Saturday, May 19, 2007

Class Size and Great Teachers

There is an interesting back and forth occurring between some comments written in the May 16, 2007 edition of the Olentangy Valley News by Jamie Stabl and former Olentangy School Board member Jim Fedako. My apologies for the last of a link to the newspaper as it has not posted the letter to the Editor on its website.

Fedako in his blog calls out the the newspaper comments attempting to justify his many attacks on the Board, Administration and teachers of OLSD on his blog. Fedako was a member of the School Board for several years before his resignation last fall.

As a watchdog, there's nothing wrong with the fact that Fedako is paying close attention to the how the School Board, Administrators, and teachers are performing. His narrow interests are his right (pun intended) to have -- however on several occasions he fails to recognize the importance in keeping class down which is one of the most attractive features of this growing district.

In one post, he writes:
Let's look at one item at the margin; the staff to pupil ratio. Looking at staffing practices from fiscal year 2004 to fiscal year 2006 reveals that the district had been hiring one new staff member per additional 10.6 students. Now look at the period covering fiscal year 2007 to fiscal year 2009 (forecasted), the district proposes to hire an additional staff member per additional 7.6 students; an almost 40% increase in this one statistic. Think about it; a 40% increase or an additional $3.5 million per year in expenditures and subsequent tax revenue needs. Incredible!
For a district to be able to reduce the teacher-student ratio should be applauded -- with the caveat that the results should be improved learning for our kids. That is an accountability issue for everyone. I attempted to point this out with a comment on his blog but he chose to not publish it (by the way, I did use my name on the comments as I believe strongly that anonymous comments lack some level of credibility).

In our case, I continue to applaud the teachers of our two children at Indian Springs. Just this morning our 2nd grader attended a special math tutoring session with her teacher and a few of her classmates. These Saturday morning sessions are way above the call of duty for a teacher and, as a parent, I greatly appreciate the extra effort in helping mold our children.

1 comment:

Jim Fedako said...

My response is on my blog: