From the Executive Director – April 2012

Stretch Run

In horse racing it’s called the “stretch run”; in education it’s “Oh my God, how can I get

everything done by the close of school.” Outsiders don’t get it. They have no clue how frantic and hectic it is to be faced with a host of tasks such as placements, grades and evaluations for both student and staff, in such a short period of time. Talk about multi-tasking!

Now that the legislation has been enacted and signed by the Governor, we prepare to deal with the many requirements and expectations contained within. Cathy Cummins and a very energetic subcommittee have identified the many tasks we are required to complete. Not surprisingly the associated questions outnumber the required tasks, and clarification will require the guidance and wisdom of legal counsel and department of education staff.

The MOEC Board will at its next meeting recommend to Secretary Reville whom it wishes to represent us on the new Collaborative Commission. This 11-member panel will analyze and proscribe the seven separate issues that have been described for its examination. I anticipate that the Commission will begin its work in May and report back its findings and recommendations 12 months later. In closing we look back over the past 10 months from a variety of perspectives. Certainly there were days in which we felt under siege and not appreciated. One quote from a prominent elected official stands out:”the system is broken.” Well, we knew the system wasn’t broken, as did our staff, constituents and colleagues in our member school districts. We have counteracted perceptions such as that with a strong and articulate voice to legislative leadership, other elected officials and policy makers. The folks from O’Neill and Associates have ably and professionally supported us in that regard. As a result our message has been continuous and articulate. We could not have been as successful without them. As you know I tend to be a ”glass is half full” person. I believe that today and presumably 12 months from today, when the Commission issues its report we will be in a better place. Yes, the reporting requirements will, at times, seem onerous, but the recognition and validation we receive will be worth the effort.

Best wishes for a successful “stretch run”!

Steve