Letter: 'Educational leadership is sorely lacking'




To the Editor,

Educational leadership is sorely lacking on the part of the current superintendent and many members of the Board of Education. Recent deliberations on restoring 2 elementary art teachers (currently there are 4 for 6 schools) ignored evidence that 4 teachers for 6 schools results in reduced art instructional time and a whopping 400+ student load for each art teacher.  Every Ridgefield elementary student now gets less art time and more music and library time, an inequality among the 3 educational essentials at every school. The superintendent's argument for decreased art instruction across the district is "consistency," hardly the excellence that traditionally attracts new families to Ridgefield. Adding two teachers has a minimal cost impact to a 111 million dollar budget. Consistency is not exactly inspiring educational leadership. 

Critical to this equation is the fact that Ridgefield is now (near) the bottom of DRG A for elementary art, and also behind many other CT districts. Discussion of children’s needs or parents’ values has been noticeably absent.  Only BOE members Selina Bell and Tom Colin raised these points, with other members either silent or cheerleading for the superintendent.  

Please ask better questions, seek better education, listen to parents and voters.  I will finish by saying shame on the members of the Board of Education who fail to recognize their duty to support the children and parents of our school system, preferring instead to rubber stamp the Superintendent. Our school system is the engine of Ridgefield’s economy. We are now (near) the bottom of DRG A. What are you doing to fix it?
Susan D. Cocco
Branchville Road