A statement from the Amherst Education Association:
As you may be aware, there have been several presentations at Amherst School Board meetings and in other public venues in recent months from groups and individuals about public education in Amherst.
The professional educators of the Amherst Education Association believe that many points addressed in such presentations have been inaccurate or misleading, which is why approximately 70 teachers attended the November Amherst School Board meeting to share an educator’s viewpoint.
Among our concerns are the following:
1. Fiscal data being presented to the public is being used in inaccurate or misleading ways.
2. Standardized test results should not be the sole measure of academic quality.
3. The Amherst School Board is already engaged in much of the work these presentations have said the Board should be doing. This work is conducted openly in public sessions with published agendas and minutes.
4. Statements are being made about the teachers’ collective bargaining agreement as if math teachers, school nurses, English teachers, librarians, art and music teachers, social studies teachers and science teachers and all of our colleagues are the biggest problem faced by the community. Many of these assertions have been made using inaccurate or misleading information.
We firmly believe that making teachers the problem is a misguided approach. As a group of committed professional educators, we will not stand for people coming before the school board and disrespecting the teachers of Amherst who have devoted our careers toward improving our school district and the quality of education for our students.
If the goal is to make Amherst one of the best school districts in the state, a goal we wholeheartedly support, the most productive way to make that happen is to work with teachers, not against them.
The next Amherst School Board meeting is Thursday, December 17th at 6:00 pm in the Souhegan High School learning common – parents and community members who support public education in Amherst are encouraged to attend!
Featured image by Rocksee (Flickr CC)