Letters to the Editor 12/24

December 27, 2001

Letters to the Editor 12/24

Administrator pay reflects high level of responsibility

To the editor:

Schools have changed a lot over the last 10 years. Assuring the safety and security of our children in the Columbine era has become a matter of great concern, and the responsibility for this rests primarily with the school's principal.

At the same time this concern has grown, schools have been made more accountable for everything from student attendance and behavior to academic performance.

Because the public is justifiably concerned about the use of public funds, assuring that finances are responsibly applied and utilized also falls to the principal. In a time when families have experienced a seemingly ever-increasing demand on their time to work and provide income for the family, many children are in need of support and extended services.


After-school daycare, psychological and therapeutic support and alternative schooling, are targeted, coordinated and directed by the school principal. But assuring that a school's instructional program is viable is also the responsibility of the school principal - most current thinkers say it is the most important one.

Current conditions have produced a change in the role of principal from the traditional role to one with a new focus on instructional leadership. The problem with redefining the principal's role is that the general public still expects principals to do everything they used to do, while the school system expects principals to provide a strong sense of instructional leadership.

To do both is actually two jobs, management and instructional leadership. For either to be left undone means the needs of students will not be met.

Without taking credit from the support staff and teachers whose roles are vital to our students' learning, the school system administrators of Washington County are unwilling to leave needs unmet, and therefore have been working exceptionally hard to meet both management and instructional leadership responsibilities.

A recent "Thumbs Down" to the school board suggested that administrators be paid according to their performance - if only that would be done. The reporters and columnists of The Herald-Mail, the general public and local politicians would do well to look at the phenomenal academic gains made in Washington County over the past seven years.

Washington County schools have risen from in the middle of the state's range of performance to the top six, surpassing the performance of systems that spend many more tax dollars per pupil in education. Strong leadership and hard work have made that happen.

As even The Herald-Mail's "Thumbs Down" suggested, administrators should be paid according to performance and in consideration of the exceptional learning achieved in Washington County's schools.

Ralph Kline
Washington County Association of Supervisors and Administrators

Birthday wish

To the editor:

Attention, all "shopping mall addicts!" Let's remember its his birthday.

As you skip, jump and side-track your way through the crowds at those "elegant concrete warehouses," spending your hard-earned cash or gingerly slipping a cashier a credit card, cool down that "shoppers rush." Then take a moment to wish him a happy birthday.

Let's face it! If there had been a change of plans over 2000 years ago, (suppose he took a rain check) then the shining star over Bethlehem would not have appeared, and all you "shopping dudes," would be pulling a 9-5 shift at the local sweatshop on Christmas Day.

It's OK to buy a gift for Aunt Molly, but promenading at the local mall should not take precedence over the real issue.

Midst all the jostle, push and shove at the local mall, let's cool it." Take the pause that refreshes and wish him a happy birthday.

Bill Kearns
Towson, Md.

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