The single greatest determinant of a student’s academic success is the teachers and the teacher training, not buildings and AstroTurf fields.
The West Irondequoit Central School District Board of Education has a long history of poor leadership, and believing that the ends justify the means. This relates to violating the state comptroller’s directives on accounting methods and financial reporting; and to holding the majority of policy and financial decisions out of the public eye in executive session.
Our four-year on-time graduation rate averaged 83.3 percent during the period of 2001-2009. The pathetic 17 percent failure rate of Irondequoit High School ranked near the bottom of Monroe County. Under current leadership IHS dropped from placing in the top 100 nationally ranked schools, to 541st place. The drop in ranking devalues our students’ diplomas and lowers their chances to compete for the best colleges and universities.
What is most disappointing is the irreparable relationship between the WICSD teachers and the Board of Education and the WICSD administration. The board rules our teachers with intimidation, arrogance and complete disrespect. In January 2010 the WICSD teachers openly protested at the administration building due to no contract and one of the lowest pay rates in Monroe County for over 20 years. During that time the WICSD board had chosen to spend $80 million on swimming pools, new buildings, new libraries and a new AstroTurf stadium; yet failed to pay our teachers a respectable living wage compared to other districts. Many highly qualified teachers left our district, and we also failed to attract other excellent candidates due to our low salaries. The single greatest determinant of a student’s academic success is the teachers and the teacher training, not buildings and AstroTurf fields.
The BOE finally relented and raised our teachers’ salaries in 2010, but decades of damage was done.
I ask any concerned parent to run for WICSD Board of Education this spring. We need board members who respect and value our teachers and are willing to be part of a collaborative team.