to be an alternative.
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