Friday, November 4, 2011

Late notes from 11/3/11: Superintendent Melinda Boone's contract vote

Two housekeeping points: another reminder that for the foreseeable future, our meetings are at Worcester Technical High School over on Skyline Drive. Also, we had a new rendition of the National Anthem last night, which I believe was recorded by the Worcester All City Chorus.
The first item taken up (coming out of executive session, where it has been for six weeks) was Superintendent Boone's contract. The contract as approved by a 4-3 vote is for three years, running through June 30, 2015. It has 2% raises for each of the three years, with the first effective July 1 of 2012 (and the July 1's thereafter). As Superintendent Boone's current salary is $180,000--she waived contractual raises on July 1, 2010 and 2011--that will mean a salary of $183,600 as of next July, $187,272 July of 2013, and $191,017.44 July of 2014.
A few other changes: goals are now to be proposed by September 30, approved by the School Committee by October 31, and the annual evaluation will take place by June 30, in each case annually. The contract continues to contain 20 days of vacation, but now includes bereavement leave, funeral leave, and 3 personal days. Termination by either party is now 120 days.
The School Committee meeting is not yet posted online, but it will be here once it is.I do wish I'd been able to liveblog the voting portion of the meeting, as each member explained their position. 

For myself, I made the following points:
  • saddened to be discussing this issue at this time, when it has been very clear over the past several months that the community passionately wants to weigh in on this.
  • the community's most effective means of weighing in is Tuesday, and to deny the community that chance is an abrogation of the democratic process
  • can't help but wonder if the rush is due to concern about the outcome of the election
  • as one who advocated for a wide search, I'm disappointed to be taking this vote
  • the one thing that I requested was someone who would get out of their office and into classrooms
  • have a keen appreciation that some in our community feel included for the first time, and that's wonderful and important
  • far too many left out from all walks of life and all corners of the city
  • too many don't feel listened to, too many feel no one knows or understands what is going on in their classrooms
  • there are disconnects in too many directions, even beyond those internal to the system: with local organizations, with the state delegation, with--most worryingly--city government
  • I've heard over and over again from too many directions the gap in understanding and knowledge
  • this is a public system, which needs publicly accountable
  • these concerns are intensely worrying to me as a mother, as a citizen, but most importantly as a School Committee member. I would not be doing my job if I were to ignore it
  • I am particularly saddened as I was among those thrilled that we, as was said,"made history" in hiring Dr. Boone
  • one someone is hired, however, they must be evaluated as a professional
  • that is what I have endeavored to do
  • thus must vote no

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