Traverse City Record-Eagle

December 29, 2013

Letters to the Editor: 12/29/2013


Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — Listen to staff

The Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education cited student achievement and staff morale as areas that require attention from Superintendent Cousins. The two are inextricably linked.

Being an educational leader in TCAPS since 1990, I, like so many of my colleagues, have a deep understanding of educational issues from curriculum to finance to misguided legislators. Our institutional knowledge of this district is unmatched by board members and the executive team. Yet we are ignored.

The following steps should be taken by the board and superintendent:

n Discontinue the current “hands-off” approach to negotiating contracts and settle all expired contracts immediately.

n Listen to front-line staff before implementing initiatives or programming. Failure to do so in the past has given us schemes such as trimesters, which cost the district $2 million, not to mention the loss of integrity and community support.

n Revisit and revise recently adopted board policies which are an extreme overreach of current legislation. The board proclaims it desires input from employees, however its unilateral policy changes are the opposite. Those policies are a key reason for the erosion of respect the board has clearly experienced from its professional and support staffs.

Mary McGee-Cullen

Traverse City