Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sink Hole Update

The Express-Times reports on the most recent sink hole which has significantly damaged the new track adjacent to the new Middle School (read it here).

The article notes that the repair will cost approximately $25,000 and has kept students from utilizing the new facility (track & field began this month and the first competition is scheduled for April 5.

The NASD used budgetary reserve funds to cover the cost of the repair. The sinkhole was found on February 28.

The article notes that, “Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Support Services Dennis Riker said drainage problems with snow melting and a great deal of water running off the field had created the sinkhole.” It further notes, ““We’ll then monitor it to see if there’s any more sinkage, but I don’t think there will be,” Riker said, noting that last week's rain storm dumped 2 inches of water at the site, but didn't disrupt repair work.”

And this is an area where I believe our schools fail. With no disrespect to Mr. Riker, he is not an expert in this area, and I find it hard to believe he could make an expert, independent assessment of the situation based on his training. Instead he would have to be repeating/confirming what the contractor relayed to him. Riker was an administrator at Easton and former Principal at Pen Argyl prior to coming to Nazareth, which leads me to believe that he began teaching. He probably doesn’t have expert knowledge of geology and sinkholes, or of many other support services.

Institutionally, the schools hire, for nearly all admin positions, people who are trained as teachers or those specifically trained for education based work (ie business administrators), instead of hiring people who are expert at managing a business. Over the past 5-10 years, I’ve noticed an increased trend of younger and younger teachers taking graduate work and getting into administration without having had even 10 years experience in teaching, let alone business management.

When you consider our current budget problems, it may be time to re-think our approach to school administration.

Posted via email from Ross Nunamaker

1 comment:

The Battle Cry of Freedom said...

Do you remember when they were discussing the building of another Lesky building? We were assured that this was not a limestone area. When will the people in the Nazareth School District wake up and demand an end to the taxes and the lies that come from this administration that is non-caring about you their open wallet and make no mistake that is what they see when they look at us. Keep in mind that their best case scenario for the budget from 2012-2015 is to spend in excess of $86 million almost $20 million more then the 2011-2012 budget.