School committee members across the state will now also have to attend six hours of training each year on how to perform their community responsibilities.
Bill sponsor Sen. Hanna M. Gallo, D-Cranston, said the legislation’s genesis came from “a lot of people expressing concern that not all school committee members are aware of all the [educational] issues they should.”
Issues, such as how schools are financed, labor relations, teacher-performance evaluations, strategic planning and opening meetings laws that require members do their business in public, will be addressed.
“They need to be educated,” said Gallo. “It’s a big responsibility being on the school committee. It’s our children, our students and our future, and we have to make sure we do the job to the best of our ability.”
The school committee members will attend a program at Rhode Island College offered by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary education in cooperation with the Rhode Island Association of School Committees.
An obvious next step, given the growing “adult to adult” expenditures of our K-12 public schools, while, simultaneously, reducing “adult to child” time. Wow.
Related: Ripon Superintendent Richard Zimman:
“Beware of legacy practices (most of what we do every day is the maintenance of the status quo), @12:40 minutes into the talk – the very public institutions intended for student learning has become focused instead on adult employment. I say that as an employee. Adult practices and attitudes have become embedded in organizational culture governed by strict regulations and union contracts that dictate most of what occurs inside schools today. Any impetus to change direction or structure is met with swift and stiff resistance. It’s as if we are stuck in a time warp keeping a 19th century school model on life support in an attempt to meet 21st century demands.” Zimman went on to discuss the Wisconsin DPI’s vigorous enforcement of teacher licensing practices and provided some unfortunate math & science teacher examples (including the “impossibility” of meeting the demand for such teachers (about 14 minutes)). He further cited exploding teacher salary, benefit and retiree costs eating instructional dollars (“Similar to GM”; “worry” about the children given this situation).