September 8, 2020
Faced with incredibly complex decisions about reopening schools, Superintendents and School Committees find themselves in a truly “no-win” situation. For months, they’ve been exploring countless options, always seeking a path that is best for students. Parents and staff who oppose reopening school buildings, even with extensive health and safety precautions, clamor for full remote learning. Others concerned about the shortcomings of distance learning insist families should have the option for some in-person learning, with all the necessary protocols in place. District leaders listened closely to all sides, but ultimately had to choose a course of action, knowing they cannot satisfy everyone.
Many districts adopted a hybrid model, combining in-person and distance learning, often consistent with a majority of parents’ preference. Yet the leadership of state and some local teachers’ unions, dismayed that district officials have not bowed to political pressure and scare tactics, retaliate by urging teachers not to report to required training sessions, or in the case of two school districts (so far), take a very public “vote of no confidence” in the Superintendent. How unfortunate that in these profoundly challenging circumstances, when thoughtful, principled leaders are working nearly around the clock to do what is best for students, these union leaders resort to the same-old intimidation tactics simply because they did not get their way.
We are immensely proud of School Committees and Superintendents across the Commonwealth for providing sound, decisive leadership during these turbulent times. We stand by our members who continue to face resistance and insulting rhetoric from union leaders who would rather criticize than compromise.