Letters to the Editor

Heartfelt thanks from community physician

I wish to convey my heartfelt thanks to the community of Ramona, and to the thousands of individuals who have allowed me the privilege of being their physician. For over 30 years I have been part of your lives, and you of mine. We have shared both difficulties and joys, often over generations.

Now, as I step back from our day-to-day interactions, please know the dedicated and caring staff is still “in.” As always, our doors are open to help keep you and your family healthy. I am confident our new doctor, Ken Stanley MD, is a great match for our patients and will provide the high quality care you expect at our office.

I will miss you.

Frederic J. Arsham, MD, Ramona

A premise ‘without legs’

This letter is in response to a reader opinion recently submitted by Dave Patterson titled “Time to clean RUSD house from top down.”

His initial premise is that the local superintendent earns more than the mayor of San Diego. That comparison is “apples to oranges.” To state that local administration is either “top-heavy” or over-compensated without statistical validity is mere conjecture. District administrators, as well as all educators, are hired based on knowledge, specific skills, expertise, educational training, and experience in the field. The ultimate goal of every hire is to add value to the organization.

To state that RUSD has a “bevy” of administrators who never step into the classroom should not imply that they are not diligent in carrying out their assigned duties and overseeing the programs, services, and functions of a relatively large organization. This is an oversimplification, but education is big business which necessitates “chiefs as well as Indians.”

A complex educational system reaches beyond the confines of a single teacher in a classroom, though that is where the instructional process unfolds. To suggest removal of all administrators who are not in the classroom 100 percent of the time is a shortsighted and naive perspective. Do any major companies, industries, or businesses operate without management personnel? I think not.

Perhaps there is a degree of validity within some of Mr. Patterson’s statements, but a factual comparison is necessary to validate or substantiate his conclusions. Comparing the numbers of RUSD administrators to area districts of similar size and scope would be a logical starting point. A side-by-side analysis of administrative compensation between or among those districts may be the next step. Absent this information, DP appears to this reader to be voicing a premise “without legs.”

Further, if all the local administrators were released, and replacements were hired, do many truly believe it would amount to significant cost reduction? Generally, when executives retire or are replaced, compensation packages to their successors remain essentially the same. Would the situation at RUSD be any different?

My perception is that RUSD is winning numerous awards at the school site level and is making substantial academic strides at most or all of the schools. In part, these accomplishments would seem to point to impactful leadership. To totally “clean house” makes no practical sense and seems reactionary as well as unrealistic.

Terry Welke,

Ramona

   
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