The decision of the Lake George School Board to eliminate the assistant principal position and hire a curriculum coordinator has alarmed many in our community. Conversations with board members have revealed a deeply flawed decision-making process. The superintendent's underlying assumptions were accepted without question. When I questioned the board about the superintendent's underlying assumptions, such as the assumption that hiring another curriculum coordinator is the best way to attain K-12 alignment, board members did not answer my questions but reminded me of the superintendent's authority in this situation. Isn't it the board's responsibility to ask that the superintendent substantiate assumptions that underlie her recommendations? The fact is K-12 alignment has never been a district priority until the strategic planning process identified it as such. Work plans were devised and are presently being implemented by our existing curriculum coordinators. The superintendent's underlying assumption makes no sense. When you don't question assumptions you waste a lot of time because all subsequent reasoning is based on an untruth.
Another flaw in the board's thinking is that they did not consider past mistakes. We have had two administrative-level curriculum coordinators in the past at the K-6 level. The result? A new K-6 reading curriculum (ironically called "Treasures") was purchased, but many teachers didn't approve of it and it was never implemented. Without buy-in from the professionals responsible for implementing the program, the program was a waste of money. In addition, the K-6 curriculum was not aligned.
We have also eliminated the assistant principal position before. Conditions in the school deteriorated so much that the position was reinstated. Flawed decision-making processes lead to bad decisions. Bad decisions can have disastrous consequences. It seems the Lake George School District needs a work plan to improve the decision-making process of our Board of Education.
Stacie Dunn, Lake George