Thursday, January 10, 2013

Governor's State of the State Reflection

By now you have heard or seen what the Governor had to say about New York State Public Schools for next year. If not, he would like to see greater accountability, a longer school day and/or year, a better connection to college and career readiness, performance pay, and a continuation of the evaluation systems for teachers and administrators.

What appears to be resonating with students and staff the most is the possibility of a longer school day, year, or both. The Governor indicated that the State would pay for any additional hours spent as long as a plan exists to show how a longer day and year will lead to an increase in student achievement. I have indicated in the past that I am a quality, not quantity person. However, I think that some, although not all students, could benefit from some additional teacher contact time.

I am also well aware that some students, parents, and staff would and would not support a longer school day or year. My simple advice is this: until the Governor comes out with how he is going to fund schools in general for next year, not including the new initiatives, I am not spending one more brain cell thinking about it and neither should you. When, and if, the time comes (and I have faith in the Governor that it WILL happen SOMEDAY) we will get the hamster wheel going again and come up with something that works like we always do.

On a different note, we are still evaluating school safety and what changes or additions we might need to make. Right now we are looking at entry systems, additional cameras, and how we can use our School Resource Officer position differently. I am also attending two forums next week with Federal and State law enforcement officials to get the most up-to-date information.

Have a great rest of the week.