At last night school budget committee meeting, Arthur Green gave a powerful presentation on our district’s staffing levels. Based on his study of 9 comparable districts, most of which have better academic outcomes than Timberlane, he concludes that Timberlane can shed 76 staff — without touching Special Education — and expect better performance. Most of our cohorts are doing better with far fewer staff and less money and there is no reason we cannot be like them.
All the information assembled in this slide show linked below was taken from official public sources such as school annual reports and filings to the NH Department of Education. Arthur offers to share anything whatsoever that went into this presentation – his reasoning, his data and his calculations. Let’s turn this into an open forum on his data and conclusions.
During questions after this presentation last night, Budcom Chairman Grosky said that Timberlane has different demographics from a few of the selected comparable districts. This is may be true, and I hear this over and over in education. In plain language, this is what it means: people with less money have stupid children. I find this reasoning an insult to every one of our children who walk into our schools wanting to be judged on their own merits. Educationists use economic background as an excuse for their own pedagogical failure. All kids are sponges waiting for that magical teacher to transform their lives with a love of learning. One of the top performing math charter schools is in an inner city ghetto where kids struggle with all too adult problems too young.
Don’t reject Mr. Green’s conclusions because a few of the comparable districts may be wealthier. The majority of them are demographically comparable to Timberlane. And even if they weren’t, are you willing to surrender the highest expectations for our students because our collective incomes are lagging? Let’s look at what better districts are doing with less money and try to adopt their practices. This will keep public education affordable and give it the boot to become more efficient.
Please look at the slides, challenge the data, and let’s have a debate! How Much Is Enough?
When the Vimeo is posted, I will link the presentation here: